3.11 - Return of Serve
(a) Receiving Position
1. The receiver may not break the plane of
the receiving line with the racquet or body until the ball either
bounces in the safety zone or else crosses the receiving line. For
example, if the receiver steps on the dashed receiving line with either
foot (with any part of the foot contacting the line), a point shall be
called for the server.
2. The follow through may carry the receiver
or the racquet past the receiving line, but neither may break the plane
of the short line unless the ball is struck after rebounding off the
3. Any violation by the receiver results in a point for the server.
Defective Serve. A player on the receiving side may not intentionally
catch or touch a served ball (such as an apparently long or short
serve) until the referee has made a call or the ball has touched the
floor for a second time. Violation results in a point.
(c) Legal Return. After a legal serve, a
player receiving the serve must strike the ball on the fly or after the
first bounce, and before the ball touches the floor the second time;
and return the ball to the front wall, either directly or after
touching one or both side walls, the back wall or the ceiling, or any
combination of those surfaces. A returned ball must touch the front
wall before touching the floor.
(d) Failure to Return. The failure to return a serve results in a point for the server.
(e) Other Provisions. Except as noted in
this rule (3.11), the return of serve is subject to all provisions of
Rules 3.13 through 3.15.