Standards, Etiquette and Complaints


This policy sets out good practice developed by the Lawn Tennis Association around standards and values expected to be adopted by Tennis clubs around the country.  In particular is covers player behaviour standards, Tennis Etiquette and Lowlands Club Rules.  The policy sets out a code of conduct for all tennis members to follow.  These are set out so that every member is clear about what is expected to create the right playing environment.

This policy is seen as good practice and captures the behaviour expected at Lowlands and demonstrated by the vast majority of members.  It is produced now to continue with the right tennis playing environment that members have enjoyed for many years. It also sets out a complaints procedure for members to follow to address any concerns there may be.  Finally, this policy sets out procedures once a complaint has been made and the role of the newly formed Etiquette Committee.

Aim of Policy

The aim of this policy is to:

1.       Ensure that everyone is treated fairly and with respect.

2.       To inform members about the standards of behaviour and etiquette expected so that we create the right playing environment for individuals and the club to flourish.

3.       To identify the club rules that can be applied consistently; and

4.       To create a complaints procedure so that, where there is a shortfall in behaviour, this   can be addressed.

Setting standards and values is about the integrity of Lowlands Club and the image and professionalism Lowlands Club wants to project.

Standards of Behaviour, Etiquette, CLUB RULES


Lowlands Club is responsible for setting standards and values to apply throughout the club at every level. Tennis should be enjoyed by everyone who wants to play the game.  This policy is fully supported by the Lowlands Club Management Committee and Tennis Committee.

All members must treat other members with dignity with respect. Dignity is about respectful, responsible, fair behaviour.  There must be no inappropriate actions, behaviour, comments or physical contact, which may cause offence i.e. mental or physical anxiety or hurt to an individual: Inappropriate actions include:

·         Racquet throwing;

·         Swearing;

·         Being abusive or aggressive;

·         Intimidating.

·         Questioning another person’s integrity over line calls or other actions.

·         Causing danger to other players through your play.


Lowland Etiquette Guidance is based of LTA and world best practice.   The rules of tennis are set by the International Tennis Foundation and can be found here:

Tennis etiquette is different from the rules of the game. It covers a broad range of actions and behaviours which are traditionally considered acceptable on and around the tennis court. Here are some actions and behaviours that Lowlands Club recommends to members.

When playing please wear recognised sports clothing (not jeans etc) and most importantly “Tennis Shoes “. This is for two reasons, first, other shoes mark and damage the courts and

second, non tennis shoes do not grip the courts as well and can cause accidents and avoidable injury if you were to fall or slip.

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 criticise your partner or opponent, be positive and offer encouragement instead.

·         Please do not walk behind players whilst a game or a rally is in progress, this is to avoid distracting other members and most importantly to avoid any potential accidents on court.

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.

·         If you are trying to cross a court please wait until you are invited to and it is safe to do so.

·         When you are crossing courts it is normal to do so at the rear of the court and not at the net.

·         When you decide to cross behind other courts do so as quickly as possible and don’t stop for a chat on the way.

·         If a stray ball comes onto your court don’t knock it back immediately, wait until the owners are ready and then hit it to the server’s end.


·         During play and particularly between games, keep the amount and volume of conversation down to a minimum necessary to play and enjoy your own games. Too much social chatter or debate can be disturbing to those on adjacent courts who came to play tennis.

Line calls

·         Lines calls can be a problem and the majority of experienced players use what the ‘honour system’.

·         Only call the lines on your side of the net.

·         Call clearly and firmly what you see and what you honestly believe to be correct.

·         If you are not absolutely certain or didn’t see the ball clearly, the ball was IN and must be given in the opponent’s favour.

·         If occasionally you have serious doubts as to your opponents eye-sight, ask politely if they are certain as to the accuracy of their call. If they say that they are, get on with the next point.

·         If you feel your opponents regularly have difficulties making correct calls, start looking for different opponents!

·         If in social friendly matches there is some doubt over a line call, offer to play the point again rather than cause undue aggravation and time wasting.

Ball management

  • Balls should be kept either in hand, in a pocket or ball clip, or against the fence directly behind the centre 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.
  • 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.
  • As a courtesy to others please use the game scoreboard on each court.  This will help others take an interest in your game and save time in planning the next game during club sessions.

Body Language

·         Tennis can be a frustrating game if you are not getting your serves in or not hitting your shots, but try to remain upbeat and happy. Your opponent and/or doubles partner doesn’t want to be playing tennis with someone who is miserable so cheer up! You are more likely to play better tennis if you are calm, relaxed, focussed, and in a positive frame of mind.

Close the gate behind you

·         Whether you’re 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 won’t roll outside.

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 “a little help” 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.

Mobile phones

·         All mobiles phones and other communication devices should be switched off as these can disrupt play.

Pick up after yourself

·         Don’t leave empty cans or old tennis balls out on the court when you leave.

·         Dispose of any rubbish you have in bins on or near the court – if there aren’t any, take it with you.

·         If you have old tennis balls that you don’t want anymore, don’t leave them on the court – give them to the juniors.