By David Bowman
First time visitors to the Oak Ridge High School tennis courts are discovering a unique public facility that accommodates three distinct racquet sports. Blue lines were added to Courts #1-6 as part of an Oak Ridge Youth Advisory Board project. The blue lines combine with the white lines to divide the six regulation courts into 24 smaller courts. These smaller courts meet United States Tennis Association specifications for conducting sanctioned Ages 10 & Under tennis tournaments. Smaller tennis nets were provided at the tournaments, the players ages 10 and under used special low compression balls and smaller racquets. Combined with the smaller court size, age-appropriate equipment has been proven to help young children experience success at a faster rate.
The City of Oak Ridge painted red lines onto Courts #11-14 this past summer. These new boundaries define the court surface needed for the sport of pickleball. As a teaching professional, I’ve found pickleball is great cross training for teaching tennis technique to my students. In Oak Ridge, more than 170 players participate in a pickleball program sponsored by the Oak Ridge Senior Center.
During the past few years, I’ve conducted an “Olympics” style event for my tennis students. Its purpose was to test players’ tennis skills in fun ways to win prizes. The event this year is open to the public, with pickleball and youth tennis instruction added to the medal competition. It will be held from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, October 28 at the Oak Ridge High School facility. [Read more…]