• Introduction Tennis Courts Building
• Statutory Approvals Brief
• Disabled Users Policy
• Environmental Policy
• Design Parameters
The purpose of the tennis court building brief is to provide a guide to the
minimum standards to which new outdoor courts should be constructed.
This information should not be considered to be a complete building
brief in itself but the basis from which a full project brief, design and
specification can be evolved.
It should be noted that the dimensions contained in this document are
for recreational play and many require to be exceeded for specialist
events and tournaments. In these instances further advice should be
sought from the LTA.
All construction projects should conform to the requirements of all
relevant current building legislation, including British Standards and
Codes of Practice.
The LTA requires confirmation in writing that planning approvals have
been obtained (where appropriate).
It should be noted that the Construction Regulation 2007 (CDM
Regulations) will apply to most projects.
Disabled Users Policy
All new tennis facilities and extensions or refurbishment works to
existing facilities should meet or exceed the standards required by law
(set out in the current Building Regulations). The technical, financial and
tennis development aspects of all projects applying for LTA loans or
grants are vetted, and access for disabled users is considered as part of
this process. Please also refer to DTLR Building Regulations,
When designing any tennis facility, whether indoor, outdoor or both,
always consider the following for all potential users:
• Designated accessible parking.
• Access to all areas externally.
• High level bolts that cannot be reached.
• Matting impeding movement.
• Door widths that are too narrow. Sports chairs range up to a
• Strength of door closers.
• Corridor widths that do not allow passing of wheelchairs.
• Steps and thresholds that obstruct movement and use.
• Electrical sockets/switches, taps, handles, etc. are positioned to high
to be reached.
• Use of colours that are inappropriate for anyone with a sight
• Ramp gradients that are steep or have no landing areas.
• Steps generally.
• Unnecessary restrictions on the use of some tennis court surfaces.
• Viewing - height of balustrades and fences.
All projects that require LTA funding should use a recognised standard
form of building contract e.g. Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) standard
forms, which are suitable for dealing with a range of project values and
Space should be allocated on the construction site signboard for an
“LTA Building for Tennis” sign (310mm x 1220mm).
The LTA embraces environmental issues in the design of tennis
facilities. The following areas should be considered:
• use of materials obtained from renewable sources
• measures to minimise dependence on finite fossil fuels, emissions
and operating costs and improve energy efficiency.
Tennis Court Dimensions
Principal Playing Area (The area
bounded by the outside of the court
Length 23.77m (78’ 0”)
Width 10.97m (36’ 0”)
Length of net (doubles) 12.8m (42’ 0”)
Width of play lines (white) excluding 5cm (2”)
included within above court size
Base Line 5-10cm(4”)
Other dimensions Recommended Min Size
Runback (i.e. clear depth behind 6.40m (21’ 0”) 5.49m (18’00”)
baselines, at each end)
Side-run (i.e. clear width beside each 3.66m (12’ 0”) 3.05m (10’0”)
Side-run between courts not separately 4.27m (14’ 0”) 3.66m (12’0”)
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
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 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.
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 1.50m wide where space permits for sports wheelchair
On court shelters should be considered as an amenity for tennis
court users and to enhance the environment.
The choice of surface needs careful study and can be complicated by
the use many trade names for similar surfaces. Refer to your Facility
Project Manager for general guidance on appropriate surfaces for your
Bases for courts will be macadam on granular fill a thickness
suitable for the site conditions and in accordance with the court
surface installers instructions and specifications. Extensive repairs,
patching or grinding of surfaces will not be permitted.
Special attention is to be paid to the junction between the court
construction and the edge detail to ensure separation and lifting
does not occur at the perimeters due to moisture penetration or frost
Non-porous courts should be laid to a gradient to assist the removal of
surface water. The gradient should be across the court or lengthways
depending upon site conditions and the fall must be in a single plane.
The gradient for non-porous courts shall be min. 1:120 and max 1:100.
Porous courts should be laid to a maximum gradient of 1:120 and a
minimum of 1:200. Porous court may be laid flat if a gradient is
incorporated to the formation level.
It is suggested that all courts are to be fenced in green or black chain
link fencing to BS1722 Part 13. Angle section fence posts 50x50 are
commonly adopted, however a 60mm diameter tubular or rolled hollow
section, plastic coated coloured black or green post is preferred.
Careful attention should be paid to fixings, to ensure that there are no
sharp edges that would cause injury to either players or spectators.
The base of the fencing should be constructed so that the tennis balls
cannot get underneath the fencing and the edge of the court
construction. This can take the form of a horizontal bracing bar.
Generally the fencing should be 2.75m high, however, lowered sections
should be considered for viewing. The fencing should then be 2.75m
behind the base line and return two bays full height, the second of
which should slope down to height of 1.2m above the court surface for
the reminder of the side elevations. Where it can be achieved fencing
dividing multiple court enclosures should be min.1.2m high with one bay
from the surround fencing brought into the court at full height.
The gate provision should allow for maintenance access for batch court
surface and floodlighting
Wind screening maybe provided either in the form of landscaped earth
mounds, planting or porous windbreak screens mounted on the court
fencing. The design of the fencing must take due consideration of the
additional wind loads applied by the windbreaks with additional or
strengthened supports whether or not windbreaks are included in the
scheme. Windbreaks should not be left up all year.
Fixtures and Fittings
Equipment provided per court should include the following:
• Net and Posts
• Centre band and anchor
• Brushes and other maintenance equipment necessary to maintain
specialist surfaces, including suitable means to move water away
from the surface.
• Waste Bins
Where necessary provision should be considered to enable adequate
water, electrical and public address supplies to each court. These shall
be terminated in secure and safe boxes conforming with the relevant
regulations. Where not required service ducts should be provided to aid
Adequate drainage should be provided for each court as appropriate for
The floodlights are to be designed to meet LTA guidelines for
illumination and to ensure that routine maintenance such as changing of
bulbs, can be accomplished simply. The floodlight columns should
preferably not be positioned inside court enclosures.
The electrical installation should conform to the IEE regulations current
at the date of installation. Controls should enable individual courts to be
illuminated and controlled from a central point.
If show courts are to be included in the facilities, their special
requirements must be taken into consideration in the floodlighting
scheme design installation.
Where floodlights are not to be provided then the installation of the
necessary ducting etc., should be considered to enable floodlights to be
fitted at a latter date. Consideration should be given to the layout of the
ducting to enable central columns between courts to be accommodated.
For more detailed information in respect of floodlighting installation
please refer to our floodlighting guidance note.