Tennis is the fastest growing major sport by a wide margin. People can play from age 5 to 105. Playing tennis is social and good exercise which helps people stay healthy, increases quality of life and lowers health care costs. There are an abundance of public tennis courts controlled by schools, municipalities and parks. These courts are open to the public and mostly free. This sounds good… but actually, it’s counterproductive.
Because public courts are mostly free, public authorities feel that they do not have to supervise or maintain them. This causes tennis courts to deteriorate, become unpleasant to play on and causes injuries. In addition, public authorities are generally not aware that tennis courts can be programmed and that people love participating in lessons and various competitions. Tennis can be played individually or in teams. Yet there are few if any public programs. Leagues like those in soccer, baseball and hockey are almost non-existent in tennis.
The reason for this is that public authorities generally do not enable booking strategies for tennis courts like those used for other facilities (which are usually better maintained). Sport organizers can reserve or pay to use fields, rinks, gyms and pools. Sometimes these facilities are open; sometimes they are reserved. These same principles should apply to tennis courts.
If tennis courts could be reserved some of the time to allow people to book playtimes and organizers to carry on programs, tennis courts would generate revenue, there would be more programming for players and the authorities would have more funds to maintain and upgrade the courts.