October 2017

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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www.spor 38 // October 2017 "It is a great option as an overlay for an older asphalt court for two reasons: it ads cushion and is a middle of the road project price-wise when considering repair vs. reconstruction," notes Loftus. Turf courts are also viewed as excellent options for diffi cult installations, such as those on rooftops. As with turf facilities used for other sports, there are multiple advantages, including the ability to permanently line the facility for play, including youth play. There are also the disadvantages including the warmer playing surface, the need to keep the turf clean of impurities, and the higher cost to repair damages caused by improper use, vandalism, etc. In fact, because of that cost, it is not recommended as a tennis surface in installations that will not be supervised, or which might be subject to vandalism. Other sports on the courts While many fi elds can be marked with lines for other sports (leading to one fi eld with three, four or more sets of lines on it), it's not often one sees a tennis court lined for other play, at least not outside of municipal settings. And there's a reason for that. According to the rules of the sport, courts for sanctioned play must be lined for tennis only, meaning they cannot include lines for basketball or any other sports. (In recent years, however, the rules were relaxed to allow youth tennis lines for shorter court play to appear on a court; however, they cannot appear in white, and it is recommended they be lined in a color that can be seen against the court surface, but will not pose a distraction to players.) If a turf court is set up on a fi eld where other sports are hosted, it is essential the court not only be built using proper dimensions but that all clearances behind baselines and outside sidelines be observed. If net posts will be removed to allow play for other sports, the postholes must be capped to eliminate the risk of injury to fi eld sports players. Maintenance Maintenance of a turf tennis court is not unlike that of a sports fi eld: Preseason maintenance will include looking for standing water (a sign of non- functioning drains) that can result in slick areas, and ascertaining that playing lines are still bright and visible. Regular maintenance includes brushing to make sure infi ll is distributed consistently over the court surface, and to keep the turf fi bers standing up. Periodic watering will assist in compacting the fi ll uniformly and keeping the courts cool for comfortable play. (Just as with a sports fi eld, a turf tennis court will hold heat.) Club courts should be brushed every week to maintain optimal playing quality. Regularly remove debris including leaves, pine needles and more by using a leaf rake and shovel, a leaf collector or a blower. Courts may need to be checked for torn or loose seams, repaired as necessary, and to have algaecide and/or fungicide applied as necessary. Manufacturers of specifi c turf systems will be able to provide directions indigenous to their brands, including instructions for cleaning, stain removal and so forth. Whether it's a new court or a rehab of an existing project, the bottom line is the same: You want a good facility that is going to be enjoyable to use. For this reason, the planning part of your project is as important as the construction. All tennis courts, when built, must conform to the rules of the sport, as promulgated in the U.S. by the United States Tennis Association. (A publication, Tennis Courts: A Construction & Maintenance Manual, is jointly published by the USTA and the American Sports Builders Association, and can provide owners with information regarding design, construction, amenities, accessories, lighting and more.) In addition, invest time wisely by finding the right partner. Seek out a tennis court professional who has worked with turf installations; experience is very important since tennis court construction requires specialized knowledge of the sport and its facilities. /ST/ Mary Helen Sprecher wrote this on behalf of the The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), a non-profi t association helping designers, builders, owners, operators and users understand quality sports facility construction. The ASBA sponsors informative meetings and publishes newsletters, books and technical construction guidelines for athletic facilities including tennis courts and sports fi elds. It also offers voluntary certifi cation programs in sports facility construction and maintenance. Available at no charge is a listing of all publications offered by the Association, as well as the ASBA's Membership Directory. Info: 866-501-ASBA (2722) or

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