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Here are a few tips on etiquette on and around the courts. These are not draconian rules just a little guidance to help everyone enjoy membership at the Leicestershire and anywhere else you play.
Tennis court etiquette is different from the rules of tennis and provides a code of behaviour that is intended to ensure that those playing enjoy the game in all ways. The items identified below are the main points that need some consideration but in general terms always be respectful of partners, opponents and others playing the game. If you need to know more about the expected etiquette ask! Our Club Manager, coaches or any of the committee members and other experienced players will be happy to help.
- Wear recognised tennis clothing and footwear.
- Don’t put players off by walking past a court during a rally. Waiting until the end of a rally is best but otherwise take care!
- Don’t cross courts unnecessarily – most courts have access without disturbing others. If you do need to cross a court wait until invited and do so promptly.
- Don’t put others off with high volume communications between games or even during play. Whether you are playing on an adjacent court, spectating or socialising nearby!
- Don’t criticise partners or opponents – be positive and offer encouragement.
- Show good body language – Frustration is understandable but bad body language puts opponents and partners in an embarrassing position.
- Use the score flags carefully! Don’t use a racket to knock them back – move them carefully by hand. It is best if you return all the flags into the home position after play as this minimises the possibility of accidental damage.
- Carefully look after any food and drink taken onto the courts and use appropriate containers.
- Don’t intervene in other players’ games for example by telling players their score!
- Balls that stray onto your court from adjacent courts should be returned promptly but not by interrupting play. Check balls and return discretely or at a break in play.
- If your ball strays onto an adjacent court don’t demand its return immediately. Wait for a break in play and request return politely. “Thanks for that ball when you have a moment” is the type of comment you will hear.
- Don’t wander onto adjacent courts, where others are playing, to collect your stray balls.
- Return balls to the server in a timely manner. Collect lose balls your end when the server is collecting at his end. Don’t make the server wait whilst you collect and return the remaining balls.
- Return the balls to the server in a controlled manner, announce their arrival whenever necessary. It is not easy to catch a ball served at 120 mph!
- Don’t return balls when the server is ready to serve – wait until the end of the next point.
- Only call the lines your side of the net unless your opponents invite you to comment.
- If any part of the ball touches any part of the line the ball is IN.
- Call quickly and firmly according to what you see and believe is truly correct.
- If you are not certain a ball is out – IT IS IN
- It is easier to see along lines than across them – particularly at some distance! Making dubious long distance calls will not endear you to your opponents and may embarrass your partner!
- If, occasionally, you have a serious doubt about an opponents call ask politely as to the certainty of the call. If they are sure continue the game! If this happens with great regularity the LTA suggestion is to find other opponents!
- In a social match where there is agreed doubt it may be better to replay the point rather that causing undue aggravation and wasting time.
- As a spectator never offer an opinion to the players on court on a line call.