Real Tennis is currently enjoying a revival. Several new courts have been built recently, and others are planned. Cambridge, with its two excellent courts, is one of the best places in the world to play this fascinating game. Membership of the Cambridge University Real Tennis Club is open to all, not just to members of the University. There are at present approximately 260 senior members, 40 student members and 40 juniors playing at the Club.
This introduction is designed to help you feel at home and enjoy your membership to the full.
CourtsComing and going
Health and Safety
Child Protection Policy
Hours of PlayEquipment Arranging Games Playing the game Administration Real Tennis beyond Cambridge
Entering the Club
Peace and Quiet
Lights for the Courts
You can telephone on Cambridge (01223) 357106 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. One of the professionals will usually be available during office hours, but if they are all busy every effort will be made to respond to you as soon as possible.
Our three professionals are:
You can send email to email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and access club information on the web at www.curtc.net or www.cam.ac.uk/societies/curtc/. The club Administrator is Simon Stokes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Internet sites with a great deal of information about the game and real tennis events and competitions in the UK and abroad: the Real Tennis Professionals’ Association site at www.irtpa.com, the international handicapping and information site www.realtennisonline.com for the Tennis & Rackets Association.
We are unusually fortunate in having two courts at our club; the Green Court (opened in 1866) and the restored Blue Court which for the uninitiated is largely red (1890).
The Blue Court Dedans is downstairs, to the right of the main entrance. There is a sitting area and this room offers good viewing of play on the Blue Court. The Dedans is also where the professionals have their office area and you may book your games on the computer here. Games on the Blue Court can also be watched through the new glass wall in the first floor Clubroom. This room has kitchen facilities and is used for club events and meetings .
The boards in the hall and this website (www.curtc.net) are a constant source of information about club events and tournaments and what’s on in the real tennis world. Check them regularly so you don’t miss out.
Players and spectators are asked to be considerate to others and avoid the intrusion of mobile phones, which should be switched off unless their use is absolutely necessary.
Because tennis is a fast game played with a heavy ball on a hard court, a main risk is injury to the eye, usually from a ricochet. If you wear spectacles with glass lenses there is a risk of shattering due to impact or a fall. If you wear glasses, you should ask advice from your optician, and/or consider using contact lenses. Optometrists and CURTC supporter, DH Thomas, is a good place to start.
Another generic risk of injury is from slipping. A good grip is essential for all footwear,which should be clean and dry. In certain weather conditions, courts are liable to ‘sweat’ which is when condensation appears on the floor and/or walls. When a professional is present, play may be suspended for this reason, but all players need to take responsibility for their own safety and should stop playing if the court becomes slippery. Loose balls should always be removed from the court surface before play, including during a knock-up.
A tennis ball can leave a racquet at speeds of up to 100 mph. The netting in the Dedans and the side galleries protects spectators. Spectators, players and markers need to keep a safe distance from the netting, to avoid contact.
There are First Aid boxes on each court, and all the professionals have First Aid training. There is ice in the fridge at the back of the Green Court. If there is an accident, please fill in a report form, and notify one of the professionals. The three professionals have been trained in the use of the defibrilator which is positioned by the notice boards
Please familiarise yourselves with the position of the fire exit doors, which are clearly signed.
No smoking anywhere in the club please
The Club aims to create an enjoyable environment for all juniors who wish to play Real Tennis.
The Club emphasises that young people have the right to be safe, secure and free from threat, and for their concerns to be listened to and acted upon.
The club will ensure that the Head Professional and other coaches have signed the club self-declaration form in relation to Child Protection. It will also ensure that any club members or volunteers working with young people are aware of and apply the relevant T&RA Code of Conduct, and have signed the same form.
The club has a Child Protection Officer, who should be contacted in any issue relating to Child Protection. Currently, this is George Pearson (Tel 07802 535366)
Weekdays 7am to 10pm on the Green Court, 6.30am to 10.30pm on the Blue Court.
Weekends 8am to 10pm on the Green Court, 6.30am to 10.30pm on the Blue Court.
Play outside these hours is not permitted: the noise disturbs the residents of Tennis Court House.
The spaces alongside the court off Grange Road are reserved for spectators or players who have booked courts and who are in the building. The Trinity Hall car park (by the main wall of the Green Court) may only be used during the evening after 6pm and at weekends; please observe this rule strictly.
The main entrance door, located on the left hand side of the building, has a combination lock. Players may contact one of the pros for details of the combination. The light switch inside is fairly high up on the wall on your left. The main lights for the Blue Court Dedans and office area are fairly high up on the right of the door directly in front of you as you come in. Please take your bags and coats to the changing rooms and do not leave them in the Clubroom while you are playing.
The changing rooms are down beyond the Dedans of the Green Court. If there are players on court, wait for a break in play – usually when they are changing ends – before walking through. You may leave clothes, kit and bags in the changing room while you play, but please take your valuables on court with you.
Please respect the rights of the professionals to privacy outside their working hours. Please also avoid noise that can cause disturbance; loud voices in the showers can be heard clearly in Tennis Court House, and its living room is the other side of the Green Court main wall, so you are asked not to practice by hitting balls against this wall.
The light switches for the Blue Court are opposite the notice boards next to the connecting door that leads to the Green Court. The light switch for the Green Court is located just to the right after you go through the connecting door, next to a louvered door. These take the form of a press switch which starts them; they turn off automatically after ten minutes with no detected movement on court.
Always leave the outer door securely closed. If you are the last to leave in the evening, please switch off all lights, and draw the clubroom curtains. Please check that the fire exits by the courts have also been closed.
Balls (made by hand by the professionals) are provided for players’ use. There is a basket for each court. The hand stitched felt covers are renewed at regular intervals. At the end of your game, please return all balls to the basket, including those in the galleries. If you are last on the Green Court in the evening, please leave the basket on the raised table, behind the glass in the Dedans (the life of the balls is prolonged if they are kept at room temperature. If the balls are kept in the inner-dedans, it makes no difference and they may as well be kept on court).
After your first few games, its a good idea to buy your own racquet which conveniently(!) are sold by the professionals, who can advise you on your requirements. Do not forget to write your name on the butt!
You can hire a racquet from the pros. Racquet hire is paid for in advance for 4 games at a time. Prices are at the end of the pricelist. Some older racquets, kept in the Blue Court Dedans, may be used if you break a string during a game or are awaiting repairs to your racquet. Any contributions to this stock are greatly appreciated.
Racquets for repair should be left in the repair rack in the Clubroom, with a note indicating your requirements. Repairs should normally be carried out within four weekdays. Your racquet can be collected from the same rack, and the repair fee paid to Peter Paterson. It is very important that members only take racquets belonging to themselves.
You can check the height of the net using the marked stick hanging by the entrance to each court. It should be three foot high in the middle.
Sports clothing should be worn at all times when on court. For representative matches, whites are preferred. Only non-marking soles may be worn on court.
The Booknowplus System allows players to book the court and view the status of their bill from a computer that has access to the Web. A computer is available at the Club for this purpose and the professionals will be only too happy to help with any queries. Alternatively, bookings can be made by telephoning the professionals at the Club (01223 357106). Players must ensure that they have booked their court time prior to entering the court to play.
A ‘social’ club night is organised on a Thursday at the end of the month and typically involves short doubles games, although singles matches may also be played if numbers are appropriate. This is an excellent opportunity to meet other players. The Blue Court is reserved for the whole evening for this purpose, starting from 17:30 and a small flat fee made for the whole evening’s play. All are welcome.
Every Friday morning, from 10 until 12, the Green Court is reserved for Ladies’ Morning. This is an informal fun session, open to all lady players, and is a particularly good way for newer players to learn more about the game.
Depending on numbers, we usually play doubles, with players swapping in and out every few games. A small flat fee is made for the morning’s play. Every few weeks we try to arrange a drill with Scott, for which there is an extra charge.
If you want to book a lesson with one of the professionals please contact the Club by telephone or e-mail . Lesson sessions last an hour with the first half an hour being coaching and the second half clear to practice the new skills you will have learnt. Lessons are charged at the rate on the Price List page.
If you discover you are unable to use a court you have booked, please inform the professionals as soon as possible (or leave a phone message). If you notify us of your cancellation by 10am at least one weekday before the day of your booking (e.g. by Tuesday 10am for a Wednesday booking, by Friday 10am for a weekend or Monday booking) you will not be charged for the court.
Otherwise you will be liable for your court fee and your opponent’s court fee, charged at your rate (e.g. a senior member cancelling pays 2x senior court fees, a junior member cancelling pays 2x student court fees). As summer season ticket holders have pre-paid their own off-peak court fees, they will only be liable for their opponent ’s court fee in the event of a late cancellation during off-peak times.
You can access the rules and an explanation of the scoring system and how handicaps work on this website (www.curtc.net). If you do not normally have access to the internet, you may use the computer in the Blue Court Dedans which is provided for this purpose, or just ask the pros for assistance when you come to the club.
Revised handicap listings are posted on the notice board every Tuesday and are available online at www.realtennisonline.com. Registration is free. Please record all your results on the paper sheet provided by the entrance to each court.
It is important for players to finish by their allotted time. The next players due on court are entitled to their full hour! Players whose hour is ending should make sure they finish in time to gather up the balls so that the incoming players can start promptly. Even if nobody is apparently waiting to come on court, you should check and enquire before running over time.
If a tournament game is over running, permission must be obtained from the players who are waiting, to continue. Players are expected to respect the feelings and wishes of other players.
Real Tennis has its courtesies and accepted practices. New players should take note of the following points:
If you arrive while a game is in progress on the Green Court, you should wait for a gap in play before walking through the gallery passage. Usually this means waiting for the players to change ends.
You should agree before starting your match what handicap difference (if any) you are applying. Players of unequal handicaps may nevertheless choose to play level, i.e. start each game at love-all (if you do this, the computer will make an allowance for the ‘correct ’ handicap difference in determining the effect of the result on your subsequent handicap, but it will record a null result if the difference was more than six).
It is usual to spin a racquet to determine who will start out as the server. Before the game commences, it is common practice for the receiver to take the basket of balls from underneath the net, put the balls in the Dedans for their opponent and replace the basket, before taking their position at the hazard end. This is not something that you should assume your opponent will do, but it is a courtesy to be encouraged.
When changing ends, if you are about to leave the service end, you should wait for the other player(s) to cross the net first. It is also usual to place a couple of balls on your opponent’s racquet, before moving to the hazard end.
When you finish your match, please gather any loose balls (including those in the galleries) into the basket.
In the heat of competition, please remember that junior members and other children may be within hearing range of your language.
The price list page on this site details charges for membership, annual subscriptions, court fees, racquets and grips, racquet hire, repairs, lessons, clothing and books on the game. Prices may be revised without notice.
Please assist the Club by ensuring that your account is clear (or more preferably in credit) and by paying your Annual Subscription as soon after the 1st October as possible. It would also be very helpful if you would set up an annual standing order for your subscription payment – most easily achieved if you use online banking. Please see below for the Club’s account details. If this is not possibly then completing a standing order form would be fine (blank forms available from the pros). Subscription rates are to be found on the price list.
It would also be helpful if you would set up regular payments to cover court fees. Any resulting credits will be repaid on request or carried forward by agreement. Again this is most easily achieved online. Alternatively, a monthly standing order would again assist. The Club’s bank details are as follows:
Sort code 20-17-19
Account number 90032190
Account name “Cambridge University Real Tennis Club”
To those of you already making payments online, many thanks, it helps us a great deal. All payments will normally appear on your BookNowPlus account within two weeks after the end of the calendar month in which the payment is made. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ring or email Kees email@example.com, Simon Stokes firstname.lastname@example.org, or Julian Stafford email@example.com
Please inform the Administrator of any changes to your address, email or telephone numbers.
Cambridge University students compete for the Bostock Cup (men) and the Lawrence Cup (ladies), and a Freshers’ tournament is also held each year.
The Graduate Cup is the premier annual club handicap tournament, open to all Senior members (it is not restricted to members of the University).
The Club Championship, Ladies Club Championship, Category tournaments, junior tournaments and the Cambridge Leagues are other notable features of the club calendar.
The club has a programme of friendly matches with other clubs (see fixture list and the noticeboard), and enters teams in a number of competitions and tournaments, including:
The Men’s and Ladies’ Varsity Matches and University 2nds Varsity Matches.
The Pol Roger Trophy, Field Trophy and Brodie Cup – National inter-club tournaments
IPRTA National Leagues – The Club enters teams in various Divisions and is a great opportunity to see world-class tennis.
Many of the national tournaments (and also the Pol Roger Trophy / Field Trophy / Brodie Cup team tournaments) are organised by the T&RA, the game’s governing body, which you may wish to consider joining. A membership form and details can be found in the Blue Court Dedans. The Association also trains professionals in conjunction with the International Real Tennis Professionals’ Association, and assists with the funding, planning and maintenance of courts, safeguards the supply of rackets and oversees the quality of the balls. T&RA Members receive a full rule-book for both games, regular newsletters,and have the right to play in T&RA tournaments and at other Clubs and receive other benefits such as attending the annual dinner.
The LRTA exists to promote the game of Real Tennis and to organise and manage ladies’ tournaments and to assist in those events that lady members participate. Fiona Brown is the LRTA contact at CURTC.
26 27* real tennis courts in use in the UK, including our two. A full list can be found at the International Real Tennis Professionals Association website – www.irtpa.com
There are also
• two clubs in France (where the game is le jeu de paume (Paris Club));
• nine clubs in the USA (where they call it Court Tennis);
• three clubs in Australia (where they call it Real or Royal Tennis).
Coming soon: The return of our interactive world court directory map.
*Wellington College Real Tennis Court opened its Doors (and Dedans) in September, 2016