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The premise of the “Seasonal Tennis Pass” is to help bring some order to the peak-use time of the courts and to help defray the costs of the lights. The Reading Community Tennis Courts at Birch Meadow are amongst the best of their kind in the state. Folks travel from all over to utilize this state-of-the art facility. The six courts are able to handle the excessive traffic during most parts of any day/time except Monday through Friday from 5:00 PM – 8:30 PM. Waiting time can be up to three hours to use a court. Through some research, we are finding that some folks are not respecting the signage of rules regarding etiquette for length of play. Currently, the lights for the tennis courts cost the Town over $5,000 per year. This is paid for by the Recreation Revolving Fund.
The Seasonal Pass may not be sold, transferred, or refunded for any reason and covers court use from Tuesday, May 22nd through Friday, September 1st. Pass holders are allowed to bring up to three people with them to play.
Passes may be purchased online with a credit card. Participants should bring their receipt along with a photo identification (proving residency) to the Recreation Division office at Town Hall to exchange for an actual Tennis Pass, however, a paid receipt is acceptable along with photo identification. Passes may also be purchased at the Recreation Division at Town Hall using cash, check or credit card.
There will be an unlimited number of passes available for residents of Reading. The passes are $20 per pass. This pass will be valid for any family member living at that address. Players may use the courts without a pass, however a pass holder may bump a non-pass holder off any court. Please note that High School Sports take precedence over a pass holder.
Besides the rules of tennis there are also some important unwritten laws which come under the title of tennis etiquette. Tennis is a social game, a game involving simple politeness and consideration. Everyone will enjoy the game so much more if those standards are maintained. Here are some of the rules which are most important:
- While playing doubles, you may only play for an hour and a half if others are waiting.
- While playing singles, you may only play for an hour if others are waiting.
- Talk quietly when standing near tennis courts that are in use.
- Never walk behind a court when a point is still in play. Wait until the point is over and then cross as fast as possible.
- Always come prepared. Bring not only balls, but towels and water to drink when it is hot.
- Wear sneakers for tennis. Other shoes may wear out quickly, hurt your feet, or damage the court.
- When you're ready to play, put racket covers, ball cans, jackets, etc. out of the way.
- To see who serves first, spin your racket or toss a coin. If you win the toss, the choice is yours. You may serve first, or you may choose to receive first or to pick which end of the court you want to start playing on. As a third choice you may make your opponent choose first.
- When sending balls back to a neighboring court, roll them on to the back of the court. Never send them back while play is in progress.
- Retrieve balls for your partner and your opponent.
- Don't criticize your partner, offer encouragement.
- Call your own lines and let your opponent hear the call. If the ball is good say nothing and play on.
- Always respect the line calls of your opponent.
- If there is a disagreement, offer a let. In other words, replay the point, even if it was a second serve.
There will not be tennis monitors on staff this year due to the low number of passes sold in recent years and the high cost of the lights at the Community Tennis Courts.