The Tennis Court Divider
Tennis Court Divider Netting: helping to comply with social distancing
Tennis court dividers are a great addition for every club with adjacent courts. They eliminate play interruption, and even injury, by balls from neighbouring courts.
However, the tennis court divider is now being adopted by many tennis clubs to help comply with social distancing rules and to reassure members that playing tennis at their club is safe.
What is the difference between indoor and outdoor dividers? And what do you need to know before you buy? Read on to find out.
Tennis court divider nettings have been around for many years. They help players focus on their own game and are also an important safety feature, especially for indoor courts and schools. Dividers used to be more common in indoor tennis centres but this is changing as clubs install them on outdoor courts as well.
What are tennis court dividers?
A cable is strung along the division line between two adjacent courts. The divider net is hung with dog clips, one clip every 30 cm, along the cable. Like a curtain, the divider can be pulled open or close as needed.
The net is made from around 1.6mm twine with 45mm loops strong enough to stop even the most powerful serve while at the same time obstructing the view as little as possible.
A good quality divider net is weighted down with a lead line to stop balls from slipping through under the hem.
Ideally a divider net should just be one panel, stretching along the entire length of the court. Any opening, such as a parting in the center, could lead to balls bouncing through this parting.
Advantages of Tennis Court Dividers
Focus - As an intermediate tennis player I often feel a little intimidated when I end up casually hitting balls with my partner while a serious ladder match is being battled out on the adjacent court. I get embarrassed and self-conscious when those very capable players are interrupted by my poor serve shooting into their court.
Time-saving – not having to run after stray balls saves time and energy to make play more fun for everyone. Tennis coaches, and in particular mini tennis coaches, value the time saving of not having to collect tennis balls from courts far away.
Safety - Divider netting serves as ball catcher to protect spectators and other tennis players from ball impact. They are sometimes installed around private courts where a permanent fencing structure may not be ethically pleasing or desired.
Social Distancing - The rules around social distancing for the prevention of the spread of the Covid-19 virus keep changing every week. However, the LTA makes one very important point in their guidelines:
“Tennis venues across the country are all different and operate in different local contexts. Making an assessment of whether a safe exercise environment can be provided depends on a range of factors, which apply differently at each venue. It is the responsibility of each tennis provider, coach and facility to make that assessment based on their local environment.
The LTA guidance for tennis players includes recommendations such as:
“Avoid chasing the ball down to another court if other players are using it” and “Players should avoid using their hands to pick up tennis balls from other courts where possible”. Having tennis courts properly separated by either fences or tennis court divider netting makes following these guidelines much easier.
Indoor vs Outdoor Dividers
Indoor and outdoor divider nettings differ. The majority of divider nettings available in the UK are intended for indoor use only, simply because in the past indoor dividers presented the larger share of the market. The difference is in the type of netting and in the fixtures.
Indoor netting is preferably made from a lighter, finer, less obtrusive nylon netting. It can be hung with standard dog clips.
For outdoor use, we recommend a stronger polypropylene netting. Polypropylene is more UV resistant than nylon and will therefore be more durable when exposed to sunlight. Dog clips and other fixtures need to be anti-rust for outdoor use.
Custom vs Standard Sizing
Tennis court dividers can be ordered in any custom size. However, for a more economical solution, consider if the standard size of 40m length in either 2.5 or 3m height can suit your needs.
Tennis Court Supplies offer these standard sets in green netting complete with fixtures such as head cable, turnbuckles, rope clamps, and dog clips. Making these a very affordable option that suits most clubs.
Custom sizes are available and priced by the square meter. Remember that you need to order any fixtures separately when ordering custom sizes. Custom sized nets are available in the most popular green, but also in black or white. White netting is more prominent while dark netting appears more transparent.
Support rods are required to help keep the dividers stay up. The number of support rods needed depends on how tight the head cable can be strung, how strong the fixtures are and how exposed to wind your court is.
In general we recommend 3 support rods for a standard 40m net on an outdoor court. For lighter nylon indoor divider nets with a strong head cable fixture, you might only need 2 support rods.
We recommend avoiding exposure of outdoor divider nets to frost. You might want to take them down in the winter months or when frost is forecast.
To minimise exposure to strong winds, consider pulling them open at the end of each day.
“Venues must consider safety first and minimise the risk of infection/ transmission.”* Divider netting is an additional measure to help tennis players adhere to social distancing rules. Court divider netting makes club members feel safer.
Tennis court divider netting also makes tennis play more enjoyable and safe even post pandemic. They are a facilities upgrade with lasting benefit to tennis club members and they are particularly valued by tennis coaches.
You can purchase high quality, professional tennis court divider nets that last from Tennis Court Supplies. Produced in Germany to highest standards and delivered quickly. We aim to fulfil even custom sized orders within 10 days of ordering.
*LTA guidelines dated July 2020