Private tennis club behavior at public tennis courts?

Private tennis club behavior at public tennis courts?

Private tennis club behavior at public tennis courts?

I’ve used the Asheville Citizen Times opinion section to write about far-right school board infiltration, Madison Cawthorn’s incompetence and banned books, but I’m finally addressing an important issue: public tennis court etiquette.

Last Monday, a friend and I arrived at the Montford Park tennis courts for our weekly match. The Asheville Tennis Court rules read, “If people are waiting, there will be a 1-hour time limit for singles 1½ hour limit for doubles.” The rules are posted at Weaver Park and Murphy-Oakely Park tennis courts, and though not at the Montford courts, it is the widely-accepted etiquette for most public facilities.

This sign hangs outside the Weaver Park tennis courts, but there is no sign at Montford Park courts.

When we arrived at the courts, there was a father and son due playing, along with an instructor and his teenage student. We settled in to wait, noting a group of pickleballers “in line” before us.

When the father and son finished their game, the pickelballers got up to claim their court, but one woman, ostensibly the “spokespickelballer,” approached us and said, “We have a large group coming to celebrate a birthday and technically have the whole court , but I guess since you guys are waiting, you can have the other court once those two finish.” She was extending us a courtesy. However, according to the sign, you can’t reserve the Montford courts for personal use.

We smiled politely and then complained to each other when she left to join her friends.

The instructor must’ve heard us complaining about entitlement because he decided to let us know that’s what he practiced. “Hey guys,” he said, “Did you know there are other courts at Weaver Park?”

The tennis courts at Montford Park do not need to be reserved in order to use them.

We do but told him we preferred Montford and didn’t mind waiting.

“Well, here’s the problem, guys,” he patronized, “I have another lesson coming after her, and each of my lessons runs 40 minutes.” We pointed out that you get an hour of play. “But I’m teaching lessons,” he said, “and actually, these are my client’s children, so I’m doing them a favor.”

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