Information on how the club runs and is managed:

Code of conduct  |  Making a complaint  |  Resolving differences


Code of Conduct

Bristol Central Tennis Club is, we hope, a sociable friendly club. Please help us to keep it that way by abiding by the following code.

In general:

  • Respect all other members of the club, irrespective of age, gender, ethnicity, colour, religion, sexual orientation, or playing ability, and offer equal opportunity to play to all.  Be sensitive to the feelings of others and endeavour not to offend those feelings.
  • Respect all those who work on the club’s behalf: everything is achieved by people who volunteer their time and energy, so your cooperation and collaboration is very welcome.
  • Respect our neighbours and all those who live nearby. If you must park in Happy Lane, please do so considerately without blocking access to residents’ garages, or other users of the lane.
  • Leave the clubhouse and courts as you would expect to find them – free of litter, clean and tidy, with cups, etc. washed and put away. Use all the equipment in the clubhouse as if it was your own and as if you would be responsible for paying for the replacement.
  • Leave the clubhouse secure, locked up, alarm on, lights and TV off. If you leave the club with the clubhouse unlocked it is your responsibility to make sure that someone else has a key who will lock up after you have gone and to inform them of their responsibility.
  • Well-behaved dogs are allowed at the club. Please don’t allow them on the sofas, and clear up after them, taking any poo bags to an appropriate bin or home with you.

On court:

  • Members must wear appropriate footwear on court and suitable kit for training sessions and matches.
  • Encourage fair play and discourage disputes over line calls. If you cannot agree, offer a let. Offer encouragement not criticism to other players.
  • Do not blaspheme on court or abuse any person, racket or court equipment.
  • Do not practise returns on obviously long serves or hit the ball aggressively when a point is not in play. Retrieve balls for your partner and your opponents. Ensure that the server is kept supplied with balls and be ready to play when the server is ready.
  • Accommodate each player’s needs in ‘warm-ups’. Don’t have a lengthy warm-up if people are waiting for you to finish your game before they can play – keep to 5 minutes or less.
  • Call the score as server, after every point and after every game. All tennis at the club is self-umpiring. If a ball from another court interferes with play on your court, it is better to immediately take the point again than argue whether or not it affected the outcome of that point.
  • During serious competitive play, such as league, spectators should minimise excessive or irritating noise and/or movement when near the players. All mobile phones and other communication devices should be switched off.
  • Please enter courts 3 and 4 via the garden when there is play on courts 1 and 2.
  • Wait for a suitable break in play to: walk behind a court; enter or leave a court; return a stray ball from an adjoining court; retrieve a ball that has gone onto another court.
  • All accidents must be noted in the Accident Report Book. This and a first-aid kit are situated on the bar counter in the clubhouse.
  • Finally, if you are playing for BCTC in a league match or a friendly competition, remember you are also an ambassador for the club and as such you represent the club: be as competitive as you can, of course, but do respect your opponents and be courteous at all times.

How do I make a complaint?

In the event that any tennis member feels that they have suffered inappropriate standards of behaviour by another tennis member, breach of tennis etiquette or club rules in any way, they should follow the procedure set out under “Resolving Differences” below.

Resolving differences

Following club rules (see below):

In the event that any member feels that they have suffered, experienced or witnessed inappropriate behaviour by another member that was in breach of the Club Code of Conduct or Club Rules in any way, they should following the procedures below.

The Complainant should report the matter in writing or by email to the Secretary of the Club, copied to the Chairman. The report should include:

  • Details of what occurred
  • Details of when and where the occurrence took place
  • Any witness details and copies of any witness statements
  • Names of any others who have been treated in a similar way (provided that those people consent to their names being disclosed)
  • Details of any former complaints made about other incidents, including the date and to whom such complaint was made.

The Secretary will inform the person subject to the complaint about the complaint, and ask for their response. If the person holds their hand up, the process stops here. If they don’t, then their side of the story should be invited.

The Chairman will lead an attempt to arbitrate informally, keeping a record and giving an explanation that, if not resolved informally, the process will become a formal review. Only if this informal process fails should the next step be initiated.

If informal arbitration by senior members of the Committee cannot resolve the complaint, the Secretary will convene a Disciplinary Panel. The Panel will consist of the Club Chairman, the Club Secretary and two other members nominated by the Committee (they do not have to be Committee Members).  In the event that the Chairman or Secretary are parties to the dispute then, contrary to what has been stated earlier, they will not be involved in the Panel or in the selection process of Panel members, or in any other role below, other than as a disputee.  Their place will be taken by another senior member of the Committee, chosen by the Committee in the absence of the disputee.

The Disciplinary Panel will agree a date upon which to meet and review the evidence. The party or parties against whom the allegation has been made will be advised of the date of this meeting in writing and will receive 14 days’ notice. (8.6.2).  In serious cases of misconduct the Committee may decide to suspend the party/ies and such suspensions will be notified in writing (8.6.4).

The Secretary will gather all written case evidence, including witness statements and other supporting papers and circulate these to the Panel and to the party/ies who will be given the opportunity to attend the Review Meeting and present their evidence and make representations in person. (8.6.3) The Panel may also invite and interview other parties involved in the incident and/or witnesses. Proceedings of the Review will be minuted.

After reviewing a case the Panel will produce a written report of their findings and make recommendation as to any action felt appropriate. They may recommend one of the following outcomes:

  • No further action, with written reminder of the Club’s policies and expectations of it.
  • No further action, with notice that the matter will remain on file and the club will consider cessation of club membership should there be any future cause for concern in relation to this or any other matter arising.
  • Notice of cessation of Club membership and/or duties either at the end of the current Club year or with immediate effect. Where immediate cessation of Club membership is imposed no refund of membership fees paid will be due.

The Secretary will present the report to the Committee for final decision.

On receipt of the Panel’s report the Committee, who have discretion to depart from the Panel’s recommendations if considered appropriate, will determine the action to be taken. They will either agree with the recommended decision of the Disciplinary Panel or may amend/change the decision. At least two-thirds of the Committee then present must agree on the decision (8.6.3).

The Secretary will write to the party/parties confirming the Panel’s findings and the subsequent Committee decision. The party/ies have the right to appeal against the decision and must submit written notification of this intention with 14 days of the date of the decision letter.

Appeals against decisions made by the Committee must be made in writing to the Club Secretary (8.6.5). The matter will then be put to the Club’s members in general meeting and decided by a majority vote of members present and voting at such meeting.

Appropriate club rules:

8.6.1 Subject to the remaining provisions of this rule, the Committee shall have power to refuse membership or expel a Member only for good and sufficient cause, such as conduct or character likely to bring the Club or the Game into disrepute.  Expulsion may also be considered if a Member flagrantly and repeatedly refuses to follow the Club Code of Conduct as agreed and displayed in the Club by the Committee.

8.6.2 A Member shall not be expelled unless he is given 14 days written notice of the meeting of the Committee at which his expulsion shall be considered and written details of the complaint made against him.

8.6.3 The Member shall be given an opportunity to appear before the Committee to answer complaints made against him. The member must not be expelled unless at least two-thirds of the Committee then present vote in favour of his expulsion.

8.6.4 The Committee may exclude the Member from the Club’s premises until the meeting considering his expulsion has been held. For the avoidance of doubt, the member shall be entitled to attend that meeting for the purpose of making his representations.

8.6.5 The Member may appeal against the Committee’s decision by notifying the Committee who shall put the matter to the Club’s members in general meeting and decided by a majority vote of members present and voting at such meeting.]