The ball is in your court

The ball is in your court is an idiom that came into use in the latter half of the twentieth century. We will examine the meaning of the idiom the ball is in your court, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

The ball is in your court means that the responsibility has passed to you, that the decision in a given situation is up to you, that it is up to you to make the next move. When the ball is in your court, nothing else can happen in a given situation until you take action or make a decision. The idiom the ball is in your court is derived from the sport of tennis. When the ball bounces in your court during a game of tennis, you must take action and hit it to keep the game going. The expression the ball is in your court, expressed in a figurative sense, came into use in the 1960s.

Examples

The ball is in your court to take your career to the next level. (Forbes Magazine)

“I have done my work and now the ball is in your court,” Oparanya told residents of Malava, the deputy governor’s home turf. (The Standard)

I agree with Republican Congressman Justin Amash who says to the Democrats, “the ball is in your court.” (The Pasadena Journal)

“Mr. President, I’ll give this ball to you,” Mr. Putin said, before procuring the ball from an aide and tossing it to the president, “and now the ball is in your court.” (The New York Times)

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