Guide Specifications for the General Requirements and Conditions - Revised 1988
Tennis Court Dimensions
and Related Measurements
1.0 Playing Lines
The outside dimensions of the playing lines shall be as follows:
Doubles 36' x 78' (10.973 m x 23.774 m)
All lines shall be not less than 1" (2.54 cm) or more than 2" (5 cm) in width, except the base line which may be up to 4' (10 cm) in width and the center line which shall be 2" (5 cm) in width.
This allowable variation in line width results in non-uniformity and confusion and, therefore, the U.S. Tennis Court and Track Builders Association recommends that all lines be 2" (5 cm) in width, except the base line which may be up to 4" (10 cm) in width.
All measurements shall be to the outer edge of the lines except the center line and the center mark which shall be on the center line of the court.
The lines shall be laid out and applied as close to the exact measurements as is possible within the limitations of the surface on which they are being applied. At no time shall the line dimensions vary more then one-quarter inch from the exact measurement. The type of surface and intended purpose of the court, i.e. recreation, club, tournament, etc., however, shall be the factors considered in determining the allowed tolerance.
3.0 Back Space
Tournament play requires a minimum 21' (6.401 m) from base line to fixed obstruction (i.e. backstop, wall, etc.). In non-tournament play, this distance may be reduced to 18' (5.486 m).
4.0 Side Space
Not less than 12' (3.658 m) from side line to fixed obstruction (i.e. sidestop, light pole, wall, etc.).
For indoor courts where netting is used between courts, the netting is considered to be a movable obstruction, in which case 9' (2.743 m) is considered a minimum between sideline and netting. Only where space limitations become a factor and the 12' (3.658 m) minimum cannot be provided may the side space from side line to a fixed obstruction be reduced to a minimum of 9-1/2' (2.896 m). This dimension does not restrict obstructions at the net line; for example, the net post of the adjacent courts or light standards.
5.0 Clearance Between Courts
Where courts are constructed within the confines of a common enclosure, the distance between side lines should be not less than 12' (3.658 m). Where space permits, it is desirable to provide additional space between side lines to enhance play.
6.0 Overhead Clearance
The space directly above the area within the playing lines should be free from any overhead obstructions for outside play, and should be not less than 20' (6.096 m) over the baseline and 35' (10.668 m) over the net line for indoor play.
The backstops should be 10' (or 3 m) in height above the court surface for most normal installations. Where local conditions dictate additional security or ball retention, a higher backstop may be required. For residential courts, 8' (2.438 m) in height is adequate when the adjacent area is such that a ball going over the backstop or sidestop can be retrieved without personal hazard or hardship and without undue intrusion on adjoining property.
The sidestops should be the same height as the backstops for a minimum distance of approximately 20' (6.096 m) from the backstop. The height of the sidestop in the remaining area, if used, may vary to suit local conditions. In no instance shall the sidestop, where used, be less than 3' (or 1 m) in height.
Backstop and sidestop material, when manufactured to metric standards, varies slightly from the dimensions set forth above. The equivalent standard dimension material may be substituted and has been indicated above.
8.0 Stadium - Tournament Court
For tournament play where judges are required, a clear area a minimum of 70' x 130' (21.336 m x 39.624 m) should be provided. This allows a minimum clear playing area of 60' x 120' (18.288 mx 36.576 m) with an additional perimeter area for judges as well as a safe overrun area for the players.
9.0 Net Posts
Net posts shall be set 3' (.914 m) outside the side line 33' (10.058 m) singles, 42' (12.802 m) doubles, center to center of posts. The top of the net at the inside face of the posts or supports when used to support a net for singles play on a doubles court shall be exactly 42" (1.067 m) above the court surface. There shall be no obstruction above the top of the net at any point, including at the post.
10.0 Playing Lines
Playing lines shall be (specify one: woven webbing saturated with a white lead or aluminum paint, approved by the manufacturer of the woven webbing) firmly held in place by 10d (specify one: aluminum* or copper) nails. Base lines shall be not more than four inches (4") wide and playing lines not more than two inches (2") wide, accurately positioned in accordance with regulations of the United States Tennis Association.
*Do not specify aluminum nails if base course contains slag or cinder materials.
Diagram: Recommended Tennis Court Layout
Notice: These proposed specifications are merely guides for use by architects, engineers, contractors and potential tennis court and track owners. Parties not experienced in tennis court and track construction are advised to consult a qualified contractor and/or design professional. Experienced contractors can be identified through the certification programs of the United States Tennis Court and Track Builders Association. The U.S. Tennis Court and Track Builders Association, its members and employees do not warrant the specifications as proper under all conditions.
Specification Guides Available
U.S. Tennis Court and Track Builders
For other information or help, consult any member of the U.S. Tennis Court and Track Builders Association.
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