Local Call: Mental Turning

Anytime the ball passes behind and around a player from backhand to forehand or vice versa—whether or not that player’s body physically spins around to follow the ball—it is considered a turning situation. When a player does not turn towards the backwall but the ball still passes behind him or her, it is colloquially referred to as “mental turning.” The rules treat mental turning like any other turning situation. With turning, if the striker can make a good return and requests a let, a let should be awarded. If the striker plays through and hits the opponent with the ball, a stroke is awarded to the non-striker. If the striker hits the ball for a good return but the referee deems it to be unsafe to have struck the ball, the referee should apply a conduct penalty for dangerous play. Finally, if the striker requests a let but would not have been able to make a good return or deliberately turns to create a let situation, a no let should be awarded. These rules are in place to ensure fair play and to keep players safe.