Ro’s Round Robins Tennis Etiquette Agreement must be followed by everyone…

Tennis has its official rules, then it has The Code of Tennis, the unofficial rules of good tennis sportsmanship. Any serious player should take the time to read both. Players who don’t understand the rules, or worse, The Code, are more likely to experience a gradually shrinking pool of opponents.

Besides the rules of tennis there are also some important unwritten laws which come under the title of tennis etiquette. Tennis is a social game, a game involving simple politeness and consideration. Everyone will enjoy the game so much more if those standards are maintained.

Here are some of the rules which are most important:

  1. Talk quietly when standing near tennis courts that are in use. Keep the speaking and noise down to calling the scores. Use hand signals for in and out balls. We are doing this in consideration to the neighbors next to the courts. We have been warned and I am sure we do not want to lose our playing privileges.
  2. Never walk behind a court when a point is still in play. Wait until the point is over and then cross as fast as possible. If you have to cross a court wait for a break in play and quickly cross over either at the net or at the back. By not waiting for a break in play you become a distraction to the players they may not see you and run into you or be hit by a ball in play.
  3. If people are already on your court, don’t disturb them until their time is up.
  4. Always come prepared. Bring not only towels but water to drink when it is hot.
  5. Wear sneakers for tennis. Other shoes may wear out quickly, hurt your feet, or damage the court.
  6. When you’re ready to play, put racket covers, ball cans, jackets etc., out of everyone’s way.
  7. Keep your warm up times to 15 minutes if they are others waiting to play.
  8. To see who serves first, spin your racket or toss a coin. If you win the toss, the choice is yours. You may serve first, or you may choose to receive first or to pick which end of the court you want to start playing on. As a third choice you may make your opponent choose first.
  9. When sending balls back to a neighboring court, roll them on to the back of the court. Never send them back while play is in progress.
  10.  Agree on First serve – Ro’s Round Robins allows first in however once a player decides to waive their right to first serve then point is played out.
  11. Retrieve balls for your partner and your opponent.
  12. Don’t criticize your partner, offer encouragement. Complement your opponent on a good shot.
  13. Call your own lines and let your opponent hear the call. If the ball is good say nothing and play on.
  14. Always respect the line calls of your opponent.
  15. If there is a disagreement, offer a let. In other words, replay the point, even if it was a second service.
  16. If your ball goes on to the adjoining court you are not to go on to their court to retrieve your ball but to continue to use the two remanding balls. Wait for a break in the adjoining court game and ask to have your ball returned. By going on to the next court you not only distracts the players but they may not see you, run into you or be hit by a ball in play. If you are returning the ball hit it to the back of the court and not on the playing surface, as we do not want the players to step and accidentally trip over the ball.
  17. Do not under any circumstance run on to the adjoining court to play a ball. Its better to lose the point than to cause an accident by running into the next player or interrupting their game
  18. Coaching should not be done during a game as it distracts your partner and opponents
  19. Expressions of anger such as screaming and the use of profanities at the tennis court is not tolerated and subject to dismissal from for a period of time. No money will be returned.
  20. The rules of the tennis club that the match is played in must be respected at all times. Consideration to club members is expected also subject to dismissal of league.

Try to look like you’re having fun, even if you’re playing badly. Your opponent does not want to see you looking miserable, at least in a friendly match, and you’re likely to play better if you try to present a positive state of mind.

In all sports they are a set of rules that have been laid out by the sport’s governing body and tennis is no different. It is important that you as players are aware to the rules and etiquette. These rules are here to make the game more enjoyable for all.

We all make errors in the game of tennis. Even the professional hits the ball off the court and that is why we have winners and losers. In general we are here to have a fun time and to exercise so proper sportsmanship should be the norm not the exception.

Ball Management
Even the most efficient tennis players spend more time between points than playing points. Getting the balls in the server’s hands is the biggest time-waster. While a brief rest between points is often needed, many players slow the game down by a factor of two or three by failing to collect balls and get them to the server efficiently. Here are a few tips that will speed up the game and make it more fun for everyone:

  • Balls should be kept either in hand, in a pocket or ball clip, or against the fence directly behind the center mark.
  • Any time your opponent has to walk a significant distance to get a ball, look around your side to see whether you can use that time to collect a ball that’s similarly far away.
  • If the server needs a ball, the player closest to a ball should get it and send it to the server.
  • Send a ball to the server so that he/she can catch it easily with one hand. Advanced players seem to be able to get the ball to bounce once, softly, to the server, but most less advanced players should make the ball bounce twice to ensure that it arrives at a low speed.
  • Never hit a ball hard toward the server’s side with the intention that he/she will eventually collect it off the fence. Aside from the possibility of hitting someone who’s not expecting a ball to be coming, you’ll also probably cause the ball to bounce off the fence and roll either too far away or into the court where it will become a hazard. Also, it’s rude to make the server pick a ball up off the ground when you could have sent it so that it could be caught after a bounce or two.

Keeping Score
The server must announce the score at the start of each game and at the start of the second point and each subsequent point in each game.

If the receiver cannot hear the server’s announcement of the score, he must ask the server to speak louder. You can’t wait until the server believes he has won the game to try to reconstruct the scoring point by point.

Different scoring systems may be used depending on the tournament or game. The coordinator reserves the right to decide the scoring system before the match begins.

No-ad scoring last 5 minutes of play
The first player to win 4 points wins the game. If the score reaches 3-3 or deuce, the returner has the choice of which services box he or she would like to return serve from.

If the team does not exist the court in timely manner each player will be responsible to pay additional incurred cost.

Line Calls
The Code addresses this topic quite well, but here a few points that many players often overlook:

  • If you’re not sure whether your opponent’s shot is in or out, it’s in.
  • If you return a first serve that your opponent can clearly see is out, your opponent won’t be sure why you’re not calling it out. It’s often hard for the receiver to tell on fast serves, and you must give the server the benefit of the doubt, but if you can see that you confused your opponent by playing an out ball, offer to replay the point. See The Code’s interesting discussing on of calling serves in or out.
  • In doubles, you should not call balls wide when they land near the far sideline, unless the call is obvious and your partner was somehow hindered from seeing the ball land.
  • If you are the receiver, and your partner is on or near the service line at the start of a point, your partner has the best view of whether a serve is in or long. You can make a call if he doesn’t, but always defer to his judgment. (You generally shouldn’t disagree with your partner’s calls anyway.) If the call is not made immediately then the ball is deemed to be in. It’s only a friendly game so do not argue over the point.