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Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct applies to all players in all tournaments and meetings sanctioned or required to be sanctioned by Tennis Alberta. Further, the Code of Conduct applies in all places and at all times on the tournament site, not simply on court during a match.

All players have a duty to encourage and to maintain the highest standard of good sportsmanship, courtesy and fair play, and are under an obligation to avoid all unsportsmanlike conduct and any acts or practices which are detrimental to the game.

1. VIOLATIONS OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT

Violations of the Code of Conduct include but are not limited to:

a. Abuse of Balls

Players shall not violently, dangerously or with anger hit, kick or throw a tennis ball while on the grounds of the tournament site except in the reasonable pursuit of a point during a match (including warm-up). For purposes of this rule, abuse of balls is defined as intentionally or recklessly hitting a ball out of the enclosure of the court, hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with disregard of the consequences.

b. Abuse of Racquet or Equipment

Players shall not violently, dangerously or with anger hit, kick or throw a racquet or other equipment within the precincts of the Tournament site. For purposes of this rule, abuse of racquets or equipment is defined as intentionally, dangerously and violently destroying or damaging racquets or equipment or intentionally or violently hitting the net, court, Umpire’s chair or other fixture during a match out of anger or frustration.

c. Physical Abuse

Players shall not at any time physically abuse any official, opponent, spectator or other person within the precincts of the Tournament site. For purposes of this rule, physical abuse is the unauthorized touching of an official, opponent, spectator or other person.

d. Verbal Abuse

Players shall not at any time verbally abuse an official, opponent, spectator or other person within the precincts of the Tournament site. Verbal abuse is defined as a statement directed at an official, opponent, spectator or other person that implies dishonesty or is derogatory, insulting or otherwise abusive.

e. Audible Obscenity

A player shall not use an audible obscenity while on-site. Audible obscenity is defined as the use of words commonly known and understood to be profane and uttered clearly and loudly enough to be heard.

f. Visible Obscenity

Players shall not make obscene gestures of any kind while on-site. Visible obscenity is defined as the making of signs by a player with hands and/or racquet or balls that commonly have an obscene meaning.

g. Delay of Play

A player who fails to respect the time limit between points (25 seconds), on changeovers (90 seconds) or on set breaks (120 seconds), or a receiver who fails to play to the reasonable pace of the server is subject to a time violation (see article 3 of the Code of Conduct, “Time Violations”). Time Violations have their own separate penalty schedule which does not intersect with the Point Penalty System for violations of the Code of Conduct. However, certain situations that delay play are treated under the Delay of Play provision of the Code of Conduct and are thus penalized using the Point Penalty System described below in article 2 of the Code of Conduct. These situations include:

i. When an official judges that the receiver is employing “gamesmanship” in purposely delaying the reasonable pace of the server.

ii. When, after receiving a time violation for playing too slowly, a player still is not ready to play after the next 25 seconds. In other words, except in the case of delay in resuming play after an authorized rest period or in the case of an emergency toilet break during a game or before the opponent’s serve, two time violations will not be issued consecutively as part of the same situation; the second violation will be treated as a violation of the Delay of Play provision of the Code of Conduct.

iii. When, after being instructed to play by an official (e.g., in order to end an overly long discussion), a player is not ready to play within the next 25 seconds.

iv. When there is a delay in the resumption of play following a medical time-out or medical treatment

v. When a player who has been given permission to leave the court on his/her own time for an additional toilet break (e.g., a second toilet break for a male or a third toilet break for a female) fails to resume play within the normal time limits (e.g., within 25 seconds between games, 90 seconds on a changeover or 120 seconds on a set break).

vi. When a player who has been given permission to leave the court to find another racquet fails to resume play within the normal time limits (e.g., within 90 seconds on a changeover or within 120 seconds on a set break).

h. Best Efforts

A player shall use his best efforts during the match when competing in a Tournament.

i. Coaches and Parents

Players shall not receive coaching during a Tournament match. Communications of any kind, audible or visible, between a player and a coach shall be construed as coaching. Coaches and parents on-site are prohibited from:

i. Using an audible obscenity or making obscene gestures of any kind;

ii. Abusing any official, opponent, spectator or other person, verbally or physically;

iii. Engaging in conduct contrary to the integrity of the Game of Tennis.

In circumstances that are flagrant and particularly injurious to the success of a Tournament, the Referee shall have the authority to relocate the position of a coach if there is reasonable belief that coaching is occurring, or the Referee may order the Coach or Parent to be removed from the match site or Tournament site and upon his failure to comply with such order, may declare an immediate default of such player.

j. Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Players shall at all times conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner and give due regard to the authority of officials and the rights of opponents, spectators and others. Unsportsmanlike conduct is defined as any misconduct by a player that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the success of a Tournament, and/or the sport. In addition, unsportsmanlike conduct shall include, but not be limited to, the giving, making, issuing, authorizing or endorsing any public statement having, or designed to have, an effect prejudicial or detrimental to the best interest of the Tournament and/or the officiating thereof.

k. Improper Attire

Every player shall dress and present himself for play in proper attire as designated by the Tournament Committee and/or with the regulations of the host club. A player who violates this section may be ordered by the Chair Umpire or Referee to change his attire or equipment immediately. Failure of a player to comply with such order may result in an immediate default.

l. Entering a tournament and then failing to appear without adequate reason and valid notice.

m. Entering two tournaments in the same time period without prior permission of both Tournament Referees.

n. Defaulting in a tournament or match except as a result of personal injury or other valid reason.

o. Associating with professional gamblers.

p. Betting or acting as a bookmaker on matches.

q. Accepting money or other consideration for losing a match or winning by a particular margin.

2. THE POINT PENALTY SYSTEM

The Point Penalty Schedule to be used for the violations set forth above is as follows:

FIRST OFFENSE……………………………… WARNING
SECOND OFFENSE…………………………. POINT PENALTY
THIRD AND EACH SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE………………….GAME PENALTY

However, after the third Code Violation, the Referee shall determine whether each subsequent offense shall constitute a default. In the case of a serious violation of the Code of Conduct, a player may be subject to an immediate default without going through the individual steps of the Point Penalty System. In doubles, the Point Penalty Schedule applies to the team rather than to the individual members of the team.

Note: It is not necessary to report “Warnings” (ROM) to the sanctioning Association. Report only the issuance of “Point Penalties”, “Game Penalties” and “Defaults”.

3. TIME VIOLOATIONS

i. A maximum of twenty-five (25) seconds shall elapse from the moment the ball goes out of play at the end of the point until the time that the ball is struck for the first serve of the next point. If such serve is a fault, then the second serve must be struck by the server without delay.

ii. When changing ends, a maximum of ninety (90) seconds shall elapse from the moment the ball goes out of play at the end of the game until the time that the ball is struck for the first serve of the Next game. If such first serve is a fault, the second serve must be struck by the server without delay. However, after the first game of each set and during a tie-break, play shall be continuous and the players shall change ends without a rest period.

iii. At the conclusion of each set, regardless of the score, there shall be a set break of a maximum of two minutes (120 seconds) from the moment the ball goes out of play at the end of the set until the time that the first serve is struck for the next set. If such first serve is a fault, the second serve must be struck by the server without delay.

iv. The receiver shall play to the reasonable pace of the server and shall be ready to receive within a reasonable time of the server being ready to serve.

v. Any delay in the resumption of play following an authorized rest period between the second and third sets shall subject a player to consecutive Time Violations.

vi. An emergency toilet break during a game or before the opponent’s serve shall subject a player to consecutive Time Violations. The first violation of this section shall be penalized by a Time Violation warning and then each subsequent, but (except in the case of delay in resuming play after an authorized rest period (paragraph v above) or in the case of an emergency toilet break during a game or before the opponent’s serve (paragraph vi above)) non-consecutive, violation shall be penalized by the assessment of one (1) Time Violation point penalty. In the case of delay in resuming play after an authorized rest period (paragraph v above) or in the case of an emergency toilet break during a game or before the opponent’s serve (paragraph vi above), consecutive Time Violations will be imposed. In the latter instance (emergency toilet break), the number of consecutive Time Violations that a player may receive is limited: the clock will be running from the moment the player leaves the court until he/she is due to serve next. Therefore the maximum penalty is the loss of the game in progress (if serving) plus the next game (the opponent’s service game). It should be noted that Time Violation penalties do not form part of the Point Penalty System for Code of Conduct violations described in Section 2 above. For example, a player that violates the 25 second maximum between points in the third game of a set will receive a Time Violation, Warning; if the player does it again in the sixth game he/she will receive a Time Violation, Point Penalty, and so forth irrespective of any Code of Conduct violations that may have occurred. Note that, except when late in resuming play after an authorized rest period (paragraph v of this section and Tournament Regulation 9) or in the context of an emergency toilet break during a game or before the opponent’s serve (paragraph vi of this section and Tournament Regulation 17), in the case of consecutive Time Violations, the Code of Conduct and its Point Penalty System apply. For example, a player that receives a Time Violation, Warning for exceeding the 25 second maximum between points, but then is not ready to play after an additional 25 seconds (a consecutive violation of the 25 second rule), will receive a Code Violation for Delay of Play; the appropriate penalty will depend on if the player has any previous Code of Conduct violations in the match.

4. DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS

Violation of the Tennis Canada Code of Conduct may subject the offending player to disciplinary action.

5. DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES

The Tournament Committee shall forward a written report to the sanctioning body (Provincial Association or Tennis Canada) within five (5) days after the completion of the tournament. The report shall include:

a) A list of players who received penalties beyond a warning (i.e., point penalties and disqualifications), the type of infraction, and the recommended assessment of Suspension Points, as per Article 5 below; and

b) A list of players demonstrating disciplinary problems, misbehaviour on and off the court, and other problems that involve the recommendation of Suspension Points, as per Article 6 below, other than incidents handled through the Point Penalty System.

6. SUSPENSIONS AND SUSPENSION POINTS

As indicated in Article 5 above, serious disciplinary problems or infractions in a tournament may necessitate the submission of a recommendation of the assessment of Suspension Points (SP) to the tournament’s sanctioning body (Tennis Canada, in the case of national tournaments; the provincial association, in the case of provincial tournaments).

Forthwith upon receiving the report and recommendation noted in Article 5 above, the sanctioning body shall decide whether or not to assess SP against the player and shall promptly notify the player in writing of its decision. The player may appeal the assessment of SP in writing to the Disciplinary Committee of the sanctioning body within 4 business days of receiving written notification of the assessment from the sanctioning body. The decision of the Disciplinary Committee of the sanctioning body shall be final and there shall be no appeal from its decision. In the event the player is not a resident of the province in which the infraction took place, the decision shall be immediately reported to the Provincial Association of the place of residence of the player.

Any SP that is assessed will remain in effect for a period of 52 weeks after the date of the infraction. The assessment of three or more SP within a 52 week period will result in the suspension of the player. If a player accumulates three suspension points within a 52 week timeframe, and receives a suspension, those points are not erased until 52 weeks after each point was received. If, after the end of the suspension period, additional suspension points are received, once again bringing the total to three or more suspension points, another suspension period will result. In assessing player suspensions, Provincial Associations should be cognizant of the age of the player, the circumstances under which the suspension points were issued, and the severity of the infractions.

The following table of suggested suspension periods is provided as aguideline. Provincial Associations may modify these guidelines as they see fit. Infractions that are particularly egregious may warrant longer suspension periods.

Player
1st Suspension
2nd Suspension
3rd Suspension

Junior
2 – 6 weeks
4 – 24 weeks
12+ weeks

Open/Senior
4 – 12 weeks
8 – 24 weeks
24+ weeks

The suspension will be imposed by the Provincial association in which the player resides. The length of the suspension will be determined by that sanctioning body which shall notify the player in writing within 4 business days by way of Registered Mail, including the following:

the length and reason for the suspension
the player’s right to appeal, and the process thereof; and
a statement that should the player not appeal within 4 business days after receiving notice of the suspension, the suspension will begin 10 days after the date the notice was mailed.

A suspension and/or the length of a suspension may be appealed to the Disciplinary Committee of that sanctioning body within a period of 4 business days after the player receives written notice of the suspension. The Disciplinary Committee must hear and rule on the appeal within 4 business days following receipt by the Provincial Association of the player’s appeal. The decision of the Disciplinary Committee of that sanctioning body shall be final and there shall be no appeal from its decision. A player may continue to participate in all sanctioned events following his/her commencement of an appeal, until the appeal has been disposed of, and the decision communicated to the player.

A player suspended by his or her Provincial association will be ineligible to compete in national tournaments during the duration of the suspension. Players suspended by Tennis Canada for offenses in national tournaments will be ineligible to compete in provincial tournaments for the duration of the national suspension. Tennis Canada and each provincial association shall recognize the suspensions imposed by each other. A player suspended by Tennis Canada or by a Provincial association shall thus be ineligible to compete in a sanctioned tournament of Tennis Canada or of any province which has adopted the procedures herein.

Retroactivity. Each Provincial association that adopts these procedures shall recognize any suspension points which had been previously imposed in that province, as well as any suspensions which had been imposed by Tennis Canada or by any of the other provinces which have adopted these procedures. To enable each sanctioning body to be aware of the suspension status of all players, each sanctioning body shall within five (5) days following the imposition of a suspension, notify the Manager of Officiating for Tennis Canada. The Manager of Officiating shall ensure that information regarding the suspension status of players is available to all sanctioning bodies.