Covid Rules of Play 21 July 2020

These guidance notes have been produced incorporating LTA Club guidance appropriate to Marlborough Tennis  - 21 July 2020­.



  1. Government information around social distancing is available here and should be read in full
  2. Guidance can change and restrictions may be reintroduced – please keep up to date


  1. Before leaving home to play tennis, all participants should undergo a self- assessment symptom check for any COVID-19 symptoms using the information on the NHS website
  2. If you are symptomatic or living in a household with someone else who has a possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection you should remain at home and not go out to play tennis, following NHS and PHE guidance on self-isolation
  3. If you have been asked to isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you are a contact of a known COVID-19 case, do not exercise outside your own home or garden and do not exercise with others
  4. If you are in a clinically vulnerable group (e.g. over 70) you can play tennis but should be especially careful and diligent about social distancing and hand hygiene
  5. [UPDATED] If you are classified as clinically extremely vulnerable, from 6 July you can consider playing tennis, always maintaining social distancing and with robust hand and respiratory hygiene. Further guidance is available here, which will be updated further from 1 August as the Government pauses shielding.


  1. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before leaving home to go to the court (use an alcohol gel if washing hands is not possible)
  2. Arrive at the venue changed and ready to play, and shower at home – even when the changing facilities are opened use of these should be avoided where possible
  3. If you have special needs, you may wish to speak to the venue in advance to ensure your needs are accommodated and appropriate facilities are open


  1. Always book a court in advance and make payment online (if pay and play) – please note who you play with as we may ask for individual player names if needed for COVID-19 management
  2. The LTA’s online booking platform has courts that can be booked in over 300 parks and clubs nationwide - the site
  3. Please note that to support NHS Test and Trace, venues and coaches may need to take additional details from you when booking so that they have appropriate temporary records in place to assist this service 


  1. Take hand sanitizer with you
  2. Use your own equipment where possible. Equipment such as rackets can be shared, but where this happens ensure thorough cleaning before and after use. Players should not share items such as towels.
  3. Only take the minimum amount of equipment with you that you need to play
  4. Clean and wipe down your equipment, including racquets and water bottles before and after use
  5. Bring a full water bottle, and do not share food or drink with others
  6. Ensure you take all your belongings with you at the end of the session and do not leave anything on court


  1. Arrive as close as possible to when you need to be there
  2. Use alcohol gel after touching any court gates, fences, benches, etc, and avoid doing so where possible
  3. Allow others to leave before you enter the court - if you need to wait then do so away from the courts and clear of the gates
  4. Ensure you leave the court before the end of your allotted time so that it is empty for the next players
  5. Avoid congregating on or around the court after playing


  1. When onsite toilet facilities are open, players are advised to take particular care when using them and clean hands thoroughly after use and please wipe down surfaces after use
  2. Avoid using changing rooms where possible
  3. Respect social distancing having a post playing refreshment




  1. [UPDATED] Both singles play and doubles play is permitted with people from outside of your household, as long as you remain 2 metres apart as far as possible – meaning that four people from different households can play doubles. This is the case on both outdoor and indoor courts.
  2. [UPDATED] Coached sessions for children should be limited to groups of no more than 15 children (plus coach(es), and can take place on outdoor or indoor (from 25 July) courts, in line with guidance from the Department of Education on out of school settings.
  3. [NEW] Coached sessions for adults may now take place in larger groups provided that venues and coaches follow COVID-19 secure guidance, on outdoor or indoor (from 25 July) courts. This is in line with Government guidance on organising outdoor sport and physical activity events and for providers of grassroots sport and gym/leisure facilities.
  4. [UPDATED] Club nights and social play activity are now possible for venues that are COVID-19 secure, in line with guidance from Government on large sport and physical activity outdoor participation events.
  5. [NEW] The LTA recommends no more than 12 players on one full-size tennis court and surrounding areas at any one time, in order to ensure social distancing can be maintained at all times. Most tennis sessions will have far less than this number per court, but a scenario where this may apply is red stage tennis for children.
  6. Players are advised to limit their interactions with anyone outside of the group they are attending the venue with (e.g. players on another court or in a different coaching group)
  7. Players should continue to maintain social distancing from those that they do not live with or are in a support bubble with


Other than where players are from the same household or part of a support bubble, follow Government advice on staying alert and safe, and:

  1. Stay at least two metres away from other players (including during play as far as possible, when taking breaks and before and after play)
  2. Do not make physical contact with other players (such as shaking hands or high five)
  3. Avoid chasing the ball down to another court if other players are using it
  4. For doubles, consider agreeing in advance which player will take the shot if a ball travels to the centre of the court
  5. For coached sessions, pay careful attention to the instructions of the coach


  1. Hand hygiene is imperative - hand sanitise at intervals if you have to touch communal surfaces
  2. If you need to sneeze or cough, do so into a tissue or upper sleeve
  3. Avoid touching your face


  1. If players wish to, they can choose to use their own marked tennis balls
  2. If you choose to use shared balls then extra care must be taken to ensure you do not touch your face during play, and you should clean your hands before play and immediately after finishing (use alcohol gel if required)
  3. Players should still avoid using their hands to pick up tennis balls from other courts where possible - use your racquet/foot to return them as those players may have decided to use their own marked tennis balls
  4. Avoid using other equipment such as courtside benches, where possible


  1. Where attendance of a parent/guardian (non-participant) is required, or a carer for a disabled player, it is permitted and is not counted as part of the maximum group size, but should be off court and limited to one per player where possible
  2. Parents, and other spectators should remain socially distanced whilst attending events. Spectator groups must be restricted to discrete six person gathering limits and spread out, in line with wider government guidance


  1. LTA Local Tennis Leagues, LTA Youth Box Leagues and internal singles and doubles box leagues/ladders can be played, adhering to the guidelines
  2. LTA approved competitions (Grade 6) such as Matchplays and County & District Leagues can now take place outdoors, in line with the Government’s guidance on organising outdoor sport and physical activity participation events.
  3. Friendly matches between Clubs/Counties, Team Challenge, Quorn Family Tennis Cup and Internal Club Competition can also now restart outdoors in line with the Government’s guidance.