In September, a survey of UHills tennis players was conducted, in order to collect feedback on opinions regarding the UHills tennis courts. We received 81 responses during the week that the survey was open. Thank you, to everyone who participated!
Several key conclusions:
(1) The existing system causes a lot of frustration. People say they use the timers correctly, but that others don't. And people generally walk away instead of acting to enforce the rules on their own behalf.
(2) Despite this, most still favor keeping the current system! Opinions regarding a full reservation system are strongly split, though there is moderate support for a limited system.
(3) Instructor monopolization is a common complaint, even though instructors have no authority to hold courts, and can only use the court as a guest of a resident who has waited their turn. As with the timers, the rules are ok, but the reality is not. (The instructor may be unaware that his presence is "scaring off" other residents, but it apparently is.)
Consequently, at this point, we don't find sufficient support to institute a reservation-based system. At some point, we might consider trying it for one court only, allowing reservations between 1 and 5 days ahead. But the idea is currently shelved, since the existing system still received strong support, despite the complaints.
We will be re-vamping the posted rules, and instituting an "instructor permit" system that requires instructors to display a permit at the court entrance. The permit will include the name and photo of the instructor, basic rules regarding instruction (e.g., the instructor may not hold the court for a student who is not there and waiting, may not use both courts at the same time, and may not instruct non-residents), and the number to call with complaints. We hope this will hold instructors more accountable, while also rewarding those who play by the rules and provide valuable services to our residents.
We will add a bulletin board, and will look into the feasibility of mounting a webcam for people to check real-time court use before leaving home.
Many respondents called for more courts to be built. The small number of courts certainly leads to congestion at peak times. The Phase 10 amenity survey that ICHA conducted 2 years ago found that a Jr. Olympic swimming pool was the overwhelming preference among residents, followed by a recreational pool, with additional tennis courts being the third “big-ticket” choice among the options suitable for the available space. More courts would definitely be desirable, but an additional pool is the more broadly supported option, community-wide. Fortunately, there are other courts available nearby, free of charge, including courts on campus, as well as those at Uni High, and those at Las Lomas park. Though not as convenient as having ample court facilities within the neighborhood, these courts are at least close enough to be feasible alternatives.