Social session matches are the first to five games (instead of six), using the short deuce format. The five-game format is used as a fair solution for reducing waiting times.
Social tennis is for club members who are 16 years or over and is a doubles format only. If you want to play singles, please book a court at another time using the Club Spark booking system.
Prospective members can attend one social session to decide whether they want to join the club. Social tennis sessions are not for guests of members (unless they are visiting as prospective members).
Warm-ups and queuing for courts
If you arrive at the start of the social session, have a quick warm-up on court of no more than five minutes and start your set promptly (this is the same time as the professionals get at the ATP NextGen finals, so if it’s OK for them, it’s OK for us).
If you arrive after the start of the session, the courts are full and other people are waiting, you will be at the back of the queue to play, unless someone in front offers you their place. While you are waiting, why not use the hitting wall to warm up before it’s your turn to play?
We all love playing tennis and having good tennis etiquette when on court will ensure that we all continue to enjoy the game and that matches run smoothly, giving us all as much time on court as possible.
– If you need to walk across another court to get to your court, wait till there is a break in play and your presence has been acknowledged, then promptly walk along the back of the court to get to your court.
– Keeping score – it is the server’s responsibility to keep score. If your opponent disagrees, then track back the points until you both agree.
– Ensure the balls are always at the server’s end of the court – if you are receiving it’s your job to ensure the balls are returned to the server. If a ball goes over to a neighbouring court don’t interrupt their point, wait for a break in play and then retrieve it.
– Don’t play lets if you are unsure of a line call; you call the ball on your side of the court. If you are not sure, call the ball IN.
– If a player touches the net while the game is in play, the player loses the point.
– Only play lets (except serve lets) when there is outside interference in your match, for example a ball from another court flies across and interrupts your point, or our neighbour’s friendly cats walk onto court.
– If there are people waiting to play, be considerate and make the change of sides a quick step. There is plenty of time to talk to people once you are off court.
– Lastly, we all need to let off steam sometimes. However, let’s keep screaming and shouting to a minimum and keep everyone involved in the set – don’t poach the shot from your partner if it’s clearly their shot. Remember these are friendly matches – be more Roger Federer than John McEnroe!
If we all follow these points it will help to create a positive experience for all members at social tennis sessions.