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View Full Version : Shouldn't there be a rule/law against coaching on public courts?


pmata814
10-28-2011, 10:39 AM
I know this board has a lot of private coaches, and I don't mean to upset anyone, but I think it's totally unfair that I can never get a court because coaches hog up all the courts.

There are 3 tennis courts close to my house and there are 2 coaches who go set up their baskets at 5pm and don't leave until 9pm! One of the coaches uses up 2 courts for his kids academy so no one can play until 9pm. Isn't there a law that should prohibit this? I'm sure that what I pay for property taxes must go in some way to build/maintain these courts. So I'm basically paying rent so these coaches can go and make a profit.

Whenever I have taken lessons it has always been at a club where the coach either pays rent or is hired by the club. I think this is how it should be. Has anyone had experience with this as well? I live in South Texas so I don't know if it's the same anywhere else.

mikeler
10-28-2011, 10:46 AM
The coaches may have payed for those courts. I suggest contacting your local parks and recreation first to ask what the situation is.

woodrow1029
10-28-2011, 10:52 AM
Also, the coach may be giving lessons FOR the city. There are 3 courts a block away from my house. My wife and I went to play on a Wednesday night last year, and were told that we could use the court for 30 minutes, but from 6-8pm every Wednesday, an instructor was coming to give lessons to under-privileged kids pro-bono that couldn't afford to pay for lessons. And this was sponsored and coordinated by the city.

pmata814
10-28-2011, 11:02 AM
I thought of both of those scenarios and called parks and recs and they were not aware of any coaches using the courts. They said they were gonna send someone to assess the situation but I don't think they ever did.

Also, would it be legal for public courts to be "rented" out to coaches? I understand if this would be for the city but this is not the case.

JRstriker12
10-28-2011, 11:03 AM
I know this board has a lot of private coaches, and I don't mean to upset anyone, but I think it's totally unfair that I can never get a court because coaches hog up all the courts.

There are 3 tennis courts close to my house and there are 2 coaches who go set up their baskets at 5pm and don't leave until 9pm! One of the coaches uses up 2 courts for his kids academy so no one can play until 9pm. Isn't there a law that should prohibit this? I'm sure that what I pay for property taxes must go in some way to build/maintain these courts. So I'm basically paying rent so these coaches can go and make a profit.

Whenever I have taken lessons it has always been at a club where the coach either pays rent or is hired by the club. I think this is how it should be. Has anyone had experience with this as well? I live in South Texas so I don't know if it's the same anywhere else.

Most cities/counties/communities etc. do have regulations on requirements for using public/community courts for giving paid lessons.

In my area, the coach has to be apply to be authorized to use public courts to teach, and they have to pay for the court time.

Keep in mind that some coaches do have the right to provide lessons under local programs. Once park near me has clinics and lessons until about 8:30pm on 3 sets of courts, then has a league the rest of the night.

I've also been places where the police has kicked off an unauthorized coach due to complaints for the residents near the courts. I suggest you do the same, call your city/county/HOA and find out if who owns the courts and whether this coach is authorized to use the courts. If not, file a complaint.

woodrow1029
10-28-2011, 11:06 AM
I thought of both of those scenarios and called parks and recs and they were not aware of any coaches using the courts. They said they were gonna send someone to assess the situation but I don't think they ever did.

Also, would it be legal for public courts to be "rented" out to coaches? I understand if this would be for the city but this is not the case.

"Public courts" just means that anyone is allowed to play on it, without being a member. Cities can still charge a fee to play on public courts, and some do allow private lessons, some don't.

mikeler
10-28-2011, 11:24 AM
"Public courts" just means that anyone is allowed to play on it, without being a member. Cities can still charge a fee to play on public courts, and some do allow private lessons, some don't.


I'd like to add with shrinking government budgets at all levels, any revenue source for a city/county is going to be welcomed.

sureshs
10-28-2011, 11:36 AM
I know this board has a lot of private coaches, and I don't mean to upset anyone, but I think it's totally unfair that I can never get a court because coaches hog up all the courts.

There are 3 tennis courts close to my house and there are 2 coaches who go set up their baskets at 5pm and don't leave until 9pm! One of the coaches uses up 2 courts for his kids academy so no one can play until 9pm. Isn't there a law that should prohibit this? I'm sure that what I pay for property taxes must go in some way to build/maintain these courts. So I'm basically paying rent so these coaches can go and make a profit.

Whenever I have taken lessons it has always been at a club where the coach either pays rent or is hired by the club. I think this is how it should be. Has anyone had experience with this as well? I live in South Texas so I don't know if it's the same anywhere else.

Whatever it is, occupying courts from 5 to 9 pm should not be allowed. I would suggest confronting the coaches and asking them to provide you proof of their permits. If they refuse, tell them you will be taking pictures of them on your cell phone and approaching the parks and rec council or whatever to find out. That will scare them, and also their students, who will start asking questions themselves.

Mick
10-28-2011, 11:46 AM
there's this lady whose son would practice at the courts where i play. every time she saw this one unauthorized coach using the court, she would call the cops and the cops would come and kick the coach off the courts but the coach would return and the cycle would continue until one day the coach disappeared for good.

Dedans Penthouse
10-28-2011, 11:47 AM
I dunno, but definitely in a public court of law

Fearsome Forehand
10-28-2011, 01:20 PM
Generally, the policy is posted. If the coach isn' t tied to the local tennis center/parks and recreation, then he has no business tying up the court for more than an hour if people are waiting. Most public courts limit play to one hour if others are waiting. Morever, most cities forbid use of public courts for private lessons.

I would keep complaining to the parks and rec department, take pics of the guy, etc. Ask them to complain to the cops and if he does it again, call the cops.

But, first, approach the guy about taking lessons, get all his contact info, his business card if he has one. Then your local parks dept or police will know who he is and can call him/warn him to stop.

GS
10-28-2011, 01:47 PM
The law is posted on the fence on all the public courts here---no teaching for pay allowed. But, since times are tough, alot of jerks still hog the courts all day for a few bucks. Now I have to go to different courts. Luckily, some players have now been calling the cops on these guys.

Cindysphinx
10-28-2011, 01:49 PM
The situation here is quite complex. And contentious.

In DC, public courts have a sign saying no paid coaching is allowed. In my limited experience, this is routinely ignored. Still, if someone were tying up a court for hours giving paid lessons, you would have good cause to pursue it.

In Maryland, things are quite murky.

There is no posted sign prohibiting coaching. There is a sign saying you must relinquish the court after an hour if people are waiting.

Some of the coaches who are authorized by the county to give lessons indoors get very upset if another coach uses an outdoor public court to give a lesson. One has told me that coaches who teach outdoors are skimming clients who would otherwise use his services (this is false because he is a terrible pro, but that's another thread).

There are also some weird regulations requiring a permit governing whether someone can give a lesson on the public courts. They don't make a lot of sense if one pro wants to use a court to give a lesson for an hour. For instance, to get a permit you need a bond of $1 million. And having the permit means you can reserve a court, but there is no reservation system.

I called the county once and asked if it was OK if my pro gave me a lesson at the park and whether we needed a permit, and I was told, "Go enjoy your lesson, honey." The person said the permit process is mostly to prevent people from setting up entire summer camps out of the park, perhaps creating liability for the county if someone gets hurt.

Anyway, one of my pros uses public courts for lessons. He limits himself to non-peak times so he doesn't have a problem. Still, I know people who have grumbled because he is teaching at public courts, even though this has never prevented them from using a court.

Personally, I think people should mind their own business. If there are open courts, then I think they should let the poor man feed his family, for goodness' sake. It's a tough economy, and he is a taxpayer also.

Up&comer
10-28-2011, 02:10 PM
There's an academy relatively close to me that uses pubic clay courts and hard courts, but he is authorized to do so. Luckily I have both clay and hard courts about a 10 minute run from my house, which believe me, is sweet.

merlebo02
10-28-2011, 02:15 PM
Public courts are just that, public courts. I think everyone should be able to play on them but there should be a time limit… You can coach all day long but if someone is waiting on the court they must get off. Around here if someone is waiting on the courts you can only play 1.5 hrs and you have to let the next person have it..

goober
10-28-2011, 02:17 PM
I know this board has a lot of private coaches, and I don't mean to upset anyone, but I think it's totally unfair that I can never get a court because coaches hog up all the courts.

There are 3 tennis courts close to my house and there are 2 coaches who go set up their baskets at 5pm and don't leave until 9pm! One of the coaches uses up 2 courts for his kids academy so no one can play until 9pm. Isn't there a law that should prohibit this? I'm sure that what I pay for property taxes must go in some way to build/maintain these courts. So I'm basically paying rent so these coaches can go and make a profit.

Whenever I have taken lessons it has always been at a club where the coach either pays rent or is hired by the club. I think this is how it should be. Has anyone had experience with this as well? I live in South Texas so I don't know if it's the same anywhere else.

First check out the situation with the local governing body. In my experience most of these public court coaches are not suppose to be using the courts for private lessons. If there is just one and I have an open court I won't say anything. If they are monopolizing the courts and especially if there are more than one of them I get them kicked out. Don't let them intimidate you. These coaches will fold like a house of cards when challenged because they know they have no ground to stand on. Also it is not good for business if you have a group of angry adults arguing in front paying customers.

r2473
10-28-2011, 02:52 PM
Is Uncle Toni at it again?

goran_ace
10-28-2011, 03:20 PM
There are public courts near me that have a sign that says if there are people waiting for an open court play should be limited to an hour. This is more of a courtesy and there is no way to enforce it, but generally people are nice about it and often if there are two people on a court and there are people waiting you'll see them pair up w strangers to play doubles.

Also, I've taught free clinics for inner city kids before on public courts. When that has happened the park and rec system put up a sign on the fence that said the courts are reserved for the event.

Personally, I don't think it is fair for a freelance instructor to hog the public courts for four hours like that if there are people waiting for to use a court because they don't want to work for a club and have to pay fees. They are running a business three, not using the courts for leisure as intended. I would make a few phone calls complain to someone in the park system.

pmata814
10-28-2011, 05:44 PM
thanks to all for your replies. Very informative.

jht32
10-28-2011, 06:39 PM
There's an academy relatively close to me that uses pubic clay courts and hard courts, but he is authorized to do so. Luckily I have both clay and hard courts about a 10 minute run from my house, which believe me, is sweet.

Pubic courts? I think I'll pass.

Seriously, if a pro is giving lessons on the public courts and not authorized by the city, I'm okay with that as long has the pro abides by the same rules that any other rec player has to abide by. That is, stay a max of X hours when others are waiting.

archman
10-28-2011, 06:45 PM
If you get there at 4:30 before him does he kick you off?

Leelord337
10-28-2011, 09:50 PM
I know this board has a lot of private coaches, and I don't mean to upset anyone, but I think it's totally unfair that I can never get a court because coaches hog up all the courts.

There are 3 tennis courts close to my house and there are 2 coaches who go set up their baskets at 5pm and don't leave until 9pm! One of the coaches uses up 2 courts for his kids academy so no one can play until 9pm. Isn't there a law that should prohibit this? I'm sure that what I pay for property taxes must go in some way to build/maintain these courts. So I'm basically paying rent so these coaches can go and make a profit.

Whenever I have taken lessons it has always been at a club where the coach either pays rent or is hired by the club. I think this is how it should be. Has anyone had experience with this as well? I live in South Texas so I don't know if it's the same anywhere else.

just go play at one of your local colleges courts

mad dog1
11-06-2011, 04:16 PM
I thought of both of those scenarios and called parks and recs and they were not aware of any coaches using the courts. They said they were gonna send someone to assess the situation but I don't think they ever did.

Also, would it be legal for public courts to be "rented" out to coaches? I understand if this would be for the city but this is not the case.

yes, it is. the city i live in rents out courts to coaches. they rent the court for $5.00/hr to teach. happens at the court near my home.

Fifth Set
11-06-2011, 04:51 PM
This garbage is another example of how the whole notion of "public tennis courts" may well fade into history. Local governments historically charged with parks and recreation responsibilities have bankrupted themselves with mismanagement, expensive pension obligations and land use adventurism. The result is a lack of funds for tennis. Lights are being turned off, courts are not being maintained and new courts are a rarity.

Folks need to take the courts back. How? Community tennis associations could be part of the answer. Become active yourself with the local government. And, don't let folks disrespect the courts, whether that means playing soccer with cleats when the field is wet, bringing Fido onto the court or conducting private lessons without a permit - confront them and ask them to leave.