Code of Behaviour
What is it?
The Code of Behaviour replaces the ‘Events Disciplinary Policy’ that regulates behaviour breaches related to and during tournaments and weekly competitions in Australia.
Code of Behaviour Changes – Effective 1 March 2013
These changes are to be read in conjunction with the existing Code of Behaviour and will be incorporated into the overall document in the near future. The basis of these changes are –
- Extension to clause 5 Unsportsmanlike Conduct – the definition of unsportsmanlike conduct has been expanded to include matters of Tennis Etiquette or Culture in addition to situations involving excessive noise across a Tournament site, overt player celebrations consistently directed at opponents, sledging, intimidation and the like. Additionally we have included a specific section in unsportsmanlike conduct regarding line calling which provides for the application of a Code Violation where players are consistently making poor line calls and not playing within the spirit of sport /and or the provisions contained within Rules for matches played without a Chair Umpire.
- Spectator Interference – This clause in the Code of Behaviour [moves into standard code violations] has significantly changed effectively making players responsible for the behaviour and conduct of their entourage and support team at tournaments. Whilst Officials will be required to resolve Spectator issues where possible off court a range of penalties both during a tournament and post tournament are available. The major 2 are (a) application of Code Violation(s) to players on court where spectators disrupt or interfere with matches (b) post tournament action involving the player and offending spectator intimately leading to the possible non acceptance of a players tournament entries for a period of time.
Why is it changing?
We are committed to protecting the integrity of tennis and ensuring we provide a healthy and positive environment for players to compete in. Improving the behaviour of players and spectators at tournaments and competitions is a major element of this.
What are the major changes?
There are two major changes to the existing regulations.
We have tightened the way behaviour violations are dealt with on court by tennis officials by introducing the ‘Three Strikes policy’:
- 1st offence Code Violation
- 2nd offence Point Penalty
- 3rd offence Match Default
As you can see, the term ‘warning’ no longer exists in the formal on-court process for dealing with behaviour breaches.
As code violations are enforced, players will receive disciplinary points – and when disciplinary point levels reach three (3) or more, automatic disciplinary actions are activated. Aside from suspension penalties, these automatic actions also include loss of Australian Rankings points.
To understand when and how these automatic actions are enforced, please refer to the attached Code of Behaviour regulations under the Penalties section.
What happens with demerit points from the old system?
As of 26 June 2009 demerit points from the old system will be erased, and all players will be start with a clean slate.
Any queries on the new system should be directed to Tennis Australia or your Member Association. A contact list is available in the Code of Behaviour: Tournaments and Weekly Competitions.