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What Is The SCTA Doing To Improve Sportsmanship And Reduce Cheating In Adult And Youth Tennis?


In the competition with other activities for adult and youth participation, tennis can be an attractive option for time and resources if it is seen as a friendly and positive activity. 

Social matches between friends match that description. 

Here is how the SCTA makes Junior Team Tennis, Adult Leagues, and Adult and Youth Tournaments friendly and positive competitive activities.

We offer levels of play based upon NTRP ratings, age groups, and other skill level designations so that an individual plays a match against an opponent of similar ability.  This allows both competitors to use their mental and physical skills in a fairly matched setting.  Is this always a perfect situation?  No, and we try to make it the best we can through random draws, accurate seeding, etc.

We require USTA-certified Officials at all sanctioned events so that rules and procedures are applied correctly on the court.  The SCTA has asked the Officials to rove among the courts assigned to them so that they may head off disputes before the disagreement becomes heated.  We also ask the Officials to maintain order outside the court because spectators are not permitted to be part of a match.  If you would like information about how to become a USTA Official, please email or call the office at 310.208.3838 and ask for Cari Buck, the Director of Marketing.

We encourage sportsmanship by acknowledging great behavior on the spot with real time awards like gift cards from Tennis Warehouse, the official sponsor of sportsmanship for the SCTA.  We also make daily and event sportsmanship awards to praise those who compete fairly.  Names and pictures of the award winners are often posted on social media, in newsletters and on webpages.

If a player believes that his/her opponent is cheating, the player should use a change over to go to the nearest Official or the Tournament Desk and ask for an Official or court monitor to come to the court to resolve the situation.  If players, parents or spectators feel that rules weren’t applied correctly or that an individual violated the rules of tennis or The Code, the SCTA Sportsmanship and Grievance Committee (SGC) decides the outcome of properly filed complaints on the official grievance form.  The SGC meets twice monthly to decide complaints.  The SGC applies consequences to individuals starting at a warning letter all the way up to suspension from tennis for up to twelve months.

It’s important that all players, parents, coaches, Tournament Directors and spectators know the rules of tennis to ensure that competition is fair and civil.  Competing is hard enough without the handicap of not knowing the rules.  One resource that all players should have is called Friend at Court.  It’s available online or in a printed version.  Please call the SCTA office at 310.208.3838 and we can mail you a copy for $10 which includes postage and handling or look online at for the 2017 version.  The other resource you should have is Rules of Tennis 2017 and The Code.  That booklet is also available from the SCTA office for $5 or online.

Tennis competes with all other activities for participants and their time and financial resources.  If we have a product that is seen as beneficial physically, mentally and socially, then tennis will have a secure future.  The SCTA is helping make that future bright by focusing on better sportsmanship and more fair play.  Please let me know how you think we are doing.  Call 310.208.3339 or email  Cheers!

Bruce A. Hunt – Executive Director
Southern California Tennis Association

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