May 17, 2019

Commentary Player Safety & Post Tension Concrete in Tennis Court Construction

Would you want your high school your track team athletes to practice and compete on bare concrete? How about your football team, basketball team, baseball team, lacrosse team, soccer team. What athlete do you know that does this? Tennis players! The time for building safe play areas for our young tennis athletes has come.

I recently article on court surfaces in Tennis Industry magazine and was shocked that professionals in the sports and engineering field , experienced in specifying athletic fields and running tracks, with high end shock attenuation and force reduction qualities are promoting the virtues of bare post tension concrete when it comes to the sport of tennis. What about protecting tennis athletes and extending their time on the court.

Shoe companies shout the shock absorbing qualities of tennis shoes in cushioning the athlete....come on who really believes this is the really the effective answer? Are we loosing some of the better athletes in school because of unsafe facilities?

How many high school tennis athletes are damaged, careers in tennis shortened because of substandard facilities? What happens to athletes that regularly practice and play on concrete? Joints, backs, leg fatigue, diminished careers, knee trama, ankle swelling. The fast paced game played on these unforgiving surfaces jolt the body. Parents that scream for protection to their high school athletes in sports don’t consider tennis. The fast paced serve and volley game promoted throughout the US is not developing better tennis players but is injuring countless possible future players that could be bringing the game of tennis back in popularity.

Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine, 1/6/1018 commented “Overall, recurrent injuries resulted in greater time away from sport, a higher risk of sport discontinuation, and a higher likelihood of surgical intervention. In tennis, the repetitive nature of high-velocity arm movements causes overuse injuries in the upper extremity while the sprinting, stopping and pivoting, and pounding motions place repeated rotational shear and loading forces on each joint of the lower extremities which, in turn, places the athlete at increased risk for acute and overuse injury. "

The problem is not that we do not have the technology, we do. Tennis is the only sport played on everything from grass, clay, crushed rock, synthetic turf, asphalt, concrete, rubber, urethane cushion, plastic tiles, carpet. Hard courts speed the ball up, creating more force on the arm, and keep the bounce lower. A few coats of paint may be pretty but it does not make a surface safe for young athletes.

Our public and private schools are not considering child safety when choosing tennis court construction. Schools should consider what bare concrete does to a young athlete. This is not to say that post tension concrete is not a good base, it is but the tennis surface needs to be more than a coat of paint. These player unfriendly facilities put schools and children at risk.

Lets grow the game by taking aim at keeping our young athletes healthier, safer from injury and the long term potentially effects of joint trama so they can continue playing careers in both recreational and in competitive environments. Maybe the USTA can help in bring back tennis by emphasizing safer surfaces to keep the athletes safer. Perhaps the American Sports Builders Association should work on solutions in construction. Lets all of us address this for the betterment of the game and our future in tennis. Rick Burke, President NGI Sports

August 30, 2019

3D Mapping for Contractors

Continuing the discussion from last month on NGI’s 3D mapping for your job evaluations a way to start is:

  1. Provide the layout of the courts by either sending an address for us to check on Google Earth, or send the image to us.
  2. NGI will in turn send a court elevation sheet that matches that site along with any required instructions on where to start/stop the grid. This is especially critical if there are odd shaped court layouts or multiple batteries.
  3. After the spreadsheets are returned we can create the 3D mapping data sheets and a report along with any recommendations etc.
  4. We will gladly provide the report back to you under your logo. The cost to provide this service is $300.00/court. If the project is completed using one of NGI Sports surfaces we will deduct the costs from the materials invoice to you.

Please give us a call or email if you would like to discuss further.


August 30, 2019

Ask The Expert

Do you have any questions about any of NGI’s products, processes or anything industry related? Please email burke@ngisports.com

Q. How long does it take to install an NGI systems tennis surface?

A. Installation time depends on the amount of preparation needed, weather, and system choice but usually between 5-7 days depending on site conditions.

Q. Are NGI Systems Tennis Surfaces glued down?

A. NGI systems tennis surfaces are free floating detached systems. The perimeter of the court is usually glued with an edge tape and in some cases a bead of glue to keep a clean edge transition for the surface and to prevent insects, dust, leaves etc from getting under the court.

Q. What kind of base do NGI Systems Tennis Surfaces need?

A. Most can be installed over a concrete, asphalt or any stable crushed stone or existing clay court base . This includes existing courts that are cracked and deteriorating. Each base must be inspected and prepared prior to installation of the surfacing system

Client of the Month: Ace Tennis Surfaces Established in 2006

Since 1994, Sean Barry, owner and founder of Ace Tennis Surfaces LLC, has been working in the sport surfacing industry. He has done over 1000 commercial and residential courts and has worked with many different manufacturers on dozens of different types of surfaces. From asphalt or concrete, artificial grass or cushion, roof tops or basements, the quality and versatility of his work are unmatched. His expertise has not only taken him around New England but around the world.

Most recently, he was contracted to install a bank of 9 NGI Sports ProBounce Tennis Surfaces at Ripp Park in Waunakee, WI. This was a unique opportunity as the courts were installed over a crushed rock base. With the aging infrastructure at Ripp Park courts it was determined that grinding the existing asphalt on the courts and adding new base materials was the best solution for the rebuild. Ace has worked with NGI sports on similar projects in other parts of the country offering solutions for all weather courts with the “Overlay Renovation Technology” from NGI Sports.

When Sean is on site in different parts of the country he can be seen on his off time riding his Harley which travels with him. Often when his wife Jeanne joins him on the road they can be seen enjoying the countryside on his bike.


 

August 30, 2019

What About Birdbaths?

Birdbaths, depressions, or low areas on tennis courts are commonly defined as a low spot on the court that holds water. According to the ASBA, a birdbath is any area that water gathers and is held in a volume higher than 1/16” (2mm or the width of a nickel) for longer than an hour of drying in 70 degree Fahrenheit.

Depending on the severity of these areas, they could lead to delayed play and in the longer run mold or algae. The mold is a greater concern as it can either make play unsafe due to slick conditions, and even delaminate the acrylic on the surface. It is generally recommended to keep any court clean of such growth; power washing the courts is an effective action for mold removal.

These depressions could also be a result from improper construction or base preparation. Meaning that the courts could have been constructed using an improper slope, organic materials in the subsoil, improper compaction of the sub grade, or even bad drainage around the site. Over enough time most courts “settle” even with a perfect installation because of materials in the subgrade or site drainage issues.

There are 3 ready solutions for birdbaths, and they range in application and price. The cheapest option would be to apply multiple coats of an acrylic patch mix, once built up and flush with the surrounding areas and sanded smooth the courts could be painted. Next, you could tear out the court, or re-mill the asphalt giving a new surface. One of the most effective options would be to employ a modern day synthetic overlay system; they range in style, cost, and construction, but may also be the most cost effective. Depending on the court and its condition. Always recommend taking elevations on a 10’ grid to see the total picture

Let's Talk Cushion First and foremost we should consider why to consider cushion. “Force Reduction” is the ability of a sports surface construction to absorb the shock of an impact as compared to a non-resilient “hard court”. Reducing the impact to the player’s joints will mean that he or she can play more sets with less stress on the body. It also means that that player will have many more years to enjoy the game without pain. In review of guidelines used for area elastic floors an athlete should not be exposed to more than 47% of the impact.



Ball Rebound defines the height in percent to which a tennis ball bounces on an area elastics court as compared to the ball rebound height on a non-resilient hard court. The ball rebound should be at least 80 percent of the hard surface as defined by the ITF (International Tennis Federation). This is important because when developing a cushioned surface it must meet parameters for playability.

Foot release characterizes the property of a tennis court surface to permit controlled turning movements of the player’s foot while preventing uncontrolled sliding. As an example remember complaints of the Austrailian Open court when they had the rubber mat which was glued in place. Many players complained that in the heat of the day the impact of the foot would go into the surface and get stuck, or locked because of the point elasticity of the surface.

NGI TitanTrax Xtreme and TitanTrax AIR fall into the category of area elastic tennis surfaces as resilient deflection resistant surfaces with large deformation control area. We call it Platform Cushioned where the TitanTrax Shield top layer bridges the attached air-filled urethane foamed.

Platform Compression Cushioning: The combination of a flexible platform provided by the TitanTrax Shield and the factory laminated cushion ensures consistent cushioning throughout the surface.


The TitanTrax Air and Xtreme surfaces recover quickly. The cushioning materials are not dependent upon air bubbles for their properties, but instead on the properties of the materials in their cell walls. Because of this, they react to pressure in a manner similar to that of a spring, returning to an original position after each compression without fail due to air moving freely through the cells. An open cell structure also allows for moisture vapor transmission, helping with breathability and maintaining the environment of the TitanTrax Air and TitanTrax Xtreme Surface.

August 8, 2019

Client of the Month: Lineberry Tennis

John E. Lineberry, established the Lineberry Tennis company in 1988, and turned Lineberry Tennis into a successful family-operated tennis company. Lineberry Tennis, based in Henniker NH, has been designing and installing tennis courts and recreational facilities throughout New England for over twenty-five years.

John’s background in tennis court construction goes back to summer work for NESCO, a tennis and sealcoating company located outside of Boston MA. John worked there while attending New England College on an athletic scholarship for ice hockey. John was Captain of the ice hockey team and graduated in 1973, as the 3rd all time scorer on the team. John, after graduating, continued to work full time at NESCO until 1977. John left NESC to join Pike Industries, one of the largest paving and construction companies in New Hampshire, as the company’s Tennis Division Manager. His background in tennis court construction includes full turnkey construction and surfacing of asphalt tennis courts and building clay courts as well as fencing and lighting amenities. John also managed the construction personnel and budgeting for the division.

This experience in design, installation, maintenance and consulting led to the opening of Lineberry Tennis in 1988. Lineberry Tennis traditionally works in New England and most of their maintenance and reconditioning contracts are in New Hampshire and Northern Massachusetts. In 2006, Lineberry Tennis acquired New England Recreational Services of New London, NH, thus expanding their client base and allowing for diversification of the company. Lineberry specializes in all-weather and clay tennis courts with an emphasis in specialty surfaces like NGI ProCourt and ProClay. They also install NGI putting greens, basketball hoops/key lines and NovaBocce courts.

John also was instrumental in the original testing and development of the patented ProClay surface with NGI. He assisted in the first clay court (a ProClay court) installed at the International Tennis Hall of Fame as well as the installation of ProClay at the Vestavia Country club in Birmingham AL with NGI and Welch tennis.

John’s son Johnny worked for Lineberry Tennis growing up and in the summers while attending Western New England College. Johnny also played ice hockey. He has traveled as well in winter months after graduation installing tennis courts in Hawaii. Johnny is an avid surfer going to Hawaii and Costa Rica honing his surfing skills on the world class waves. Hunting white tails and traveling are his other hobbies. Dirt biking around the Andes in Peru, staying in hostels and with locals are some of his travel likes.

In 2015 he acquired Lineberry Tennis from his father and is busy expanding the area of operation and product offerings. He installed the companies first TitanTrax Shield surface in 2019. John is also taking his company out of New England after the construction season closes there to do work on projects around the USA.


August 8, 2019

Pickleball Is Now The Fastest Growing Sport in North America

 

Do you have any questions about any of NGI’s products, processes or anything industry related? Please email burke@ngisports.com for answers.

Q. How long should the sub base be left to cure before installing the final surface?
A.
As overlay systems are not attached to the sub surface they can be installed in a week after new construction.

Q. Are your all-weather Titan tracks environmentally friendly?
A. Yes, all of our systems incorporate green materials in their production.

Q. What are the main criteria for selecting an athletic surface and supplier?
A. Warranty and experience are good indicators of quality, longevity and performance. Look to past installations under similar conditions which you are experiencing.

Q. How do I maintain my home Tennis court with your Pro Clay surface?
A. ProClay surfaces are supported by a comprehensive maintenance manual, however light watering for dust control and sweeping the courts prior to play are the main requirements.

Surface Preparation

Give your surface a fighting chance, place the emphasis on the preparation.

Preparation work is the foundation for the successful performance of any sports surface, especially tennis courts. Properly preparing the existing surface (base) before it receives any type of new overlay or even just an acrylic paint should be common sense. Surprisingly, many problems arise from this lack of attention to detail. A proper foundation is paramount for building any sort of structure. Most surfacing problems arise from improper base preparation.

Which leads us to the question, what is an acceptable level of preparation? The manual for the American Sports Builders Association will tell you that for asphalt surfacing filling any birdbaths deeper than the width of a nickel, and all cracks, with an appropriate blend of a concrete latex patch mix is acceptable. If the cracks are wider than an inch and a half and seem to run all the way through the base; then filling with sand, concrete, and then a latex patch mix is the standard. This is a generally accepted method for crack filling, and once sanded smooth the surface is ready for acrylic. So why should anyone expect anything less than these standards for an overlay system?

A rule of thumb for all overlay systems, ranging from cushioned all weather courts to synthetic grass courts, is that abnormalities in the base will reflect through to the surface. Depressions will not be hidden by placing another surface on top, and any gaps left in the existing base may translate either by being cosmetically visible or producing less than standard ball bounce (dead spots). The “prep work” section of a tennis construction proposal just may be the most important part. So make sure your surface preparation is perfect and give your tennis court a chance to perform as designed.

3D Mapping for Contractors

NGI is presently completing a nine court ProBounce project at Ripp Park in Waunakee, WI (you can view the court from Google Earth). It was originally thought of as perfect for a TitanTrax Shield application. A grid was completed on the courts and a shocking revelation was found in the Percent of Slope and the 3D report. What looked like a good application for an overlay system turned out to be just the opposite (see their 3D). As contractors you may be running into this same problem of thinking it would work and then it turns out just the opposite.

NGI now offers to do the 3D maps and Percent of Slope reports for our contractors. All you have to do is take elevations or have a surveyor complete same and send in the elevations to NGI. NGI will create the pieces you need to make a correct decision. NGI can also help by hiring the field work for a price if the contractor feels uncomfortable doing it or doesn't have the time or equipment.

The nine court project at Ripp Park required demo of the asphalt, placement of additional stone for a stable base and then application of ProBounce on the laser graded base.



 

Ask The Expert

Do you have any questions about any of NGI’s products, processes or anything industry related? Email burke@ngisports.com

Q. How long should the sub base be left to cure before installing the final surface?
Q. Are your all-weather Titan tracks environmentally friendly?
Q. What are the main criteria for selecting an athletic surface and supplier?
Q. Where have NGI Sports’ all-weather track and field surfaces been installed?
Q. How do I maintain my home Tennis court with your Pro Clay surface?
Q. How much does an NGI Sports surface Home Tennis Court cost?
Q. Does NGI Sports ever use any hazardous chemicals or materials in it’s manufacturing processes or installations?

July 15, 2019

Client of the Month: AllSport America

AllSport America Inc, has done business in N California and Nevada for the past 40 years. Part of their umbrella includes Sport Court Northern California and Boccee Builders of America. These operations focus on the residential backyard tile business for multisport applications and innovative bocce surfaces for both commercial and residential applications. Phil Park has been operating the business since 1979 and has successfully completed over 12,000 projects in his tenure.

Barrett Park, has worked at the business for most of his life from installing courts as a teenager to most recently managing sales. Recently the day to day operations of the business have been turned over to Barrett. Although Phil Park remains CEO of the company, working with Barrett as an advisor he has moved his focus to developing the bocce ball surfacing company named “Bocce Builders of America”. Barrett’s college sports experience and advanced business degree are now helping him to expand his core operations. He is expanding the operation to include a focus on NGI Sports “Overlay Renovation Technology”, building new and rehabilitating old tennis courts.

Expanding the focus of the core business to include the tennis court surfacing from NGI Sports, Barrett has hired, Lane Rutherford (from Oregon), to lead their NGI installation team. Lane has worked on projects across the USA installing the overlay systems and will allow AllSport to expand to install more successful projects. Presently, AllSport is working on 2 ProBounce tennis courts for a couple of high-end families, and has just secured a 2 court TitanTrax Air project for the City of Martinez, CA.

Barrett says ” Our team takes pride in our high-level of customer service and installation practices to ensure the client is taken care of from start to finish”. AllSport America is a Licensed General Engineering Company in both California and Nevada. Barrett Park is a Certified Tennis Court Builder, certified by the American Sports Builders Association.

July 15, 2019

Client of the Month: Court Makers, Inc

Court Makers Inc. has been in the tennis industry since 1976. They have been steadily growing through word of mouth referrals as well as direct contracts with the South's most prestigious clients.

A family business, Marshall Dye along with his daughters Bridget Davis and Eileen Johnson and son in law Dwayne David, run the day to day operations. Marshall is an avid tennis player, golfer and hunter, but probably loves his family and 5 grand children more than anything.

Most Tennis players in the Atlanta area have probably played on a tennis court designed, constructed, lighted or resurfaced by Court Makers.

Marshall works closely with the ALTA community, swim & tennis clubs, private country clubs, schools, private home courts, apartment courts and public courts throughout Georgia. As a leader in tennis court design, construction, resurfacing, lighting and equipment supply, Court Makers top priority is getting the job completed on time and in a professional manner.

Marshall Dye and the Court Makers team strive to be innovators in the market. Marshall is a certified tennis court builder with American Sports Builders Organization.

10 Years ago Marshall heard about the new TitanTrax Shield crack renovation technology through NGI Sports being introduced into the tennis community. Marshall drove to Chattanooga to meet David Burke and see the product in person. In that one meeting Marshall requested to be the exclusive representative for TitanTrax Shield in the Atlanta Metropolitan area.