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Stroke / Let / Play On ?????

Published: 20 Mar 2008 - 01:00 by sullie416

Updated: 26 Mar 2008 - 08:32

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Quick question for y'all

=>your opponent plays a good kill shot to the front right corner

=>you get up there to return and notice your opponent drifting forward off the T so

you play a nice tight lob down the wall to the back right corner

=> However you stay in the corner (front right) that you played the shot from and fail to recover to the T before your opponent plays their next shot.....

=> Is this a stroke or let for your opponent ????

Bit of debate here on this one - some think that as 90% of the front wall is playable then it isn't a

stroke OR a let while others say you are interfering with shot choice so it should be a let minimum


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From drop-shot - 26 Mar 2008 - 08:32   -   Updated: 26 Mar 2008 - 08:32

 Thanks, Ray, this is to make long story short. I wish people would learn the rules once.

Reading with understanding - that's the beauty.


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From raystrach - 26 Mar 2008 - 08:02

got to agree with drop shot (below) on this one. you are entitled to choose where you hit the ball. if any part is restricted then stroke.

i will qualify this by saying that you must be capable of hitting the ball to all parts of the front wall. if you happen to be standing in an area the refereee considers your opponent cannot hit to, then it would not be a stroke.

if you had played the lob so well that all your opponent could do was boast, then it would not be a stroke.

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From rippa rit - 22 Mar 2008 - 08:34

At this link there are some video clips which show some lets v strokes.  Particularly the video of Kitchen (NZ) v an English player whose name I could not catch on the replay.

Note how the person in front watches to see how effective the shot behind is (whether it dies, or bounces into the court).  If the ball comes out a bit too far the front player takes a slight step to the side allowing the pathway for the ball to hit the front wall (this is known by the position of the ball in relation to the body/swing of the striker).  In other words:

  • if the ball is behind the striker at the point of impact there is no problem with the person in front stepping further into the centre court.
  • if the ball is about level with the strikes at the point of impact (in relation to the side wall), and close to the wall, the player in front can step further into the middle of the court.
  • if the ball bounces well off the back wall and into the middle (say, 1m from the side wall) the person in front has to vacate the position in front and take a very wide berth to the side, leaving heaps of open court).
  • if the ball is low and tight in the corner, does not bounce out, is dying, is a good shot, the player in front can take control of the center court, and move further forward expecting a boast.

What I am trying to impart here is the importance of reading all the cues, and moving according to what is happening as it is happening.  Always flex and move, and watch the ball no matter where it is.

Does that make sense?


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From hamburglar - 21 Mar 2008 - 03:57   -   Updated: 21 Mar 2008 - 07:05

Pros do let about 25% of the front wall go, but not the STRAIGHT part of it!!! It's the crosscourt 25% of the front wall that doesn't usually get hit to---because it doesn't make sense to, even if they're going for a crosscourt nick. If you're in the way of a straight shot, that's a stroke!

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From mike - 20 Mar 2008 - 08:18

If the opponent (the one who has just played the straight lob) is still blocking direct access to the front wall (any of it) when the player is ready to hit then it sounds like a stroke*

If the lob was too high to be cut off mid-court then the player shouldn't be calling a let for a shot they can't reach (at that point). If this is the case they will probably move to the back of the court to play the shot once it's lower, probably after bouncing off the back wall. By this point the opponent may well have cleared the front wall and avoided interference. If not, again sounds like a stroke*

* as Rita says it's hard to say for sure without seeing the actual player positions.


The problem with saying that 90% is enough is that some players block more and more of the front wall because of the return they are expecting.

For example player expects a straight drive, so they move across only giving access to a portion of the front wall. This limits the opponent to a boast, or a straight drive. So then the first player starts even more to anticipate a straight drive and moves across even more....
It's a viscous circle where the interfering player limits their opponents shot choice, and gets an unfair advantage (by playing on the opponents tendancy to not call lets). The striker has the right to play their choice of shot, not the only one their opponent has given them room for :)

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From rippa rit - 20 Mar 2008 - 07:39   -   Updated: 20 Mar 2008 - 07:40

This is the line of reasoning for Interference:

Rule 12 - Interference

  • A player is entitled to minimal interference by the opponent. Interference occurs when the opponent does not provide:
    • Unobstructed direct access to the ball.
    • A fair view of the ball.
    • Freedom to hit the ball.
    • Freedom to play the ball.


If a player considers he has suffered interference he may:-


1. Continue play, or
2. Stop play and appeal to the Referee.

The player must ask the Referee "Let Please" when appealing. The appeal must be made immediately the interference occurs.

Line of Reasoning

  • Rule 12 is probably one of the most difficult rules for players to interpret.
  • The following will assist make the correct decision:-
    • 1.Could the Striker have made a good return, if NO - NO LET.
    • If YES, was there any interference, if NO - NO LET.
    • If YES, was every effort made, if YES - YES LET - unless
    • 2.Could the Striker have made a winning return, then STROKE TO THE STRIKER.
  • If every effort was not made, then, STROKE TO THE STRIKER.

The rules must be read and interpreted depending on the situation with respect to the position  of the striker as well as their opponent, all in relation to the position of the ball, and possibilities at the point of interference. 

You may make every effort to avoid a situation, however, if you fail to fulfill the above requirements you are in trouble....where a striker moves too after hitting the ball, depends on the accuracy of the shot played, as well as the court position of the opponent, and their subsequent ability to return the ball.

The rules do not define a particular situation, and nothing is cut and dried., it is all about the court positioning of the players. The striker has the right to hit the ball, when it is their turn, to any position on the court, and the opponent must get out of the way, as stated above.


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From drop-shot - 20 Mar 2008 - 01:45   -   Updated: 20 Mar 2008 - 01:46

 Whenever you limit the opportunities of your opponent to hit directly to the front wall it leads to penalty stroke.  Who says 90% of the front wall? You are entitled to have the opportunity to hit the ball to the front wall, regardless the percentage... 

Just to compare - check John White's strange hard cross-court drives thorough the middle when he stuck in the corner. He is ALWAYS punished with stroke. Even if 90% of the wall is "free"

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