Why do you have to be quiet in tennis?

It’s so fun and exciting to follow thrilling gameplay. Yelling, applauding, or even dancing is a way of expression anyone can do in soccer matches. On the other hand, tennis fans strive to stay silent. 

Why do you have to be quiet in Tennis? It’s a unique and attractive point of this gentlemen’s sport. Let’s find out why.

Why do you have to be quiet in tennis?
Why do you have to be quiet in tennis?

Can You Ever Cheer or Applaud? 

Yes. There is no official regulation that you cannot cheer or applaud during matches. In tournaments like Davis Cup, audiences can make noise during gameplay. They also celebrate victory with excitement and shouting.

However, it is an unwritten rule among tennis fans that they should keep silent when athletes are serving. Before each serving, the committee will require the audience to stay quiet. 

Why Do You Have To Be Quiet In Tennis?

The crowd energy will affect athlete spirit in positive and negative ways. It will cheer athletes up, make them happy, and help them stay active during matches. Otherwise, the noise interrupts their concentration.

A tennis ball flies at 100 miles per hour on average. It requires athletes to focus on gameplay. Besides, athletes practice in a quiet environment, so noisy crowds may annoy them, requiring them to adapt.

This unwritten rule came from Spalding’s Lawn Tennis Annual, issued in 1923, about traditions and recaps of previous seasons. Since then, it has become an etiquette of this sport.

Nowadays, Tennis players get used to the noise when playing. They understand their fans’ love and support and accept it. Sometimes, they will respond to interact with their fans.


What Sports Do You Have To Be Quiet?

There are several sports where you must be quiet or maintain a certain level of silence. Some examples include Golf, Bowling, Archery, Shooting, Snooker, and pool.

These sports require athletes to focus on gameplay. Any external noise can distract them and impact their results. 

Like Tennis, there is no official regulation about this matter in these sports. The silence is an unwritten rule to show fans’ respect for the players.

Hand-shaking is a tennis etiquette

What Is Proper Tennis Etiquette?

Many tennis etiquettes are written and unwritten in Tennis.

As an audience, you must respect the server. It would be best to remain quiet when players are prepared to serve to avoid distracting them. 

It’s better to stay calm and enjoy the game. According to Wimbledon guidelines, aggressive or offensive behavior or racist language is forbidden. Although it’s allowed in soccer, taking your shirt off is a violation in Tennis.

If you violate the rules, the tournament committee may ask you to leave the court in this case.

Athletes are under stricter supervision. They must follow these 5 etiquettes.

  1. Enter and exit the court at the appropriate times: It’s important to wait until the players have finished a point before entering or exiting the court. When walking on the court, take the shortest path possible to get to your destination. 
  2. Let your opponent get to the ball: If a ball from your court lands on your opponent’s court, do not try to retrieve it for them. Please wait for your opponent to get to the ball themselves. 
  3. Call the ball fairly: If you are unsure whether it was in or out or if it hit the net, always give your opponent the benefit of the doubt. 
  4. Don’t make unnecessary noise: Avoid making any noise, such as grunting or shouting, as it can distract your opponent and other players on nearby courts. 
  5. Don’t argue with the umpire: If you disagree with a call made by the referee, try to discuss it with them calmly. Avoid getting into arguments or losing your temper. Proper tennis etiquette is about respecting your opponent, the game, and those around you.

What Can You Not Do In Tennis? 

You cannot do several things in Tennis. If you are a player, you cannot touch the net, or you will lose a point. The score is counted even if your clothing or racquet makes contact with the net.

It is not allowable to hit the ball twice. When it’s not your serve, you are supposed to observe the ball and hit it properly. Otherwise, say goodbye to a point.

Tennis is a gentle sport. Its players always join the game with respect and gentlemen. Interfering with opponents is not proper etiquette and sportsmanship.

If you delay the game intentionally, such as taking too long between points or games, the referee will warn you. If you commit this offense more than once in a match, you will be penalized 1 point for your opponent.

Foul language or unsportsmanlike conduct is also forbidden. It is considered extreme behavior, adversely affects opponents, and shows disrespect to opponents, spectators, and referees.

The audience in Tennis should maintain proper etiquette. They must keep silent during points and serving. You are allowed to use a smartphone and camera to take photos and record the game. Yet, flash photography can distract players and impact their sight.

Soccer fans can yell, “On the right,” “Shoot,” “Block him,” etc., but tennis fans cannot coach the players when the game starts. It’s rude to yell during the match. The committee can ask you to leave because it is against the rules of Tennis. 

You can throw gifts to your favorite skating athlete when the game ends. It’s an act of love and support. But it’s not allowed in Tennis.

Drinking champagne on Tennis court

Can You Drink Alcohol At Tennis Matches? 

It’s free to have food and drink while enjoying thrilling tennis matches. It could be a cup of Coke, orange juice, soda, etc. For alcohol, it depends on the tournament you join. 

According to Wimbledon guidelines, you can bring wine, champagne, beer, and premixed drinks into the grounds with a limitation. However, they are allowed to consume them in some specific areas.

In the US Open, French Open, and Australian Open tournaments, alcohol is not allowed.

Alcohol can cause extreme actions such as screaming, yelling, and other inappropriate behaviors. Although limiting the amount of consumption is also a method, authentic athletes and spectators believe that Tennis is a gentle sport. Hence, alcohol is usually forbidden.

Is Tennis A Rich Man’s Sport? 

Tennis has been considered a sport for the wealthy due to the high costs associated with playing and training, equipment, and tournament fees. However, this sport has become more accessible to the general public, with public courts and tennis programs available in many communities.

Many professional tennis players have come from humble backgrounds and have worked their way up in the sport. So while Tennis may have a reputation for being a sport for the rich, anyone can enjoy it with the passion and dedication to play.

A smash in Tennis

Can You Smash In Tennis? 

Yes. A smash is a powerful overhead shot hit straight into the opponent’s court. It is usually hit when the opponent hits a weak lob or high ball. 

Most players in Tennis use the smash as a weapon to force their opponents to retreat defensively. Yet, it does require some skill and timing to execute it properly. 

Some athletes like Rod Laver, Jimmy Connors, and Helena Rice are famous for their powerful smashes.

Is It Legal To Hit A Tennis Ball With Your Hand? 

No, it isn’t. You will lose a point if you touch the ball with your hand.

It happens sometimes when players panic and suddenly use their hands to catch the ball. It’s a dangerous action because the ball flies fast at 100 miles per hour.

Players sometimes intentionally hit the ball into the opponent’s body part or clothes to get a point. It’s not an act of sportsmanship; gentlemen, it does happen.

What Happens If A Ball Falls Out Of Your Pocket In Tennis?

Tennis players put a ball in their pockets for convenience. It’s much easier and faster for players to keep a ball in their pocket than to keep going to the ball hopper or picking up a ball that has gone out of bounds during a match. 

The ball can be conveniently placed in the pocket and quickly retrieved when needed during the match. Players may also put the ball in their pocket when serving to help them hold onto it until they are ready to serve.

If a ball falls out of the pocket, it can be considered a distraction to the opponent. Consequently, the opponent can get a point. If it’s an accident while playing, referees will stop the game and start it over.


It is clear “Why do you have to be quiet in tennis?“. It’s an etiquette of this gentlemen’s sport, showing respect to players.

There are different rules when joining a tennis match. If you are an audience member, you are not allowed to drink alcohol on the court, yell, coach, take flashy photographs, etc.

You are forced to leave the ground if you violate these written and unwritten rules. So, be polite and gentle when watching Tennis.

We Hope you enjoy your time with Tennis.

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