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Procedures for the Safe Re-Opening of the Tennis Court

Every Member has an important role to play to keep the Club, the Professionals, and fellow Members safe and ensure that the Court can remain open.

The paramount consideration for the Committee is the safety of the Professionals and the Members. We have considered the guidance provided by the Government, the Tennis and Rackets Association and Sport England in preparing the following policies and procedures.

The Committee appreciates that some of these procedures will cause inconvenience to Members. We shall relax them when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, the Committee thank Members for their co-operation.

Procedures have been put in place for:

1. Booking Courts

2. Before leaving home

3. Arriving at the Court

4. During Play

5. After Play

6. The Club’s own Track and Trace process

7. Compliance

Covid Compliance Officer

The committee member appointed as the Club’s Covid Compliance Officer is:

Martin Tucker

07532 469500

1    Booking Courts
1.1    The Court may only be booked for:
(a)    Singles 
(b)    Doubles where the players forming each pair are from the same household or, if not, by players who have given their prior written agreement to the doubles rules of play below.
(c)    Individual or doubles coaching
(d)    Solo practice
1.2    The Government has introduced a three tier Covid alert level system with different rules applying to each local authority’s level of alert. 
1.2.2    If Hatfield is in Tier 1 – Medium Risk – Bookings and play as per the rules set out in this document provided all players live in a Tier 1 area. Players who live in an area which is under Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions can only play at the club in accordance with 1.2.3 below.
1.2.3    If Hatfield is in Tier 2 or 3 – High or Very High Risk – Social matches may only be played between players from the same household. Individual players, or players from the same household, may book coaching sessions. There shall be in no competitive play.
1.3    Bookings shall be for a period of sixty minutes.
1.4    There shall be ten minutes between the end of one booking and the commencement of the next to allow for ventilation of the Court. 
1.5    If Players do not come off court promptly after sixty minutes the Pros have the authority to instruct them to vacate the Court. 
1.6    Payment of court accounts may only be done by bank transfer. No cash or cheque payments can be accepted until further notice.


2    Before Leaving Home
2.1    Players MUST NOT attend the Club if feeling unwell on the day of the booking or if he or she has, or anyone in their household has during the last fourteen days:
    2.1.1    Tested positive for Coronavirus
    2.1.2    Had a test for Coronavirus and are awaiting the results
    2.1.3    Been in self-isolation
    2.1.4    Had a high fever
    2.1.5    Had a new continuous cough
    2.1.6    Experienced a loss or change in your sense of taste or smell
    2.1.7    To the best of their knowledge, been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for Coronavirus, had a test and is awaiting the results or has any of these symptoms.
2.2    A Player developing any symptoms who has a pre-existing booked court must cancel the booking as soon as possible to allow the Pros the opportunity to find another player.
2.3    Late cancellation fees shall be waived in respect of anyone cancelling their court for one of the reasons above.
2.4    Wash your hands with soap and water or anti-bacterial handwash for at least twenty seconds prior to leaving your home.
2.5    Players must arrive at the Club in their kit and ready to play, save for their shoes. The Gentlemen’s changing room is closed until further notice. The Ladies’ changing room is also closed but will be accessible as a Fire Exit only.  Players should change into their court shoes in the galleries prior to play, ensuring that they remain at least 2m (6ft) from each other at all times.
2.6    Players must bring their own towel and a full water bottle. The water cooler will be unavailable for use until further notice.
2.7    Although hand-sanitizer will be provided at the Club, players are requested to bring their own if possible.
2.8         Players should avoid travelling to the Club on public transport if possible.
2.9       Players should come to the Club alone. Spectators are not permitted until further notice.

3    On arrival at the Club
3.1    Due to the numerous possible touch points when the rear gate and spiral staircase is used, entry and exit from the Club shall be via the main entrance unless the Fore Street gate is closed.
3.2    The main entrance door to the Club shall be left open when possible but in inclement weather the door will be closed. If closed, it will, when possible, be left unlatched. Players should push the door open using their shoulder or arm rather than touching the door with their hand and only use the keylock and handle when necessary. 
3.3    Players shall not enter the Club earlier than five minutes before your court time.
3.4    Players shall not enter the Club without a face mask covering both their nose and mouth. This must be worn at all times whilst in the Club, including whilst in the entrance lobby, dedans and galleries corridor. It may only be taken off when entering the Court and must be replaced on exiting the Court. A pack of disposable face masks shall be beside the boxes of gloves inside the entrance. Any player arriving at the Club without a face mask shall be required to take and wear one from this pack. The player must dispose of the mask on or after leaving the Club.
3.5    If a Pro is on duty, and not on Court, the Pro shall ask the Player if he or she has any of the symptoms in 2.1 above.
3.6    Players shall use the hand-sanitizer on entering the Club.
3.7    Players speaking to the Pros do so through the window opposite the noticeboard.
3.8    Players must not enter the Pro’s office.
3.9    Players must not enter the Clubroom, which shall be closed until further notice.
3.10    If, on arrival, there are Players on court the Player waiting to play shall wait in the Dedans and sit at least 2 metres away from any other Player.
3.11    The seats in the Dedans shall be positioned to preserve social distancing. Do not move any seat.
3.12    Players coming off court must be allowed to start to exit through the main door or descend the spiral staircase before a new Player shall leave the Dedans and proceed to Court.
3.13    Players shall take all their belongings on to Court. One Player shall place his or her belongings in the Door Gallery and the other shall place theirs in the Hazard Door Gallery.


4    During Play
4.1    Balls will be marked A, B, C, D, E, F, G and H. Balls will be split between baskets thus: A and B, C and E, D and F, and G and H. Only one Player shall touch the basket at any time. That Player shall collect the basket of balls from the professionals prior to play and shall carry them to the Dedans using his or her gloved hand. Players shall only touch the set of balls allocated to them during their match. If the professionals are not expected to be at the Club when you are due to play you will be notified beforehand which set of balls to use.
    Prior to play the players shall agree to either:
Play with individual lettered balls – i.e.  Only Player 1 can handle the balls marked A and only Player 2 can handle the balls marked B. 
        Play with the entire basket – i.e. both players can handle either balls marked A or B
    For Doubles play, please read “Pair 1” and “Pair 2” in place of “Player 1” and “Player 2”
4.2    The door to the galleries shall be kept open at all times.
4.3           The door to the court must be kept open at all times. 
4.4    The chalkboard is not to be used.
4.5    Players are recommended to wear eye protection on court during play.
4.6    Players should be mindful and try to avoid touching any surface such as the walls, gallery timber and the net. Players must not wipe their hands on the walls.
4.7    Players must wear a new disposable glove provided by the Club, on their non-racket hand, at all times during play. Golf gloves, or any other glove belonging to the Player must not be used.
4.8    Players must not use their gloved hand to touch their towel, clothing, face or water bottle.
4.9    Players should not keep spare balls in a pocket which has been used to keep a tissue or handkerchief.
4.10    When collecting balls at the net, Players shall keep at least 2m (6 ft) distance from their opponent and shall only touch balls with their racket or gloved hand. If playing with the individual lettered balls, Players must only touch their allocated set. Ideally pick up balls with your racket. The Player who touched the basket on collection shall carry the basket to the Dedans using his or her gloved hand.
4.11    If playing with the individual lettered balls, Players must not remove the opponent’s balls from the Dedans netting, the galleries or grille.
4.12    When changing ends, the old server shall wait at the centre of the net whilst the new server changes end and shall wait until the new server passes the last gallery line before proceeding to the receiving end.
4.13    The courtesy of handing balls on change of ends to the new server is not expected. However, if done it shall be done using fully extended arm and racket in order to maintain social distancing.
4.14    If a Player’s racket breaks during play and he or she does not have a spare, the Player must not borrow one from your opponent. The Player shall use the spare racket to be found in the box next to the Pro’s office. After play return the racket to the Pros so that it can be disinfected. Do not return the racket to the box.
4.15    Players should be mindful at all times of basic hygiene:
    4.15.1    Use a tissue to catch a sneeze or cough and take it home for disposal.
    4.15.2    Avoid touching your face either with your gloved or racket hand.
4.15.3    If the Player is aware that he or she has touched a ball with his or her glove-free hand, the ball shall be set aside and given to the Pros.
4.15.4    When using the toilet:    Remove any disposable glove being worn and dispose of in the bin provided    Use a paper towel when pulling the flush chain    Wash your hands using the liquid soap provided and dry them with the paper towels supplied    Dispose of the paper towels in the bin provided    Use the hand-sanitizer by the door to the Dedans    Put on a new disposable glove before entering the Court 
4.16    The risk of virus transmission to persons playing doubles is greater than in singles play. The risk of transmission in the air is greater given the closer proximity of the players. The risk of transmission on surfaces is also greater. Consequently, to reduce the risk, in respect of Doubles play, the following additional provisions shall apply:
4.16.1    Service End – on any one point the pair may elect to either:    One player shall play the point ahead of the Last Gallery Line and the other behind the Last Gallery line. 
Or    An imaginary line shall be drawn down the centre of the court and one player shall play on the left side of the court and the other on the right.
4.16.2    Receiving End -     The service receiver shall play to the right of the centre line and the other player to the left. The service receiver may cross into the left-hand side of the court if it is necessary to do so in order to return the serve but must return immediately to the right-hand side of the court after completing the stroke.
4.16.3    A player may not play any ball if both their feet would leave their part of the court at the point of addressing the ball. Providing at least one foot is within their part of the court at the point of addressing the ball, a player may step on or across the dividing line if it is due to the natural motion of playing the stroke, including the follow through. The player shall return to his or her side of the relevant line as soon as the shot has been played. When playing such a shot, the other player in the pair shall move away to maintain a distance of 2 metres from the player playing the shot. 
4.16.4    With the exception of the return of serve stroke, or where the provisions of 4.16.3 apply, if a player steps on or across the relevant line referred to in 4.16.1 or 4.16.2 at any time during a rest the point shall be awarded to the opponents.
4.16.5    Players must maintain social distancing of 2 metres from both their opponents and from their own partner at all times, including between rests and when changing ends. 
4.16.6    The provisions of section 4.16 need not apply to a doubles pair who are from the same household. However, should a doubles pair from the same household play a pair who are not from the same household, the players may agree to both pairs playing according to these provisions in order to achieve a fair game.
4.16.7    In accordance with the guidance given by the Tennis and Rackets Association a player wishing to play doubles shall make a declaration in an email to the Professionals that he or she has read the provisions in 4.16 and will abide by them during play. That declaration will apply for all his or her future doubles bookings unless he or she advises the Professionals in an email that it no longer applies. 


5    After Play
5.1    Players shall not shake hands.
5.2    If playing with the individual lettered balls, each Player is responsible for collecting up all of his or her own set of balls from the Court (including from the grille, Dedans and gallery netting, using his or her racket and gloved hand only. Otherwise the balls shall be collected as per 4.10 above and the same Player who has touched the basket before shall carry it off Court using his or her gloved hand and leave it basket with the Pros or, if no Pro is present, outside the Pro’s office by the noticeboards.
5.3    Players must take off court all water bottles, plastic cups, towels and not leave any item in the Dedans or galleries.
5.4    Players must observe social distancing and keep 2m (6 ft) apart when collecting balls, belongings and returning the set of balls to the Pros.
5.5    The result of the match for handicap purposes can be given to the Pros verbally or, if no Pro is present, by email. The results sheet will not be used until further notice.
5.6    Players must leave the building as soon as he or she has collected their belongings and returned their set of balls to the professionals. Socialising in the clubroom is not permitted until further notice.
5.7    Players must not use the showers and changing rooms at the Club after play. Players must leave the Club in their kit and shower and change at home.
5.8    Players must not remove any of the Club’s hand sanitizer or any gloves or masks that they have not used to play their match.
5.9    Players should wash their hands with soap and water or anti-bacterial handwash for at least twenty seconds an arriving home.


6    Positive Covid-19 Tests
6.1    Any Player who develops one or more of the symptoms in 2.1 above within fourteen days of playing at the Club must:
6.1.1    Go to for guidance on self-isolation and to arrange a test for Covid 19.
6.1.2    Must inform the Covid Compliance Officer as soon as possible that he or she has symptoms and the date of the test.
6.1.3    Must inform the Covid Compliance Officer by email of the result of the test as soon as possible following receipt.
6.1.4    If the Player’s test result is positive for Covid 19, the Covid Compliance Officer will contact the Pros and all Members who have played against the individual during the prior fourteen days that they have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid 19. The identity of that person will not be disclosed even if it can be deduced easily. 
6.1.5    Players who were in contact with the person who has tested positive must follow the self-isolation guidance at and shall not be permitted to play at the Club for at least fourteen days from the date they were last in contact with the person in question.
6.1.6    If the Player who has tested positive has had a coaching session within the prior fourteen days the Pro who gave that lesson must follow the guidance at and self-isolate and not attend the Club for fourteen days from the date of the lesson .  
6.1.7    In the event that one of the Pros tests positive for Covid 19 the other Pro and any Member who has had a coaching session in the prior 14 days with that Pro must follow the guidance at and self-isolate for fourteen days from the date of last contact.
6.1.8    In the event that both Pros are self-isolating and unable to attend the Club, or when one Pro is self-isolating and the other is on annual leave, on his day off or for any other reason unable to attend the Club, Committee members shall endeavour to carry out such cleaning and disinfection to enable the Club to remain open. 
6.1.9    On any day when neither Pro is able to be at the Club, and the Committee is unable to ensure adequate cleaning and disinfection of the premises, the Club shall close and the Pros shall cancel all court bookings without financial penalty to the Members affected.
6.1.10    Data collected by the Club pursuant to this section will be held solely for the safety of the Professionals and other Members and to enable the Club to operate its own track and trace procedures.


7    National League and Inter-Club Matches
7.1    Social matches against other clubs shall not take place until further notice.
7.2    National League matches may only continue in accordance with these provisions if Hatfield is in a Tier 1 alert area. If Hatfield is in a Tier 2 or 3 alert area National League matches shall not take place. Furthermore:
    7.2.1    All Players from both teams must live in a Tier 1 alert area.
7.2.2    There shall be no catering provided. The club room remains closed.
    7.2.3    The changing rooms shall not be used. Players must arrive in kit (save for footwear) and leave in kit.
    7.2.4    Four stools may be set out in the Dedans for team members who are not playing, but must be sited at least two metres apart from each other. 
    7.2.5    A separate basket of balls shall be used for each rubber.
    7.2.6    Marking can only be done from the Dedans. The marker is responsible for maintaining social distancing from any player close to the net and any spectators must remain socially distanced from the marker. 
8    Compliance
8.1    The Club Committee appreciates the inconvenience many of these provisions will cause and appreciates the co-operation of Members whilst these provisions are in place. They will be amended and relaxed as soon as the Committee considers it safe to do so. Until then, it is essential for the protection of the Professionals and other Members that all Members comply fully with these provisions. 
8.2    If a Member refuses to comply or seeks to manipulate the rules for their own benefit, including, but not limited to:
8.2.1    Not vacating the Court immediately after sixty minutes.
8.2.2    Refusing to wear a face covering whilst in the Club (save for when playing on Court).
8.2.3    Refusing to wear one of the disposable gloves provided.
8.2.4    Using the showers or changing rooms.
8.2.5    Refusing a request from one of the Pros to comply with one of the provisions.
8.2.6    Playing whilst having symptoms of Covid 19 or whilst self-isolating.

the Pros shall notify the Covid Compliance Officer. The Club Committee may suspend the Member until after these provisions are withdrawn and instruct the Pros not to accept a booking from that Member or, ultimately, to exclude the Member from the Club.

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