25 June 2020
Post Lockdown Updates
As we've seen in the headlines this week, tennis is one of the few sports that is safe for play, as long as social distance guidelines are maintained! Have a quick look at our checklist below to remind yourself how to keep safe!
- It will be singles only in league matches We will look at unlocking doubles rounds once we feel it is more safe to do so.
- Play outside Tennis will be allowed outside only but that is no hardship. Parks are ideal places to play.
- Safe travel Players will be obliged to give thought to how to get to the courts safely. Ideally, this will be on foot or by bike. We will be asking you to join the league nearest to you, avoiding bus and train journeys and, in London, the tube.
- It's not just about us players If your courts are manned, spare a thought for the staff. You will be interacting with one player only; the staff in the tennis hut or club who open up the courts, will probably have to interact with dozens of people a day. Be grateful and keep your distance.
- Local rules apply Some courts may not open as soon as others, some will have temporary booking arrangements and some may be restricting usage. Fit in and follow the new guidelines.
- Be patient Wait outside the court for others to leave, and leave promptly when you have finished playing
- Balls Each player should take his or her own set of balls, clearly marked. Serve with these. Return stray balls by bouncing your racket on them, use the racket and the side of your foot or kick them.
- Social distancing still applies Change ends on opposite sides of the net, do not get within 2 metres of your opponent and don't shake hands!
- Try to avoid touching your face This may not be easy, but we know the virus is transmitted via eyes, nose and mouth. The less you touch your face having touched any other surface, the better. Face masks, as worn by world no. 354 Benjamin Hassan in an exhibition match in Germany, may become commonplace.
- Don't share equipment Use your own racket, towel, water bottle etc
- Don't get into an argument! Things are unlikely to go smoothly all at once, especially as there could be huge pent up demand for tennis! If someone has double booked your court, be reasonable and patient. Don't get up close and shout!
- Wash your hands! Do this both before and after playing, or use hand sanitiser
- Wash your racket grip After the match, clean your racket with alcohol gel or hand sanitiser. Even better, change your grip for each match
- Wait for official advice and follow it While the above sounds like a reasonable way to take precautions, please wait for official advice from the government and follow it.
- Be alert! Avoid touches surfaces (gates, benches, fences etc) as much as possible and wash your hands as soon as you get home.