Following the First Minister’s statement this week, we have been working with Edinburgh Leisure to understand how we can get back to play at the Meadows courts. I’m delighted to say that the courts are now unlocked, and available for play.
For now, there are no attendants in place, and supporting facilities (cafe, toilets etc) remain closed. Once Edinburgh Leisure reopen their booking systems for courts outside of club sessions we will let you all know, but for now it is free to play.
Rules for return to play
There are of course some rules in place in line with current government advice. Posters are up at the courts with details – please take a moment to read them next time you are there. However, some basic rules:
- You must use your own equipment – no sharing of rackets, etc. This includes balls – each side of the net should have their own tin of balls, which should be clearly labelled, and should serve with only those balls. Do not touch your opponent’s tennis balls with your hands – just scoop them up with your racket to hit them back between points.
- (mostly) Singles play only for now, and you can only play 1 opponent from a different household per day. You can play as many members of your own household as you like.
- Doubles play can only happen where partners live together, playing another pair who also live together. These can be 2 different households, but again you can only play one opposing pair from a different household per day.
- Nets should be maintained at the right height by Edinburgh Leisure staff. There should be no reason for us to have to adjust them.
- Disinfect equipment before and after use. Follow the standard hand-washing and sanitising protocols we are all familiar with by now.
- Respect normal social distancing at all times, for example when queuing for courts, entering/exiting the courts etc.
What does this mean for Meadows City TC club sessions?
We can now start to hold our club sessions again, but clearly, for now, they will have to look a lot different to before.
We will be playing singles only. At each of our 4 regular 2-hour sessions through the week we have 4 courts reserved, so there are a total of 32 hours of bookings available to members. Obviously we need to find a way to safely manage court availability in a fair manner. The committee discussed this last week in anticipation of reopening, and the following approach will be adopted:
- We will use ClubSpark as our booking system for court time. Members who have rejoined for 2020 will receive an email explaining how to download the app/access the website.
- Here is the link to membership pages for those who haven’t yet rejoined but wish to. You must be a current member to play!
- You will need to find yourself a partner to play against – unfortunately it’s just not feasible for the club to manage all pairings. The club Facebook page is a good place to start if you want to advertise for a partner!
- Last week I sent a link to this doodle requesting an expression of interest in playing. Please complete this if you haven’t already and want to play. We will be using it to set the number of hours each player can book weekly in the interest of fairness, so it is important.
- There will be a 10-minute crossover at the end of each hour of bookings, to allow safe exit/entry to courts. For example, for a 9.00-10.00 booking, please leave the courts at 9.55. The next players should expect to be on court by 10.05.
- Please cancel any bookings you choose not to use, whatever the reason, ideally well in advance. This is for 2 reasons:
- If the club is asked to provide any contact tracing support, we will know who was on court and when. If you don’t cancel, this will become inaccurate
- Your fellow members may have a different view to you as to what is too cold/rainy. I’ve known people to play through monsoons/snow so your slot may well be valued by someone else!
- Please do not approach a court if you don’t have a booking. Respect social distancing. There will be no option to just turn up and play at club sessions until further notice.
- We ask members to respect the rules for play put in place by Edinburgh Leisure for access to the Meadows courts – if we don’t we risk them getting locked again. These rules are clearly posted outside the courts.
Thanks all for your patience through all of this. Please continue to stay safe and I very much look forward to seeing you on court!