If you are like me, you don’t belong to a private tennis club and you use the public tennis courts in your community to play. Unfortunately, public tennis courts tend to be full and the waiting game then starts. But how long does one have to wait for a tennis court? Are there rules to waiting? What do you do when you are playing and people are waiting? No matter how entry-level this topic is to the seasoned tennis players, it still has room for a reminder of this simple courtesy: “The general guideline for public court use is 45 minutes for singles and 1 hour 15 minutes for doubles….when people are waiting for a court.”
Mainly my reasoning for touching on this issue is because just last night, I came across a situation where public tennis court courtesy would have been nice. I arrived a few minutes early to a local park where there are 3 decent tennis courts, of course they were all full. So I waited, and waited, then waited some more; by the time I decided enough time went by, I went to each court asking how much longer they had in their game…
- Court 1 – Australian doubles going on, “We are right in the middle of our first set, so maybe another 15 or 20 minutes. You should check the guys on court 3, they were here before we walked on.” Ok, that’s fair enough, a rough estimate of where they are and how much longer the court may be in use for and thanks for the tip on court 3.
- Court 2 – Doubles, “Our fourth just got here and we are about to start playing our set, so it will probably be a while.” Got it, I totally understand that and I’m ok with it.
- Court 3 – Singles, “Well, we’re right in the middle of our second set, so we’ll be done when we’re done. No idea of when we’ll be done, so you should head out to some other courts.” WHAT?!? Are you kidding me? What an a-hole this guy was! I could no believe what I just heard.
Court 3 is a very rare case of extreme douchebaggery (‘scuse my language), and there’s not much you can do about it either. Thankfully, the people on court 1 were nice enough to speed up their game and exit the court quickly to let me and my partner on.
What do you do in a situation like that? I could have been rude like the guys on court 3 and just walked on to their court and started playing after the allotted time of wait has passed; but, my mother did not raise me like that, instead I reminded him about the 45 minute rule – which is all you can really do in that situation. There are several other evil and rude things you can do, like stand by the gate and hold a loud conversation while they serve, or use the gated door as a backboard and warm up, and my personal favorite, walk onto the tennis court and sit down on the bench and watch.
The only real solution is to give them a friendly reminder of the waiting rule, and then wait a little while longer for the other courts to free up, if not, try and find different tennis courts that may be open.
There really is no reason to be a total ahole, tennis is supposed to be fun. Oh and funny thing, the “tough guy” on court 3 foot faulted every time.
Oh and I’d be happy to hear some of your experiences in the comments below 🙂