Menu

Tennis Code of Conduct

The Code

Keep the courts tidy and safe.

  • Do not damage the court surface by leaving chewing gun, sticky drink spills or other foreign substances on the surface. Wear non-marking shoes at all times.
  • Do not leave metal caps from ball cans, ball cans, unwanted balls, paper cups, drink bottles or other litter on or around the court. Use litter or recycling bins when they are provided.
  • Ensure any equipment you are not using on court (spare racquet, bag, drinks, clothes etc.) is placed out of the way and will not present a hazard to players changing ends or moving for a wide ball.
  • Close the gate behind you when you leave or enter the courts.

Respect Players on the Court (or on Adjacent Courts).

  • Talk quietly if you are near courts that are in use.
  • Do not cross behind a court while a point is underway. When the point is over, move quickly across the back of the court.
  • Spectators should not applaud players, errors, heckle players or call balls in or out (even if asked to do so).
  • Players should avoid grunting or making other loud noises.

Don’t try to win the warm up.

  • A player should make a special effort to hit his shots directly to his opponent at moderate pace to warm up all regular shots (forehand & back and, ground strokes & volleys, overhead).
  • Warm up serves should be taken before starting play. Returns of warm up serves should be hit to the opponent.

Be considerate when retrieving or returning balls.

  • If a ball from your court goes onto another court, wait for a break in play on that court (and any courts between you and the court where the ball stops) and then politely ask for the players on that court to return the ball. If the ball presents a danger to a player, alert them immediately.
  • Return balls that come onto your court to the back of the court, at a break in play on that court.
  • If a ball comes into your court and disturbs your game, call a let and replay the point.

The prime objective in making calls is accuracy.

  • A player calls shots landing in or aimed at his side of the court.
  • All out, let or fault calls should be made promptly.
  • Any doubt must be resolved in favour of the opponent. Any ball that cannot be called out with certainty is considered to have been good.
  • A player should call against himself any ball (except a first serve) he sees clearly out, regardless of whether he is requested to do so.
  • A player should acknowledge promptly if a ball touches him, he touches the net, he double hits a ball, if the ball bounces twice or if he hits the ball before it crosses the net.
  • A player may ask his opponent “Are you sure of your call?” If the player acknowledges any doubt he loses the point.
  • If a call is changed from out to good the point is only replayed if the out ball was put into play. A player shall not put into play or hit over the net an obvious fault.

Know the Code

Please review the full OTA Code of Conduct for tournament and league play

Reprinted with the kind permission of the Ontario Tennis Association.