If the deconfinement remains a reality on May 11, we will be able to play tennis from this date but respecting strict rules, only on outdoor courts and in singles.
Theoretically, if the deconfinement is not questioned by then by the government, the tennis clubs will be able to reopen their doors Monday morning, May 11. So you’re going to be able to hit the ball again. At least in theory, because things will not be so simple: the French Tennis Federation (FFT), to comply with all the health rules in force, already imposes strict measures. These, which we present to you, must still receive the approval of the Ministry of Sports.
Opening of outdoor courtyards only
Only strictly outdoor courts will be open during the first phase of deconfinement between May 11 and June 2. Clubs that only have indoor courts will remain closed. “The authorized practice of tennis and para tennis must take place exclusively on outdoor courts, completely uncovered, for outdoor play,” says the FFT. It will be possible exclusively in singles. “
Prohibition of parties of more than two
Duplicate games will not be possible at least until the beginning of June. Prohibited for the moment to let off steam with family: “We are one of the rare sports to be able to resume its practice and this is already excellent news,” says Yves Desjardins, the president of the club of Houilles (Yvelines) and his 800 licensees. Of course, we are ready to enforce these rules. It is also our responsibility even if some will be difficult to set up. “
Ban on touching balls other than his own
Court bookings can only be made online, clubhouses remaining closed. “Practitioners will also have to arrive already in tennis gear with their own equipment and clean the bench or the chair with a disinfectant before and after playing,” explains the Federation, which asks each player to “use balls bear a distinctive emblem and serve only with its own marked balls ”. This means that it will be prohibited to touch the opponent’s balls by hand. You should therefore always serve with your own balls.
Regulated side changes
It will also be imperative to respect the social distance of at least two meters. No hand tightening obviously before or after the match! What about side changes? “The players pass on either side of the net, in a clockwise direction, so as not to cross each other,” replies the Federation, which recommends that practitioners clean the benches before and after each match.
The FFT insists that hydroalcoholic gels be available on each court: “There are measures that will not cause any concern, thinks Yves Desjardins, even if, by reflex, they could sometimes be forgotten during the match. At Houilles, the question of the benches, we will resolve it by simply removing them. We are asked to clean the net after each match: it will be more complicated to implement for example. “
A Covid-19 referent designated by the club
Indeed, if the constraints will be strong for the players, they will be even more so for the clubs. The FFT asks them “to designate a Covid-19 referent who will be the point of contact to inform any member of the club on questions relating to the resumption of activity within the framework of the release from confinement. “Of course, but who should be designated for this role?” wonders a president. A volunteer? A club employee when we put most of them on partial unemployment? These are questions that club steering committees will have to answer. “
Postpone player arrivals and departures
Among the measures still to be applied: leave the access doors to the courts open to avoid handling the handles, respect a strict traffic direction, delay the arrivals and departures of the players so that they avoid crossing paths … “In this spirit, we will ask the players not to arrive at the same time and, rather than playing for an hour, we will set up reservations of 45 minutes to allow time to evacuate and clean up between each game, “thinks Yves Desjardins, President of Houilles, who does not think he will be ready to open its doors at 9 a.m. on Monday.
Nothing says either that, faced with its constraints and the danger of contamination, the players rush to the net. Even if they miss it terribly.