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قراءة كتاب Making a Tennis Court

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Making a Tennis Court

Making a Tennis Court

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 5



The playing surface of a tennis court for singles is 27 × 78 feet, and for doubles 36 × 78 feet; but as a double court contains all the lines for singles it is usual to mark out for doubles at the beginning. Back of the outer line there must be a space of from 15 to 20 feet to the stop-nets, and at the sides there should be at least 6 feet, preferably 10 or 12 feet, beyond the line of the double court. This permits free access to the courts on either side of the net, and also allows room for players when volleying. This is the reason why a space of 60 × 120 is generally considered necessary for a good tennis site.

Drawing with measurements

The standard dimensions for a double court are given. A convenient method of laying these dimensions out is given in the accompanying text

The marking of a court must be exact. First determine the position of your net in the middle of the site, and then lay out the single court. Place two pegs temporarily in the ground 27 feet apart and make a line there to represent the net. Then measure off two lengths of string—one 39 feet long, and the other 47 feet 5 inches. With these two lengths you can make your courts exactly right.

Lay the shorter length of string on the ground approximately at right angles to one of the net pegs; then start the longer string from the opposite peg and run it diagonally across until it reaches the end of the 39-foot string. At that point drive in a corner peg. You have a right-angled triangle that is absolutely exact. Repeat this operation to get the other corner, and then obtain the corners for the other side of the net in a similar way. With the corner pegs in place, proceed then to measure off from the net peg 21 feet on the 39-foot line. That point marks the end of the service line, and a straight line drawn across it will intersect in the middle the diagonal lines.

Tennis court with low wall

A space of 60 × 120 ft. is usually considered necessary for a good tennis court, and it is occasionally necessary to enclose this area with a low retaining wall of masonry

For the double courts prolong the net line 4 feet 6 inches, and join this to the points at the end to form alleys. The double courts are then finished except for the central line. This is obtained by measuring off the middle of the service lines and connecting them with a straight line through the center.

As there is quite a little bother in measuring off the courts, it is quite essential that the corner points be made permanent. Small stakes or pegs should be driven into the ground at the corners deep enough so they will not trip players. Nearly every heavy rainstorm washes away the lines so that remarking is required. On clay courts white paint is sometimes used for marking, as this will last longer than whitewash, but at the best, remarking must be done quite frequently. Paint is not suitable for grass courts on account of the injury caused to the grass roots. Portable white marking tape is sometimes used. This is held down by staples and double-pointed pins, but there is always the danger of the tape tripping a player.

Markers have been devised for facilitating the lining out of tennis courts. These consist for the most part of an iron or tin receptacle on wheels, with a marking wheel in front on which the contents are sprayed continually. Marble dust or slaked lime can be used in these markers. They give a uniform width, and one can mark off the lines as fast as he can walk. Home-made markers can be made by inverting a tin can and closing the mouth except for a tiny hole through which the liquid can flow. An ordinary wheel with a flat rim one inch in width is made to revolve in front of the mouth of the can so it will catch the drippings of the liquid. Mounted on an axle with handles this contrivance is pushed before the operator.

On a grass court none of these methods of marking are equal to grass itself. At the time the seed is sown on the court, plant freely in some part of the garden the seed of the crested dogtail grass. This grass is yellow green to white, and if sown very thickly it will serve to mark the courts. When the grass on the court is high enough for cutting transplant the crested dogtail grass to the lines marked out.

Mark out the courts exactly with tape or string, and then cut out on one side of it a strip of sod two and a half inches wide. This strip is then filled with the sods of the dogtail grass raised in the garden for this purpose. The sod should be patted down firmly in place, and a few seeds of the dogtail grass sown in with it. In this way you have the courts marked out permanently by grass, and the contrast in color is sufficient for all playing purposes. The effect, of course, is very striking, and far ahead of the courts that have to be whitewashed after every rainstorm.

The dogtail grass is a hardy grower, and it will, if not controlled, spread out into the court itself. This, however, can be prevented by an occasional weeding. It must be kept in its narrow strip even if roots have to be pulled up at times. If the spreading roots crowd out the green grass, the latter can be renewed by planting a little sod from some other part of the garden.



A great variety of backstops may be introduced on the tennis courts, and their decorative effects should always be considered in laying out the grounds. The backstop nets should be at least 15 feet back of the court line, but 21 feet is considered the standard distance where tournaments are held. Many expert players refuse to take part in tournaments where the regulation distances are not maintained. The wire backstop nets should be not less than 10 feet high, and 15 feet is considered the most suitable height.

A drawing with measurements

Where the court is entirely enclosed by the stop-nets the over-all dimensions may well be those given, but they should not be smaller than 60 × 120 ft.

While the usual backstop is made of hollow iron posts sunk in the ground at intervals of 10 or 15 feet, with chicken or fence wire stretched taut between them, it is not unusual to-day to find more elaborate affairs of genuine architectural worth to harmonize with the residence and other buildings. Pergola effects are thus used. The posts of solid wood are sunk in the ground, and then wrapped with wire netting to hold the stucco. The latter is applied in the usual way and finished off in white, cream-white, or gray. The wire net must be stretched from post to post before the stucco is applied. Wooden beams join the tops of the stucco columns, and a foot molding, with sometimes a railing, connects the posts from base to base. The rather elaborate character of such tennis backstops cannot always be worked out by a novice, although a good carpenter or mason can do the work if the plans are sketched carefully in advance.

Iron pipes with wire netting

The simplest form of backstop is the frame of iron pipe forms, which are now made especially for that purpose, covered with the ordinary wire netting