Playing Rules


Booking Courts

Courts may be booked for the following purposes only:

  1. Club Tournaments and League Matches
  2. Professional coaching sessions
  3. Men’s/Ladies Team Practice nights
  4. Floodlit Club Tennis nights
  5. Winter Floodlit casual tennis
  6. Tournament/Club Matches approved by the Management/Tennis Committees

See the Noticeboard for details of booking rules.

Club League Teams

The Club enters a number of teams in the Kent, East Kent and Maidstone & District Leagues for the summer and winter seasons.  These teams include Men's, Ladies, Mixed, Combi, Veterans and Juniors.  Members interested in playing should notify the Club Captain.

Club Tennis

Club Tennis is for Seniors and Juniors over 18 years of age, and for Juniors less than 18 years of age who have been awarded Club Colours.

DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS, i.e.  April – September, Club Tennis on Wednesday evenings is from 7.00pm - 10.00pm and on Sunday mornings from 10.00am – 1pm. These sessions are run on a 'turn up and play’ basis.

DURING THE WINTER MONTHS, i.e. October – March, arrangements for the Sunday sessions, 10.00am - 1.00pm, are run on the same basis as the summer months.  However, the Wednesday evening sessions, which are played under floodlights, are organised on a rota basis for the period 7.30pm to 9.30pm.  Each player is required to pay a fee to cover the cost of the floodlights and tennis balls provided by the Club.  Notification is sent out to members in August/September asking for names of those interested in participating. 

Club Tournaments

In addition to the annual Club Championship, which starts in March and finishes in September on Finals Weekend, the Club holds other Tournaments throughout the year.  Details are posted on the Noticeboard and published in the eNewsletters.


Professional coaching is available at the Club through our partnership with Maidstone Tennis Academy (MTA) for all ages and abilities. Details of coaching are posted on the Club Noticeboard and published in the eNewsletters.

Court Courtesy

If you are not playing a club or tournament match on a booked court, when all the courts are occupied and members are waiting to play, please observe the following Rules.

SINGLES PLAY: If you are playing singles when members arrive and are waiting for a game, you must either:

  1. Invite 2 of the waiting members to join you for a game of Doubles and if others are waiting, play either a short set (first to win 6 games) or for a maximum period of 30 minutes
  2. Complete the set you are playing (but only a short set) and then vacate the court.  If after 30 minutes you have not completed the short set, you must vacate the court.

DOUBLES PLAY: Doubles play has priority over Singles.

If you are playing doubles when members arrive and are waiting for a game, you must either:

  1. Offer the court to the waiting members if you have already been on court for more than 30 minutes
  2. Complete a short set as described above for Singles and vacate the court.

MEMBERS WAITING TO PLAY: Do not hesitate to ask players on the courts (when they are changing ends), how long they have been on court and the current game score.  If there are less than 4 members waiting for a game, please invite one or more of those leaving the court to join you.  If you encounter problems (e.g. members failing to observe the rules) please inform a member of the Management or Tennis Committees.

Court Dress

At all times when playing at the Club members must wear recognised tennis clothing which can be of any colour including white.  Other clothing, such as jeans and vests are not allowed.  Clothing primarily designed for other sports is not allowed.  No large logos.  Playing on any court bare chested is not allowed.

Footwear must be “appropriate for tennis” and of a type designed not to damage the surface of the court being played on, and can be of any colour including white.  Soles must be non-marking, and must not be ridged or studded.

Please help to maintain our Club’s standards by following the above.  Repeated non-compliance will result in players being asked to leave the court and may ultimately result in suspension from membership


BOOKING A COURT: Courts may be booked for private floodlit play not more than 13 days in advance.

OPERATING THE FLOODLIGHTS: The floodlights on all 5 courts can be switched On/Off using tokens or keys.  However, the keys, which are kept in kitchen, are used for League Matches and organised tennis evenings only.  Members wishing to play on other occasions must use the Tokens; each Token lasts for 30 minutes.

The floodlights on all courts will automatically switch off at 10.00pm, which is the latest time permitted by the Bearsted Parish Council.

ALL COURTS: Instructions for operating the lights on these courts are above the 5 Control Boxes, which are mounted on the wall to the right of the window in the Entrance Hall. The lights on these courts can be operated independently.  A warning light [Red or Green] on the stanchion closest to the entrance gates of Court 1, Courts 2 & 3 and Courts 4 & 5, will come on to indicate that the lights will switch off in three [3] minutes.  When the floodlights switch off, small security floodlights will switch on for several minutes, to provide sufficient illumination on all 5 courts to collect balls/bags etc.

PAYING FOR THE FLOODLIGHTS: The charge for private play is £4 per hour per court [i.e. 2 Tokens].  Members are to place their payment in one of the small brown envelopes [on the shelf below the Phone], write their name, date and the amount on the envelope and put it through the Letterbox in the Entrance Hall [to the left of the Kitchen door].

The Club is therefore relying on the honesty of the members to pay for the use of the floodlights.

Glassware on the Courts

Bottles and glassware (including jugs) must not, under any circumstances, be taken onto the courts.  Plastic jugs and glasses are available in the Clubhouse.


CLUB COLOURS are awarded to Juniors under 18 years of age whose standard of play is good enough for them to participate in ‘Senior’ events.  These include Club League matches, the annual Club Championship Tournament, other Club Tournaments and Club Tennis.  Juniors wishing to apply for Club Colours should contact a member of the Tennis Committee.  

SUPERVISION: Please note the Club recommends that children under the age of 13 are supervised by their parent/carer whilst at a tennis venue, and outside of any venue sessions, such as coaching lessons or tennis camps.

Status on Court

Seniors and Juniors have equal status on the courts except when the courts have been reserved for specific senior or junior events, such as League Matches, Club Tennis, Men’s and Ladies Team Tennis, Junior Tournaments and Club Tournaments.

Reserved Courts

Details of courts reserved for Club Tournaments and League matches, coaching, Club and Junior tennis events are recorded on the Court Booking Sheets, which can be found on the Club website and Noticeboard in the Entrance Hall. One court is reserved every day for Social/Casual play and cannot be reserved by Members for matches.


Last updated: November 2019