Ultimate Guide to Tennis Nets for Schools
Selecting a net for your tennis court doesn’t have to be confusing, although the lack of clarity of standards in nets can sometimes make apples to apples comparisons difficult. We can, however, turn to the International Tennis Federation or ITF for guidance about certain standards. We will highlight these in each section below. Here, we’d like to provide you with a quick guide to nets to help you decide which net will be best for you and your school team.
The good news is there are only a few factors that need consideration when deciding on nets for your school’s court. Because climate can have an impact on the longevity of a net, it does weigh into these decisions.
We carry or can get a full line of nets in our store, but our focus here is on nets made by one of the industry’s best net makers. Edwards has a rich history of making nets for tennis courts going back to 1884. We proudly feature them on our site. However, if you have other interest, please call our store so we can find the right net for you.
So, let’s begin with the three primary factors you should consider when deciding on a net. They are net size, type of headband, and braiding. Let’s take a look at each one in order.
Size of the Net
Usually, it’s best to practice on the same courts on which your teams will have tournaments. Most US schools utilize the hard doubles court (with singles court lines drawn inside the doubles sidelines). The standards set forth by the ITF mentioned above are that doubles courts shall be 36’ wide and that the posts supporting the net shall be 3’ outside of the sidelines. This gives us a net length of 42’. The standard for height is 3’6” at the post. In order to be consistent with the ITF regulations, the net must maintain 3’ in the center (sag of 6” or less).
As it is the most common size in use for schools across the United States, we focus on selling 42’ nets.
Type of Headband
Tennis headbands can be polyester, canvas, or vinyl. Each of the different types of material performs better in certain conditions and on certain court types. They break down as follows:
- Vinyl headbands are better for use on clay or soft courts. Dirt from the clay can stick to canvas and polyester headbands and be difficult to clean. However, vinyl headbands do not perform as well in cold weather situations. They are more prone to crack and break down, shortening their useful life on the court.
- Canvas headbands hold up and last longer in cold weather, but they are less ideal on soft courts. They absorb dirt and grime from the court and can be difficult to clean.
- Polyester headbands are a good middle choice for both soft and hard courts, as they can hold up better than vinyl in cold weather, and are easier to clean than canvas on a soft court.
Since most schools have hard courts, keeping the headband clean is less of an issue. With this in mind, climate is a factor worth considering.
So, canvas and polyester headbands are better in colder climates. Vinyl headbands begin to crack and show wear much earlier than their polyester counterparts. However, in warmer climates, it is more common to see vinyl headbands in use by schools.
Net Body and Braiding
Three factors for consideration surrounding the net body itself are the braiding, the size of the cord and the number of rows of extra stitching at the top of the net. The best nets are made of polyethylene and polyester. These materials enable the net to resist weathering caused by the sun’s UV radiation.
- Braided cord nets are preferred over twisted cord because the braided nets are stronger, last longer and absorb more energy. By absorbing more energy, the ball has less bounce off the net.
- Cords come in various sizes ranging from 2mm to 3.5mm. Larger cords are more durable and have a longer life. The nets we sell and recommend come in 3mm and 3.5mm sizes.
- Some nets come with between 4 and 7 rows of extra stitching at the top of the net. This extra stitching provides extra protection for the part of the net that gets the most wear and tear. Both our Edwards 40LS and 30LS have five rows of double center mesh netting.
So thicker cords, with extra rows of protection at the top, are the most durable and will provide the longest life. The top of the line Edwards nets we carry come with a 5-year limited warranty.
We take great pride in helping our customers assess these factors and make an informed decision about what type of net will best serve their needs.
Have questions? We have answers. Call 806-687-4112 today and let our skilled staff help you.