Facility Profile - September 2007
Find a printable version here

Smart Sports

Miami University in Oxford, Ohio

By Emily Tipping

Five of Miami's intercollegiate athletic teams were recently honored by the NCAA for their latest APR scores, including the women's tennis team.

But the tennis team's stellar performance this year wasn't just academic. They advanced to the 2007 Mid-American Conference tournament as the No. 5 seed. Over their past four seasons, they've posted double-digit win totals.

This is despite the fact that, until recently, the team—as well as other students participating in tennis—only had the outdoor tennis courts on which to practice on campus. To provide a spot for indoor play, the university had to get creative. They ended up adapting an existing gym to provide indoor practice facilities.

"We do not have an indoor tennis facility on our campus, so we've had to be creative in how we provide a resource for our students who participate in tennis," Bates said. "We tried to come up with a concept that would provide a much better experience than just putting a cover over the gymnasium surface. We eneded up converting an old gym with a high ceiling. It's a one-room facility that was large enough for a full-size court with enough room around the outside of the court that it would be safe. Then we needed a surface that would be as close as possible to a regular playing surface."

The university ended up selecting TecnoTile, a sports surface made up of interlocking, textured, low-density polyethylene tiles. The cushioned properties of the surface, along with good foot grip, help prevent fatigue and injury that comes from playing on harder surfaces. But the greatest benefits, Bates said, are the expanded options for playing time.

"Now we have access to a facility 24x7 during inclement weather where our students can continue to practice, perform and improve their game," he said. "But it's also a campus facility—it's used by faculty and the entire campus community. It's not just exclusive to a dozen students. You can't wear it out, so it's something that can be accessible to our entire community."

Anyone for tennis?


Miami University: