Resumption of tennis
After a number of about turns the Government and LTA have confirmed that as from tomorrow (Wednesday 13th May) we can re-open the courts. Doubles can only be played by members who live in the same household whilst others must play singles subject to certain restrictions.
Below you will find various guidelines and protocols designed to make playing tennis safe. Please read them all and abide by them. The Committee will be constantly monitoring the way that members are using the facilities and have an obligation to close down some and even all the courts if they believe that it is not safe to play.
This puts an onus on all members to behave in a responsible way.
The LTA have issued guidelines about safe play and the main points are summarised below. Full details can be found on the LTA website.
We would ask you to note all the points raised and specifically those relating to social distancing, access to the courts, using your own clearly marked balls, not changing ends and using your own hand sanitiser.
BEFORE LEAVING HOME & AFTER YOU RETURN
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before leaving home to go to the court (or use an alcohol gel if washing hands is not possible)
Take hand sanitizer with you Take all your own equipment (do not share equipment such as rackets, grips, hats and towels) Only take the minimum amount of equipment with you that you need to play Clean and wipe down your equipment, including racquets and water bottles before and after use. Bring a full water bottle, and do not share food or drink with others Bring your own tennis balls that are clearly marked (e.g. with your initials) Ensure you take all your belongings with you at the end of the session and do not leave anything on court
TRAVELLING TO AND FROM THE COURT Avoid using public transport Arrive as close as possible to when you need to be there Avoid touching court gates, fences, benches, etc. if you can Allow others to leave before you enter the court – if you need to wait then do so away from the courts and clear of the gates Ensure you leave the court before the end of your allotted time so that it is empty for the next players Arrive changed and ready to play. Do not congregate after playing. No extra-curricular or social activity should take place
DURING PLAY COURT LIMITS
Maximum of two people per court (singles play only). Players can be from different households The only exception to the above is where a group of four players are all from the same household in which case they can play doubles Coached sessions should be limited to one to one coaching activity only
MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING
Stay at least two metres away from other players at all times (including during play, when taking breaks and before and after play) Do not make physical contact with other players (such as shaking hands or high five)
Stay on your side of court and avoid changing ends, or agree to change ends at opposite sides of the net Avoid chasing the ball down to another court if other players are using it
EQUIPMENT & FACILITIES Use your own clearly marked tennis balls Avoid using your hands to pick up tennis balls that aren’t yours – use your racquet/foot to hit/kick them to your opponent or return them to another court Avoid using other equipment such as courtside benches, net handles or court sweepers where possible
If you need to sneeze or cough, do so into a tissue or upper sleeve Avoid touching your face.
Lytham Tennis Club guidelines
We have decided that at least one player playing doubles must be a Senior member and Juniors must not play unless they are supervised. After 6pm Seniors will have preference over any group involving Juniors. Day time members will of course have the same restrictions as normal.
We must emphasise that only members of the same household (not family) are allowed to play doubles and at this stage visitors are not allowed at the Club to play either singles or doubles
The Committee have a responsibility to ensure that members are safe at the Club and are concerned that this loosening of the restrictions may result in the social distancing rules being inadvertently broken. But as they are unable to be there for most of the time they must rely on individual members to accept responsibility for their own, and fellow members, welfare and health and safety.
In the short term we are only able to open Courts 1, 2, 5 and 6 and the two grass courts closest to the tennis pavilion. Court 5 should only be used if the other courts are in use (see below). The mini court will also be open. Please access and exit courts 1 & 2 using their specific gates and follow the sign for accessing and leaving Grass court 2
The groundwork contractors are now back on site and until they have completed work around the court entrances it will not be possible to open Courts 3 & 4. However it will not be too long before these become available.
The tennis pavilion, changing rooms and Clubhouse will remain closed.
It is now possible for Greg to resume individual coaching and he will have priority on Court 6 between 11 am and 3pm each day. This will be reviewed at the beginning of next week.
Protocols for using the courts
It is impossible for us to legislate for every eventuality but in order to try and make things run as safely and smoothly as possible we would advise as follows:
Members will be responsible for using their own sanitiser for the keypads on the gates and winding mechanisms etc.
For the time being those playing singles will have equal status and rights to play as those household groups playing doubles – so those playing singles do not have to vacate the courts for those wishing to play doubles.
However this potentially means that this week only 10 members will be able to play singles at any one time as opposed to 48 if all the courts are in use for doubles.
For this reason until further notice tennis should be restricted to one hour and the start and finish of each session will be on the hour. This means that if there are people waiting you must vacate the court on the hour and if you are hoping to play then you can arrive at 5 to the hour safe in the knowledge that the courts will be vacated within 5 minutes. As more courts become available we will hope to relax this time restriction.
On Court 5 individuals will have the same status as those playing singles and doubles if they want to use the hitting wall or practice their serves Like others they can use the court for 1 hour but must vacate on the hour.
Please note that the floodlights will not be available as we have no mechanism for selling tokens and the token box and coins will be sources of contamination – we do not see this as an issue over the next few months
We suspect that the courts will be very busy and it may be that at certain times there will be more people wanting to play than there are courts available. We would suggest therefore that if possible you try to play early morning, lunchtime or late evening.
Please respect the grass courts and do not play if they are wet or if there is a heavy dew. On occasions they may be closed for a short period of time to allow the groundsman to cut and mark.
As already said we cannot legislate for all eventualities and we hope that members will act in the spirit of the Club and the bounds of common decency. If there are breaches of the protocol then we will have to deal with these in accordance with Club rules.
Over the coming weeks we will regularly review the situation.
Please remember that the most important thing is to stay safe by complying with the social distancing rules when playing as well as when accessing and leaving the Club.
Enjoy your tennis!
Bernard and LTC Committee