What is Junior Weekend Competition Tennis?
Junior Weekend Competition Tennis is organised match play whereby junior players represent their local tennis club within the club's associated region.
Our clubs are affiliated with Eastern Region Tennis (ERT), which fixtures seasonal competition between clubs all around the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, either on a Saturday or Sunday morning.
Your club coach will generally approach the parents of any junior who they deem possess the necessary skills to begin playing competitive tennis and will then work with the club to form teams that will compete in a Summer (Terms 4 & 1) or Winter (Terms 2 & 3) competition.
There can be a various number of players in each team, depending on the format of the competition in which players are most suited. There are generally 8 teams assigned to each section, 14 home and away matches within the fixture, with the top 4 finishing teams playing off in a 2-week finals series.
Half of the fixtured matches are played at your home club, with the other half played at the various other clubs within your respective section. Parents generally arrange between themselves to share transport responsibilities and car pool to away games. A 'Duty Parent' will be assigned each week to ensure that the players from our team are accounted for, kept safe, and assisted should any issues arise.
Clubs will require weekend competition players to become financial members of their club, which will not only ensure that the necessary insurance cover is in place, but will also give the member access to the courts during allocated time periods. Additionally, members usually have access to other inter-club and intra-club competitions, as well as receiving communications regarding all club events and initiatives.
Membership forms can be found on your club's website.
The only other cost that most clubs require competition players to absorb, is the shared cost of the fresh tennis balls supplied each week. This generally amounts to around $20pp, per season.
If you are unsure whether you or your child is ready for weekend competition, speak with your club coach.
Q. Do you have to be having lessons to be able to play competition?
A. No. The only requirement to play competition is to be a financial member of the club.
Q. Can the 'Duty Parent' leave the venue at any stage throughout the morning's play?
A. No. The 'Duty Parent' is responsible for the team. Competition can produce a multitude of unplanned situations, so the players will often require the support of an adult. Albeit, the 'Duty Parent' will also have the support of a Junior Convenor at all venues.
Q. Are parents allowed on the court during play?
A. No. Except for Junior Development Competition (JDC), which allows parents to stand at the net post and assist with scoring, positioning, etiquette & the general rules of the game.
Q. Are there any specific clothing or uniform requirements for competition?
A. Yes. Flat-soled shoes are a requirement ie. no ripple-soled footwear. Players are also strongly encouraged to wear shorts/skirts that can hold the 2nd tennis ball whilst serving. It is very dangerous to have the 2nd ball placed on the ground nearby, as players can easily roll their ankle or trip/fall on the ball. In addition, it wastes time having to leave the baseline to retrieve the 2nd ball after a fault and also affects your rhythm, having left your serving position. A hat and drink bottle are also very important items to keep in your tennis bag.
Q. Will players be required to play on both Saturday's and Sunday's throughout the season?
A. No. Teams are entered in either a Saturday morning or Sunday morning competition. The match day will remain consistent through the duration of the season.
Q. What if my child is unavailable to play due to illness, injury, family holiday, etc?
A. Once the Association has released the fixture for the upcoming season, your club will usually ask all parents and players to check their calendars for any known weeks which they will be unavailable to play. Competition tennis is a commitment, like any competitive sport, however clubs understand that there will often be a week or two where individuals are unavailable for some reason or another. By letting the club know in advance, it allows the club to align your week(s) you are unavailable with your rostered day out, so as to minimise any one player missing out on too many matches over the season. It is important to note that competition ceases during the scheduled school holiday periods.
Q. Does weekend competition tennis start at 8:30am or is that the desired arrival time?
A. Play is scheduled to start at 8:30am, however players are strongly encouraged to aim to arrive by 8:15am to allow for unforeseen traffic delays and to allow adequate time for a warm up practice hit.
It is your obligation to call all balls on your side of the court, to help your opponent make calls when the opponent requests it, and to call against yourself (with the exception of a first serve) any ball that you can clearly see out on your opponents side of the net.
If you have any doubt if the ball is 'in' or 'out,' you must give your opponent the benefit of the doubt and call the ball as good. You should not play a 'let.'
In doubles, when returning serve, the partner of the receiver should call the service line for him/her, with the receiver calling the center and side service lines.
Any 'out,' 'let' or 'fault' call must be made instantaneously ie. made before either an opponent has hit the return or the return has gone out of play. Otherwise, the ball continues in play.
If you call a ball 'out' and then realise it was in, you should correct your call.
Do not enlist the aid of spectators in making line calls.
If players cannot agree on the score, they may go back to the last score on which there is agreement and resume play from that point.
Players are prohibited from checking the mark of the ball on their opponents side of the court, unless of course, the opponent invites you down to take a closer look.
Wait until a point is over before walking behind a court where a match is in progress. This includes circumstances where you need to retrieve a ball from another court or return a ball to another court.
Do not stall, sulk, complain or practice poor gamesmanship.
Foot faults may only be called by an Official either allocated for that purpose or a person performing a chair umpire function. Players may be requested to correct their foot faulting problem by a Referee or Court Supervisor. The receiver may not call a foot fault against the server.
The server should call the score before each 1st serve, loudly enough for his/her opponent to hear.