There were times when tennis was strictly for adults. With heavy rackets,
super bouncy balls, and large courts, it was physically too big of a challenge
for children under teenage years to play this noble sport. However, the
rules of the game have changed after the United States Tennis Association
introduced the Under Tennis program in 2010. It focuses on changing the
format of the game adopting it to the size and strength level of the younger
players. The regulations vary from one age group to another allowing the
court to grow along with kids and their skills. This way, the game continually
evolves preparing children for the realities of the adult sport and honing
a whole new generation of future tennis stars.
HOW TO BUILD A TENNIS COURT FOR KIDS
According to USTA regulations, the court dimensions may vary from 36 feet
by 18 feet to 78 feet by 27 feet depending on the kids’ age. The
younger the players - the smaller the court. There are several ways to
create a kid-friendly zone at your facility. One of them is to add blended
lines of a different color to the regular court. This way, it can be used
by players of any age group. Thus, you ich gives children more time to
get to it and hit. This emaximize your use of space and minimize the expenses.
It is advised to paint additional lines a shade lighter or darker than
the color of the court surface. Note, that the standard lines should always
be white. Another option is to build a separate courtSurface or turn an
adult court into the kids one. In this case, consider resurfacing with
acrylic cushioning. It slows down the ball bounce which gives children
more time to get to it and hit. This enables them to spend more time rallying
rather than chasing the ball.
Make sure you choose a multi-layered, asphalt- or concrete-based, cushioned
surface with a full depth resilience. It provides maximum comfort to young
players without hindering their performance. Here are three reasons why
asphalt pavement is the right choice for kids’ tennis courts:
It is resilient
Asphalt surfaces are porous. They allow water to flow through them which
means there won’t be any huge puddles after the rain. Its porous
structure significantly reduces skidding minimizing the risk of fall-related
injuries among children. Moreover, pores help asphalt pavement withstand
even the harshest climate conditions. This kind of surface can survive
multiple cycles of freeze-thaw without cracking.
It is low maintenance
All you need to do is sweep the court weekly to get rid of any dirt and
pressure wash it annually for deeper cleaning. Apart from that, your asphalt-based
court will be as good as new for at least five years before you need to
It is customizable
It is easy to modify the color of asphalt pavement as well as its cushioning.
The latter influences the speed of the ball and the bounce height which
are very important when it comes to adopting the court for kids’ tennis.
Installing a good windscreen is a must. Not only does it block the wind
but also reduces the noise which, let’s be honest, children usually
make a lot of. If you are not installing a new windscreen, make sure your
current one does not have any holes because young children may be tempted
to stick their hands through them risking getting stuck or injured.
Another important aspect is providing the right gear. The 10 Under Tennis
requires shorter, lighter rackets, lower tennis nets, and larger, colorful
balls with less compression. This way, the balls don’t bounce as
high. Keeping the ball within a younger player’s reach give more
opportunities for hitting. Proper ball rotation is one of the key ingredients
to developing a strong stroke. Two-colored balls provide a visual aid
to the kids serving as an indication of the spin.
WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN CONSTRUCTING A KIDS’ TENNIS COURT
If you are building a tennis court from scratch, there are several details
you need to figure out. First, decide on the surface material, cushioning
options, and color. Once you have made up your mind, invite a professional
consultant who is going to evaluate the conditions of the underlying soil,
the slope of the future installment, and the most suitable drainage option.
After all the preparations are over, you can finally start building. The
first step is to install the asphalt or concrete base which takes around
two weeks to cure. Then the newly-built court should be flooded on purpose
to reveal any cracks or ponding areas. Once the problem spots are fixed,
the base is ready for cushioning. Then all that is left is to apply the
color coating, lines, and markers. Give it a few weeks to cure and your
brand new tennis court is finally ready for some action!