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USTA Florida Flagler Aces Junior Team Tennis Program

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Like & Share:Match Day Tips, Rules & Etiquette

PACK

Hat

Sunglasses

Sunscreen

Hair ties

Full refillable water bottle

Sports drink

Snacks i.e. trail mix, sports bar, bananas

Athletic layers appropriate for weather

Pockets, elastic shorts or ball clip to hold balls

Hand towel/wrist bands

WARM UP

Cooperatively

half volleys mix of fh and bh

full court mix of fh and bh

One up one back volleys mix of fh and bh

One up one back feed each other overheads

Serve/return/trap both sides

Notice the wind and sun conditions and how to best make adjustments. Take note of your opponents strengths and weaknesses. 

STARTING THE MATCH

Either you or your opponent may spin the racquet while the other calls “M” or “W” or “up” or “down” depending upon the logo on the butt of your racquet.

The winner of the call decides if she/he would like to choose to serve or receive first OR decides which side of the court he/she would like to start the match on.  The other player decides the other choice.

The server begins the match from the right/deuce side. 

ETIQUETTE/SPORTSMANSHIP

Balls

The server needs one ball for the first serve of each point and an extra ball in their pocket for the second serve if needed. Help your opponent collect balls before each point.  Clear the court of balls before each point.

Score

The server must always announce the set score before the start of each game and the game score before each point, loudly and clearly. This lets the receiver know that the server is ready to begin the next point.

Calls

The ball is in in singles if the ball touches any part of any singles line and in in doubles if the ball touches any part of any doubles line. If you cannot clearly tell if a shot is in or out, it’s in. The benefit of the doubt goes to your opponent. Only call balls on your side of the net. You have to respect your opponent’s decision on their side of the net. In doubles your partner standing on the service line should help call the serves when you are receiving serve and you should do the same when your partner is receiving the serve.  If you and your opponent cannot agree on a point, meet at the net and discuss it very quietly.  Team Captains/CoCaptains will see you at the net and come to help.  If you are confused about the score, you play from the last score that you both agree upon, or that the server announced without immediate questioning from the opponent. If the dispute is about a line call, each player calls the balls on their own side.  Players must honestly call their own double bounces.  Any player may call a let (do-over) for balls rolling on the court from another court after a point has started or when a serve hits the net cord and lands in the service box.

Time

Play at the pace of the server and be ready to receive serve. Servers need to make eye contact with receiver and call the score before serving.  Re-play the point if the server serves the ball before the receiver is ready. The receiver cannot claim that he/she was not ready after attempting to return the serve.

Neighboring Matches

Do not interrupt players on neighboring courts to fetch a ball on another court.  Wait for their point to end before asking for help in getting a stray ball.

Attitude

If you are losing, do not pout or yell.  Your attitude affects how you play, stay positive. In singles, do not talk in the middle of points. Talking to your partner in doubles is OK.  At the end of the match, players meet at the net to shake hands, then collect balls and report scores to the tournament desk.  Thank the tournament director before leaving the tournament.

THE COMPLETE TENNIS PLAYER CHECK LIST

Technique

• Has excellent footwork – set up and recovery

• Has excellent form and makes few unforced errors

• Has at least one weapon

• Rarely double faults

• Uses their first serve as a weapon

• Has reliable and well placed second serve

Match Prep

• Packs bag with an extra racquet, a change of clothes, a towel, hat/visor, sunglasses, drinks and snacks

• Jumps rope or jogs

• Briefly warms up all strokes with parent, friend, coach or on the wall

Strategy

• Stays focused on the game

• Looks for their opponent’s strengths and weaknesses during the official warm up and first few games

• Recognizes an opponent’s weaknesses and plays to them. 

• Recognizes their opponent’s strengths and stays away from them.

• Constructs points rather than just reacts to the ball

Sportsmanship

• Keeps track of the score and calls it out clearly before serving

• Makes fair but firm calls

• Politely questions opponent’s calls when necessary from their side of the net. 

  After three questionable calls, politely asks for the help of a Captain/CoCaptain

• Never lets their opponent see them look upset

• Has fun and truly enjoys the game

• Learns from each match

A NOTE TO PARENTS

The purpose of each competition is not simply to win.  It is to inspire your child to improve as a competitor, to learn where technical improvements need to be made and to become a good example of sportsmanship.  From one match to the next you will see tremendous improvements, regardless of the score. Your child will learn a great deal about mental toughness and focus, noticing and taking advantage of an opponent’s weaknesses and avoiding an opponent’s strengths.  They will learn to notice and best deal with environmental factors such as heat, wind and sun.  They will also learn where their own strengths and weaknesses lie and what they need to work on in practice. They will learn how to handle and settle disputes.  Congratulate your child for competing and displaying good sportsmanship.  Be sure to point out what they did right!  When they are ready to talk about a loss, gently encourage them to figure out what they need to work on in practice, or do differently in the next match.  Be your child’s biggest fan!