We welcome the Scottish Government’s decision to allow outdoor tennis venues to reopen as part of their initial easing of lockdown restrictions. We very much support their view that tennis is a great way to get some exercise and social interaction in a safe way.
In recognition of this, and having put in place measures to adhere to detailed guidance provided by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and Tennis Scotland, we believe it is safe and appropriate to reopen both our Viewpark and Burnside facilities, albeit in a very limited capacity, and on the proviso that we all comply with strict protocols to ensure everyone’s safety.
Both facilities are open from 8am Friday 29th May
PROTOCOLS FOR SAFE PLAY
This reopening is conditional on EVERYONE adhering to the following instructions and protocols:
1. You must not play if you are showing any of the published symptoms of COVID-19 or are self-isolating. You must follow public health guidance at all times.
2. Play is strictly limited to 2 players per court playing singles.
Up to four members from the same household can use a court in the normal way.
3. You must book a court in advance using our new online court booking system
4. You must register with ClubSpark to use this court booking system. Many of you will already have done this to book into our coaching programme which uses the same system.
5. Courts can only be used by members. We anticipate significant demand so, to be fair to our membership, members must only play with other members.
6. Please do not turn-up to play at either venue on a speculative basis. This will keep the number of people at each venue to a minimum and thereby help maintain safe social distancing.
7. Committee members will open-up both venues at the start of each day and lock-up after the last booking. This will avoid members having to operate the keypads on the main access gates, hence eliminating this as a potential viral transmission route.
8. Please arrive at your allotted time and quickly make your way to your booked court maintaining 2 metre separation from others at all times. At Burnside, please access your court via the dedicated gate for that court. At Viewpark, as the Clubhouse must remain closed, access to all courts is gained via Court 1. All users should respect this and allow members to get to their allocated court quickly and easily, maintaining 2 metre separation at all times.
9. Members should sanitise their hands prior to operating the gate(s) to get access to their court. Hand sanitiser is provided in a prominent location at each venue for members to use.
10. All net measuring sticks and winders have been removed from all courts to avoid members having to touch court equipment thereby eliminating these as a potential source of viral spread. Committee members will check the height of all nets regularly and adjust accordingly.
11. Please vacate your court at least 5 minutes before the end of your booking to give space to the next group of players to access the court safely and please take home your waste/litter (don’t deposit in tennis club bins).
12. The drag mats at Burnside have been removed to avoid these being a potential viral transmission route. There is no need for players to drag the courts at the end of their session. A Committee Member will drag the courts prior to the courts opening the next day.
13. Please leave the venue as quickly as possible after your booking and avoid gathering in access/spectating areas.
14. Whilst spectators are not encouraged, younger members may be accompanied by a parent/guardian. They must not access the courts, but can spectate from a safe distance and maintain 2 metre social distance from all other members at all times.
15. In line with public health guidance, both of our clubhouses must remain closed. Please factor this in when planning your visit and arrive ready for play as there are no changing or toilet facilities available.
16. Floodlights will not be available for use at either venue during these restrictions to avoid the cabinet and switches acting as a viral transmission route. This should not be an issue, in the short term at least, as the nights are getting lighter. Please factor this in when booking your court.
17. During play, please follow the rules below:
a. Singles only.
b. Ideally don’t change ends, but if you must, please do this at opposite sides of the net.
c. Leave your bag/equipment at the side of the courts, 2 metres from the net and not at the back of the courts as suggested in some videos to avoid tripping hazards.
d. Maintain 2m distance from your opponent at all times.
e. Players should clearly mark their balls with their initials and they must only handle their own (tennis) balls. If both players want to serve, each player will need to bring their own set of balls. If players only have one set of balls, only the player who brought the balls can handle these.
f. If a ball comes onto your court from another court, please return using your racket or foot. Do not handle the ball.
g. Maintain 2 metre distance from others on other courts, particularly when you or they are accessing or leaving the facility.
h. Do not touch any court equipment and do not sit on any chairs or benches.
As before, up to four members of the same household can play as normal, without restrictions.
The following infographic, produced by Tennis Scotland and the LTA, summarises the key elements of this guidance and will be displayed prominently around both venues as a helpful reminder.
COURT BOOKING SYSTEM
Our new court booking system allows members to book courts based on the following rules:
1. Courts can be booked for 30 or 60 minutes. Regardless of duration, this counts as one booking and is linked only to the member making the booking; i.e. you do not need to name the other player and hence they will not be linked to that booking.
2. Courts can be booked between 8am and 10pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 10pm Saturday and Sunday – remember, floodlights are no longer available.
3. An individual member is restricted to 3 bookings in a rolling 7-day period.
4. Courts are available for booking 7 days in advance.
5. If you can no longer play having made a booking, please cancel your booking ASAP to allow others the opportunity to use that slot.
An online court booking system is essential to make these arrangements work. This cannot be avoided.
We hope all our members have access to the internet to allow them to book a court.
For those that do not have any access, please contact Gareth or Jonny who would be happy to book a court on your behalf.
Mobile App for Booking Courts
There is a ClubSpark App available for
which is quick and easy to use allowing you to book courts on the move.
With our clubhouses closed, we have located first aid boxes next to the hand sanitiser dispensers at each venue.
In addition, we have temporarily relocated the Viewpark Defibrillator to this location also so that it is available.
Whilst we recognise these protocols are very restrictive and very different from the culture and environment we’ve worked so hard to foster at Rutherglen LTC, we believe they are right and proper and find the right balance between minimising potential spread of coronavirus, and allowing some play to allow us to enjoy some tennis after what has been a very difficult time for everyone.
These arrangements will remain in place until such time as we are given further instructions from Scottish Government and/or Tennis Scotland/the LTA. We will liaise closely with these bodies and investigate all potential opportunities to allow us to further open up the club, but only when we are happy it is safe to do so. We very much appreciate your ongoing patience and the solidarity you’ve shown to the club in this difficult time.
We will monitor these arrangements closely to ensure we follow the guidance safely. Maintaining this opportunity to play is conditional on us all following these rules. Anyone flaunting these rules risks these opportunities being removed for everyone.
We will closely monitor the effectiveness of the court booking system. This is new to us and has been introduced somewhat in haste to allow us to reopen safely. Clearly this will take time to optimise. We very much welcome feedback from our members on this allowing us to shape and evolve the system into something that is fair for all our members.
QUERIES, QUESTIONS or CONCERNS
Any questions, queries, feedback, concerns etc. please do not hesitate to contact Club President Gareth Ellor on 07852 773451 or via
We’re delighted you can now enjoy some tennis. Please use responsibly and, as always, stay safe and well!