Is it legal to cross the center line?

Posted by bmedia on Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Yes. There are two main reasons to cross, and they both require the same first step: ask the captain of the opposing team for permission. If you are on a four player team, with two of your teammates playing from the opposite end of the court, it is common to meet at the center line to discuss strategy. But what if you’d like to take a closer look at the way the balls and pallino are situated? Ask the captain. What if you are playing triples, doubles or singles open, where the entire teams are on one end of the court? First, ask the captain.

Although it is a rule that you must get the opposing captain’s permission to cross over the line, it almost seems like no more than a courtesy to ask permission. But it is a real rule, and there is an instance where the captain might say no: time.

Some teams meet in the middle quite often during a game. It isn’t against any rule, and permission needs not be asked to meet in the middle, but sometimes it starts to get aggravating to the other team when time is wasted by too many of these meetings. Particularly if you’re playing in a timed game.

 Games are timed in instances when there are too many teams and/or not enough courts. To keep the tournament flowing, tournament directors have the right to time games. If time is running out on a game, and your team is ahead, the opposing captain may perceive that you’re asking for permission to cross the center line to stall for time, particularly if you’ve asked permission several times toward the end of the game. The opposing captain has every right to refuse permission.

Although meeting at the center line doesn’t require permission from the opposing captain, it should be kept to a minimum, even if the game isn’t timed. Not only is it a time waster, but it is very aggravating, not only to the opposing team, but also to the two teams waiting to play their match on your court when the other courts have finished their games and new teams have already started their game on those courts. 

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