I read an article just recently which I thought was very relevant to us playing our beloved tennis and coupled with some other recent issues has prompted me to write this blog. So please read this other blog by Steve Milano as well by clicking on the link, Basic Tennis Etiquette. I am sure you will find it interesting and the points raised very relevant to our matches.
The points I would like to raise are as follows:
# 1 Suggested time schedule for match plays on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are as follows:
Arrival at tennis courts- 4:00pm (it is important respecting the other players by being there on time ready to warm up)
Warm-up- 4:00pm – 4:10pm
Set # 1- 4:10pm – 4:40pm
Change-over for next game (Drinks, toilet breaks as required)- 4:40pm – 4:45pm.
Set # 2- 4:45pm – 5:15pm
Change-over for next game (Drinks, toilet breaks as required)- 5:15pm – 5:20pm
Set # 3- 5:20pm – 5:50pm
End of all Matches- 5:55pm - All games finished & players commence leaving the court area to allow the next groups of players onto the courts.
#2 Warm up
I cannot stress the importance of this critical part of our afternoon of tennis. The older we get the more critical and appropriate this ‘warm up’ becomes if we truly want to avoid injuries. Also, the ‘warm-up’ for tennis should (at least) commence with some slow / gentle hitting to the player on the other side and it is not a matter of trying to hit the ball as hard as possible or do passing shots. The tennis etiquette for a ‘warm-up’ is about each player trying to assist their opponent to hit the ball and to thereby allow players on either side of the net to ‘warm-up’ slowly by hitting balls to each other and so the opponent is able to easily return the ball to you. It is important to remember, we 60, 70 & 80-year-old are really playing for the regular exercise to help us all to try to stay as fit & healthy as possible. We’re not there to win Wimbledon. Recently, we have seen some of our members with muscle tears, broken wrists, ruptured tendons, injured shoulders and pulled muscles. Many of these may have been caused by inadequate warm up and I do believe my wrist injury was due to that.
#3 Reduction in Set Play Times
This to me raises the issue that maybe we should now very much consider the Short Duce Rule. This means that you have one duce and if it is not decided by those two serves, than only one more serve with the Receivers choosing which side they will receive the serve and this works well, and, it means service games don’t go on forever and thereby usually everyone gets to have a couple of service games per set.
#4 End of All Matches
Finishing of matches should be by 5.55 pm and not extended to finish the competitive match. The last couple of weeks I have got into arguments with the next group of players following us, by us staying on the courts over time. At the end of month drinks, members walking across the courts of the next players should no longer occur. Next month, please go out the normal Sylvan or car park gates and go around the courts and not through the courts of the players following us. I think we should respect the other groups and they should respect us as well but this will only occur if we abide by some rules like the above. Tennis is to be enjoyed not to be a place of arguments.
In conclusion, can I just add how important it is for all to have their say and that we discuss these important issues because this is the importance of the socialising that has been spoken about in previous blogs. So please record your views at the end of this blog and have your say. I look forward to hearing all member's opinions.