HAVE A LEAGUE QUESTION?
USTA Pacific Northwest | November 4, 2019
Go Team Go! It's certainly ok to cheer for your teammates, but there is an art to it. Here are some FAQs for cheering at USTA League matches (or even a USTA Tournament). Keep in mind many of these are guidelines and suggestions:
Q: My team just won a point. Can I cheer?
A: In short, yes you can. But you should be mindful of how the point was won. Generally speaking, it's ok to cheer if your team won a point because of a winner they hit or if they won a point because they set up the point to win (i.e. great approach shot that led to winning the point). If, however, the point was won on an obvious unforced error or double fault, it's probably best to lightly clap or just save the cheering for the next point.
Q: What if my team just won the match? Can we cheer?
A: Again, of course it's ok to cheer. ADVERTISEMENT But again, be mindful of how the point was won. Most would agree it is in poor taste to cheer loudly after a team just hit a double fault. This will only be magnified on match point.
Q: What about situations where there are multiple courts and I am cheering for the team on the farthest court....can I cheer then?
A: There is no rule saying you cannot, however, it's best to be mindful there are players playing between where the spectators are and where your player is. They likely don't want to hear loud cheering during a point. If you see a great shot a few courts away, it's ok to cheer. But if you see matches being played between you and the court you are cheering for, it's best to cheer quietly or just wait until after the match to tell you players are well they played.
Q: If I am playing on a court and cheering distracts me, can I claim a hindrence or a let?
A: No. The Code #36 says the following: "Out calls and other noises from spectators are not hindrances and, therefore, are not considered grounds for a player calling a let or claiming the point."
Q: If there is a window separating the viewing area from the courts can I pound on the window in excitement?
A: Again, no rule, but it is probably best not to do this. The pounding on the window will likely be distracting for all players on all courts below. Plus, some people don't know there own strength and it would be horrible to actually break the window.
Q: Can I sit on the court and cheer my teammates on?
A: In most situations the answer to this is no. The only people that should be on the court are the players themselves. In some rare cases, viewing is so limited at certain facilities that those facilities do allow for spectators on court. If all players agree and the match is at a facility that generally allows this, then it would be acceptible. In this case, the spectators should only cheer enough to where it does not become a distraction to the players. Should it become a distration, it would then be reasonable to request the spectators leave. To know which facilities have allowed spectators to be on court during matches, please contact your Regional League Coordinator.
Generally speaking, the saying "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" applies to cheering. If you lose a match because of a double fault do you want the opposing spectators cheering? Probably not.....so you should not do it either. If you are playing on Court #1 (closest to spectators) and they are all cheering loudly for Court #4 (four courts from you) are you going to be ok with that? Most would not be so you probably should not do it either. If you hit an easy sitter into the net, and the other teams' spectators cheer loudly for that would you feel good? Probably not.....so don't do it. Cheering is more about sportsmanship (when to do it vs. when not to) and less about a hard and fast rule. I am confident most players will read these FAQs and be able to figure out the fine line when it comes to cheering.
Good luck with the rest of your Early Start League matches and congratulations to those Adult 55 and Mixed 18 teams from Eastern Washington who have already qualified for Sectionals in 2020!
If you have an “Ask Adam” regulation question or FAQ that you would like answered, please e-mail it to Adam at email@example.com.