Code of conduct & court etiquette


This code of conduct and policy on court etiquette sets out what the Club regards as good practice for all members to follow, and is available so that every member is clear as to what is expected of them in order to create the right playing environment in which everyone can enjoy their tennis.

Both the code of conduct and the policy on court etiquette reflect the friendly and co-operative spirit which members at the Club have enjoyed for many years, as well as advice from British Tennis. The Main Committee of the Club is confident that this ethos will continue and sees this as important in maintaining the Club’s reputation.

The Code of Conduct sets out minimum standards of behaviour, which all members are expected to follow, and seeks to avoid any serious issues arising. The policy on court etiquette then sits alongside the code of conduct and sets out a range of actions and behaviours which are considered acceptable or unacceptable on and around the tennis court.

Should a breach of the code of conduct or a serious breach of the policy on court etiquette occur, a complaints and sanctions process is set out below.

This code of conduct and policy on court etiquette comes into effect on 1 April 2020.



The aims of this code of conduct and policy on court etiquette are to:

  1. Ensure that all members are treated fairly and with respect;
  2. Advise all members of the standards of behaviour and court etiquette which they are expected to meet so that an environment is created within which members can enjoy their tennis and the club can continue to flourish;
  3. Provide a complaints and sanctions process so that any issues can be



An understanding of the rules of tennis underpins this area. The rules of tennis are published by the International Tennis Federation and can be found here

Advice on the interpretation of the rules is available here from the LTA



All members are expected to treat all other members and all other players respectfully. The Club will not accept any behaviour which may cause any physical or mental harm to any other member or player.

Unacceptable actions will include:

  • Being abusive or showing aggression towards another member or player;
  • Swearing;
  • Racket throwing;
  • Intimidating another member or player;
  • Creating a danger to another member or player;
  • Calling into doubt the integrity of another member or player such as by repeatedly querying line



Tennis etiquette covers different areas from those addressed within the rules of the game. Etiquette covers a range of actions and behaviours which are considered acceptable on and around the tennis court.

The Riccall TC policy on etiquette covers these areas:


Showing respect and being courteous

  • Welcome new members and players to the Club irrespective of their experience of the game and their level of play;
  • Show respect and courtesy to your partner, your opponents and others on or around the courts;
  • Instead of criticising your partner or opponent, offer encouragement instead;
  • If a loud dispute during a match occurs, take it off court and away from other players on adjacent courts;
  • Do not walk behind courts when a point is in progress to avoid causing a distraction;
  • During play and particularly between games keep the amount and volume of conversation to a minimum so as to avoid distracting players on other courts;
  • If a ball from an adjacent court strays onto yours do not hit it back immediately but do so when the players on that court

are ready and then hit it to the server’s end of that court;

  • Courtesy to your opponents should include leaving the court together at the end of the


Accessing a court whilst others are in use

  • Before accessing the courts by the main gate consider games in play on Courts 2 & 3. Wait for the conclusion of the points currently in play, or if the match is a competitive one wait until the end of game, or until you are invited to cross. Pass behind the courts as quickly as possible to reach your court.
  • Similarly, if you need to pass behind a court in use to reach a free court, wait until there is a suitable break in play.
  • Be aware if you are already playing on court that others may wish to cross behind your court in order to access their own court and facilitate that where possible;
  • If your ball rolls onto an adjacent court, wait for a break in the play in that court before politely requesting its return rather than retrieving it


Line calls

  • Only call the lines on your side of the net;
  • Call clearly on the basis of what you honestly believe to be correct;
  • If you are not certain, or did not see the ball clearly, the ball was good and the doubt must be given in favour of the opponent;
  • If occasionally you have serious doubt over a line call, ask your opponents politely if they are certain as to the accuracy of their call, and if they are, move on and play the next point;
  • If there is doubt over a line call, consider offering to replay the


Keeping score

  • The server should announce the score before each point;
  • If the server forgets or does so inaudibly, the receiver should request the server to make an audible announcement of the score.


Mobile phones

  • Mobile phone calls should not be made or received on court: leave the court to make or receive a call;
  • Mobile phones taken onto court should be switched off, or put on silent or vibrate mode, so as to avoid creating a distraction.


Clothing and footwear

  • Players should wear recognised tennis clothing of any colour together with tennis footwear;
  • Tennis footwear is required both to promote safety as unsuitable footwear can provide insufficient grip, and also to prevent damage to the



  • If any member(s) believes that they have experienced either a breach of the code of conduct or a serious breach of the policy on court etiquette then they should contact a member of the Committee, or the Welfare officer if they feel it is a safeguarding issue.
  • A Sub-Group of the Main Committee will then arrange a meeting with that member(s) to discuss the issue. The Sub-Group may also arrange a meeting with the person or people who are the subject of the complaint;
  • In considering the complaint, the Main Committee will take into account any background information they consider relevant including as to the personal circumstances of the person who is the subject of the complaint, together with any external advice or guidance available to them which may be appropriate;
  • After the Main Committee has deliberated and decided on a course of action with regards to the complaint the Sub-Group will arrange a feedback meeting with the member(s) concerned;
  • In the event of any complaint being upheld, the Main Committee will investigate and make a decision in line with Rules of Riccall Tennis Club and may impose any one or more of the following sanctions on a member found to be in breach of this code of conduct or in serious breach of this policy on court etiquette as it considers appropriate in all the circumstances, namely:
  • a warning as to future conduct;
  • disqualification from any event or tournament in which the breach has taken place;
  • suspension of a member from membership;
  • exclusion of a non-member from the club’s premises;
  • expulsion of a member from the
  • If the matter is a safeguarding issue, then the appropriate line of action will be taken in accordance with the clubs safeguarding policy and procedures.


01 April 2020