Should we build a wall around our courts?

TTMR

Hall of Fame
At our latest community centre meeting, most of the board members put aside their usual cheapness and supported a rather expensive proposal: build a wall around the tennis courts. It has yet to be formally voted on and approved.

I remember back in the day when the courts were almost brand new and pristine, brimming with white-clothed players, headbands and wood racquets. There weren't even any rules posted on the fence; everyone knew how to act respectfully to each other and towards the facility. The courts are in a bit of a valley so you could see the lovely green tennis courts and watch people play from your house if it happened to be in the surrounding hills.

As the years went by and the number of tennis players dwindled, behaviour on the courts declined as well. We then had to start posting signs with a lot of 'Please don'ts". Eventually the signs got graffitied, then sliced through. The courts got re-painted from a beautiful forest green to a drab and 'modern' steel blue.

In the late 90s and early 2000s, the big trend was skateboarding on the courts. There were altercations between the old-timey tennis players and kids skating around. The skateboarding fad faded, but the non-tennis use of the courts increased. The courts are now just as often used for dogwalking, biking, mysterious transactions and pickleball as they are for tennis. Our neighbourhood has had an influx of undesirables disobeying the night curfew on the signs, and using the courts to play loud foreign music and have parties. The police have been called, but they are reluctant to get involved. We're not allowed to hire armed security in our town. There's been talk of demolishing the courts.

If the wall is constructed, access to the courts would work on the 'shopping cart' principle. You would put in a deposit of a certain amount, and you'd get a key or swipe card to the door of the courts. You'd have to return your key or card into the machine to get your money back.

Is building a wall around the courts too extreme? What ideas has your community implemented to keep non-tennis use to a minimum and the troublemakers out?
 

5sets

Professional
At our latest community centre meeting, most of the board members put aside their usual cheapness and supported a rather expensive proposal: build a wall around the tennis courts. It has yet to be formally voted on and approved.

I remember back in the day when the courts were almost brand new and pristine, brimming with white-clothed players, headbands and wood racquets. There weren't even any rules posted on the fence; everyone knew how to act respectfully to each other and towards the facility. The courts are in a bit of a valley so you could see the lovely green tennis courts and watch people play from your house if it happened to be in the surrounding hills.

As the years went by and the number of tennis players dwindled, behaviour on the courts declined as well. We then had to start posting signs with a lot of 'Please don'ts". Eventually the signs got graffitied, then sliced through. The courts got re-painted from a beautiful forest green to a drab and 'modern' steel blue.

In the late 90s and early 2000s, the big trend was skateboarding on the courts. There were altercations between the old-timey tennis players and kids skating around. The skateboarding fad faded, but the non-tennis use of the courts increased. The courts are now just as often used for dogwalking, biking, mysterious transactions and pickleball as they are for tennis. Our neighbourhood has had an influx of undesirables disobeying the night curfew on the signs, and using the courts to play loud foreign music and have parties. The police have been called, but they are reluctant to get involved. We're not allowed to hire armed security in our town. There's been talk of demolishing the courts.

If the wall is constructed, access to the courts would work on the 'shopping cart' principle. You would put in a deposit of a certain amount, and you'd get a key or swipe card to the door of the courts. You'd have to return your key or card into the machine to get your money back.

Is building a wall around the courts too extreme? What ideas has your community implemented to keep non-tennis use to a minimum and the troublemakers out?
All nondesirables will be shot on sight. This list includes anyone merangueing or salsaing to foreign music, skateboarders, bikers, pickleballers, and anyone else using the tennis courts for non tennis purposes.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G928A using Tapatalk
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
The wall does seem a little extreme, as is your description of the "undesirables"

Around here most of our public parks have really nice skateboarding parks with ramps and such right near the tennis courts ... keeps those ruffians happy in their own space LOL

But a fence would be good, it could even be a fence with a code to get in if you so desired.

I think all public spaces should be considered public and communities should design and provide facilities/parks that will be good for entire community not just a small subset, and we tennis players are a small subset, dog walkers, ruffians, and skallawags doing shenanigans are probably the majority.
 

Powderwombat

Semi-Pro
I wish more courts had even a low fence with a space in the middle for easy access, that separates connected courts, because the ones that don't you find yourself picking up the other court's balls like 5x more often than the occasional one that hits a netpost and rolls away through the fence gap.

Is there a reason so many courts don't do this?
 

TTMR

Hall of Fame
The wall does seem a little extreme, as is your description of the "undesirables"

Around here most of our public parks have really nice skateboarding parks with ramps and such right near the tennis courts ... keeps those ruffians happy in their own space LOL

But a fence would be good, it could even be a fence with a code to get in if you so desired.

I think all public spaces should be considered public and communities should design and provide facilities/parks that will be good for entire community not just a small subset, and we tennis players are a small subset, dog walkers, ruffians, and skallawags doing shenanigans are probably the majority.
We have a fence already, with a gate at each end. We padlocked one of the gates but vagrants go in the other way or bust the padlock. It's not too fun when your match is interrupted so a person can ask for some change or a cigarette. One time I was so aggravated I threw some change over the fence into the grass so the guy would go scrounging for it.

While there is no skatepark at our community centre, there is a big parking lot, and the dogwalkers have a huge field next to the soccer pitch where the Ultimate Frisbee players play. Unfortunately they still insist on using the tennis courts, especially in winter.

The idea is to build a wall around the outer fence. In some ways it's symbolic, a message to the broader community that we only want certain types within these walls.

Too extreme and just plain old dumb idea.

Keep tennis free.

Isn't there some kind of fence? Yeah just put a fence around it with a gate.
Tennis would still be free, you'd just need to place a reasonable deposit into the collection machine, which you'd get back after you return your key or card. If a card system is implemented, timeslots could be enforced: if you return the card past the timestamp, you fail to get your deposit back and your card will no longer unlock the gate. Community centre fees would definitely have to increase to pay for the wall, but that will mostly impact people in various leagues (not just tennis) and teams.
 

TTMR

Hall of Fame
Build the wall.


And make Mexico pay for it.
That's humourous. There was the suggestion that fines collected from trespassing and vandalism should pay for the wall, but those amounts would be minuscule compared to the actual cost of construction.
Funny that this thread came up... we just recently finished the walling-in project on our neighborhood tennis court.
Came out pretty well I think.
That's a little excessive. One beautiful design for the wall an architect on the board quickly sketched out included a large window/viewing area for the neighbours/passers by to watch the tennis through.

The Trump connections thrown at this thread, while funny, are quite off-target in this case. Our board and neighbourhood want to bring back the tennis-and indeed the neighbourhood itself- as it was. It's true that a wall won't accomplish this, which most recognize. What will?
 
Our board and neighbourhood want to bring back the tennis-and indeed the neighbourhood itself- as it was. It's true that a wall won't accomplish this, which most recognize. What will?
how 'bout some hungry pit-bulls rented for overnights from a guard-dog company
 

norcal

Hall of Fame
A solid wall would block the wind so I'm for it.

It needs a roof too, in case the homeless get tempted to throw urine filled water balloons over the wall at OP.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
To take this troll thread seriously for a bit, we had problems on the courts near my house I play on. The courts are in a city park.
  • There are 3 courts with fences between the courts. Were just redone by the city a few years ago. They are lighted. Very nice.
  • Park has a large field for soccer (goals are present). Sand volleyball court. Shelter for picnics. Playground equipment.
There are chains / locks on the gates, but the courts are unlocked most of the time. We had a problem with skateboarders for a while. It was so bad that one day the net post was actually broken off. Looked like the skateboarders were using the net cord to jump on and do tricks. They probably noticed the net post started to give way, so as you might expect with teenage boys, they kept at it until the broke it. Really nothing unusual here.

After this, they started to keep the courts locked pretty often. Tennis players complained. Eventually the courts were unlocked again. Things went fine for a while, but then soccer players started using the courts. The soccer ball is heavy enough to tear the nets with repeated kicking, so the nets were often in bad shape until the city replaced them.

So in the fall of 2016 I was practicing serves on a Sunday evening. There was a dad and his two high school age sons playing soccer on the first court. The middle court's net was sagging to the ground. I took the far court. Half hour later a family (Mom, Dad and their two junior high school aged girls; all pretty good players) came to play. They asked the soccer players if they would switch courts so they could have the court with the good net. Soccer players refused. Argument ensues. Soccer players stay. Family continues to play on the court with the bad net. I tell them I'll only be about 20 more minutes. Tensions are high.

As I'm leaving and walking to my car, I tell the soccer players that this is the last time they will ever play soccer on the tennis courts. I take out a notebook and write down their license plate number. Soccer players ask me what I'm doing. I tell them that I'm calling the Park Superintendent Monday morning and having signage put up restricting use of the courts to tennis players only. I and others will be phoning the non-emergency police number to report anyone using the courts for non-tennis purposes. I'm writing down their license plate number so I know that they are previous violators.

Within a week of calling the Superintendent, we had a sign on all gates to the courts that reads "Tennis Use Only. Please call the Non-Emergency police at ##### with any problems". We have not had a problem on these courts since that time.
 
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I applaud your courage to protect tennis courts from vandalism, few people have the courage or take their responsibility as a citizen to get involved, or even make an anonymous phone call to the authorities. The city departments are there and will usually do their job if someone informs them of an issue. In earlier times, neighborhood recreational facilities had a supervisor to protect public property and maintain fair play and civility. Often these were phys-ed majors at colleges or retirees making a little money and organizing after-school activities, keeping kids out of trouble. In kali, vast areas of public rec spaces are unsupervised, subjected to constant vandalism and drug use. The government has abdicated their responsibility to the taxpayers to maintain and protect the properties they are in charge of. There are plenty of unemployed people who could be supervising these facilities, doing maintenance and being the eyes and ears for the police calling them when physical harm or vandalism is eminent. Instead the gov hands out free money to indigents so they can spend it on alcohol, drugs and die slowly on the sidewalk, because some judge in Manhattan many years ago that that is their right.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I take out a notebook and write down their license plate number. Soccer players ask me what I'm doing. I tell them that I'm calling the Park Superintendent Monday morning and having signage put up restricting use of the courts to tennis players only. I and others will be phoning the non-emergency police number to report anyone using the courts for non-tennis purposes. I'm writing down their license plate number so I know that they are previous violators.
Ever heard of a cell phone camera? No one writes down these things anymore LOL.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Our club courts which are public courts in a park are locked up at night. There is also police patrol in the area.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
I applaud your courage to protect tennis courts from vandalism, few people have the courage or take their responsibility as a citizen to get involved, or even make an anonymous phone call to the authorities. The city departments are there and will usually do their job if someone informs them of an issue.
You're right.

When the family was asking them to leave, the soccer players responded that it was a public park and they could use it just as much as anybody else. I started looking around for signage I could point to so I could tell them it was for tennis players and that they needed to use the soccer field to play soccer. There wasn't anything there.

So when I called the Superintendent, I told went over all the damage non-tennis players are doing to the court and that we need signage that restricts it's use. We talked about what the sign should say. I told him to keep it simple "Tennis Use Only". Then I suggested that he add the non-emergency number to give it a bit more "force".

During our conversation, he indirectly said what you said above. That he counts on people like me calling him and that if others would do that, his job would be much easier.
 

dhnels

New User
Within a week of calling the Superintendent, we had a sign on all gates to the courts that reads "Tennis Use Only. Please call the Non-Emergency police at ##### with any problems". We have not had a problem on these courts since that time.
Good job, glad it worked out for you. We had the exact same problem last year: soccer players refused to leave, tennis players called police, ended up with a police supervisor coming out and talking with Parks & Rec director. Decided they couldn't "officially" kick them off because there is no city ordinance to enforce the posted rules. But they can make them leave if they are disorderly...
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
You're right.

When the family was asking them to leave, the soccer players responded that it was a public park and they could use it just as much as anybody else. I started looking around for signage I could point to so I could tell them it was for tennis players and that they needed to use the soccer field to play soccer. There wasn't anything there.

So when I called the Superintendent, I told went over all the damage non-tennis players are doing to the court and that we need signage that restricts it's use. We talked about what the sign should say. I told him to keep it simple "Tennis Use Only". Then I suggested that he add the non-emergency number to give it a bit more "force".

During our conversation, he indirectly said what you said above. That he counts on people like me calling him and that if others would do that, his job would be much easier.
Cameras with AI software would be much more useful.

Geez in this day and age they still rely on humans to this kind of reporting?
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
Good job, glad it worked out for you. We had the exact same problem last year: soccer players refused to leave, tennis players called police, ended up with a police supervisor coming out and talking with Parks & Rec director. Decided they couldn't "officially" kick them off because there is no city ordinance to enforce the posted rules. But they can make them leave if they are disorderly...
I'm actually not sure what the police could do if called. I suspect not much as you suggest. Fortunately, the "bluff" seems to be working for now.
 
Nice post count sury, 47,000, what is the prize for most posts here?--a TW t-shirt--once again you get the prize for most troll posts in one thread. Those cameras you speak of don't work that well in England or elsewhere to stop terrorism--only guns do--the hashsassins who kill innocents don't care if they are on camera or not--they are in it to die and get their 73 virgins--(have they been told they are virgin sheep?). Calling the police may help if they are able to respond while having to protect their own lives from the barbarians at the the gates. It's getting harder to get hire peace officers anymore as fewer and fewer are willing to take the job and face the abuse, risking their lives enforcing laws and the regulatory schemes the crooked politicians devise--next time your life, or the lives of your loved ones is in danger, call a hippy.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
^^^ It should be pretty easy with today's AI technology to detect people on a tennis court who are not playing tennis, with a high degree of certainty.

The cameras you don't seem to believe in are the first level defense in innumerable cities, airports, hotels and homes in the world, so I can't make any sense of your illogical rant.
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
I'd go with an electric shock fence to keep out miscreants and undesirables (pickle ball players & etc.)
 

swizzy

Hall of Fame
i coach and we looked into a single hitting wall and the price was incredible for what it is.. tennis dwindling is the problem. a wall could make the courts a mausoleum. a few people living on that hill and a few calls to the police could solve the problems with decay of society
 
Those cameras will last about ten seconds until they are vandalized and stolen. Numerous rest-areas along interstate highways are closed down due to the copper wiring being stolen by pirate recyclers, plenty of cameras on them--even dedicated parking spaces for CHP that are never in them. So the perps will be on camera, so what--they will be "catched & released" by a crooked judge for a committing a "victemless" property crime--Moonbeam's jails are full to capacity, he releases "non-violent" dangerous felons everyday, due to tennis court overcrowding in the prison yards. It is inhumane not to have a higher ratio of tennis courts per prisoner at San Quentin. Kate Steinle's murderer walked in frisco--he's now suing for being inconvenienced.
 
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sureshs

Bionic Poster
I'd go with an electric shock fence to keep out miscreants and undesirables (pickle ball players & etc. )
What happens when I give you a deep high topspin ball with so much topspin that after it bounces, you run back trying to get to it and hit the fence instead?
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Those cameras will last about ten seconds until they are vandalized and stolen. So the perps will be on camera, so what--they will be "catched & released" by a crooked judge for a victimless property crime--Moonbeam's jails are full to capacity, he releases "non-violent" dangerous felons everyday, due to tennis court overcrowding in the prison yards. It is inhumane not to have a higher ratio of tennis courts per prisoner at San Quentin.
No, cameras can be small and concealed, and can transmit images and sound alarms as they are being vandalized. There are even setups with fake cameras with the real ones hidden which can catch people quick.
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
i coach and we looked into a single hitting wall and the price was incredible for what it is.. tennis dwindling is the problem. a wall could make the courts a mausoleum. a few people living on that hill and a few calls to the police could solve the problems with decay of society
I'm surprised a hitting wall would cost very much.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
What happens when I give you a deep high topspin ball with so much topspin that after it bounces, you run back trying to get to it and hit the fence instead?
The electric fence idea by @heninfan99 was plausible.

You hitting this shot is outside the realm of reality. We've all seen you play.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
The electric fence was plausible.

You hitting this shot is outside the realm of reality. We've all seen you play.
LOL I have done this to multiple people. The last time ended badly. It was at the local resort where I am summoned to play with guests. We were playing doubles and I hit a a deep high topspin which the guy chased over his head and then hit the fence, through whose holes the "foliage in the natural setting" famously advertised by the resort was protruding through all over. His hands and legs were bleeding and we had to get him towels and ice.
 
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