Courts and Booking

HOURS of PLAY

Club play hours are determined by our City permit. For 2016 our hours are 7:00 am – 11:00 pm Monday to Sunday, as per our permit, and subject to organized activities and daily court maintenance.

Juniors may tag up and book our reserved court during Family Time on Saturdays.

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ABOUT OUR “CLAY COURTS”

While we refer to our court surface as “clay,” in reality it is composed of compacted, water- saturated crushed rock called “Har Tru.” It has to be swept and watered a number of times a day and rolled often to be cool, and soft and firm at the same time. Because the clay is a soft surface and requires regular maintenance, we have to treat it with respect. Therefore, please wear only proper “clay tennis shoes” with a shallow smooth pattern like “herring bone” and round edges.

What is so Special About Playing on Clay?

The loose particles of clay allow the player’s tennis shoe to slide to gentle stops. This is one of many advantages of the clay tennis court. These soft stops save injuries to tendons, muscles and ligaments that we would otherwise face on hard tennis courts. Because the clay is also gentle to body joints like the knees and hips, our senior players can enjoy vigorous tennis late into their years.

On very hot days, players will find our courts much cooler to play on than hard courts. This is because the water contained in the clay evaporates continuously and self-cools the surface. Where hard courts would “burn” your feet on a hot summer day, the clay stays comfortably cool.

Another advantage of clay courts is that they usually dry very quickly after a rain. Unlike hard courts which need to be sponged off to disburse the water, rain is absorbed into the clay and courts are often playable within a short period after the rain ends, with no manual intervention required. Of course lengthy downpours may require longer periods to dry. After very heavy rain, it is important not to go onto courts that are still wet as this will cause the surface to become uneven and possibly result in bare in spots.

COURT MAINTENANCE

We ask players to vacate the courts when requested by the Court Monitor to allow for maintenance which helps maintain our courts in good condition. Clay courts are a much more forgiving surface than hard courts, but it takes a lot of work to keep them soft, smooth, and enjoyable to play on.

Rollers 1

Daily court maintenance is scheduled as follows:

  • Monday to Friday from 7am – 8am (play may take place when maintenance is on another court) and 2pm – 3pm except when Camp is in session (sweep and water); and from 6pm – 7pm after Summer Camp in July and August (sweep and water)
  • Saturday from 3pm – 4pm (sweep and water)
  • Sunday from 3pm – 4pm (sweep and water)

The Har Tru company and other experts on court maintenance advise that watering is a trial and error process – the courts are not always ready immediately after one hour. The Board asks members to be patient and permit the maintenance workers and volunteers to finish their work. Though we expect it will usually be done within one hour it may take longer. Members should direct any comments to our Courts Director (at Courts@LawrenceParkTennisClub.ca) and not to an individual worker or volunteer.

In an effort to keep our courts in great shape, Har Tru recommends we increase the number of times that our courts are swept during the day. Members who use the courts for two hours or are part of a program that is using the courts for two hours must sweep either at the beginning or end of play. If the courts are looking dry, members may also give the courts a light hand watering. The hoses courtside are always turned on.

Special thanks to our Court Monitor, Tony Ercolani, for keeping the courts in such good shape. If you are interested in helping prepare our courts in the spring, look for the call for volunteers in our newsletter and come out, meet your fellow members, and help get the courts ready for a summer of good play and good fun.

COURT BOOKING

There are two ways for members to book a court: first come, first serve using our tag up board just before the allotted court changeover time, or pre-booking 6 days in advance using our reservation binder, either by phone or in person. Courts cannot be booked by leaving telephone messages.

Tag Board

How To Tag Up:

  • Tag Board (Rotation System) — On courts 1 & 2, designated as rotation courts, court time is regulated by the tag up board. Every member has a tag with their name and number (an alphabetical listing of all members and their tag numbers is posted underneath the tag board for easy reference). Upon arrival, members place their name tag at the end of the wait line which is located at the top of the board. Members who are not present to play, should not have their tags in the wait line, i.e. you cannot put up a tag for someone else who has not yet arrived. If a member has brought a guest, there are “Guest Tags” at the bottom of the master board which should be placed immediately after the member’s name in the wait line.

Approximately 10 minutes before the court time, the first person in the wait line makes up a court by asking three players from the next 11 names in line, if they would like to play. Once those players have been set, their tags should be moved to the hooks for either court 1 or 2, and the next person in the wait line selects his/her three players from the next 11 names in line. Those making up courts for the next changeover should do so prior to the changeover time to make maximum use of the court time periods.

If Court 3 has NOT been pre-booked, it is available for tagging up as well.

Players should promptly exit their court at the end of the play period and either put their tags up at the end of the wait line if they wish to play again, or back on the master tag board in proper numerical position if done for the day.

Normal rotation play periods consist of 1 hour during daytime and generally 45 minutes in the evenings when play time on courts 1 and 2 is staggered. One hour periods may be changed to 2 half hour periods if eight or more members are waiting for a court. Only doubles should be played on courts 1 and 2 if members are in the wait line at the changeover time.

The tagging board can be tricky for new members but there are instructions posted near the board and newer members can always ask another member. The board is designed to give all members a fair and equal play/wait ratio while also promoting intermixing of players. It is especially helpful for players coming to the club on their own and new members who do not know many other members yet.

How To Reserve:

  • Reservation System—Court 3 Only. Court 3 is the designated reservation court and may be booked for either singles or doubles, 6 days in advance for 1 hour of play. A reservation binder is kept on the counter in the clubhouse for members and the Court Monitor to use and all players names and tag numbers should be written in the selected time slot. Court 3 may be booked by phone with our Court Monitor from 8am (Monday to Friday), 6 days prior. Members may book court 3 in person after 8:30am, 6 days prior. Recorded telephone messages for reservations are not accepted. Reservation sheets for the current day and the following 6 day period will be kept in the reservation binder at all times. Any scheduled programs (such as Early Birds, house league, the junior lesson program or team practices/matches) will be recorded on the sheets and will take precedence over open play.
  • The phone number at the Clubhouse is 416.483.2276.

Court 3 reservation sheet

Each weekday morning, the Court Monitor will hang up the name tags in the correct time slots for that day’s and evening’s reservations. On weekends, players should hang up their own tags on court 3 in the time period reserved.

In the event that members who have reserved Court 3 do not take the court within 5 minutes of the reservation time, the reserved court will become available to players in the rotation wait line. The person at the head of the wait line will have the right to make up a game and reserve the court immediately after the 5 minute grace period.

If a members are unable to use a booking made for court 3, they should erase their names or call the club and have someone else erase it to allow other members to take advantage of the court time. If leaving a message, please do so at least a day in advance so the Court Monitor has a chance to make the change.

Booking Etiquette:

In order to allow maximum enjoyment of court time, doubles will take precedence over singles on Courts 1 and 2. Specifically, if members are playing singles on Courts 1 and 2 and other members arrive within the first 5 minutes of play time, those playing are required to double up. After 5 minutes into the court period, whether to invite members arriving to join play is at the discretion of those using the court.

Any member using an untagged court must yield the court to members who are properly tagged for that court.

One member cannot tag a court with a single tag for themselves. A member occupying a court on his/her own must give up that court for singles or doubles play.

If no one comes to claim a court within 5 minutes of the start of the period, players on the court may move their tags and continue to play and members who are playing singles may continue to play singles.

If a court becomes available up to 10 minutes before the hour, players who have tagged up for that court may start to play.

Each Member may play on the reserved court no more than 2 times per week, and no more than once in the daytime and once in the evening on the same day. A lesson booking is considered one of your 2 allowed reservations per week.

Players who have reserved court 3 can hang up their tags in the rotation wait line after their reserved hour of play is over, but not before.

No Double Booking:

A member participating in any organized program (e.g. Early Birds, Team Practices, etc.) may not tag up on any court:

  • a) in the time period immediately before or after the program, or
  • b) while the program is still in session,

and must allow all non-participating members to tag up before them when the program ends (i.e. program participants must sit out the first tag-up session on each court unless there are no members waiting for a court).

Likewise a member about to come off a court who has been playing during non-programmed playing time must not put their tag up for another court period before their current court time is over. Members coming off court cannot be ahead of any player already tagged up on the wait line when the court changeover takes place.