Generally accepted in many distinguished tennis circles here in Fairfield County, I recently came to learn that these rules – coined Juneau Rules by a friend because yes, I made them up – have been introduced to the Midwest by another tennis pal who relocated to Kansas City. They have apparently been referring to them as “Northeastern Rules” which is fine, but before things get out of hand, I thought I’d better get busy and get the actual rules officially published with proper attribution before someone else claims the invention as their own.
JUNEAU RULES – CLASSIC
Each player gets 2 FBIs (First Ball In) that can be used at any time during their first service game. If a let is called on a ball that lands in the service box, it does not count against the FBI. The server should call the score and number of FBIs remaining so everyone is clear. Here in the Northeast, some players refer to these FBIs as “Juneaus,” but I imagine they spell it as “Juno.”
Benefits: Allows servers to avoid the temptation of hitting a big serve with a cold arm. Takes pressure off the server while eliminating the curse of the accidental great first serve followed by four double faults. Keeping track of “FBIs remaining” sharpens the brain for scorekeeping throughout the match and, I suppose, potentially fends off dementia.
Myths: It takes longer. While the possibility of dragging things out is real, it rarely happens. More often than not, players never use any of their FBIs. (What definitely takes longer, although truly the best approach, is when everyone warms up serves together beforehand.)
Suggested Strategy: Begin serving with a second serve to reserve your FBIs until later in the game when you may need them. If you need them right away, use them to warm yourself up or work out the kinks.
JUNEAU RULES – THE “OLD SPICE” VARIATION
Same as Classic Rules except players over the age of 60 are allowed to carry unused FBIs into future games.