About Facility Assistance
January 1, 2017
How many tennis courts do we need to build at our facility?
Studies indicate that facilities should be planned based on the number of players within 6 miles or 15-20 minutes of driving time from the site – consider the population in this radius. A good “rule of thumb” is that most markets can support one court for every 10,000 people.
You should also consider the number of other tennis courts available to this population, the popularity of tennis in the community, tennis programming planned to take place on the courts, amount and length of play by tennis players.
Large projects and community tennis planning should consider conducting a feasibility study to identify, quantify and analyze demographic factors to determine the appropriate number of courts.
How wide should our facilities’ gates, doors, and paths be to accommodate wheelchair tennis players?
Athletic wheelchairs require a wider entry than that which the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires.
The reason for this is because athletic wheelchairs’ wheels splay at the bottom. Appropriate gates and doorways should be 4’ wide.
In addition, you should consider your paths to the courts. 6’ wide paths are recommended; 4’ wide paths are considered a minimum.
Check with federal, state, and local codes for additional information on ADA requirements and accessibility information specific to your area.
What are potential tennis court surfaces for our facility?
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has adopted the following standard classification of tennis court surfaces:
Surface Code: A
Description: Textured, pigmented, resin-bound coating
Surface Code: B
Type: Artificial Clay^
Description: Synthetic surface with the appearance of clay
Surface Code: C
Type: Artificial Grass*
Description: Synthetic surface with the appearance of natural grass
Surface Code: D
Description: Bitumen-bound aggregate
Surface Code: E
Description: Textile or polymeric surface supplied in rolls or sheets of finished product
Surface Code: F
Description: Unbound mineral aggregate
Surface Code: G
Description: Cement-bound aggregate
Surface Code: H
Description: Natural grass
Surface Code: J
Description: e.g., Modular systems (tiles)
Notes: All surfaces may be porous or non-porous, with the exception of “clay,” which is always porous.
* Normally forms only the uppermost few millimeters of a court.
^ “Appearance” relates only to the form of the surface material and not to other characteristics (e.g., color)
# Used only when the material itself forms the playing surface. When used as a base for other surfaces (e.g., acrylic), reference will be made only to the playing surface.
@ This term denotes a class of natural surfaces that include a fine gritty material as the uppermost (playing) layer (e.g., fast dry).
What is the rule about 36- and 60-foot courts?
The USTA has passed new rules governing competition for 10-and-under tennis tournaments. The new rules require that 10-and-under tournaments be played using slower-moving and lower-bouncing balls, on smaller courts and utilizing shorter, lighter racquets. The rule change follows the International Tennis Federation's rule change and will take effect on January 1, 2012. It will apply to all USTA-sanctioned events for children 10-and-under.
The specifications for the revised system hold that all tournaments for those ages 9-10 be played on 60-foot courts using orange low-compression tennis balls and regulation nets or, for those more experienced and more skilled players, on 78-foot courts with green lower-compression balls. Tournaments for those 8 and under are to be played on 36-foot courts using red foam balls and nets at a height of 2 feet, 9 inches.
Do colleges allow blended lines on their courts?
Yes. The ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association, the governing body of men’s and women’s collegiate tennis) Division I Operating committee has taken the lead in revising this regulation and in embracing 36’ and 60’ tennis. Approved on 5/24/2010, the revised ITA Court Regulation states "The playing surface shall be of hard court construction, designed specifically for tennis, and coated with a recognized tennis surface. The only lines on the playing surface shall be standard tennis court lines, including USTA approved 36’ and 60’ (QuickStart) lines within the same color family as the interior court."
Are courts with blended lines authorized for professional play?
Currently, courts with permanent 10 and Under Tennis lines and standard line markings (sometimes referred to as "blended lines"), are not authorized for professional play unless approved in advance by the USTA. Courts with permanent blended lines may be used as practice courts only. This should be a factor when considering how many courts are dedicated to permanent line markings. To host a USTA Pro Circuit event, you must maintain an adequate number of match play courts according to the draw size of the event.
Also, these courts are not authorized for ITF Junior events.