What You Need to Know about Windscreen
Windscreen, also known as background curtain, has a variety of uses in addition to its original and primary purpose of reducing or deflecting wind on outdoor courts.
Ask any court builder, equipment supplier, facility manager or player, and they can tell you that windscreen also:
- provides better visibility so players can see the ball
- reduces glare off uncoated chain-link fence
- provides privacy
- reduces distractions
- helps contain artificial light at night
- helps courts blend into their surroundings.
The good news? Windscreen is effective at all of those. The not-so-good news? It can’t do it without some help from you. Maintenance should include the following:
- Preseason — Install windscreens.
- As Required — Replace damaged panels.
- Daily — Check that windscreens are securely fastened to the fence framework; check for tears, pulls or other damage to the fabric.
- Weekly — Hose down or wash windscreens as required.
- Post-season — Tag each panel with regard to its exact location on the court and fence, clean and store. Measure and order replacement panels.
- Long Term Planning — Plan to replace every three to five years.
Another feature of windscreen, and something that is becoming more and more popular, is having a facility’s or school’s name or logo printed or painted on the windscreen — which is a nice way to dress up your courts. Also, when ordering windscreen, some can be custom-fabricated to whatever size you need, and they come in a variety of colors, to best fit your courts or surroundings.
If re-installing windscreens “in house,” consult a qualified tennis court contractor to learn how to properly install the screens in order to minimize wrinkles and prevent damage to the fence. It might be a bit less expensive to do it yourself, but the result may not be as clean and professional. Properly installed windscreens can make a huge difference in the aesthetics of the facility.
See all articles by Mary Helen Sprecher
About the Author
Mary Helen Sprecher is the managing editor of Sports Destinations Management Magazine, a niche business-to-business publication for planners of sports travel events, in addition to being an RSI Contributing Editor. She is the technical writer for the American Sports Builders Association and works as a newspaper reporter in Baltimore City.