Guest Author - Sandra Eggers
The following rules of etiquette are mostly common courtesy, and should be followed whether youíre playing tennis at the country club or at public courts. Most of us know the right thing to do, we just need a gentle reminder every now and then.
Show respect and courtesy
To your opponent(s), your partner, and others on or near the courts. Keep your voice down and confined to your court as much as possible so as not to disrupt players on adjacent courts. If you get into a loud dispute with your opponent, take it off the court and away from other players.
Do not walk onto another court during a game
Wait for the players to finish the game, or minimally the point, before walking onto their court. It is very distracting to have someone disrupt a game in progress, so if you must cross another court, do so after the game is finished, and go around the court, not through the middle.
Do not retrieve your ball from the other court
As with the above, it is common courtesy not to disrupt players on court during a match. If your ball rolls onto an adjacent court, wait for them to finish the game and kindly ask for ďa little helpĒ to get their attention. Under no circumstances should you run over onto their court in the middle of a game to retrieve the ball yourself.
Always wear proper tennis shoes
This isnít because of the country club dress attire, itís because black-soled shoes leave marks on the courts that are difficult to get off. Make sure you wear tennis shoes onto the courts. The proper shoes also give your feet the needed lateral support when running down balls, and making abrupt changes in direction.
Use the tennis courts for tennis
A great deal of money goes into maintaining tennis courts, and it is not for BMX racing with bicycles or roller hockey and rollerblading. These other activities can damage the court surface, leaving it unplayable for tennis players, and can result in a large expenditure for repairs.
Close the gate behind you
Whether youíre coming onto the courts, or leaving, it is common courtesy to close the gate behind you. This will keep the balls inside the confines of the gate and they wonít roll outside.
Pick up after yourself
Donít leave empty soda cans or old tennis balls out on the court when you leave. Dispose of any garbage you have in trash containers on or near the court Ė if there arenít any, take it with you. If you have old tennis balls that you donít want anymore, donít leave them on the court Ė give them to the park and rec or local school.
Monitor children on the courts at all times
Everyone who plays tennis wants to encourage kids to play the game as well, but the kids must also follow these rules. Since kids can tend to get distracted, itís up to the adults with them to assist. Stray balls, running around and yelling are actions that need to be managed.
The entire objective of playing tennis, aside from being good aerobic exercise, is to have fun. You can follow these rules of etiquette and still have a good time on the courts - the players on adjacent courts will appreciate it.