Public Court Etiquette

  • Public courts are shared with equal access and rights.
  • Read and follow the specific rules posted at the tennis court or site.
  • When waiting for public tennis courts, there should be 2-4 people sitting at the bench facing the court to claim it.  Let the people on the court know that you're waiting for their court.
  • For most public courts in Vancouver, there is a 30 minute limit when someone is waiting.  After waiting for 30 minutes, announce that you've waited for 30 minutes and that it's your turn to get on the court.

General Etiquette

  • The most important thing is to HAVE FUN and relax when playing tennis!  It's a game, and should be enjoyed as such.
  • Avoid loud grunting, yelling, or swearing when playing.  It can be very annoying and uncomfortable for others.
  • Wait until your opponent is ready to receive before serving.
  • If the ball is out or it's a fault, call it immediately and clearly.
  • You are supposed to call all balls that bounce on your side of the net. If you are in doubt as to how to call the ball because you have not seen it clearly, you should give your opponent the benefit of the doubt or play the point over. Never call a ball on your opponent's side of the net unless your opponent asks you for help in deciding on how to call it.
  • Make all line calls promptly and accurately; never challenge a call made by your opponent or partner.
  • Don't interrupt games on neighboring courts for any reason. Wait until a point is over to walk past a court or retrieve a ball.
  • If a ball rolls into your court from an adjacent court, stop rallying if you have not begun to play.  Return the ball immediately. If you are in the process of completing a point, and the ball disturbs either you or your opponent, stop playing immediately and call a "let". Replay the point. If you are able to play on, return the ball as soon as the point has been completed.
  • Servers should keep the score throughout the game. The server must announce the score at the start of each game and each subsequent point in each game.
  • If your opponent has served a fault, do not go after the ball. Wait until your opponent's second serve is over, since an interruption between the first and second serves will disturb your opponent's rhythm.
  • Bring an extra racquet and a new can of balls, anticipating broken strings and lost balls.
  • When you have finished playing a game, always thank your opponent(s) whether you have won or lost. In doubles, thank your partner as well as your opponents. When playing matches, shake hand with your partner and then with both opponents.
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