rules & Regulations


Castlebar Tennis Club uses the rules to promote an ethos of respect and high standards of etiquette from all members of the Club.

Castlebar Tennis Club


It is about the little things that help playing be fun and enjoyable for everyone.  The main thing to remember is to always treat all other players with courtesy and respect. 

What follows is mainly common sense and will help everyone enjoy friendly, fun and competitive tennis.

1. Before Playing

Please wear suitable tennis footwear.  Other footwear may wear out quickly, hurt your feet, or damage or mark the court. 

Tennis ‘whites’ are not required; just come clothed in sports clothes.  No jeans, suits, wedding dresses or suits of armour!

It’s a great idea to wear shorts/tracksuit bottoms or a skirt with pockets that can hold 2 balls.  

Smoking, glass/delph or food are not allowed on or near the courts.  No bicycles, rollerblades or pets are allowed on the courts.  Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Please wait for a break in play before entering the gate to the all-weather courts and close the gate after you.  Please don’t abuse the tennis nets or other equipment.

When entering the courts, don’t walk behind a court during a point; please wait for a break in play and walk as quickly as possible after the point has finished. 

Note that all junior players must be supervised at all times by a parent or responsible guardian.

2. During Play

 What’s the score?

Tennis has one of the strangest scoring systems in the sporting world, but it is arguably one of the most fun sports to play. Here is a link on how to keep score

There’s a ball on court.

Remove it! A ball on court can be distracting and dangerous. Any balls on your side of the court are your responsibility, and if you are receiving it is your job to make sure they are returned to the server (except between the first and second serve, as it can upset a server’s rhythm). If a ball heads off to a neighbouring court, don’t rush after it. Wait till a suitable break in your own game, and crucially, wait till those playing on the adjoining court have finished their point.

If you are playing doubles, it’s nice to offer to hold the third ball for your partner if they are serving.  

If a ball from another court ends up on your court, please roll it safely to the back of the court and not directly into the court or to a player unless they request it.  

If a stray ball comes onto court or impedes a player, mid-point, it is best to replay the point.

That ball was out!

You call the ball on your side of the net. 

The ball landing on any part of the line is in.  

If you see the ball out, it is out, and your opponent should accept it with good grace. But you must be sure. If you are in any doubt, the ball is in! If you are very unsure, offer to replay the point.

 I need to let off steam/ “You cannot be serious!”

Tennis can be a tense, adrenaline-fuelled game, and no one expects it to be played in silence. Emotions are part of the game, but if you swear and shout – even if it is only at your racket – you will probably put others off and may well offend them with your language. Think Roger Federer, and you won’t go far wrong. 

Have Fun!

Always display good sportsmanship – compliment your opponent on good shots and have fun. 

If you are unsure about any rule, many experienced players would be more than willing to help.

3. After Play

Meet your opponent(s) at the net, shake hands or tap rackets.  Visiting the clubhouse is not mandatory, but can be a lot of fun.