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Anyone for tennis?

Planning a new sports pitch? Think ahead, says Mo Ali, and you can cater for more sports than you might imagine

Posted by Hannah Oakman | October 05, 2015 | Facilities & buildings

Back in the summer here at Zaun Limited, we sold a lot of tennis mesh on the back of both better British progress at Wimbledon and enhancements to our mesh fencing system – the only one in the UK designed specifically for tennis courts.

Traditional tennis chain link fencing deforms over time and is easy to cut, disfigure and vandalise. It also traps – or even lets through – tennis balls hit at velocity. By contrast, Zaun’s Advantage Tennis mesh employs Duo fencing with vertical wire centres spaced every 42mm (rather than 50mm), ensuring that balls are retained within the court even under heavy use – while still allowing easy viewing of the on-court action.

But with the prevalence of bad weather during British summers and the shortness of the tennis season, it makes economic sense for independent schools to maximise their assets by allowing courts to accommodate other sports.

Specification of our Super Rebound fencing system allows a tennis court to stage many other games. Our most popular requests from independent schools are for five-a-side football, basketball and netball, followed by tennis and hockey. All require different markings and run-off areas – and appropriate goal areas, which can normally be incorporated into the perimeter with good planning. Here are some key tips when planning your sports surfaces:

Think about the orientation of play 

You might want capacity for a full-sized football pitch, with smaller five-a-side variants at right angles. A single orientation of play might let you reduce side fences to just 1.2m, which will both reduce cost and create a less caged-in field of play.

Think about which sports the pitch must accommodate 

We often specify combined basketball hoops and back boards with football goals, or incorporate full-size goals with recesses to store them in.  The ultimate solution would be our Super Rebound range, all the way to 3m high behind sloped goals – as opposed to the typical 2.7m chain link fencing – with the lowest 200 or 400mm featuring additional wires to provide a hockey-effect absorption of high-impact balls without high-maintenance traditional wooden boards.

With sufficient forethought, fencing can keep balls in play, reduce maintenance, provide safety and security, deter vandalism and graffiti – and even be an integral part of the field of play.

So think about your needs three or five years down the line. The more you can plan and specify usage at the outset, the more you can keep costs down as the facility evolves.

Mo Ali is sales manager for sports systems at Zaun Limited, a British manufacturer of sports perimeter and high-security steel fencing systems.

Contacts 01902 796699 / /

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