Let’s face it, Britain’s weather is not always conducive to playing tennis. In order for British tennis to flourish and to develop young tennis players, we need to create environments which encourage them to play. Equally, clubs and operators need to be able to generate reliable revenue streams by extending available playing times. For example, indoor tennis tournaments can ensure people play tennis at times when they may otherwise not play (winter or rainy/windy days), this is not guaranteed at outdoor events.
Over the past decade covered or indoor tennis structures / arena facilities have become extremely popular. In the United Kingdom, covering tennis court facilities has been one of the major concerns of clubs and tennis court operators so they can maximise the use of a tennis court. So much so the LTA has created a “Develop Your Tennis Venue” scheme financing covering of tennis courts “to get more people playing tennis more often”. Toro’s modern indoor tennis arena can be climate controlled and / or the sides opened, so the playing conditions are always perfect for the player, which is not always possible with outdoor sport facilities.
What to look for in an indoor tennis structure
When you design your indoor tennis facility, the internal playing environment is your paramount consideration. While not exhaustive, the following points have been set out to help you in that process:
- Heating, ventilation and air conditioning system
- Structure inner lining and insulation
- Side and divider netting
- Playing Spacial requirements
Especially if you are using an insulated or double skin structure you should pay careful attention to the lighting ensuring the light level and quality of light on the playing area must be of high quality. Electrical luminaires (lights) and wiring systems should be discretely and safely situated and should not encroach on the playing area of the indoor courts and should allow the clear space in the area above the court.
Lighting of indoor courts should give an even, bright, yet glare-free playing area. All lighting systems should be designed to provide adequate visibility of the ball in all areas of the court during play, for both players and spectators, with minimum glare.
HVAC – Heating, ventilation and air conditioning
An effective HVAC system should be capable of changing air within the structure with minimal noise or draft.
Structure inner lining and insulation
In any building where there is a differential between inside and outside temperatures condensation will form on the inside of the building (Like your car windscreen on a cold winter’s morning). This can be avoided by either ensuring adequate airflow or insulating the structure. As you can see from the images below, Toro’s indoor tennis structures can incorporate an inner insulation layer which reduces the vapour and condensation in the tennis arena.
An inner lining in an indoor tennis building will improve the appearance of the arena and:
- They reflect light back on to the playing surface which improves the light;
- They improve the structure’s insulation, thus improving the performance of the HVAC system;
- They significantly reduce condensation in the building.
You may also consider having retractable or sliding door slides on your indoor tennis structure, which can be opened in the summer months or warm and calm days to enjoy the best of both worlds.
All tennis players will agree that playing arena must have relatively low levels of noise so that players can concentrate on their game. The following considerations should be made planning your indoor tennis arena to minimise sound levels:
- Keeping fan and air handler noise to a minimum;
- Consider the playing surface you choose – carpet type surfaces dampen noise;
- Side and divider netting reduces noise levels;
- Fabric structures also absorb more sound than steel structures;
- Double skins or insulation layers will greatly reduce noise levels.
Acoustics is a very complicated science. It is worthwhile engaging an expert acoustic engineer to assist you.
Side and divider netting
Side and divider netting or curtains create a background against which helps players see the ball and also keeps balls within the court (especially in a multi-court arena), They also help screen-out the distraction of players moving on other courts and people moving to and from courts.
Playing Spacial requirements
It is vitally important that you respect all spatial requirements for tennis such as:
- Back court;
- Side court;
- Over head;
- Intra court.
Failure to respect these requirements will reduce the playing experience and may preclude the court being used in competitions.
Toro Shelter Indoor Tennis Structures / Arena
Toro is delighted to be able to work with you and/or your designated experts to develop the best solution for your tennis facility. Please do contact our Sales team directly.