I’ve written previously about courteous play and things to remember in order to keep the game moving. Being considerate to your partner, your opponents, and those playing around you makes for a friendly and fun environment. Here’s just a refresher.
- When a ball from another game rolls into your court, pick it up, look for who wants it, and toss it to them. If no one indicates that they want the ball, toss it to the end of your own court, out of play. Don’t kick or swipe it in the general direction it came from with your paddle! All that does is disrupt other games!
- When calling the score, call the entire score! All three numbers! Calling a partial score only creates confusion! We are all forgetful, and this is often the #1 conflict on the courts! It’s simple! Call all three numbers!
- And speaking of calling the score, remember, you are calling the score so that all players can hear it, not just your partner! The correct time to call the score is right before you start your service motion, not as you are walking back to the service line. You might also take 2 seconds after calling the score before serving the ball, especially if you are having trouble serving. This two seconds prevent you from rushing.
- When your game is done and you’ve met your opponents at the net, be considerate of the other games around you. Exit your court quickly, but in such a way that it doesn’t disrupt the game next to you. That means wait until their rally is over before squeezing between nets when you’re playing indoors and space between courts is tight. Don’t walk through the back of the court next to you unless you absolutely have to. And then, be sure to walk quickly. There’s no reason to hold up someone else’s game by strolling off the court!
- Lastly, if your ball goes into another court, don’t just stand there and wait for the players in that court to retrieve it! Often, you are closer to it and their rally has already been interrupted. If you are closer, run after it yourself!
I’d like to add one more thing for when you have multiple stacks of paddles waiting for a game. Instead of waiting until a game finishes to pick up the next stack of paddles and call those players to the court, have an “on deck” place where the next group of players are ready to go even before the court is free. This will add precious minutes to your total playing time by having the next group walk on the court as the previous game players are walking off!
That’s just a few things that will keep play moving along with happy players, especially when we are in cramped, indoor venues. Feel free to leave comments on other ways to facilitate courteous play!
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