Club sessions and playing standards

Club Sessions

Club Sessions are those times when there will normally be a committee member or senior club member present to organise the players into sets. Adult Members and Nominated Juniors can just turn up during these times and can mix in and play doubles without having to make prior arrangements. It is at these regular, organised sessions that the majority of members play their tennis.

To ensure all members of all abilities get the best out of their attendance at club sessions, it is important that members are aware of their level of ability and attend those sessions which are suitable for their level of play.

Below is a description and summary of the regular weekly club sessions. If you are uncertain which club session to attend, click on the Ability Guide. Ignore the Ratings but look at the descriptions of Starter, Recreational and Intermediate.


Beginners & Improvers Club Night: Wed 6:00 - 9:00

Standard: Starter/Recreational
The Beginners & Improvers club night provides an opportunity for those adults receiving regular coaching to put into practice what they have learnt. It has also developed into a club session for those who are less competitive than those who attend some of the other sessions as well as for those who have played before but are a bit rusty. You’ll also find a few more experienced players joining in and helping with tips on positioning, court etiquette, etc.


Friday Evening Club Session: Fri 6:00 - 9:00

Standard: Recreational and higher
This is an all inclusive session where you may well find beginners, improvers and team players. The emphasis is on enjoyment so don’t panic if you think you won’t be up-to-the-mark as weaker players are usually paired with the better players to make the sets as even as possible.


Club Afternoons: Tues & Thurs 2:00 - 4:00 & Club Morning: Fri 9:30 - 11:00

Standard: Recreational and higher
This is where you can enjoy social tennis and a cup of tea and cake. The average age maybe a little higher at these sessions but don’t be fooled, you’ll still get some feisty tennis!  Note that the start times of the afternoon sessions are usually brought forward to 1:30 and then 1:00 during the Winter months.


Tuesday Evening Club Session: Tues 6:00 - 9:00

Standard: Intermediate and higher
Tuesday evening is the strongest of the Club Sessions, although Thursday night, Match Practice, obviously attracts the club’s best players. Play is competitive whilst still having fun.


Thursday Match Practice: Thurs 6:00 - 9:00

Standard: Intermediate and higher

The committee has agreed that a more formal regime of match practice should take place on Thursday night. This is to ensure that a high standard of play is regularly available in order to encourage, in particular, our higher team players to participate in the session. Participants in match practice on Thursday nights will be mainly Regular Team Squad Players. Other Club Members established as at least intermediate standard are welcome to come along but on the understanding that priority will be given to match practice and providing challenging opposition to match pairs. As well as giving team pairs a chance to practice together before the next match, it will also provide an opportunity for captains to evaluate pairings for the future. Thursday night match practice will start as soon as sufficient relevant players have arrived, at which point all games will stop for pairs to be formed according to the Team Captains’ or their delegated representatives’ instructions. Match pairs will be expected to be able to play 2 sets before re-engaging in more social club play.




CLUB SESSIONS – These guidelines are relevant mainly at busy times, such as on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings but could equally be applied at other times particularly when there are solitary players waiting.  It’s all common sense really but the committee welcomes feedback from anyone who has suggestions of how such a system could be improved.

GENERAL GUIDELINES – These have been collated as general advice from past suggestions and may be added to from time to time…

  • Who plays when
    • We rely on the common sense of members to decide which sessions it is sensible for them to attend.   In general, you should feel comfortable in two of the weekly evening sessions…
      • Tuesdays are for intermediate and advanced players
      • Wednesdays are for beginners and improvers
      • Thursdays are for regular team players and other intermediate and advanced players
      • Fridays are for all standards of player
  • Note, however that
    • While it is perfectly acceptable for an intermediate or advanced player to attend on a Wednesday or Friday as long as they tone down their game so as not to spoil the enjoyment of the other players…
    • …it is not acceptable for a beginner or improver to attend on Tuesdays or Thursdays until they are able to play at a standard that would not affect the quality of play for the other players.
    • If you think you are in between improver and intermediate standard, it depends on whether your game is on an upward or downward trajectory.  If upward, you will probably improve by playing with better players and we encourage you to try out the Tuesday evening session.  If downward, it will probably not and you will only be spoiling the enjoyment of the other players; you should consider moving to another night.
    • If you’re not sure, please ask a committee member.
  • Who plays next – Time of arrival IN THE CAR PARK will determine who is next in line. You may not believe this but, yes, we have had members racing each other up the field to get ahead in the queue to play.  However, when the courts are full and there are more than 3 players waiting, any fours which have been pre-arranged from those waiting will go on next followed by the new arrivals. If no fours have been pre-arranged, the new arrival will go on with players selected from those waiting – an encouragement to get those waiting to organise themselves for a quick turnaround.
  • Deuce – To ensure a rapid turnaround of players when (a) the courts are full and there are players waiting or (b) there is a single player waiting, a committee or other senior member will announce that a Silver Deuce is to be played. This is a sudden-death point on the second deuce as opposed to a Golden Deuce which is sudden death point on the first deuce. The receiving pair decides who receives service on the sudden death point. Note that if 2 or 3 players are waiting and there is a spare court, they have the option of playing singles or a three. When no players are waiting and all players present agree, they may decide to play a full deuce.

WEDNESDAY & FRIDAY CLUB NIGHTS& DAYTIME SESSIONS

  • These sessions seem to work quite satisfactorily with certain senior club members organising fours from those present, the aim being to make the fours balanced and to mix up the players.

TUESDAY CLUB NIGHTS

  • Selecting players is done by picking from a bunch of racquets, the selection usually being for who will play rather than for who will sit out, unless clearly stated otherwise beforehand. Common sense should prevail and some manual juggling will be allowed to avoid repeated fours and to balance the sides.
  • The committee will be trialling other methods for coping with busy nights, including timed sessions and a better method for selecting who plays next and on which court in order to prevent players being stuck with mainly the same group for several sets.

THURSDAY MATCH PRACTICE

  • This was originally for teams playing matches at the following weekend but it is also to ensure that other team players, in particular our top players,  get regular demanding competition in a match like environment. We will endeavour to ensure that at least one court will be available for those not participating in the team practice. Those not playing in the match practice will follow the club session guidelines above.
  • The Men’s, Ladies’ and Mixed captains are authorised by the committee to organise their match practice how they see fit. If any of these Team Captains are absent, any Committee Member who is present may take over that role. This includes taking team players from social fours to ensure a timely start, involving non-team players, male or female, to make up the numbers and allowing new partnerships to play consecutive sets.
  • A full tie-break set with full deuces should be normally be played to simulate match conditions and provide a realistic match practice as we recognise that the success of our teams can be a major factor in attracting new members.  However, if it’s particularly busy, silver deuce will be brought in.

  Click for Ability Guide.