Code of Conduct

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The highest type of sportsmanship is expected from every player! An understanding of and a commitment to the points highlighted on this card are part of your responsibility as a player in a USTA tournament. Violators of this code or its spirit are subject to disciplinary action.

  • Once you have entered a tournament, honor your commitment to play. Exceptions should occur only in cases of serious illness, injury, or personal emergency.
  • From the beginning of the match, play must be continuous. Attempts to stall or to extend rest periods for the purpose of recovering from a loss of physical condition (such as cramps of shortness of breath) are clearly illegal.
  • Intentional distractions that interfere with your component’s concentration or effort to play the ball are against the rules.
  • Spectators, including parent, friends and coaches, are welcome to watch and enjoy matches. Their role, however, is clearly restricted to that of passive observer with no involvement of any kind during the match.
  • Players are expected to put forth a full and honest effort regardless of the score or expected outcome.
  • Players are expected to maintain full control over their emotions and the resulting behavior throughout the match. If you begin to lose your composure during play, try the following: Take several deeps breaths, exhale as slowly as possible and feel your muscles relax.
  • Concentrate on your own game and behavior while ignoring distractions from your opponent or surroundings.

On Court Rules If you have any doubt as to either a ball is in or out, you must give your opponent the benefit of the doubt and play the ball as good. You should not play a “let”. It is your obligation to call all balls on your side, to help your opponent make calls when the opponent requests it, and to call against yourself (with the exception of a first serve) any ball that you clearly see out on your opponent’s side of the net. Any “out” or “let” call must be made instantaneously (i.e., made before either an opponent has hit the return or the return has gone out of play); otherwise, the ball continues in play. Do not enlist the aid of spectators in making line calls. If you call a ball out and then realize it was good you should correct your call. To avoid controversy over the score, the server should announce the set score before starting a game and the game score prior to serving each point. If players cannot agree on the score, they may go back to the last score on which there was agreement and resume play from that point or they may spin a racket. Foot Faults are not allowed. If an opponent persists in foot faulting after being warned not to do so, the Referee should be informed. Do not stall, sulk, complain, or practice gamesmanship. Wait until the players on another court have completed a point before retrieving or returning a ball.