Changeover Etiquette

What should you do with the balls on a changeover? I know there is no “rule” to govern this, but the practice varies … and sometimes can be used by your opponent to gain an edge.

Here are what appear to be the options:

1. Leave the balls wherever they end up
2. Take the balls you have handy and leave at the baseline T
3. Bring them with you to the changeover and put on the bench
4. Hand them to your opponent on the changeover.

For me, I usually follow option #2; because I think it is the one in keeping with the spirit of the game and easiest on your opponent.

Those who leave them in the far corners of the court make your opponent walk around to gather them up before starting the next game. And those who bring them on the changeover risk having them left there as you come back on the court.

And #4 (for me) has the same feel as someone talking with you and getting “in your space.”

What do you do on changeovers?

6 thoughts on “Changeover Etiquette

  1. I would like to have a cold beer

    Mike – seems to be a common theme to many of your comments!! george

  2. What annoys me is when you put the balls on the t then the server walks to the ball , picks up 2 and hits the 3rd ball to the far corner. Or when you give the 3rd ball to the net man and he ducks and lets the ball go to the fence or back in play to slow play down. I then leave the balls on the court.

    Bill – or, they go to the far corner, where two balls are, and pick up only ONE … leaving the other one there. george

  3. i have always thought that the proper thing to do is collect the balls and leave them on the baseline. i try to do it consistently, it gives structure to how i manage the match. good repetitive discipline for me, and it demonstrates good sportsmanship, and what kind of competitor you are.

    JoMac – My kind of man! tks, george

  4. Generally, I do what JoMac does — I leave the balls on the baseline, at the service T, because that was what I was taught to do as part of tennis etiquette when I first learned the game. But I am curious to hear what others do when you are faced with a rude opponent who does not give you the balls or leave them in a similarly courteous manner.

  5. if you are winning hand them over on the changeover.
    if you are losing leave them where they end up.

  6. Love your blog! I never really contemplated what to do with the balls but I like the idea one reader mentioned to leave at the baseline T gives a struction/repetition as well as shows good sportsmanship. I think I will add this to my routine :0)

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