Updated 13/06/2020

It is essential that all of our players, coaches and clubs take the reasonable steps to create a safe environment in which we are able to play tennis again. Our COVID-19 policy guides all parties to ensure these steps are maintained. 


The first part of this policy outlines the preparations and precautions that the Excel Tennis Academy has put in place, as well as what we are asking of our players and their parents / guardians. It is essential that this section of the document is read and agreed to before you return to coaching.


The second part of this policy is taken from the LTA guidance on returning to tennis, providing a broader set of guidelines for everyone to follow.

Excel Tennis Academy

Preparations and Precautions for Returning To Tennis

What we will be doing

Our coaches will be adapting their sessions to ensure that social distancing measures can be followed at all times.

Tennis naturally lends itself to social distancing, but in instances where it may not our coaches will use varying methods (such as cones, markers, lines, one way systems etc.) to ensure that all players can easily adhere to these rules. Our coaches will take the necessary steps to adapt drills to suit these measures.

Coaches will, wherever possible, have tennis balls in rotation so that no more than a single group makes contact with them in any given 72 hour period. Antibacterial spray will be used on balls used at the end of the day. 

All our coaches have been provided with hand sanitiser which they will apply to themselves and, where applicable, other pupils (more on this below). 

Our coaches will be keeping contact records of who, when and where they have taught. 


What we ask of you

We ask that players, parents and guardians follow social distancing at all times. 

One way to help with this is to maintain your distance from the tennis courts until your coach is on court and ready to start. We also ask that if there is a group running before your session that you allow space for those coming off the court. This will help prevent gatherings outside of the court area. 

If you are a parent / guardian collecting your child from a session, it is vital that you make yourself visible to the coach at an appropriate distance from the courts 5 minutes prior to the end of the session. This allows our coaches to dismiss in an organised manner and avoids confusion coming off the court. 

If you are a parent / guardian with access to hand sanitiser we ask that you administer this to your child at a safe distance from the courts before the session begins. Our coaches will be asking pupils upon entering the court if this has been done and, if not, will administer hand sanitiser to the child. All pupils will have hand sanitiser safely administered to them at the end of each session. If, due to allergies or other reasons, you do not wish for us to administer hand sanitiser to your child that you contact the academy directly (and have received confirmation from us) before attending any sessions. 

If you wish to talk with a coach about a session we ask that, where possible, this is done by means of a phone call at a time when the coach is not on court. If there is a matter you wish to discuss is person it is advised that you contact the coach beforehand to arrange this.

For us all

We ask that anyone attending a session, both coaches and players, clean their hands before and after every lesson. The government has in place a new NHS test and trace system that we are asking everyone to follow should the need to arise. 

The Excel Tennis Academy retains the right to remove any pupil from a session should they repeatedly behave in a manner in violation to social distancing rules. We understand that these are very confusing times for our younger players - should a child have to be removed from a session we will allow them back the following week providing that the parent / guardian has made efforts to correct this and feels confident that this will not happen again.  

To Summarise:


Coaches Will:

- Administer hand sanitiser at start of lesson if child has not been given any by parent /guardian

- Administer hand sanitiser at end of lesson before pupils leaves court

- Walk pupils in to courts before sessions

- Walk players out of court at end of session

- Maintain social distancing for pupils during the sessions


Players Must:

- Wash hands before attending lessons and when they get home

- Use hand sanitieser when entering the courts (from parents preferably) and when exiting courts

- Maintain social distancing (1M) from any other person during their lesson

- MUST NOT touch tennis balls unless specifically asked to by the coach

- listen to all instructions and follow what the coach asks 


Parents Must:

- Administer hand sinister to pupils before pupil enters court

- Be outside the courts 5 minutes before the end of the lesson so that children can leave the courts safely without the need for a coach to walk them through the car park

- Maintain their own social distancing from other parents (acting as role models for the children as well)

- communicate with coaches if they do not wish hand sanitiser to be administered to their child

The support, kindness and capability our community has shown over the years gives us confidence that we can not only return to tennis safely, but in a thriving way. 

LTA Guidance for Coaches and Players

The LTA provides guidelines for coaches and players to help us all return to court safely. We will try to update this page regularly, however for the most up to date information please visit https://www.lta.org.uk/about-us/tennis-news/news-and-opinion/general-news/2020/march/coronavirus-covid-19---latest-advice/

LTA Guidance for Coaches


  • All activity should be consistent with the government guidance regarding health, travel, social distancing and hygiene at all times

  • Coaches and coaching organisations must consider safety first, particularly minimising the risk of infection/transmission. A thorough risk assessment must be undertaken (or updated if one previously completed), and appropriate measures put in place to ensure participants, staff and volunteers are protected -you are advised to liaise with your venue when doing this. A risk assessment template is available from theCOVID-19 sectionof thevenue Resource Libraryon the LTA website

  • Coaches who have had their normal activity disrupted and have a need to coach outside of their normal venue, should seek prior permission from the venue, local authority or operator who is in charge of the tennis facility, before undertaking coaching

  • Guidelines will be updated as we progress through the different phases of Government measures -the LTA remains in discussions with Government and so we recommend you check the official LTA position at www.lta.org.uk/coronaviruson a regular basis to stay abreast of the latest recommendations

  • Any measures coaches put in place to enable tennis activity to resume need to be capable of being flexed or changed quickly if tighter movement/social distancing is reintroduced in the future or when the restrictions are further relaxed



  • Coached sessions should be limited to group sizes of no more than 15 children, in addition to coach(es)

  • You can meet with different clients in a single day as long as you are maintaining social distancing



  • Social distancing between players, and between the coach and players should be maintained at all times

  • Coaches should ensure this is emphasised to participants at the start of each session, and that they are clear on how they should maintain social distancing for each drill before starting it

  • With small group coaching now permitted, adaptations to drills and how you provide feedback/instruction will be needed to ensure social distancing guidelines can be safely adhered to. The LTA will be providing guidance as to adaptations for LTA Programmes can be made –including LTA Youth Tennis for Kids drills and adult programmes such as Cardio Tennis, Tennis Xpress and Tennis Tuesdays


  • Ensure usual access to first aid and emergency equipment is maintained (in some cases this may require access to the clubhouse being arranged)

  • Guidance on delivering first aid during the coronavirus pandemic is available on the St John Ambulance website

  • Hand hygiene is imperative -use alcohol gel to clean your hands after touching a shared surface

  • Avoid touching your face

  • If you need to sneeze or cough, do so into a tissue or upper sleeve

  • If a player you have coached develops symptoms of COVID-19, they should be directed to follow the Government’s ‘test and trace’ guidelines, which can be read on the Gov.ukwebsite



  • Coaches do not now need to use new or fresh tennis balls for each lesson

  • It is still advised that where possible the coach should be the only person to touch the tennis balls and players use their feet/racket to return them

  • Where new or fresh balls aren’t used, and where players need to handle tennis balls (e.g. serving toss, young children who need to self-feed using their hands) then extra care must be taken to ensure the coach and players do not touch your faces during play, and you should all clean your hands before the session and immediately after finishing (use alcohol gel if required)

  • Players should bring their own equipment where possible –it is advised not to allow racket sharing but use of communal rackets can be done subject to thorough cleaning processes between uses

  • Any coaching equipment used (e.g. cones) should be cleaned and wiped down afterwards

  • Ensure all equipment is removed from the court at the end of the session



  • Operateonline booking for coaching sessions where at all possible, or alternatively phone bookings

  • Implement a short buffer period (e.g. 10 minutes) between session booking slots or finish sessions slightly early to allow time for players to leave before the next players arrive

  • Take any payments online, and avoid handling cash



  • Coaches should liaise with the venue to ensure an agreed approach to activity that is feasible to deliver safely, and explore how coaches can be supported to deliver sessions

  • Communicate with your customers clearly and regularly, making them aware in advance of the measures you are putting in place for your sessions, and guidelines they should follow when attending


  • The same guidance applies for coaching children as for adults, with group sessions of no more than six (including coaches)

  • Red court guidance: The same guidance applies for coaching ‘red stage’ children as for adults. A maximum of three red courts should be set up per full sized adult court. Adequate space and care should be provided around these smaller courts to maintain social distancing -consider using a safe barrier between courts (e.g. barrier tape)

  • If you feel your youngest groups would be unable to reasonably maintain social distancing with five players plus a coach on court, consider not re-commencing those sessions until restrictions are further lifted and prioritising sessions with older childrenfirst

  • Guardian (non-participant) or carer attendance is permitted and is not counted as part of the maximum group size of six, but should be off court and limited to one per child where possible, with social distancing strictly observed while watching the session

LTA Guidance for Players


  • Government information around social distancing is availablehereand shouldbe read in full

  • Be aware guidance can change and restrictions may be reintroduced -ensure you have checked the latest version of the LTA’s guidelines for tennis players on the LTA website



  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds beforeleaving home to go to the court (or use an alcohol gel if washing hands is not possible)



  • Where the facility allows, ensure you have booked a court in advance and make payment online

  • Play should only take place on outdoor courts, with indoorcourts and bubble courts remaining closed

  • The LTA’s online booking platform has courts that can be booked in over 300 parks and clubs nationwide - www.lta.org.uk/rally



  • Take hand sanitizer withyou

  • Use your own equipment where possible. Equipment such as rackets can be shared, but where this happens ensure thorough cleaning before and after use. Players should not share items such as towels.

  • Only take the minimum amount of equipment with you that you need to play

  • Clean and wipe down your equipment, including racquets and water bottles before and after use

  • Bring a full water bottle, and do not share food or drink with others

  • Ensure you take all your belongings with you at the end of thesession and do not leave anything on court



  • Avoid using public transport if possible

  • Arrive as close as possible to when you need to be there

  • Use alcohol gel after touching any court gates, fences, benches, etc, and avoid doing so where possible

  • Allow others to leave before you enter the court -if you need to wait then do so away from the courts and clear of the gates

  • Ensure you leave the court before the end of your allotted time so that it is empty for the next players

  • Arrive changed and ready to play. Shower at home, and do not use the venue’s changing area

  • Avoid congregating on or around the court after playing to allow access for others




  • Both singles play and doubles play is now permitted with people from outside of your household, as long as you remain 2 metres apart as far as possible –meaning that four people from different households can now play doubles

  • For padel, doubles play is also permitted but extra care is advised and it should only be done so where players are confident they can maintain 2 metres apart

  • Coached sessions should be limited to groups of no more than 6 people, including the coach(es)



  • Other than where players are from the same household:

  • Stay at least two metres away from other players (including during play, when taking breaks and before and after play)

  • Do not make physical contact with other players (such as shaking hands or high five)

  • Avoid chasing the ball down to another court if other players are using it

  • For doubles, consider agreeing in advance which player will take the shot if a ball travels to the centre of the court

  • For coached sessions, pay careful attention to the instructions of the coach



  • Hand hygiene is imperative -use alcohol gel to clean your hands after touching a shared surfaceIf you need to sneeze or cough, do so into a tissue or upper sleeve

  • Avoid touching your face



  • Players do not now need to use their own clearly marked tennis balls –however, if you choose to use shared balls then extra care must be taken to ensure you do not touch your face during play, and you should clean your hands before play and immediately after finishing (use alcohol gel if required)

  • Players should still avoid using their hands to pick up tennis balls from other courts where possible -use your racquet/foot to return them

  • Avoid using other equipment such as courtside benches, net handles or court sweepers where possibleWhen playing padel, try to avoid touching the court walls

  • Be aware that onsite toilet facilities may not be open. Where they are open, players are advised to take particular care when using them and clean hands thoroughly after use


  • Where attendance of a parent/guardian (non-participant) is required, or a carer for a disabled player, it is permitted and is not counted as part of the maximum group size of six, but should be off court and limited to one per player where possible, with social distancing strictly observed while watching the sessions


  • Some formats of competition will be able to resume before others, and Local Tennis Leagues, LTA Youth Box Leagues and internal singles and doubles box leagues/ladders can be played as long as they adhere to the guidelines in place.

  • All LTA staged and LTA approved competitions (grade 1 to 6) up to at least Sunday 26 July 2020 have been cancelled

  • LTA approved competitions (Grade 6) such as Matchplays and County & District Leagues may be able to resume earlier than 26 July based on Government advice -we will provide an update on these competitions in due course

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