Jan 142011
 
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John Ellis explains the rules behind the service box lines and the 5 foot encroachment line.

  • A good serve must pass the service line.
  • The server cannot leave the service box until the serve passes the service line.
  • The serve returner cannot strike the served ball until it crosses the dashed 5-foot encroachment line.

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  11 Responses to “Racquetball Serving Rules and Encroachment Line Rules”

  1. Is the back line of the servicesb box in or out?

  2. Hitting the back service box line is out, not a good serve, a service fault.

  3. If a serve lands between the short line and encroachment line but bounces twice in between these lines, is it a good serve?

  4. Regarding the encroachment line, is it legal for the returner of serve to have his followthrough take the racquet across the line after hitting the ball? Or must the hit AND racquet stay behind the line?

    • As long as you hit the ball, actually strike the ball, beyond the “5′ line” (or the “receiving line” or “encroachment line”), your follow thru may pass the line. You MUST strike the ball prior or behind the line

  5. on the return serve, is it legal, after you hit the ball for your follow thru to pass the 5′ line?

    • Rule 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) before either of the two preceding things happen, 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 back wall.
      3. Any violation by the receiver results in a point for the server.

  6. As long as you hit the ball, actually strike the ball, beyond the “5′ line” (or the “receiving line” or “encroachment line”), your follow thru may pass the line. You MUST strike the ball prior or behind the line

    • Sorry. I forgot to clarify: IF the ball bounces before the “5’/encroachment line”, then the returner CAN move into the box and return the ball. There is NO encroachment issue. So if the ball hits between the short line and the encroachment line, the returner has “free reign” to hit the ball with no encroachment line fault issue. Put another way, if the ball bounces between the short line and the encroachment line, there can be no encroachment line fault….

      • Rule 3.11 Return of Serve
        (a) Receiving Position
        1. The receiver may not break the plane of the receiving line (5′ encroachment 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) before either of the two preceding things happen, 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 back wall.
        3. Any violation by the receiver results in a point for the server.

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