NET POSITION There are six Ballkid volunteers on-court at any one time during matches at the Australian Open and AOS events. This consists of four baseline positions and two net positions. MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES 1. Collect any balls that are ‘out of play’ between the baseline and the net. This may occur when there are service faults into the net and also at the conclusion of points when a ball is hit into the net and/or remains on the court surface. 2. Ensure balls are relayed and delivered to the Baseline Ballkids at the server’s end in between each point. 3. Any balls in possession of the Net Ballkids should be rolled first before collecting balls from the Base Ballkids. This ensure that there is always some tennis balls at the servers end. 4. Assist players by servicing them with drinks, towels and any other special requests if required. NET POSITION ON COURT At the beginning of a match and at each change of ends by the players, the ‘Net’ Ballkids are located on either side of the net, next to the umpire’s chair. During the course of play, the Ballkid volunteers in these positions are required to run across the court beside the net to collect the balls. This may occur if there is a fault or at the end of each point. When this occurs, there is an area directly opposite and equally as far off the court, where you should move to and stand after rolling the ball(s) to the server’s end. Net Ballkids will alternate between positions on opposite sides of the court until the players complete the required amount of games to change ends. You are responsible for ensuring balls are always at the server’s end and must always be back in line with your position before any balls are rolled. It is important that you always stand straight and motionless with your hands behind your back during the match. HELPFUL HINTS When a service fault into the net occurs, it is the Net Ballkid’s responsibility to move to collect the ball as quickly as possible. Once the ball is collected, you should continue moving to the opposite side of the court, unless the ball is less than a third of the way across the court. In this case, it is more suitable to collect the ball and return to your original starting position. Always wait until a ball has bounced twice or impacted against an object on or around the court before handling it. Never roll a ball to the Baseline Ballkid after a first service fault. Always hold on to the ball until the point has concluded fully. In some cases, service faults hit into the net can rebound to the baseline. The Net Ballkid is still responsible for the ball’s collection. If the ball is close to the baseline area by the time it is collected, you should run and stand next to the closest Baseline Ballkid and then return to your net position at the conclusion of the point. When this situation occurs and only one Ballkid volunteer remains in a net position, it then becomes the responsibility of that remaining Net Ballkid to retrieve any balls that are hit into the net at either end of the court. Be aware of the location of all of the balls at all times. When rolling balls to the server’s end, ensure that the balls are delivered evenly to each of the Ballkid volunteers in the baseline positions. Avoid rolling all of the balls to one baseline position, although be aware if a player may prefer to only receive balls from one side. In this case, you may have to deliver more balls to one of the baseline positions than the other. Ensure there are at least two balls at this baseline position at the beginning of each point. Try to determine such player preferences as early as possible once a match has started or ask your supervisor before marching onto court. At the conclusion of each point, take note of any balls that are at the receiver’s end of the court. Baseline Ballkids at this end will either be showing empty hands or displaying balls that need to be relayed to the server’s end via the net Ballkid volunteers. Ensure you return to either of your positions on each side of the court, before rolling balls to the baseline. This will ensure balls are rolled parallel to the sidelines of the court. Never roll balls diagonally or across the court.