USA Racquetball Rules: 3 - Play Regulations
In all USAR sanctioned competition, the server will have two opportunities to put the ball into play.
The player or team winning the coin toss (preferred method) has the option to either serve or receive at the start of the first game. The second game will be served first by the player or team that did not serve first in the first game. In a tiebreaker game, the player or team scoring the most total points in games 1 and 2 will have the option to either serve or receive first. If both players or teams happen to score an equal number of total points in the first two games, another coin toss will take place and the winner of the toss will have the option to serve or receive.
The referee shall call the score or “second serve” as both server and receiver prepare to return to their respective positions, shortly after the previous rally has ended -- even if the players are “not yet ready”. The server may not start the service motion until the referee has called the score or "second serve." (See Rule 3.17(a)6) The serve is started while standing any place in the service zone. Neither the ball nor any part of either foot may extend beyond either line of the service zone when initiating the service motion. Stepping on, but not beyond, the line is permitted. When completing the service motion, the server may step beyond the service (front) line provided that some part of both feet remain on or inside the line until the served ball is contacted by the server. The server (and the non-serving partner in doubles) may step outside of the Service zone as soon as the served ball is contacted by the server’s racquet. However, their movements may NOT interfere with the return attempt. See Rules 3.9(a) for the penalty for violations.
After taking a set position inside the service zone, a player may begin the service motion. The service motion is defined as any continuous movement that results in the ball being served. Once the service motion begins, after the ball leaves the hand, it must bounce on the floor in the service zone and then, without the ball touching anything else, be struck by the racquet before the ball bounces on the floor a second time. After being struck, the ball must hit the front wall first and, on the rebound, be capable of hitting the floor beyond the back edge of the short line, either with or without touching one of the side walls. However, the receiver may return the ball “on the fly” before those things happen as long as Rule 3.11 is followed.
The service motion shall not begin until the referee has called the score or “second serve” and the server has visually checked the receiver’s readiness.
The referee may issue a technical warning or declare a technical foul for delays exceeding 10 seconds. See Rule 3.17(a)6.
(a) The 10-second rule applies to the server and receiver simultaneously. Concurrently, they are allowed up to 10 seconds after the score is called to serve and be ready to receive. It is the server's responsibility to check and be certain the receiver is ready. If a receiver is not ready, they must signal that by either raising the entire head of their racquet above their head or else completely turn their back to the server. These are the only two acceptable signals of NOT being ready to receive.
(b) Serving while the receiving player/team is signaling that they are “not ready” is a fault serve.
(c) After the score or “second serve” is called, if the server looks at the receiver and the receiver is not signaling that he is “not ready”, the server may then serve. If the receiver attempts to signal they are “not ready” after that point (the server has seen them not signaling that they are “not ready”), the signal shall not be acknowledged and the serve, if made, is “in play” and legal if it lands in fair play.
There is a drive serve line 3 feet from each side wall in the service zone. Viewed one at a time, each drive serve line divides the 20-foot long service zone into a 3-foot and a 17-foot section. The player may drive serve between their body and the side wall nearest to where the service motion began only if the player, the racquet, and the ball (only until it is struck by the server) starts and remains outside of the 3-foot drive service zone until the ball is served. Any violation is a fault serve. See Rule 3.9(h) Illegal Drive Serve.
(a) The drive serve zones are observed only for hard, low (below the server’s shoulders) drive serves. Cross-court drive serves, the hard-Z, soft-Z, lob, and half-lob serves are exempt from being regarded as violations of this rule.
(b) The 3-foot line is part of the 3-foot zone and defines a plane that, if broken, is an infraction. (See Rule 3.9(h))
(c) Any serve that does NOT violate the previous conditions may still be a screen serve if it meets the conditions of Rule 3.9(i).
Defective serves of three types result in penalties as follows:
(a) Dead-Ball Serve. A dead-ball serve results in no penalty and the server is given another serve (but without canceling any prior fault serve).
(b) Fault Serve. One of the two serves allowed is used. Thus, two consecutive fault serves result in an out (either a side out or a handout).
(c) Out Serve. An out serve results in an immediate out (either a side out or a handout).
Dead-ball serves do not cancel any previous fault serve. The following are dead-ball serves:
(a) Court Hinders. A serve that takes an irregular bounce because it hit a wet spot or an irregular surface on the court is a dead-ball serve. In addition, any serve that hits any surface designated by local rules as an obstruction rather than being out-of-play.
(b) Broken Ball. If the ball is determined to have broken on the serve, a new ball shall be substituted and that serve shall be replayed, but not canceling any prior fault serve.
(c) Out-of-Court Serve. A served ball that first hits the front wall and, after striking the floor, either goes out of the court or hits a surface above the normal playing area of the court that has been declared as out-of-play for a valid reason (See Rule 2.1(a)).
The following serves are faults and any combination of two in succession result in an out:
(a) Foot Faults.
A foot fault results when:
1. At the start of or during the service motion, any part of the server (or non-serving partner), including their racquets, touches the floor outside of the service zone.
2. Before contacting the ball with the racquet, the server steps with either foot on the floor beyond the service line (with no part of that foot on the line or inside the service zone).
(b) Short Serve. A short serve is any served ball that first hits the front wall and, on the rebound, hits the floor on or in front of the short line either with or without touching a side wall.
(c) Three-Wall Serve. A three-wall serve is any served ball that first hits the front wall and, on the rebound, strikes both side walls before touching the floor.
(d) Ceiling Serve. A ceiling serve is any served ball that first hits the front wall and then touches the ceiling (with or without touching a side wall).
(e) Long Serve. A long serve is a served ball that first hits the front wall and rebounds to the back wall before touching the floor (with or without touching a side wall).
(f) Bouncing Ball Outside Service Zone. Bouncing the ball outside the service zone, including the ball touching a side wall as a part of the service motion, is a fault serve.
(g) Serving the Ball Without a Bounce. Tossing the ball into the air and serving it without a bounce is a fault serve. (h) Illegal Drive Serve. A drive serve in which the player fails to observe the 17-foot drive service zone as outlined in Rule 3.6.
(i) Screen Serve. A served ball that first hits the front wall and on the rebound passes so closely to the server, or server's partner in doubles, that it prevents the receiver from having a clear view of the ball. The receiver is obligated to take up good court position, near center court, to obtain that view. (A referee noting a ball that passes “close” should NOT call it a screen until he is also sure that the opponent’s attempt to return the ball was impaired by that “closeness”.) Generally, the call should work to the advantage of the offensive player.
(j) Serving before the Receiver is Ready. A serve made while the receiver is “not ready” as described in Rule 3.5.
Any of the following results in an out:
(a) Two Consecutive Fault Serves. As described in Rule 3.9.
(b) Missed Serve Attempt. During the service motion, any attempt to serve/strike the ball that results in a total miss or in the ball touching any part of the server's body, including the foot. Also, allowing the ball to bounce more than once for the serve.
(c) Touched Serve. Any served ball that on the rebound from the front wall touches the server or server's racquet before touching the floor, or any ball intentionally stopped or caught by the server or server's partner.
(d) Fake or Balk Serve. Any movement of the racquet toward the ball during the serve that is non-continuous and done for the purpose of deceiving the receiver. If a balk serve occurs, but the referee believes that no deceit was involved, the referee has an option of declaring it "no serve" and having that serve replayed without penalty.
(e) Illegal Hit. An illegal hit includes contacting the ball twice, intentionally carrying the ball, or hitting the ball with the handle of the racquet or part of the body or uniform.
(f) Non-Front Wall Serve. Any served ball that does not strike the front wall first (as opposed to both walls at the same time).
(g) Crotch Serve. Any served ball that hits the crotch of the front wall and floor, front wall and side wall, or front wall and ceiling is an out serve (because it did not hit the front wall first). This includes the ball touching two intersecting surfaces at nearly the same time -- such that which one it touched first cannot be ascertained. However, a serve into the crotch formed by the back wall and floor, as well as the crotch formed by either sidewall beyond the short line, is a good serve and in play.
(h) Out-of-Court Serve. An out-of-court serve is any served ball that first hits the front wall and, before striking the floor, either goes out of the court or hits a surface above the normal playing area of the court that has been declared as out-of- play for a valid reason [See Rule 2.1(a)].
(a) Receiving Position (Encroachment)
1. The receiver(s) may not break the plane of the receiving line with their 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. While the follow through of one’s stroke might carry the receiver or their racquet past the receiving line, neither the receiver nor racquet may break the plane of the short line -- unless the ball is rebounding off the back wall and is still in play.
3. Any violation by the receiver results in a point for the server.
(b) Touched Serve. During the return of serve, a player on the receiving side may not intentionally catch or touch a served ball (such as a serve seemingly destined to be long or short) until the referee has made a call or the ball has touched the floor for a second time or the ball is out of play as a result of a Fault Serve as described in Rule 3.9. Violation results in loss of the rally, i.e. a point for the server. Players should be certain the referee agrees that the ball is “out of play” before touching the ball.
(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 legally 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 Rule 3.17.
(a) Outs. A server is entitled to continue serving until one of the following occurs:
- Out Serve. See Rule 3.10.
- Two Consecutive Fault Serves [see Rule 3.9].
- Failure to Return Ball. Player or team fails to keep the ball in play as required by Rule 3.11 (c).
- Penalty Hinder. Player or team commits a penalty hinder which results in an out. See Rule 3.15.
(b) Side out. Retiring the server in singles is called a side out.
(c) Effect of Side out. When the server (or serving team) receives a side out, the server becomes the receiver and the receiver becomes the server.
All play that occurs after the successful return of serve to the front wall is called the rally. Play thereafter shall be conducted according to the following rules:
(a) Responsibility. While making an attempt to return the ball, the offensive player is entitled to a sufficiently clear view of the ball, a straight path to get to the ball, an unimpeded swing at the ball, and two paths (see Rule 3.15(a)) for the ball to
travel to the front wall. It is the defensive player’s primary responsibility to move sufficiently to afford the offensive player these entitled elements for executing the return. The offensive player is responsible for making a reasonable effort to move towards the ball and there must be a reasonable chance the player could have gotten to the ball had there been no hinder and that the ball, when hit, would reach the front wall before touching the floor before a hinder of either type can be assessed. Generally, an interference becomes a Penalty Hinder rather than a Replay Hinder, when the player on defense (1) did something they did not have to do, or else (2) fails to have done something that they could have done.
(b) Legal Hits. Only the head or throat of the racquet (not the handle or the hand) may be used at any time to return the ball. The racquet may be held in one or both hands. Removing the wrist cord to switch hands to hit a ball, touching the ball with any part of the body or uniform, or removing the wrist safety cord or losing one’s eye protection during a rally, results in a loss of the rally. Players may hold the racquet in either hand as long as the wrist cord remains securely attached and complies with the length restrictions of Rule 2.4(d) from the start of the service motion until the rally has ended.
(c) One Touch. The player or team trying to return the ball may touch or strike the ball only once or else the rally is lost. The ball may not be intentionally carried. (A carried ball -- one that rests on the racquet slightly longer than a true “hit” -- is allowed only if done unintentionally.)
(d) Failure to Return. Any of the following constitutes a failure to make a legal return during a rally: 1. The ball bounces on the floor more than once or else “rolls out” before being hit.
2. The ball does not reach the front wall on the fly after being struck (skip ball), e.g. the ball touching the floor before reaching the front wall or becoming stuck in the racquet strings.
3. The ball is hit such that it goes, without first touching the floor, into the gallery or wall opening or else hits a surface above the normal playing area of the court that has been declared as out-of-play [See Rule 2.1(a)].
4. A ball that obviously does not have the speed or direction to reach the front wall “on the fly” strikes another player.
5. A ball struck by a player hits that player or that player's partner.
6. Committing a penalty hinder. See Rule 3.15.
7. Undoing the wrist cord to switch hands during a rally. Either or both hands may be used if the wrist cord remains secured.
8. Failure to use a racquet wrist safety cord as intended.
9. Touching the ball with the body or uniform.
10. Intentionally carrying or slinging the ball with the racquet. Also, the ball becoming lodged in one’s strings or clothing.
(e) Effect of “Failure to Return”. Violations of Rules 3.13 (b) through (d) result in a loss of rally. If the serving player or team loses the rally, it is an out. If the receiver loses the rally, it results in a point for the server.
(f) Return Attempts. The ball remains in play until it touches the floor a second time; regardless of how many walls it contacts – including the front wall. If a player swings at the ball and misses it, the player or their partner may continue to attempt to return the ball until it touches the floor for the second time.
(g) Broken Ball. If there is any suspicion that a ball has broken during a rally, play shall continue until the end of the rally. Players should not hit the ball after that point. The referee or any player may then request the ball be examined by the referee. If the referee decides the ball is broken, the ball will be replaced, and the prior rally replayed. The server resumes play with the first serve. The only proper way to check for a broken ball is to squeeze it by hand. If the referee is certain that the ball was broken during, and not after, the previous rally, then he can call for that rally to be replayed. However, checking the ball by any player’s hard striking of it with a racquet will not be considered a valid check and shall work to the
disadvantage of the player that struck the ball. Defective (untrue) balls will also be replaced, but without affecting the immediately prior rally.
(h) Play Stoppage.
1. If a foreign object enters the court, or any other outside interference occurs, the referee shall stop the play immediately and declare a replay hinder.
2. If a player loses any apparel, equipment, or other article, the referee shall stop play immediately and declare a penalty hinder or replay hinder as described in Rule 3.15(i).
(i) Replays. Generally, whenever a rally is replayed for any reason, the server resumes play at first serve. A previous fault serve is generally not considered.
(j) Ball in Play Touches a Player. During a rally, if a ball in play hits the front wall and then touches a player, it results in a loss of rally for the player that was touched.
A rally is replayed without penalty and the server resumes play at first serve whenever a replay hinder occurs. Depending on the circumstances, several of the replay hinders described below could be serious enough body contact to be penalty hinders (see Rule 3.15). The differences between replay and penalty hinders may be small and therefore involve referee judgment. Please also read Rule 3.15, which describes conditions under which a penalty hinder might be called instead and result in loss of the rally for the offender.
- Court Hinder. The referee should stop play immediately whenever the ball hits any part of the court that was designated prior to the match as a court hinder (such as a vent grate). The referee should also stop play (i) when the ball takes an observed irregular bounce as a result of contacting a very irregular surface or object (such as court light or vent) or after striking a wet spot on the floor or wall and (ii) when, in the referee's opinion, the irregular bounce affected the rally. This also includes any ball that leaves the court after legally touching the front wall and then bouncing on the floor.
- Ball Hits Opponent. Generally, when an opponent is hit by a return shot in flight, it is a replay hinder. But if the opponent is struck by a ball, that obviously did not have the speed or direction to reach the front wall, then it is not a hinder of any kind and the player who hit the ball loses the rally. A player who has been hit by the ball can immediately stop play and make the call though the call must be made immediately and acknowledged by the referee. Depending on the players’ positioning, this type of interference may be declared a penalty hinder. See Rule 3.15.
- Body Contact. If body contact occurs which the referee believes was sufficient to stop the rally, either for the purpose of preventing injury by further contact or because the contact prevented a player from being able to make a reasonable return, the referee shall call a replay hinder. Incidental body contact in which the offensive player clearly will have an advantage should not be called a replay hinder unless the offensive player obviously stops play. NOTE: Contact with the racquet on the follow-through normally is not considered a hinder of either type for either player. See Rule 3.15.
- Screen Ball. Any ball rebounding from the front wall so close to the body of the defensive player that it prevents the offensive player from having a clear view of the ball. (A referee noting a ball that passes “close” should NOT call it a screen until he is also sure that the opponent’s attempt to return the ball was impaired by that “closeness”.) A ball that passes between the legs of a player who has just returned the ball is not automatically a screen. It depends on whether the other player is impaired as a result. Generally, the call should work to the advantage of the offensive player. See Rule 3.15
- Backswing Hinder. Any racquet or body contact, on the backswing or on the way to or just prior to returning the ball, which impairs the hitter's ability to take a reasonable swing. This call can be made by the player attempting the return, though the call must be made immediately and is subject to the referee's approval. Interference with one’s backswing is most likely a penalty hinder, but if it is obviously unavoidable, it can be deemed a replay hinder instead. See Rule 3.15.
- Safety Holdup. Any player about to execute a return, who believes that striking the opponent with the ball or racquet is likely, may immediately stop play and request a replay hinder. This call must be made immediately and is subject to acceptance by the referee. The referee shall grant a replay hinder if it is believed the holdup was reasonable and the player would have been able to return the shot. The referee may also declare it a penalty hinder if warranted. See
- Other Interference. Any other unintentional interference that prevents an opponent from having a fair chance to see or return the ball. Example: When a ball from another court enters the court during a rally or when a referee's call on an adjacent court obviously distracts a player. See Rule 3.15.
(b) Effect of Hinder. The referee's call of hinder stops the rally immediately and also voids any situation that follows, such as the ball hitting a player. The only hinders that allow a player to stop playing are described in rules (2), (5), and (6) above, and all of them are subject to the acceptance of the referee. If accepted, they to void situations that followed them. A replay hinder stops the rally and the rally is replayed. The server resumes play at first serve. For all other hinders and other issues, such as a serve thought to be “short” or a possible hinder not called, the player should raise his off hand or racquet to signal/denote the problem but continue to play the rally. Such issues are to be resolved after the rally ends.
A penalty hinder results in the immediate loss of the rally. A penalty hinder does not have to be an intentional act, but an intentional hinder would be a penalty hinder. Replay hinders are described in Rule 3.14. The following actions or failure to act are prime examples of actions that should result in a penalty hinder:
(a) Failure to Move. A player does not move sufficiently to allow an opponent a shot straight to the front wall as well as a cross-court shot which is a shot directly to the front wall at such an angle that would cause the ball to rebound directly to the rear corner farthest from the player hitting the ball. In addition, when a player moves in such a direction that it prevents an opponent from taking either of these shots. Any type of shot that has the speed and direction to reach the front wall has the potential of being called a penalty hinder if the ball would have traveled along a path directly to the front wall. The referee must continue to visualize the projected path of the ball to determine this. Jumping is a popular maneuver to clear the path of the ball; however, the defensive player jumping does not negate a potential penalty hinder call; it all depends if the ball had a direct path to the front wall. In the event the defensive player is struck with the ball while jumping, play stops, but the referee must continue to visualize the projected path of the ball to determine if the ball would have traveled along a path direct to the front wall and would have made it to the front wall.
(b) Swing Interference. This may occur when a player moves, or fails to move, such that the opponent returning the ball does not have a free, unimpeded swing at the ball. This includes unintentionally moving in a direction that prevents the opponent from making a shot. There are three types of possible swing interference.
- Backswing Hinder. Any racquet or body contact, on the backswing or on the way to or just prior to returning the ball, which impairs the hitter's ability to take a reasonable swing. This call can be made by the player attempting the return, though the call must be made immediately and is subject to the referee's approval. Some backswing hinders, such as those that cannot be avoided, may be considered a replay hinder. See Rule 3.14.
- Stroke Interference. Whenever there is contact during the racquet’s forward (toward the ball) movement up to and until the point that ball leaves the racquet.
- Follow through Contact. After the ball leaves the racquet, any contact with an opponent or his equipment is normally not considered a hinder of any kind for either player.
(c) Blocking. Moves into a position which blocks the opponent from getting to, or returning, the ball; or in doubles, the offensive player who is not returning the ball hinders or impedes either defensive player’s ability to move into a position to cover the pending shot that comes into play.
(d) Moving into the Ball. Moves in the way and is struck by the ball just played by the opponent.
(e) Pushing. Deliberately pushes or shoves opponent during a rally.
(f) Intentional Distractions. Deliberate shouting, stamping of feet, waving of racquet, or any other manner of intentionally disrupting one's opponent.
Deliberate shouting, stamping of feet, waving of racquet, or any other manner of disrupting one's opponent.
(g) View Obstruction. A player moves across an opponent's line of vision just before the opponent strikes the ball.
(h) Wetting the Ball. The players, particularly the server, should ensure that the ball is dry prior to the serve. Any wet ball that is not corrected prior to the serve shall result in a penalty hinder against the server.
i. Apparel or Equipment Loss. If a player loses (becomes fully dislodged from their person) any apparel, equipment, or other article they brought onto the court, play shall be immediately stopped and that player shall be assessed a penalty hinder, unless the last shot that was hit could not be retrieved. Note that if the loss of equipment is caused by a player's opponent, then a replay hinder should be called instead. If the opponent's action is judged to have been avoidable, then the opponent should be called for a penalty hinder.
(a) Rest Periods. Each player or team is entitled to two 1-minute timeouts per game. Timeouts may not be called by either side after the service motion (see Rule 3.3) has begun. Calling for a timeout when none remain or after the service motion has begun will result in the assessment of a technical foul for delay of game. If a player takes more than 1-minute for a single timeout, the referee may automatically charge any remaining timeouts, as needed, for any extra time taken. Once all time allowed has expired, a delay of game technical warning or technical foul may be assessed. A player who leaves the court should call a timeout or else advise the referee of the reason for leaving the court. If a player leaves
the court without advising the referee, a timeout may be charged to that player. If none remain, the referee may assess a technical warning or technical foul for delay of game; however, the referee may excuse a delay if the player’s reason for leaving was to correct a problem affecting the playability of the court, such as obtaining a towel to dry the court or disposing of some foreign material from the court. See Rule 3.17(a)6 for guidance on delays.
(b) Injury. If a player is injured during a match because of contact, such as with the ball, racquet, wall, floor, or a player, an injury timeout will be awarded without regard to the player’s use of regular timeouts. A player may call more than one timeout for the same injury or for additional injuries that occur during the match, but a player is not allowed more than a total of 15 minutes of rest for injuries during the entire match. If the injured player is not able to resume play after total rest of 15 minutes, the match shall be awarded to the opponent.
1. Should any external bleeding occur, the referee must halt play as soon as the rally is over, charge an injury timeout to the person who is bleeding, and not allow the match to continue until the bleeding has stopped and mitigating steps taken.
2. Muscle cramps and pulls, fatigue, and other ailments that are not caused by direct contacts on the court will not be considered an injury. Injury time is also not allowed for any pre-existing conditions.
(c) Equipment Timeouts. Players are expected to keep their clothing and equipment in good, playable condition and must use regular timeouts for adjustment and replacement of equipment (such as broken strings or racquet) during play. If a player or team has no regular timeouts left and the referee determines that an equipment change or adjustment is necessary for fair and safe continuation of the match, the referee may grant an equipment timeout not to exceed
2 minutes. The referee may allow additional time under extenuating circumstances such as the distance to the locker room or car.
(d) Between Games. The rest period between games is 2 minutes.
(e) Postponements. Any game/match postponed by a referee or the Tournament Director shall be resumed with the same scores and player serving as when postponed. Referees should note these matters on the scorecard, for example, so they can be recalled correctly when play resumes.
(a) Technical Fouls. The referee is empowered to deduct one point from a player's or team's score when, in the referee's sole judgment; the player is being overtly and deliberately abusive. A prior warning is not required, but a warning may be enough to correct the behavior (see Rule 3.17(b)). If the player or team against whom the technical foul was assessed does not resume play immediately, the referee is empowered to forfeit the match in favor of the opponent. Some examples of actions that can result in technical fouls (or warnings) are:
2. Excessive arguing.
3. Threat of any nature to the opponent or referee.
4. Excessive or hard striking of the ball between rallies.
5. Hard striking of the racquet against walls or floor, slamming the door, or any action that might result in damage to the court or injury to other players.
6. Significant or repetitive delays of the same kind warrant the assessment of a Technical Foul (deduction of a point). However, in many cases, issuing a Technical Warning may be enough to correct most short delaying behaviors without deducting a point. Here are some examples of delays that referees should watch for and seek to eliminate:
(i) Taking too much time to dry the court,
(ii) Excessive questioning of the referee about the rules,
(iii) Exceeding the time allotted for warm-up (see Policy A.8), timeouts, or between games, (iv) Calling a timeout when none remain or after the service motion begins, or
(v) Taking more than ten seconds to serve or be ready to receive the serve.
(vi) Serving before the score or “second serve” is called.
7. Intentional service (front) line foot fault to negate a bad lob serve.
8. Anything the referee considers unsportsmanlike behavior.
9. Failure to wear proper protective eye wear designed for racquet sports [See Rule 2.5(a)] during a rally is an automatic technical foul on the first infraction, plus a mandatory timeout (to acquire the proper protective eye wear) will be charged against the offending player. A second infraction by that player during the match will result in automatic forfeiture of the match.
(b) Technical Warnings. There are varying degrees of unsportsmanlike behavior, particularly with delays, so if a player's behavior is not as severe as to warrant a technical foul and deduction of a point, the referee may, at his discretion, issue a technical warning instead -- without the deduction of a point. The decision whether to issue a technical warning or technical foul is solely at the discretion of the referee.
(c) Effect of Technical Foul or Warning. If a referee issues a technical foul, one point shall be removed from the offender's score and play resumed from that point. No point will be deducted if a referee issues a technical warning. In either case, a technical foul or warning should be accompanied by a brief explanation of the unsportsmanlike behavior. Issuing a technical foul or warning has no effect on who will serve when play resumes. If a technical foul occurs when the offender has no points or it is between games, the result will be that the offender's score is reduced into negative numbers
such as minus one (-1).