Order On The Court

To prepare basketball courts for winter, remove the cord netting, touch up paint on backboards, and check the stability of the pole supporting the backboard. Photos Courtesy Of Plexipave Sport Surfacing, A Division of California Products Corporation, Andover, MA

To prepare basketball

courts for winter, remove

the cord netting, touch up paint

on backboards, and check the stability

of the pole supporting the backboard.

Photos Courtesy Of Plexipave Sport Surfacing, A Division of California Products Corporation, Andover, MA

In many areas of the U.S., outdoor sports facilities, including basketball courts and tennis courts in parks, can remain open year-round.

The rest of us, well, we’re not so lucky. And in those areas, municipal workers are prepping their courts for the winter hibernation. The good news is that this is a great time to requisition supplies for next year, and budget for repairs and improvements. After all, the first time a spring breeze whispers by, players will be anxious to get out on the court and play. Courts should be ready when athletes are ready.

At this time of year, work will fall into three categories:

  • Preventive maintenance
  • Proactive ordering
  • Professional consultations.

Here is a checklist of actions to take:

Surface Inspection

Many municipal courts have asphalt surfaces with a layer of acrylic sports-specific coating. Because the freeze-thaw action in cold

Freezing and thawing cycles may cause a court to heave and crack. Have them inspected by a specialty contractor.

Freezing and thawing cycles may cause a court to heave and crack. Have them inspected by a specialty contractor.

weather may lead to cracking in the asphalt, it’s essential to monitor the condition of the surface. Check for and measure any cracks that may be present. If necessary, keep a chart. A specialty contractor can provide recommendations on what may have caused the crack and on appropriate repair methods. Look for places where the court surface might be dipping or heaving, and have those addressed as well. Remember that players will return as soon as the weather warms up (and sometimes even when it’s not perfect). You don’t want a surface where players could stumble or trip.

Child’s Play

For those who have been thinking about increasing children’s programming using the 10 and Under Tennis format of the United States Tennis Association’s (USTA), the budget should provide for those new lines on the court as well. Here’s the Reader’s Digest version: Phone your local court builder and inquire about the cost of lining the courts for 10U play. It’s that simple, and the courts can probably be lined before the snow flies. Getting on the schedule—either now or early in the spring—means you’ll be prepared in promoting warm-season programming.

Information on 10U play—how it is set up, how it works, and how to make existing courts work for multiple generations—is available by at www.usta.com.

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