Fence, Lights and Shade Shelters
When designing a new tennis court, most people focus on choosing the court surface. However, that is just the start when it comes to building your new court! You also need to consider fencing, lighting and even shade shelters. Here is a brief primer on your design options as they relate to fencing, lighting and shade shelters.
Trap that little yellow tennis ball within your court with chain link fencing.
Get away from the “industrial look” that often comes with chain link fencing while still providing a way to keep that little yellow tennis ball trapped within your court!
Get the most out of your court regardless of the time of day with tennis court lighting. Play when you want to, even after the sun goes down.
Take a break in shade when you walk off the court.
When it comes to choosing a fencing system for your court – you may be just as interested in keeping people or pets out of your court as you are containing the tennis ball. We recommend talking to your contractor about how you can secure your court through the use of fencing or an enclosure.
Most court owners today try to avoid using 10' chain link fencing around 100% of the court perimeter. Why? Because your court is your playground, not an industrial facility! Consider the following best practices when deciding the height of your tennis court fence:
- 10' fencing along the baseline, diagonal corners and +/- 30' along each side of the court is usually more than sufficient to keep the tennis balls within the court.
- 8’ fencing is often used in place of 10’ fencing on Har-Tru clay courts as the ball does not bounce as high on that surface.
- 3' or 4’ fencing (or none at all) is then utilized in the center of the court to enhance viewing for spectators and improve access. This type of layout helps the tennis court to blend in with its environment and also lowers the cost of installation.
Today’s typical fence layout for a tennis court involves +/- 336 LF of fencing around a 60’ x 120’ court with California (diagonal) corners. Click here for a diagram.
Grade and Color
In addition to the height of fencing around your court and the layout, you also need to choose the grade and color of the fence framework. The industry standard for tennis court fence is Schedule 40, powder coated fence framework. You should also make sure that your contractor is using 3” terminal (end) poles and 2-1/2” line poles (internal), as some contractors cut corners by utilizing only 2-1/2” poles for all the vertical poles. Fence color choices are typically galvanized (silver), green or black, with most customers choosing black. Your final choice involves the fence fabric/mesh/chain link. Most tennis fencing incorporates 9-gauge, 1-3/4” fabric, but 2”, 8-gauge fabric is also available.
The tennis court contractor you hire to build your new tennis court will normally be responsible for installing the tennis court fencing as well. If you are interested in new court construction, we strongly recommend our sister company, Fast-Dry Courts, Inc.! We have included helpful links to the Fast-Dry Courts, Inc. website and information request form here:
10-S Tennis Supply can also provide the fence materials for your new court if you are looking to build it yourself. If you are interested in a written estimate, including shipping, please complete this form and include the total linear feet required and a diagram of the proposed fence layout.
The Tennclosure™ system utilizes marine grade poles, cables and attachment hardware to replace typical chain link fencing with attractive, durable screening. The best part of the Tennclosure™ system is that it is completely retractable, so the fabric can be retracted if hurricanes or bad weather strike, or if you need to open up the court for viewing or access. You can choose from over 20 fabric options and trims to customize the look and feel of your Tennclosure™ system to fit your design requirements!
The Tennclosure™ system is patented and exclusively available from our sister company, Fast-Dry Courts, Inc. We have included helpful links to the Fast-Dry Courts, Inc. website and information request form here: www.fast-dry.com
So, what should you consider when determining which lighting system to use for your court? We recommend considering the following:
The first question you need to answer is what “classification” of lighting do you need? The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) segments tennis facilities into four (4) lighting “classifications”, based on the Average Maintained Footcandles, Minimum Maintained Footcandles and the Maximum Uniformity provided by the lighting system.
- Class I facilities generally require lighting to support broadcast television productions and permanent seating.
- Class II facilities require lighting to support outdoor tournament play (collegiate/club/recreational/residential) without television requirements.
- Class III facilities require lighting to support typical, non-tournament night play (collegiate/club/recreational/residential).
- Class IV facilities require lighting to support low level recreational play.
Most clubs go and homeowners go with a Class II lighting system while some budget conscious facilities choose a Class III lighting system.
Number of Poles, Fixtures and Watts Required
Once you know the “Class” of lighting that makes sense for you, it is easier to determine the number of poles, fixtures and watts required because “Class” is driven by both the amount of light on the court and the uniformity of light on the court. The amount of light on the court is driven by the number of fixtures and the watts provided per fixture. So, the higher the “Class” of lighting, the more poles, fixtures and power will be required. It is important to note that more than one fixture can be mounted per pole and some fixtures contain (1) 1000W bulb while others contain (2) 1000W bulbs. Typically the more fixtures = more light and more poles = better uniformity.
The power required to support your new lighting system is driven by the number and type of fixtures required and the voltage. Most lighting systems can be configured to adapt to all major voltages, including 120V/208V/240V/277V/480V. The voltage available will determine the amps required for the system. See the chart below for guidelines.
Typical Power Requirements - Low Profile, Environmental Lighting Systems - Single Court
Service Required (AMPs)
While the lighting “class” that is chosen will determine the number of light poles required for your court, you will still need to choose the color (green or black), gauge (i.e. thickness) and type of material (steel vs. galvanized steel vs. aluminum) for your light poles. The appropriate light pole material for your application is usually driven by local building codes and wind load requirements. Facilities in coastal, hurricane prone areas require stronger poles and foundations than those located in interior areas. Galvanized or aluminum poles make sense in coastal areas where rust may be a factor.
The tennis court contractor you hire to build your new tennis court will normally be responsible for installing the lighting as well. If you are interested in new court construction, we strongly recommend our sister company, Fast-Dry Courts, Inc.! We have included helpful links to the Fast-Dry Courts, Inc. website and information request form here: www.fast-dry.com
10-S Tennis Supply can also provide a full package of lighting materials direct to your location for your project. If you are interested in a written estimate, including shipping, please complete this form and include the “Class” of lighting system you are looking for and the number of courts at your facility.
Custom shade shelters typically consist of a concrete or paver slab, metal framework and fabric awning. You get to choose the size of the concrete/paver slab, size of the awning and awning color and design. A typical custom shade shelter includes a 10' x 20' concrete slab with a 9' x 19' awning. Your builder may also easily include an electric outdoor water fountain and a wide variety of different color options are available for the awning.
Factory built shade shelters are available in two applications – court mounted and fence mounted. Factory built, court mounted shade shelters include a bench, framework and awning. Factory built, fence mounted shade shelters only include the framework and awning.
The tennis court contractor you hire to build your new tennis court will normally be responsible for installing the shade shelter as well. If you are interested in new court construction, we strongly recommend our sister company, Fast-Dry Courts, Inc.! We have included helpful links to the Fast-Dry Courts, Inc. website and information request form here:
10-S Tennis Supply can also provide factory built shade shelters shipped direct to your location. Click here to review the various factory built shade shelters that we offer. If you are interested in a written estimate, including shipping, please complete this form.