Re: Hard-court Maintenance
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Pete's right about the net tension and washing the courts. After you loosen
the center strap, the net should be tightened so that it feels fairly taut to
the touch. If it is too loose, a hard hit serve or stroke will overpower it
and fall over into the opponents court. I don't think it can be too tight,
but you will notice the balls that hit the net at the "Slams" pop way up into
the air and do not fall into the opposite court as much as they do at indoor
courts. After you have the nets taut, the height should be close to 42
inches, 3 feet outside the singles court side line (That's where the "singles
sticks" would go if you used them--few of us do) and about 40 inches at the
center. Then when you tighten the center strap to bring the net down to 36
inches. The net and net posts will last longer if you release the tension
after play is over. Again, few of us do that and it may not be possible if
the courts are used by the public like they are at schools in Northern VA.
See the comment after USTA Rule 1. Speaking of net posts, if you keep the
moving parts lubricated they will resist rust and last longer too.
You didn't say if the courts had lights. If so, they would need
attention--especially protection from mis-hit balls or vandalism
If you can't wash the courts like Pete says, try to keep them free of as much
foreign matter (Dirt, Leaves, gum, candy, etc.) as possible. Try to keep
kids from riding or skating or playing hockey on the courts. If you contact
the people that just resurfaced your courts, they may give you some stuff to
put on the any gouges you discover.
Wind screens should be kept tight so they don't flap in the wind or they will
fray to pieces. Periodically you should check the fence if vehicles can
drive into it. If the fence posts are loose in the ground, winter weather
will further weaken them by freezing water that seeps in. If the fence gets
damaged, there may be sharp projections that could snag clothing or hurt your
I probably forgot some things but the above ideas should give you a start.
Received on Tue Nov 14 2000 - 09:47:54 CST