What Is A Net Ball In Tennis? [Tennis Serve Rules]

Net ball in tennis

Net ball is a common term in tennis. But what is the meaning of net ball in tennis? Lets find out now.

What is a net ball in tennis? A net ball in tennis mean the ball hitting a net before crossing over to the opponent’s service box. If the ball hits the correct service box, then tennis rallying can continue. However, if the tennis ball hits outside the correct opponent’s service box then a fault results.

The term net ball in tennis is often used interchangeably with let ball in tennis. So, what is a let a ball? A let ball in tennis is a tennis ball serve that then hits the net before entering into the opponent’s service box. Just as the net ball, the let ball can either be a fault or not fault depending on where the ball bounces on the side of the opponent.

Net Ball Serve In Tennis

Net ball in tennis | Source: news.bbc.co.uk

Tennis serve rules clearly stipulates when a serve is faulty or not as documented in the USTA.com. A net ball serve can either be good or fault.

Good Net Ball Serve

Net ball serve in tennis can be described as a let in service. A let serve occurs when a tennis ball is served. The ball then hits any part of the net such as strap, band, or the net. The ball then crosses over to the receiver’s service court.

Rallying can continue if the ball bounces on the correct service box of the receiver. The ball can be returned. However, if the ball hits the receiver’s service box and bounces twice before being returned the receiver loses a point and the server wins a point.

Fault Net Ball Serve

To be clear, what is a fault in tennis? A fault in tennis refers to a bad serve that does not result in the tennis ball bouncing in the correct service box of the opponent. Thus, tennis rallying cannot continue and another serve must be initiated.

A fault serve in net ball tennis occurs when the ball after being served touches the net, band or strap, then fails to cross over to the opponent’s service box. For the first serve, no point deductions are done. A second chance to repeat the serve is done.

A second consecutive serve that result in a fault is referred to a double fault. The server loses a point while the opponent gains a point.

Also, if the net ball served touches the net, strap or band, then successfully crosses over to the opponents side but does not hit the correct service box of the opponent at first bounce, it is a fault. The server looses a point while the receiver gains a point.

Tennis rules laid by the International Tennis Federation is clear on the do’s and don’ts when playing tennis. In tennis, the ball has to bounce first before being returned unless a tennis player is performing a volley. Find out more on what is a tennis volley and how is it executed.

Besides, if the ball served touches the net, strap, or band then on crossing over the ball touches any part of the receiver body or anything before making a first bounce, then the ball is a fault.


A netball in tennis refers to the tennis ball touching any part of the net before crossing over or making a bounce. Some people refer net ball in tennis as let ball in tennis and the two words can be used interchangeably. Depending on where the ball hits before or after making a bounce can result in the ball being good for tennis rallying to go on or a fault where the serve has to be repeated.

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Brett Haber

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