1. Site Selection

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Typical Site Layout – 

Example: Glasnevin Tennis Club Dublin – 8 courts, Orientation( North-South)


1.1 Dimensions

Obviously the site chosen must permit the minimum court dimensions to be met i.e. Principal Playing Area (The area bounded by the outside of the court lines)

Length                                                                                  23.77m (78’ 0”)

Width                                                                                   10.97m (36’ 0”)

Length of net (doubles)                                                           12.8m (42’ 0”)

Width of play lines (white) excluding base line             5cm (2”) included within above court size

Base Line                                                                              5-10cm(4”)


1.2 Other dimensions

                                                                                                           Recommended Size                 Minimum Size

Runback (i.e. clear depth behind baselines, at each end)                               6.40m (21’ 0”)                    5.49m (18’00”)

Side-run (i.e. clear width beside each side)                                                  3.66m (12’ 0”)                    3.05m (10’0”)

Side-run between courts not separately enclosed)                                       4.27m (14’ 0”)                    3.66m (12’0”)


1.3 Design

The design of the scheme should be visually pleasing and create an environment that will be attractive to users of all ages and abilities. It should be fit for its intended purpose and made attractive by the considered use of landscaping materials, textures and colours in suitable combinations.


1.4 Court Layout and Orientation

Courts should be positioned with the centre-line of the courts running in a generally north/south orientation, although conditions may prevent this arrangement. This is to avoid problems of serving into the sun during the summer months. Courts should not preferably exceed three in a row. Consideration should be given for access to each court, without interrupting play on adjoining courts. If adjacent to an indoor centre, the outdoor courts should have access to the ancillary accommodation of the centre. The court layout should preferably ensure a view of all outdoor courts from reception in order to control their use, allow viewing from the social areas and have some visual relationship with any indoor courts.


1.5 Paths and Lighting

Paths must be provided to all court access doors and to allow movement around the site. Paths must have a suitable camber to shed water and be constructed from a suitable low slip material. Paths should be at least 1.5 m wide, where space permits, for sports wheelchair access.


1.6 Site Selection

If starting with a completely new tennis facility, of course many problems can be solved by careful selection of site to maximise the benefits with respect to items like :-

  • Cost
  • Orientation
  • Maintenance
  • Lighting and light spill
  • Impact on neighbours
  • Planning permission
  • Possibility of expansion, if required in the future, etc
  • Parking on site if required

Ground should be reasonably level, preferably on the same plane or higher than adjacent land, to allow drainage away from the courts

The site should be sheltered from prevailing winds, away from traffic noise and other distractions, and devoid of shadows cast by buildings or trees

A dark, solid background is desirable. Light backgrounds, such as white buildings, or moving backgrounds, such as people or traffic, should be avoided at the ends of the court. Landscaping or windscreens can be used to screen out inappropriate backgrounds.

Subsoil stability and drainage conditions are important to tennis court construction. Many sites may not require extensive site investigation. In some cases, shallow hand dug test pits, auger borings or backhoe excavation can reveal conditions which may cause potential problems. The presence of certain conditions, however, mandates more careful site investigation. These include: 1) peat or organic soils 2) uncontrolled fill materials or waste materials 3) expansive soils and 4) high ground water 5) solid rock which may have drainage impacts