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Gunter Harz Sports v. USTA

United States District Court for the District of Nebraska
511 F.Supp. 1103 (1981)


Facts

The U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) (defendant), which ran several lucrative tennis tournaments including the U.S. Open in New York, adopted an equipment rule issued by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) whereby it banned a special tennis racket manufactured by German company, Gunter Harz Sports (Gunter Harz) (plaintiff). The racket, called the “spaghetti racket” had two layers of vertical strings, one on each side of the horizontal strings. The effect of the “double-stringing” was to produce a very heavy topspin, giving less skilled players an undue advantage. The ITF stated that the “spirit of the rule is to prevent undue spin on the ball that would result in a change in the character of the game.” Gunter Harz brought an antitrust suit against the USTA in district court.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Pierce, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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