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Supplement Feature - September 2012

A Court for Every Need

Improve Playability, Longevity Maintenance & More

By Julie Knudson


When you're looking for the right surface for your indoor sports courts, there are a lot of factors to consider, from playability and longevity to maintenance requirements and beyond. You also must take into account the unique situation of your facility and its users. Here, we've collected some examples of how other facilities made their surface decisions.

Johnson County Park and Recreation District

When Johnson County Park and Recreation District (JCPRD) was ready to install combined basketball and volleyball courts in its new facility, the New Century Fieldhouse in New Century, Kan., money played a role in the decision. "Finances dictated a little bit how much we could spend on the floor," said Jill Geller, superintendent of recreation. With more than 50,000 square feet of court space to cover, JCPRD didn't have the funds for hardwood floors, though Geller isn't sure that would have been their preference. "We did some research with other community centers and gymnasiums," she said, and based on positive comments about one manufacturer's synthetic court surface, the district made its decision.

The venue is a busy one, and the court areas—which are lined for basketball, volleyball and even futsal—are used for youth and adult leagues in addition to frequent weekend events. "Quite often we lease the facility out to different tournament directors, who host state, regional and national tournaments," Geller said. "It's busy all the time."

Completed in May 2011, Geller said the facility's court surfaces have performed well. "We haven't had any concerns expressed by players about the surface, or from any of the tournament directors," she said. "We do solicit their feedback after their events, and they've all spoken very highly of the surface and the facility." And even though the courts are lined for multiple sports, Geller said there hasn't been any confusion or difficulty distinguishing the different areas of play. "I think our contractor did a great job with colors of the lines."

JCPRD's maintenance staff tends to the new floors daily to keep the surface in good shape. "We try to keep it looking new at all times," Geller said. A floor machine is used for a clean, dust-free surface, and scuff marks get closer attention. "We do those with a little bit of elbow grease, but again just to prolong the life of the floor," she explained.

Bleachers are regularly placed on top of the floor, but Geller said they haven't caused any problems. "We try not to leave them in one spot for any length of time, because it will dimple the floor," she said, adding that once the bleachers have been relocated, the dimples pop back out.

Geller said that research is the key to selecting the right court surface, and encourages other centers to do their due diligence. "Evaluate what's going to be on the floor, and then contact other community centers or agencies that have similar facilities to get their recommendation," she said. "That's what we did, and we have been pleased."