Simplified Rules for Doug and Sarah Tennis
Mostly made to give us a chance to play without being that frustrated
The game is played with about 90% of the standard rules of tennis. Six games to a set. When two sets out of three to win the match. You must win a game by two points. You cannot cross the white line until after serving the ball. If you hit the serve out of the proper service box, then you get a fault. And so on. There are a few changes below, largely to help early players (read: us) play without being that frustrated and to guarantee that games do not go on too long (since most night's we play, Sarah should be in bed well before 10pm because of her job).
Most of these rules are designed with the expectation that they are not abused (especially stuff like Do Overs). In other words, they make fair rules for people who are just starting out together as long as the people realize that if they involve others they will have to use the default rules. At least, they make fair rules that we like.
If you stumble on this page and like one of the rules changes but not any of the others, then feel free to snag it. If you hate all of them, well, that's ok, too.
Short and Net Faults
If the ball comes short of hitting the net, or hits the net, and does not complete the service, then this is short or net fault. This counts as a first fault, but will not count for a second fault. This means that if you hit a short fault on the first service, then it counts as single fault. But, if you hint a net fault on the second service, you stay at single fault until you complete the service or until you double fault as per standard.
This is meant to help players practice a serve without forcing them to be too conservative all of the time. If the server has tried serving several times (at least 4-5) and has taken more than minute or so, then the receiver can call "count double!" and the point goes to them and the game proceeds to the next point.
Out, Fault and Do Over
It is up to the judgement of whoever is closest to the ball to claim it out or fault or in some other violation (hit the net post, was interfered with, etc). If the further player agrees, and he or she should most of the time, then the closer player judgment stands. If the further player disagrees, then the shot is done over. This is of course assuming no cheating occurs. Well, if cheating did occur (the one player calling the other one out all of the time, the other player calling in all of the time) then you pretty much cannot play tennis without a third party so there is not much you can do.
Do Overs are also allowed if 1) the server served before the receiever was ready and the receiver did not strike at the ball, 2) if something caused viable distraction (sun, wind, animals, noise, whatever), or 3) if wind or rocks or cracks or anything inteferes with the ball so much as to change it from being a proper return or service to being a fault.
Simplified Tie Break
The first person to 6 games wins the set, unless the other person has 5 games won in the set. Then, the first person to 7 will win no matter what the other's score is. This game is played normal.
On Who Starts the Serve In a Set
We just play by gentleman's agreement for the first set, and then the loser of the last set serves first in the next.
We change sides every three. Not 100% why, but it works for us.
Extra Sets and Short Sets
Since our playing is a weeknight work out sort of deal, we often have extra sets and the option of short sets is important. An extra set is usually the third set, played out because the first two sets went by too quickly. It does not effect the outcome of the game.
A short set is to 4 (or 5, in the case of a tiebreak) and would be played out on the third set if the first two have went kind of long. It is only recommended to be used if/when the first two sets are split between the players.
In the same category, if a match comes to an end for any reason, then the person with the most games won wins, irregardless of sets.