Thursday, December 1, 2016

Tennis Etiquette


Here are some basic tennis etiquette rules to follow:

1.The server calls the score before the first serve. The receiver remembers it. Please do not say second serve or call the score again before the second serve. It's annoying. No one's memory is that short. Also give the receiver a moment to get ready. Rushing play is rude. By the same token, stalling is just as bad.

2.  Don't over-rule your partner in doubles on a call unless you're damn sure an error has been made. This creates communication problems with your partner and you become part of your opponent's resource for questioning your team's calls. The player closest to the ball makes the call. Distant calls don't go well, nor should they!

3. Never take a point you don't deserve (your opponent called your clearly out ball good). It's cheating if you know for sure that you hit a ball that landed out. Serves are an exception to this rule because you don't want to dictate the flow of play calling on your opponent's side of the court. The primary purpose of the rules is to make accurate calls, not winning points.

4.. Call the close ones good if you're not 100% sure they're out. Your opponent gets the benefit of doubt. IT is a lady's and gentlemen's game!

5. When you hit a ball to your opponents in doubles avoid "hinders" by allowing them to hit without:
yelling commands to your partner, hitting your racquet against the ground (beating it like a tom   tom), scuffing your feet (creating a squeaking noise of hideous proportion), dropping your racquet, and pretending their ball to be out by body language and then casually returning it.

6. When going out to your court avoid doing so when people are playing a point or about to start a point. Wait till their point, better game, is over. Ask to pass after a point is better than moving across like cattle in an art gallery. And then thank them for granting you access to your court. This way they can hold off till you pass. Heading out to your court before the bell is rung is a no no, unless you've asked permission from the desk. Never cross anyone else's court to get to your court. Don't bang the curtains and have conversations when others are on the courts. Never walk on someone else's court, lessons included, while that court is reserved.
It's tremendously rude.

7. Talk quietly between odd games if you must. That is when you may take a quick drink. No one wants to be disturbed when playing their game of tennis. Be considerate. Loud talking and noises are very disturbing to all the courts. Yelling at children taking lessons is never a good idea. If you have a problem, quietly discuss it with the pro. He or she will gladly provide a better environment. The same is true if you have a problem with another court, politely ask them to keep the chatter down, and thank them, and that you are glad they are having fun.

8. Applaud your opponent's great shots rather than blame your miss on faulty technique or equipment, injury, eye's, and any other excuse. No need to say nice shot if you make a bad error.

9. Start a match with new balls if you can. In tournament play the winners keep a new can of balls. Allow yourself at least ten minutes to go through a proper warm-up with groundstrokes, volleys, overheads, and serves. Always bring a new can in your bag, in case you lose a ball, a can is flat, or everyone forgets a can.

10.  Regarding breaks: you get about 20 seconds to get a point going, you get 90 seconds on the odd games, you get two minutes between sets. Rushing play or delaying play is not appreciated or fun. A three minute bathroom break is permitted once on a change over or at the end of a set. That would then take care of the injury time-out if you need it. When indoors, and court time is finite, keep the play moving a little faster, because it's doubles, and you don't have all day.

11.. Shake hands first with your partner and then with your opponents at the end of a doubles match.
      Say something positive regardless of the outcome. Again, don't make excuses. Use anti bacterial gel on
      your hands. Cold and Flu isn't fun.

12. Switch sides with your partner on the odd games. That's a great time to communicate positively.

13. Bring an extra racquet in case you break a string. It keeps play flowing and you don't have to go on a racquet hunt.

14. Get to the club 15 to 20 minutes early and take care of money and reservations before you play. After you're done playing it's nice to socialize a bit before you leave. Avoid running out the door like you've robbed a bank after a loss. There's a good way to enter and leave!

15. Never use the lobby area as a forum for complaining: the courts aren't bright enough, the water is not cold enough, those people bothered me, my partner played terrible, that wasn't good tennis, he or she played poorly, my strings are bad. and those line calls!,

16. If you lose track of the score try to remember the points as they happened with the other player(s).
If neither player is willing to concede a score or play deuce, if you cant agree, flip a coin to see who's score shall be played.

18. Do not reach over the net to hit a ball unless it has already bounced on your side of the court. If you don't wait then you lose the point. If you touch the net at any time a point is in play, you lose the point. You have to call it on yourself!  You have to call reaches over the net on yourself and touches (if a ball nicks you).

19. Do not demean your opponent by celebrating point victories in an offensive manner. Especially if your opponent has made an unforced error and then has to watch you make a fool of yourself. Quality of play is more important! Celebrating a good point no matter who winds it, is what we strive for. No one wants to win easy points. There's no challenge there, no excellence. 

20. Avoid a "circus atmosphere" (laughing loudly, making a comment after every shot, etc..,etc..,etc.) on your court which disturbs all the other courts. Everyone likes a circus but you don't have a tent over your head so be quiet. Thought Id say this one again!

21. When someone is hurt. Try to help them. Give them time to recover. Wouldn't you want that treatment if you were hurt?

22. Do not bring little children and adults as spectators on the court who can't defend themselves against a miss-hit during a match tend to be distracting.

23. Don't use the net as a coat rack. Anything on the net becomes part of the net once play has started.

24. If you disagree on a call with your partner the ball on a call, the ball is always good!

25. Don't wear yellow clothing on a tennis court. It's hideous and screens the ball. Worse, is to wear a Kelly green shirt with yellow tennis balls on it. Keep some sense of respect for the game.

26. Never swear. It's a Lady's  and Gentleman's game.

27. Wear tennis shoes. Do not mark the courts with running shoes or hurt yourself
with weak lateral support. If your shoes leave black marks stop playing and get the right kind of shoes.

28. There is no such thing as good or bad players. There are different levels of the game.
You should be willing to play up or down (within reason) or at level. That's the way it is.
Of course you want to challenge yourself as much as possible.

29. Never try to over direct a partner on the court. Games aren't fun when your being told what to do all the time. That doesn't mean you can't work together as a team and discuss positioning
or strategy. Just try to fit as best as you can with whom you are playing. That way you'll be a better team. Avoid trying to make your partner your dream of perfection.

30. White is the traditional clothing color of tennis which started in England. It is still the primary
color to wear. You can't go wrong wearing white. Remember to wear what a lady or gentleman would wear. It's nice to respect the game.

31. Avoid wearing strong scents on the court. They give people headaches and are distracting.

32. Never use your cell phone on the court unless there is an emergency. Put it on vibrate or turn it off.

33. Never equate your value with winning or losing. The game stands alone.

34. Look for quality of play rather than results.

35. Stow your water bottle in your bag when playing. Open stuff gets knocked over. 

36. Never take another first serve if there was but a brief interruption on the court.

37. If a ball comes in play from another court only call a let if it interferes with safety on the court.
It is not sporting to call a let behind a player hitting an easy smash so you won't lose the point.

38. Never hit a kill shot point blank at a player. That is not sporting. Especially if they have conceded the point with body language (they have turned their back to you). If you hit players repeatedly, you have to fix that. No one is out here for a pay check. We are trying to have fun together! Would you want someone to hit a ball at you? If you've noticed, pros never hit each other, unless its during a quick reflex volley exchange. Never on a overhead! That's the worst!

39. If you are levels above others it is nice to keep some balls in play so that you both have some fun. Don't keep drilling the weakest player. Hit the ball so you get some practice out there, perhaps work on a new shot or strategy. That is not the time to showcase your abilities and put winning ahead of quality of play. Winning sometimes has to be redefined! 


  1. Kevin,
    Thanks so much for posting these reminders again!
    We should leave a printed copy at the desk for everyone to refresh themselves :>

  2. PLEASE print and bring this!!

  3. this should be "homework" for your beginner classes :>



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