Player Etiquette

Tennis is founded on courtesy, mutual respect among players, and good sportsmanship.

We want all our students to follow these rules in any tennis match, because in doing so, you will represent yourself well as well as representing NJTP well.

Sportsmanship

  • It’s a sign of good sportsmanship to congratulate your opponent on a good shot that wins them a point.
  • On the other hand, you should never celebrate when an opponent makes an unforced error.
  • It is good sportsmanship to shake hands at the conclusion of the match.

Line Calls

  • Give your opponent the benefit of the doubt on any line calls. If you are not 100% sure that their ball was completely out, then the ball is “in.”
  • If you think your opponent made a bad “out” call, you have the right to ask “are you sure?”  But the opponent has the final decision.  If an opponent repeatedly makes “out” calls on balls that you can clearly see are “in,” ask for assistance from the tournament director or other official.

Other Calls

  • If a ball bounces twice on your side, you have the responsibility to concede the point and let the opponent know it’s their point.  Stop play and announce “double bounce” or “your point” or something similar.
  • If a ball in play hits any part of your body or any of your clothing or equipment except your racquet, you lose the point and it’s your responsibility to stop play and announce it to the opponent.
  • If your racquet “tips” or barely touches the ball and then the ball goes out, it’s your responsibility to speak up and give the opponent that point.

Courtesy

  • When walking by any tennis court (for example, when going to or from the court where your match is), wait quietly until any point in progress is finished before you continue walking, so as to minimize any distraction you might cause.
  • When giving a ball back to your opponent between points, first be sure the opponent is ready to get the ball back!  Then toss or gently hit the ball to them.  Never throw or hit a ball at an opponent when their back is turned or they are not paying attention to you giving them the ball back.

Safety

  • Always pick up and secure any stray balls before starting the next point.  If you’re running and accidentally step on a ball, you could trip or get a sprained ankle.  We know many players and even coaches who this has happened to.  So be safe and don’t leave loose balls on the court while you’re playing!

Serving

  • When you are serving, always start with two balls in case you miss your first serve.  Your clothing must have a pocket, ball clip, etc. to hold the spare ball!

Talking

  • In singles, you should not talk during a point.  If your talking or yelling distracts the opponent, they can claim a hindrance and you lose the point!
  • In doubles, you may talk to your partner, but only while the ball is coming toward your side, and only if your talking does not distract the opponents.  If it does distract the opponents, they can claim a hindrance and you lose the point!

Next: Parent Etiquette