Information update - Return to Tennis from 13th May 2020

Posted 12th May 2020

In his message on Sunday night the Prime Minister indicated that tennis can start in strictly limited circumstances from Wednesday 13 May. That is great news and we are fortunate that tennis is amongst the first sports to re-open in this way. From tomorrow, members may play singles as long as they maintain social distancing but playing doubles is permitted ONLY if all the players are part of the same household. For the avoidance of doubt please note that the club remains closed today whilst we prepare everything.

In order to make this as safe as possible the club is making some adjustments to the way it operates. Members are requested to read these new guidelines carefully, and ensure they observe them so they keep themselves and those around them safe, and minimise the risk of infection.

1. Those wishing to play MUST book their courts in advance. Turning up without a booking is NOT acceptable as it means we cannot control the numbers of people at the club at any given time. The court booking system will not be available for the rest of today as we make the necessary adjustments but we expect it to be ready first thing tomorrow morning. Any bookings already on the system will be removed.

2. Players will be able to book one 60 minute slot and there will be gaps between each booking to allow players to move between the car park and the courts without encountering one another. Start times for slots on courts will be staggered to reduce the number of people moving around the club at any time. The earliest slot starts at 7.30am and the latest slot ends at 8.30pm.

3. Members will be allowed to book one week in advance. We are limiting members to a maximum of 3 bookings per week initially. This will be reviewed once we know the demand and pressure on court time. We want everyone to be able to enjoy a game and to avoid the possibility that a small minority take all the court booking slots.

4. We will initially be using only courts 2, 4, 6 (which can be used by an individual wishing to play against the practice wall) and court 7 (MUGA).

5. Please arrive only JUST before your time begins and leave promptly when your time is up. Please do not wait for the next players to turn up - that undermines social distancing.

6. You should drive to the club and park in the car park. We would recommend that you do not use the side pedestrian gate as that increases the risk of passing on the virus via keypads. The main club gates will usually remain closed at all times so YOU WILL NEED YOUR ACCESS FOB.

7. Please do not park in the private road Hayes Hill.

8. The sports field has just been re-seeded and top-dressed. That means you can only walk along the edges. So please leave the car park and walk along the field side of the clubhouse and keep to the marked areas as you walk across to the conifer hedge. On your return please stick to the path and enter the car park via the driveway.

9. You will need to provide your own tennis balls, and mark them so you play with your own equipment at all times. Please also bring your own tape measure for the height of the net, as you will not have access to the club measures (3ft or 91cm at the centre).

10. The children's playground is out of bounds, and there are to be no football etc games. The club is open for tennis ONLY.

11. There will be no access to the hut and pavilion which will be locked.

12. Please make sure you have a mobile telephone with you at all times - in case of emergency - and make sure you use the facilities at home before leaving as there will be no toilet facilities at the club during this period.

12. Please bring your own hand sanitiser.

All youngsters under 13 must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times. Colts members may play with their parents as usual using courts 6 and 7 (MUGA) only.

Everyone wishing to play should have paid their membership fees - which I know the vast majority did some weeks ago.

As you know, the club is run by volunteers who are working at speed with limited information so may not get everything right initially. So we will keep these guidelines under review and if you think they need to change please let us know.

Judith is undertaking the massive task of reconfiguring the court booking system to make all this possible so please allow her the time and space to do this for us. She is working very hard to balance the understandable pressure from members to play limitless amounts of tennis with the need to ensure our safety and also provide an equal amount of opportunity to everyone to enjoy this new-found freedom.

Finally, please remember these guidelines and act responsibly. Play ONLY singles unless all 4 players in a doubles game are from the same household. But don't be afraid to enjoy yourself and our terrific club.


Old Wilsonians Lawn Tennis Club

Tennis Membership