Tennis Etiquette - Players and Parents
Proper etiquette and good manners is very important to the enjoyment of the game, here are some guidelines so you know what is expected of you.
- Please report in at least 15 minutes prior to each match- make sure you have water, hat, sunscreen etc well organized before you are called to play. Please check the draw regularly so you know when you are drawn to play.
- Do not leave the venue unless you advise the organizers.
- During a match all balls on your side of the net are your responsibility, to pick up and, where appropriate return directly to the server under the net along the ground.
- The receiver should not return the first service if it is an obvious fault- let it go or ground it.
- Wait until a point is over before walking behind a court where a match is in progress.
- To retrieve a ball from another court or to return a ball to another court, wait until the players have completed a point.
- To avoid controversy over the score, the server should announce the game score before starting a game and the point score prior to serving for each point.
- Both players can score to avoid controversy as well.
- Do not enlist the aid of spectators, including parents, coaches in making line calls or attempting to determine the score or other on-court matters.
- Indicate line calls to your opponent with voice and signal. The ball is only out if you can clearly see a gap between the ball and the line. If in doubt the ball is IN. You must only call your own end- you cannot call both ends of the tennis court.
- All "out" or "fault" calls should be made promptly after the ball bounced and loudly enough for the opponent to hear.
- Any dispute over the scores or line calls should be made in a civil matter with both players coming to the net to discuss and resolve matters.
- If an agreement cannot be reached to the satisfaction of both players please call the referee or tournament organizer.
- A Service "Let" may be called by either player / team.
- Where a ball interrupts play, either by rolling / bouncing onto the court, and/or creating a visible interruption behind the court a let should be played. Either player can call a let in these circumstances provided they do so in a timely manner. When this is between 1st and 2nd serve, a second serve only should be played.
- When a player has created an involuntary hindrance (ball falling out of pocket, hat falling off, etc) the first time a let should be called and any similar hindrance thereafter will be ruled deliberate.
- In a situation where a ball is lying on court at the commencement of the point it will be deemed to be part of the court during the rally. Movement of this ball during the rally does not constitute hindrance.
- Players are entitled to request the opponent to remove the ball from the court prior to the commencement of the point.
- Players should conduct themselves in a proper manner at all times. Unacceptable behaviour includes: Swearing, Yelling, Throwing of racquet or hitting court or objects with racquet, Being rude or aggressive towards your opponent and also continual questioning of line calls when not in correct position.
- Do not stall, sulk or complain.
- Screaming regularly and loudly, whether in relation to winning and/or losing a point is likely to cause interference to play on nearby courts and may be considered unsportsmanlike conduct.
- In doubles when returning service, the partner of the receiver should generally call the service line for him/her. The receiver should generally call the centre and side service lines. The call needs to be loud enough to stop their opponents/partner playing.
- Be encouraging and show interest but don't get overly involved. Competition can be stressful, so try not to add to the pressure.
- Encourage good sportsmanship and fair play in your child, not a "win at all costs" attitude.
- Keep all comments and body language positive, the exception being for poor or unsporting behaviour.
- Communicate with the coach on goals and general improvement, but don't coach the coach.
- Understand that sport is a great lesson for life (self discipline, problem solving) and not just about winning.
- Encourage your child to talk about their sport, but understand there are times when they won't want to do this.
- Allow your child to develop their own thoughts on sport and competition, don't impose yours.
- Remember that there are many qualified people who can coach your child, but only you can be a loving supportive parent.
- Offer congratulations to other competitors and foster friendly relations with other parents, club officials, volunteers, umpires and tournament officials.
- Please do not get too close to the action- support your child from a distance. You are not allowed on the side or at the back of the court. Remain interested but a little detached for your own sanity. Do not play every point with them!!
- Please encourage good shots and good play but do not applaud the opposition's errors or coach your own child during a match.
- Be supportive of tournament organizers- they have a big job and a lot is expected of them. Rules and scheduling of matches are made for the benefit of all- not for individuals.
Visit the Tennis Australia website for more information.