Court Care

How and when to drag the courts

We are aware that some members are not sure how or when to drag the two types of court surfaces we have. It is very important that we look after our greatest assets by following the correct procedure.


Clay - If you have been playing on the clay courts then you will need to drag them when you have finished to make it a smooth surface for the next members to play on.  The courts should be dragged with the drag mats in a wide circular motion, starting at the back line and walking around the perimeter of the court, making increasingly smaller circles as you get to the middle. This ensures that all the sand remains on the court.


Astroturf - These courts need to be free of leaves, pine needles etc before you start your game and this will only be necessary at certain times of the year so please check before you start.  The courts can ususally be cleared with the drag nets by walking up and down across the court in lines, like you would cut your grass, but during the autumn, you may need to use the big brush and large dustpan to collect up the leaves and put in one of the bins provided at the back of the courts.

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Tennis Etiquette

Rules of Tennis - Etiquette

As well as the written Rules (.pdf) there is something called Etiquette which exists to help everyone enjoy this game. Sportsmanship, consideration, and politeness have been part of the game since the beginning of time, and you could do a lot worse than to read the following points to bring you into the mindset of social tennis players:

  • Talk quietly if you are near tennis courts that are in use.
  • Do not walk behind a court during an active point. Pass as quickly as possibly after a point has finished.
  • Do not disturb people on your court until after their time is up.
  • Wear proper tennis trainers with a non-marking sole. Other trainers may wear out quickly, hurt your feet, or damage or mark the court.
  • Before starting to play, ensure any equipment you are not using (spare rackets, clothing, drinks, etc.) are out of the way.
  • To determine who will serve first, spin your racket on it's head, let it fall to the floor, and ask your opponent to call rough or smooth. Look to see whether the tied-off strings on your racket are facing up or down, if they are up then that's rough and if they are down that's smooth. The winner can choose whether to serve first, or to receive first, or can choose which end of the court they wish to start playing on.
  • Often a ball from another court will end up on your court. To return a ball simply roll it safely to the back of the court and not direct to a player unless he/she requests it.
  • Tennis balls will end up scattered over the court during play, so you should retrieve balls for your partner and your opponent to keep the game flowing.
  • Do not criticise your partner or opponent, be positive and offer encouragement instead.
  • Line calls can be hard to see from the other side of the court so you must call your own lines, ensuring your opponent can hear you. A ball that touches any part of the line is good, so you don't have to say anything, but you could say "Yep!" as an acknowledgement.
  • Always respect the line calls of your opponent because he/she is nearer than you.
  • If you have a disagreement with your opponent, offer a let. This means you replay the point whether it's a first or second serve.

Tennis Ball Collection/Distribution

Too much time can be wasted by not being efficient enough looking after tennis balls during a game. Here are some tips to help speed up this process and get tennis balls to the server as quickly as possible:

  • Keep tennis balls in your hand, in a pocket, in a ball clip, or at the back centre of the court against the fence.
  • If there is a brief pause in play (even between points) look around for any tennis balls you could collect before the server wishes to start serving again.
  • If the server requires a tennis ball, the player closest to a ball should get it and pass it the server.
  • Pass a ball to the server at a sensible speed so that it is easy to catch, bouncing once or twice.

Score Keeping

The server is required to announce the score at the start of each game, and also at the start of the second point and each point that follows in each game.

It is then up to the receiver if he cannot hear the server's score announcement to ask the server to speak louder. It is too late to correct any scoring errors once one player believes he/she has won the game!


Line Calls

Here are a couple of pointers for making good line calls:

  • If you are unsure as to whether your opponent's shot was in or out, call it in.
  • If a player serves the ball fast it can be difficult for the person returning the serve to see whether the serve was in or not, particularly if it is on or close to a line. The server should be given the benefit of the doubt if he believes it to be in, but if he believes it to be out you should call a let and replay the point.
  • Doubles specific: Both you and your partner take responsibility for monitoring and reporting line calls on your own side of the court, unless your partner's vision is compromised and the call is an obvious one.
  • Doubles specific: If you are receiving the ball from a serve, and your partner is also near to the service line, he/she is better placed than you to make a call as to whether the ball was long or not.

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, focused, and in a positive frame of mind.

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General Housekeeping

Keep court doors shut

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To avoid foxes getting onto the courts at night, please make sure you shut the tennis court gates when leaving the club.

Clean shoes before entering clubhouse

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To stop the influx of sand all over the carpet in the clubhouse, please use the shoe cleaners outside the clay courts or the brush mats at the entrance to the clubhouse.  

Wash up!

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You are more than welcome to help yourself to complimentary tea, coffee, juice from the kitchen but please remember to wash up after yourself.

First Aid

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If you are in need of any first aid whilst at the club, the first aid box is located in the bottom cupboard to the right of the oven in the kitchen.  There is also an incident book for any major injuries. A defibrillator is located in the main hall.

Last people to leave the club?

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If you think you may be the last to leave the club, please make sure there is no-one else in the clubhouse (particularly the snooker room) then make sure all lights are off (security lights will remain on) including toilets/changing rooms and put the alarm on. The code is 1478 followed by pressing ‘A’ to Activate it.  Please also make sure you shut the outside door securely.

Wintry Conditions

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Please take very good care in the car park when it is icy to avoid slipping and causing an injury.