A little bit of spectator etiquette for tennis newbies.
Note – I originally wrote this article in mid January 2012. I wrote it with a little bit of wit and to vent my frustrations. But on a serious note, if you’re new to tennis the take away messages are:
- Don’t talk loudly while the ball is in play
- Turn your mobile phone to silent
- Only move to and from your seat when it’s a change of ends.
Thanks in advance on behalf of all the people sitting nearby
Over the last two weeks I’ve spent seven days at the Hopman Cup and two days at the AAMI Classic.
Both are lovely tennis events but the lack of tennis spectator etiquette has been a bit frustrating, to say the least.
At the AAMI Classic match on Wednesday night, Andy Roddick had to indicate to a group of corporate boxes that he would like them to keep the noise down.
They ignored him.
I’m going to give the noisy* spectators the benefit of the doubt and assume they “break the rules” because the don’t know what the rules are.
*This does not refer to the noise of a cheering, match watching, player supporting fan type nature between points.
Just like the Safety talk at the start of a flight, if you are a tennis fan who knows the system please continue enjoying the tennis.
But if you are new to attending tennis tournaments, please read below to avoid inadvertently doing the wrong thing by the players and other spectators.
1. Mobile Phone Etiquette
DO make sure your mobile phone is silent
If you DON’T put your mobile phone on silent, and it rings, DON’T answer it.
If you DON’T put your mobile phone on silent, and it rings and you answer it, DON’T have a conversation.
If you DON’T put your mobile phone on silent, and it rings and you answer it, and you have a conversation, DON’T talk in a loud voice.
If you DON’T put your mobile phone on silent, and it rings and you answer it, and you have a conversation, and you talk loudly, and a blonde girl turns around and gives you a greasy look, DO stop the conversation immediately.
2. Talking While the Ball is in Play
DON’T talk while the ball is in play. Your whisper may not be as quiet as you think.
If you talk while the ball is in play, DON’T talk loudly.
If you talk while the ball is in play, and you talk loudly, and the umpire says (this is a quote from today’s AAMI Classic match between Roddick and Nishikori)
Ladies & gentlemen please be aware that talking loudly during the points affects the players
then DON’T ignore the umpire. Stop talking. Immediately. For the rest of the match.
3. Moving to and from your seat
DON’T move to or from your seat unless it is a change of ends**.
If you move from your seat when it is not a change of ends, DO stop moving and sit down quickly and wait for the change of ends to move to your destination.
If you move from your seat when it is not a change of ends, DO make sure your phone is on silent (refer point 1) and DON’T talk loudly about why you are being asked to sit down or where you will sit down (refer point 2).
**A change of ends is when the players change ends. A change of ends happens after the first 3 games of a set and then every 2 games after that. When the game score adds up to an odd number, there will be a change of ends. After the first game of each set the players change ends but it is not a change of ends.
That about covers it.
And don’t forget to wear a hat and bring sunscreen (I write that as I feel the heat of my sunburnt face, today started off with jumpers and rain coats and ended up sunny, Melbourne is like that, a lot!)
Until next time
Grand Slam Gal
P.S. While you’re here you’re welcome to: