Repair, Resurface, Or Rebuild

Levitsky says that the yardstick for determining the condition of a court can vary widely, so that “the challenge to doing an analysis is defining and setting an appropriate court-surface quality standard. For example, at the U.S. Open, the surface has to be perfect every August/September. That’s an extreme of what I would call the ‘High Standard.’ For a few of the less-affluent municipalities, maintaining courts that aren’t dangerous to be on is the ‘Practical Standard.’ Then there’s the other extreme, the ‘Minimum Standard.’ In most cases, the standard is some place in between. In the worst cases, no standard is set at all, and the courts vary from new and very good to old and very bad, constantly exposing that municipality to potential lawsuits.”

No matter which level of repair is required, and no matter which standard an organization adheres to in terms of surface quality, the most important thing a director can do is stay informed. There isn’t a right answer for everyone, but there may be a right answer for the given project at the time of decision-making.

“Over the past few years of very difficult budget challenges for municipalities, I have found that most of the public parks facilities managers are interested in getting thorough information on any and all options available,” says Lee Murray of Competition Athletic Surfaces in Chattanooga, Tenn.

“From the most basic repairs to full reconstruction, these folks know there are many factors beyond their control that play into the decision to spend, or not spend, money on their tennis surfaces, and they are most interested in passing on all information possible to the ultimate decision-makers.”

Note: The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) is a non-profit association helping designers, builders, owners, operators and users understand quality sports-facility construction. The ASBA sponsors informative meetings and publishes newsletters, books and technical construction guidelines for athletic facilities, including athletic fields. Available at no charge is a listing of all publications offered by the Association, as well as the ASBA’s Membership Directory. Info: 866-501-ASBA (2722) or

Mary Helen Sprecher has been a technical writer for more than 20 years with the American Sports Builders Association. She has written on various topics related to sports-facility design, construction and supply, as well as sports medicine, education, health and industrial issues. She is an avid racquetball and squash player, and is a full-time newspaper reporter in Baltimore, Md.


Need Help With Tennis Courts?

Publications: Tennis Courts: A Construction and Maintenance Manual, Sixth Edition, co-written by the ASBA and USTA, is available for $44.95 per copy, hard copy or download. Contact ASBA at 866-501-ASBA (2722), or at

Financial aid: The USTA, as part of its Facility Assistance Services, has a funding program available to help benefit tennis in communities. Funding is available on three levels, but be aware that not all entities are eligible for financial assistance. Information is available at, using the “Facilities” button on the toolbar.

How to build: Looking for information about resources for building a facility in your community? Log on to the USTA’s website,, and use on the “Facilities” toolbar. Get free technical support from staff experts, assistance on facility planning, diagrams of court layouts, information on advocacy initiatives and more.

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