Tennis Guidelines for Play

During the CoronaVirus Pandemic

Guidelines for Tennis at AECC - issued 15/06/2020

Guidelines will be updated as government and LTA advice changes

  • Both singles play and doubles play is now permitted with people from outside your household, as long as you remain 2 metres apart as far as possible – meaning that four people from different households can now play doubles. The booking system has now been changed to to accept four names.
  • Court Booking - you may now book one session of play a day on the booking system - up to seven days in advance. We have changed the system to allow you to book either a 30, 60 or a 90 minute session - click here for details on how to use the new feature:
    • Please do not book to play consecutive courts with the same person especially at peak time on the artificial clay courts. If there is a court free once you have played for your session, then book that court and move onto it.  The maximum booking period is 90 minutes
    • Please do not leave half hour gaps between bookings, once we have the facility to choose the length of a booking.
      You will be able to select the length of your booking via a drop-down menu
    • Please cancel your court if you have booked and decide not to play
  • We will continue to offer 1:1 coaching sessions.  The LTA has now stated that coaching is allowed for up to five pupils, however we are not planning to start group coaching just yet. Here is a note from Stuart Murray, Head Coach, on the matter:
    • "After assessing the guidelines and seeing the reality of delivering sessions in this way, I like most other coaches/clubs, have sensibly decided to wait a few weeks and reassess again then.
    • Please understand the most important consideration at the moment is to be able to retain a safe environment for both players and coaches and in many cases this would be extremely difficult whilst trying to let adults/juniors both enjoy the session and importantly feel that you are learning.
    • The ratios allowed (5:1) also leave it very difficult to offer sufficient sessions and may leave players not able to get a group or unable to play with friends.
    • Please understand I am desperate to get the Coaching Programme back to normal ASAP, but it needs to be delivered correctly to the high standards we demand in a safe, enjoyable, learning environment".

The following rules have been developed to safeguard health and maintain social distance while minimising contact with physical items that may be shared:

 

  • DO NOT play tennis if you or someone you live with has or has had symptoms of COVID-19, or you are in the most vulnerable category and have been advised to shield from the coronavirus
  • You MUST book a court on-line BEFORE you turn up at the club.  Booking guidance is given on this link:
    • DO NOT turn up at the club without booking
  • Only play for your allotted time:
    • Please arrive no earlier than your start time
    • Please leave 5 minutes before your allotted end time to allow the next group of players clear access to the court
  • DO NOT interact with anyone outside of the group you are attending (e.g. players on another court or in a different coaching group)
  • DO maintain social distance from all other players or staff on site:
    • DO use opposite ends of the net when you change ends
    • DO NOT gather together with others before or after play
  • DO NOT touch the tennis court gates:
    • All gates to courts facing the cricket pitch will be left permanently open
    • DO not close them
    • The gates to the car park from courts 1-3 will be left locked
  • DO wash your hands before you leave home to play and also when you return home
  • DO use hand sanitiser or wipes before and after play:
    • Please bring your own if you can
  • DO minimise contact with any hard surface in or around the tennis courts:
    • DO NOT brush the courts at this time (we have removed the brushes / mats); we are aiming to put in place a rota to drag the courts once per day
    • DO NOT adjust the height of the nets (we have removed tennis net measures and the net winders).  The height of the nets will be measured regularly.
    • DO NOT sit on the benches
    • DO NOT use the benches for your belongings
    • DO NOT congregate around the benches
  • DO put your belongings (bag, water bottle, spare racquets etc) away from others
  • DO be considerate to others:
    • DO NOT turn up at the club until your allotted time-slot. If you do arrive early, then stay in your car.  Cyclists and walkers should keep social distance and ensure they are not blocking others from entering or leaving the courts
    • DO allow others to leave the court you have booked before you go on court
    • DO leave the court promptly just before your hour is up
  • DO bring at least three balls very clearly marked with your name when you play:
    • If you are playing with a person you do not live with, then, only pick up those balls with your name on them. 
    • Balls which do not have your name on them should be pushed back to your opponent or another court, using your foot or a racquet. 
    • Only serve with your own marked balls
    • Note that the LTA has now stated that players may share tennis balls, but many members may still wish to continue to use their own
  • DO NOT pick up the tennis balls
  • DO return tennis balls to other players on your court or on neighbouring courts with your feet or racquet. 
  • Tennis Balls when playing doubles - although the LTA have advised that you can now share tennis balls, many members may still wish to play with their own balls. If you plan to do this then:
    • Each player should bring a set of balls clearly marked with their name
    • For each game, use the balls belonging to the person serving
    • Leave the other balls at the net or with your belongings
    • Players should not pick up the balls but return them to the server with their feet or racquet.
    • Please remember to do the same when returning balls to other courts
  • Juniors:
    • For children of primary school age a chaperone must be present by the court when the junior members play
    • The chaperone must stay outside the court at all times and only enter in case of an emergency
    • The chaperone and the juniors must abide by social distancing at all times
  • DO NOT try to use the clubhouse.  It is not open to players currently.
    • DO use the toilet before you leave home
  • DO NOT sit on the terrace walls or benches or walls anywhere on the club grounds
  • The FIRST AID KIT is on a hook to the left hand side of the club-house door.  Please be aware that club staff who are first aiders won’t be on site.  So please DO NOT play if you have any health issues.
  • DO NOT use courts 7 or 8:
    • These courts have been allocated to the coaches and will be locked at all times when not in use
    • The coaches are most at risk at the club as they will be in contact with others several times a day (albeit at a distance)
    • It is imperative that there is minimal contamination on any surfaces around those courts, e.g. on benches, the net or the coaches storage box
    • We recognise that there will be times when these courts will be empty but we need to look after our coaches
  • DO contact Ruth Samuels – Tennis Chairman, if you develop symptoms of Covid 19 or test positive for the virus. This will allow the club to contact players who were at the club at the time you had played.

FAQs

Question

Why do we need an on-line booking system?
Answer

The tennis committee have worked hard to ensure that the procedures we are implementing safeguard everyone’s health as well as following government and LTA guidelines.  This means that we are striving in every way to avoid contamination between people from different house-holds.

  • The use of the white board requires:
    • Use of common pen and whiteboard surface being used by many members
    • Congestion of players at a single point for reserving courts
    • Players waiting around unnecessarily if courts are not available
    • Players travelling unnecessarily to the Club if courts are not available

Hence our decision to implement an on-line booking system This is also the LTA’s advice

And we need to know who has attended the club for tracing purposes if required if someone subsequently tests positive  or has symptoms of CoronaVirus
Question
How do I book a court?
Answer
You will be receiving an email (assuming your email address is up to date on the membership system) with a link to instructions.  There are also instructions on the Tennis page of the web-site
Question
I don’t have the technology to book a court
Answer
Please ask a fellow tennis member to book a court for you.  The tennis committee can also help.
Question
I don’t receive emails from the club
Answer
This may be because:

  • Your email address is incorrect on the club's membership database
  • OR you have opted out of receiving newsletters

Send the membership administrator your correct email address and ask to be included in all emails / newsletters.  The address is membership@aecc.org.uk
Question
How many courts can I book?
Answer
You may now book one session of play a day on the booking system - up to seven days in advance. We will be changing the system in the next few days to allow you to book either a 30, 60 or a 90 minute session:

  • Please do not book to play consecutive courts with the same person especially at peak time on the artificial clay courts. If there is a court free once you have played for your session, then book that court and move onto it
  • Please do not leave half hour gaps between bookings, once we have the facility to choose the length of a booking.
    You will be able to select the length of your booking via a drop-down menu
  • Please cancel your court if you have booked and decide not to play
  • This will allow fair access to the courts for everyone.  The booking system will be ‘policed’.

Question

If I have played for my booked session, but we haven't quite finished our match, can we carry on playing?

Answer

If courts are free, then you can carry on.  However you MUST book another court or the same court.  We need to know who is at the club for contact tracing, and also to avoid someone booking that court and turning up while you are still playing
Question
I’m a squash member. Can I play tennis?  In the week before lock-down I was allowed to do so.

Answer  
Squash players can play from 15th May onwards – please follow the guidelines for booking courts

Question
Can I bring a guest to play? And how do I pay the guest fee given that the clubhouse will be shut
Answer
Guests can play from 15th May onwards – please follow the guidelines for booking courts and paying guest fees

Question
Should we drag the tennis courts after play?  I’m worried about contamination from others
Answer
The drag mats and line brushes have been removed from the courts to avoid lots of people from handling each of the brushes / drag mats.  Courts 4-6 will be brushed once a day on weekdays.  Committee members may from time to time drag the courts or brush the lines.
Question
How do I avoid players waiting for a court?
Answer
If you arrive at the club by car, please wait in your car until your booking time commences. If other players are congregating around court entrances please ask them politely to move away so you can gain access.  If there are others waiting to go on court, please wait 2m apart just as you would when queuing for a supermarket.  Please start the queueing line at least 2m away from the gate so that players can exit the courts easily

If you arrive at the club on foot or by bike, please arrive ‘just in time’ for your game. And please observe social distancing as described above.