MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Mayor Frank McGehee announced during last night's Township Committee meeting that the tennis courts in Maplewood and South Orange will reopen as of May 22.
The two towns are making the move after Gov. Phil Murphy issued an executive order allowing the reopening of private tennis clubs. Therefore, McGehee said, the opportunity is there for tennis at the public level as well.
"We are moving forward with the plan to open up our tennis courts...aligning with our sister town of South Orange, who will be doing the same," he said. The courts will be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, on a first-come, first-served (no tennis pun intended) basis.
Rules such as playing singles only and not switching sides during the game will fulfill "our number one priority, which is the safety of our public," McGehee said. The rules warn that if social distancing is not followed, the courts will be re-closed.
South Orange Village President Sheena Collum shared the following rules by email today:
- Maintain social distancing (no closer than six feet to other player). If this does not occur, courts will be closed.
- Singles only, no doubles play. Only two players per court.
- Court hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.
- One hour maximum court time use. Players must vacate the court after playing if someone else is waiting. (Be sure to take all of your equipment and dispose of any trash upon exiting.)
- The tennis courts are for tennis only.
- Players must stay on their side of the court; do not switch sides.
- You may only use your own equipment — do not touch the fence, gate, net, etc. Use your own hand sanitizer before/after play.
- Mark or number your tennis balls with a marker for easy identification. Only serve your own ball. If you need to return a ball from another court, use a racket or foot. Do not use your hands.
- Do not congregate near or on courts. In the event a line forms while waiting for courts to open, maintain 6 feet of separation.
- Face coverings are strongly recommended prior to and after playing.
- Players should primarily hit from the baseline and avoid net play.
- If you or family members have displayed any symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please stay home. If you are vulnerable or have any underlying health conditions, do not play tennis.
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