It is easy to let yourself get lost in the graceful excitement of a tennis match. Through epic back and forth rallies, incredible serves, and intense match point all that comes from the competitive nature of the game. It makes you want to jump out of the seat and cheer on your favourite player at the top of your lungs. Well, that is fine, as a matter of fact, it is encouraged to cheer on your favourite player but there are certain rules one should follow as a sign of respect to the players and avoid drawing the attention of other spectators or the security staff. Regardless who you are cheering for, here are some tips on proper Tennis Spectating Etiquette:
1 – Silence Please
Tennis is a game of extreme concentration, and the players appreciate silence while the ball is in play. You don’t have to stay completely silent, but if you have a comment or question for the person next to you try to whisper or save the question for later. However, at the end of the point, feel free to get as noisy as you want. Tennis players are like any other athlete in that they thrive on their supporter’s cheers and encouragement.
2 – Switch Phone to Vibrate
Cellphones should be on silent. Tennis requires extreme concentration and focus and the last thing a player needs is your ring tone or text message notification chiming in while he or she is returning a serve for match point at over 100 miles an hour. So make sure your phone is set to Silent or Vibrate before you head to your seat.
3 – Turn Off Camera Flash
Tennis matches are incredibly intense and players rely heavily on getting in a rhythm and focusing to maintain it, so that means something as simple as a rogue flash from a camera or a phone mid-play can completely throw a player off their rhythm and potentially lose them the point. If you must capture the moment, ensure your phones and camera flashes are turned completely off.
4 – Stay Seated until a Change of Sets
Tennis is much like the theatre in that you should refrain from leaving your seat or moving at all until the appropriate time. It’s distracting to fans and players if people are shuffling out of their seats and moving up and down the steps in the middle of all the action. You don’t want to be that guy, so you should wait until a change of ends to visit the restroom or concession stand. Same goes for returning to your seat.
Players change ends (sides of the court) frequently during a match such as at the end of the first, third and every subsequent odd game of each set; at the end of each set (unless the score of the games is even, in which case they’ll change sides at the end of the first game of the following set). During a tie-break, players change ends after every six points. Remember, you should NEVER leave your seat mid-play
5 – Enjoy the Game
The whole point of attending these events LIVE is to witness true tennis greatness on the court and you can’t do that with your head buried in your phone. Sure take some pictures and maybe even record a couple points to keep as memories or post on social media but my advice would be to put your phone away and focus on the players. These exceptional athletes are inspiring to watch as they perform their craft in a high stakes arena!