Dress Code and Etiquette on Court
Summer – please be tennis specific in your choice of clothing and you must wear suitable non-marking tennis shoes. Of course white tennis gear went out with the ark but a smattering of white in amongst colours does help identify us as a tennis club; it’s also cooler on a hot day.
Winter – dress appropriately for the weather (tracksuits, hats etc) and give yourself a good chance to warm up. It helps to avoid straining those cold, stiff muscle groups.
We are an enthusiastic tennis club with only 3 courts that can be very busy. Here are some general guidelines to help keep games moving and players happy:
1) Bring along your own tennis balls – sounds logical, but it’s surprising how often four people head out onto court only to find they were all relying on each other to provide the balls. Tennis balls can be brought from the club bar.
2) Warm up courteously – it’s an opportunity to prepare and warm up the body for a game with your opponents rather than to demonstrate all your winning shots!
3) Keep your side of the playing area clear of balls – it’s generally the net player’s responsibility to scoop up net balls quickly so as not to interrupt the server’s concentration and to feed the server with balls, where possible.
4) The onus is on the server to keep the score – it helps if the server call out the score prior to each service, thereby avoiding having to debate each point at a later stage if both parties loose track of the score.
5) Be gentle in sending back the balls to the server between points – it’s not an opportunity to practice that blistering backhand which might hit an unsuspecting opponent or ricochet intrusively off the back fence onto the next court.
6) Foul language and shouting – well, what can we say; it’s generally offensive, off-putting and really doesn’t improve your game. Luckily, it’s a rare occurrence at Grasshoppers.
7) Players are responsible for line calls on their side of the net – be generous with your decisions and graceful in receiving. In the case of uncertainty you should replay the point. The partner of the receiver should call the service line. The calls should be as soon as possible and loud enough to stop play.
8) Question a line call only once – if you think a bad call has been made you can ask once per point for clarification and that’s it no matter how bad the call is, you can’t argue and do not ask the opinion of spectators.
9) Foot faulting – generally a self-monitoring exercise, unless you keep arriving at the net in an impossible record time after each service – at which point someone might just comment, you cannot claim a point! If in doubt, adopt your normal servicing stance and take a good step back.
10) Netcord points – it is polite to apologise when you win a point mainly because the ball hits the net cord and do try to sound like you mean it even if everyone knows you don’t.
11) Bring £1 coins for the lights – in darker months the courts need to be floodlit during club nights, so please arrive with 2 x £1 coins to help feed the light meters.
12) Always access court 3 via the back footpath – waiting for a natural gap in play before crossing behind Courts 1 & 2.
13) Home Matches – a great opportunity to watch and simultaneously support the club teams and the bar! Be courteous and thoughtful with applause for all players.
14) Last player on a court – if you are the last players on a court please lower the net.
15) Last player in the clubhouse – if you’re the last member to leave the club, ensure all lights/heating have been switched off, the club is secure and the gate locked.
If anyone has any further helpful suggestions please contact a committee member.
From an article by Jenny in The Grasshopper Spring 2008 – updated from Tennis Sussex regulations September 2019