General information for using the club:

Code of Conduct  |  Balls  |  The Bar  |  Club play  |  Dress Code  |  Facilities for the disabled  |  Floodlights  |  Guests  |  Keys  |  Security


Code of Conduct

Bristol Central Tennis Club is, we hope, a sociable friendly club, please help us to keep it that way by:

  • 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.


Other info:


The club provides balls for club play and matches. When you have finished the set please make sure you have left the four balls on court for use by the next players. If no one is waiting to play, or at the end of the evening, bring the balls in and put them back into their container. If no one is left to lock the balls away please either give them to the person on bar duty, or if the bar isn’t open, put them in one of the drawers in the kitchen. Balls for use when organising your own games can be purchased from the bar.


The bar is not staffed, but in addition to the bar steward about 20 members are holders of bar keys. Most evenings the bar will get opened, but if not ask around if you’d like a drink. There will nearly always be a key holder there. Non-members who wish to purchase alcoholic drinks must follow the regulations set out in the Visitor’s Book. There are periodic social events, such as the end of summer league party, and a Christmas party held after the AGM in December.

Club Play

Play a seven game set in the selected four and then come off and allow the next set to start their game. On busy evenings you may find you have to wait a short time between sets but the break gives you valuable socialising and drinking time! If there are only a few people at club play please ensure that you mix in so that everybody gets a game and the same people don’t always play together.

Dress Code

The Club dress code is not strict but we do ask that members keep to recognised and suitable standards of sporting attire – no football shirts, please. In order to protect the surface of the all-weather court, footwear must be rubber soled (not black), without cleats, spikes, raised heels or ribbing.

Facilities for the Disabled

When the clubhouse was renovated in 1999, it was done so with facilities for the disabled in mind. We have a changing room for the disabled complete with toilet and shower. Please also note our coach Kerris specialised in coaching the disabled whilst at University.


PLEASE TURN OFF THE FLOODLIGHTS when play has finished!

Following the installation of new LED lighting in April 2020, the lights can be switched on and off as required – there is no warm-up or cool-down period, unlike the old-fashioned lights we had before!

Courts 1 to 3 must be turned off by 10:30 pm and court 4 by 10:00 pm – thanks everyone. Please note that the lights have been pre-set to switch off automatically at these curfew times.


If you bring a visitor to play tennis at the club, please enter the details in the Visitors Book and follow the instructions on the front of the book regarding payment of the fee (£3.00 per visit). This is a special arrangement for infrequent visitors only (no more than six visits per individual per year). Please refer to the instructions in the Visitors Book concerning non-members buying alcoholic drinks. This also applies to non playing guests (i.e. those not required to pay a Visitor Fee), who wish to purchase alcoholic drinks.


Members are advised to obtain a key for the club gate and clubhouse for which a £20 deposit is payable – refundable as and when key returned.  Keys must be returned within 28 days of cessation of membership otherwise we reserve the right to re-use the deposit to the benefit of all club members.


The clubhouse is protected by a security alarm. Please ensure you are aware of the procedure for entering and leaving the club – a committee member will be happy to go over this with you if necessary. It is important that you know the alarm code before unlocking the Club House. On leaving the Club House, make sure the bar is locked up, the garden door closed and the kitchen door locked before setting the alarm and locking the main entrance door behind you. As you walk down towards the gate, ensure the changing room and disabled toilet doors are all locked.