Various thoughts that we will add to as time goes by:
1. Re: court nets, get the best nets you can. Wilson makes a great net, for one. And consider taking down that percentage of them that you will not use during the winter/summer (depending on your weather conditions locally). Rotate the nets to get the best life out of them. Expect to replace them every five to seven years, probably. Yes, you see nets last longer…if so, good on you. But we’re just sayin’, that’s our experience.
2. Same with hardware. All brass, best stuff. Don’t get hardware for raising and lowering the nets that requires a removable handle – that’s not only old-school but you’ll never have the handle when you want it.
3. BTW, keep a push broom nearby. Not only to sweep off the courts but also mark it as 34″ from the bottom of the handle and 36″. Thereby you have a built-in net-measuring tool around when you need it.
4. Re: fencing, make sure the mesh is open enough to allow people to hang paddles on it. Anything smaller it’s too hard to see through.
5. We like eight-foot outside perimeter and four-foot inside perimeter for our fencing.
6. We also like gates almost everywhere. If you have to go through a court to get to another court, that’s either bad design or you’ve got a difficult location. Re: the latter, try to have the landlocked courts gated on two or three sides so even if you have to enter through another court you may be able to find one of the two or three adjoining vacant for a moment.
7. Sometimes simple openings between courts can work. These can be made at the netline, or sometimes the inner perimeter fencing can be shortened to allow access and egress. However, don’t assume this is as good as gating the openings. It isn’t, and you won’t be sorry if you have more gates rather than less.
8. Fencing should be raised two full inches above the ground, primarily so you can blow leaves and debris off the court without the stuff getting caught up in the bottom of the fence.
9. More on this – tie the bottoms to a bottom rail. If you leave the fence untethered at the bottom it will open up at some point and act like a foot trap. Wait until you see what a bottom fence can do to someone’s foot if it isn’t tied off and you’ll wish you’d done otherwise.
10. Don’t use pressure washers on the courts. Use water brooms.
11. Make sure there is a water spigot every two or three courts, otherwise you will have to run 100 feet of hose from place to place or even more. The water does not have to be potable for this purpose, but make sure if it is not that it’s well-identified as non-potable water.
12. Re: wiring…when the courts are being built, if it’s new construction, have conduit run underground for speaker wire, coax for dedicated wi-fi or cameras if necessary (lots of courts are built where there is not good internet connectivity natively for wifi and you may have to hard-wire to a router), electrical (for lighting along the fences) and other purposes. More is better than less. Much cheaper to do conduit even if you do not eventually need it than to need it, not have it, and try to retrofit.
13. Oh, almost forgot…remember to “dress” the tops of your interior perimeter fences with split corrugated pipe. (See picture, below.)
14. PA Systems are a necessity for tournaments. If you do nothing else in your wiring under the courts, do (first) electrical and (second) speaker wire to everywhere imaginable. You will have to fidget with your PA System to make it work well. Remember to have that particular conduit run go back to where you will have your command center for the tournament, or nearby, at least.Overall Site Map
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