Court regulations for ATP, WTA and ITF Davis Cup



Click on the links below to find out more information on each topic. For full details of rules regarding tournament please refer to the ATP World Tour - RulebookWomen's Tennis Association: Official Rulebook, and Davis Cup Rules and Regulations.

Minimum seating capacity

Ceiling height

Chairs - Chair Umpire

Lighting

Measuring devices

Net

Net posts and net post signage

Colour - beck fences, back walls, banners, sings and seats

Court surface - identification

Scoreboard requirements

Court specifications, position and colour


Minimum seaing capacity (Stadium Court)

ATP 
Masters 1000 Series: 12000 (combined), 10000 (non-combined);
Masters 500 Series: 7000 (outdoors), 6000 (indoors)
Masters 250 Series: 3500(outdoors), 2500 (indoors)

WTA
Premier Mandatory: 10000 (outdoors), Tour Approved (indoors);
Premier 5: 7500 (outdoors), 4500 (indoors);
Premier: 5000 (outdoors), 4000 (indoors)
International: 2500

Davis Cup
World Group: minimum spectator capacity of 4,000 seats (exception may be made for 1st round ties and qualifying round ties in the World Group).


Ceiling height

ATP
Indoor or covered show courts shall have a minimum top height of forty (40) feet (12.19m), except as otherwise approved by ATP.

WTA
At indoor tournaments, the ceiling must be a minimum of forty (40) feet or 12.19 metres in height.

Davis Cup
There shall be a space from the court surface to the ceiling of not less than 9 metres clear (12 metres in the case of World Group Ties). This measurement shall be taken at the net. Applications to use a court with less than 9 metres clear (or 12 metres in the case of the World Group) must reach the ITF as soon as possible after the Draw or the completion of the previous round and at least six weeks (eight weeks in the case of Ties in the World Group) before the date fixed for the commencement of the Tie, whichever date is the earlier.


Chairs - Chair Umpire

ATP
1. The sitting platform of the chair for the Chair Umpire must be between six (6) feet (1.83m) and eight (8) feet (2.44m) high. The seating area should be approximately two (2) feet (.61m) wide. The chair shall be centered along the extension of the net approximately three (3) feet (.914m) from the net post if the court configuration will accommodate such placement.
2. The Chair Umpire’s and on-court announcer’s, if any, microphone must have an “on-off” switch.
3. Umbrellas are required if the sun is a factor.
4. At all outdoor events, the positioning of the umpire’s chair shall be on the west side of the court on all courts except for competition court that had the umpire’s chair on the east side of the court in 2000 due to infrastructure or other agreed unusual requirements.

WTA
1. The Chair Umpire’s Chair is recommended to be a minimum of six (6) feet (1.82 metres) and a maximum of eight (8) feet (2.44 metres) in height. The chair shall be centred along an extension of the net approximately three (3) feet (0.9 metres) from the net post.
2. The Chair Umpire’s microphone must have an on/off switch and must be easily adjustable and not hand held. The on-court announcer’s microphone, if any, must also have an on/off switch.
3. For outdoor tournaments, the Umpire's chair on all courts shall be positioned on the West side of the court, unless otherwise agreed by the WTA, and there should be a sunshade available. Each Chair Umpire's chair mist have an electrical outlet to power and recharge handheld PDAs and other similar electronics to be used by the Chair Umpire.


Lighting

ATP
a) ATP World Tour Tournaments. Lighting must be evenly distributed on the court with a minimum recommended intensity of 100 foot-candles (1076 LUX), averaged over 15 readings on court.
The recommended minimum lighting for televised events broadcasting in high definition is an average of 285 foot candles (approximately 2,000 lux).
The light should be distributed across the court evenly with a consistent color temperature.
b) ATP Challenger Tour Tournaments. Lighting must be evenly distributed on the court with a minimum recommended intensity of 70 foot-candles (750 LUX), averaged over 15 readings on court.
3) High/low ratio. A ratio of the highest to lowest readings should be no greater than 1x2.0 but the recommended ratio is 1x1.5
4) Light poles. Light poles should be positioned so that they are evenly distributed around the court and it is recommended that light pole heights for other than show courts be no lower than forty (40) feet (12.19 m.) or no lower than other non-show court lights at the facility, e.g., if others are sixty (60) feet (18.29 m.), then new lights should be sixty (60) feet (18.29 m.) high.
5) The supervisor has the authority to suspend play on any court if the intensity of
illumination, in his judgment, is insufficient for professional tennis.

WTA

(a) Each Tournament shall cause all Matches staged on courts where televised Matches are staged to be lighted in a manner such that high quality, colour telecasting can be conducted.(b) To the extent any Matches are staged on courts other than those equipped to be lighted for television production, the WTA (or its designee) shall be responsible for the costs associated with any lighting (including equipment) that may be required for such matches.(c) If the Tournament is held indoors, the Tournament shall cause the use of strobe lights on any "still" photographic equipment to be discouraged at the site. The indoor playing surface must be illuminated evenly at a minimum 1076 lux. The light source must be from either side of the court and must not be perpendicular to the inside of the playing area. The best type of lamp source is a tungsten lamp with a color temperature of 3200 Kelvin. The tungsten light source offers a far more stable color temperature than discharge lamps and is far more reliable. The most suitable luminaries are flood lights with a symmetrical reflector and 1.5 kw. Depending upon the reflective values of surfaces within the area and the distance between the luminaries and the playing surface, 60-80 (30-40 on each side) luminaries are required. If 80 lamps are required, the total power requirements are 120 kw. A venue requires a minimum of 200A 415V supply.

Davis Cup
Play is allowed with artificial lighting in the open air after sunset or on covered courts provided there is a minimum of 500 lux per square metre (1,200 lux in the case of the World Group), evenly distributed over the court surface, and practice facilities for both tennis teams with similar lighting are available. All measurements are to be taken one metre above the playing surface.In exceptional circumstances when play is on covered courts, this minimum may be reduced provided that the approval of the Davis Cup Committee is obtained. Applications must reach the ITF as soon as possible after the draw or the completion of the previous round and at least six weeks (eight weeks in the case of Ties in the World Group) before the date fixed for the commencement of the Tie, whichever date is earlier.


Measuring devices

ATP
Each tournament shall provide a measuring stick, tape measure or other measuring device for the measuring of the net height and location of the singles sticks.

WTA
The net, posts, cord, cable, strap, single sticks and band must all be to the requirements of the Rules of Tennis. The net band shall be cloth or canvas (not plastic or vinyl) and the net shall extend to the ground.


Net

ATP
The net band shall be cloth, canvas or vinyl, and the net shall extend to the ground, unless otherwise approved by the on-site Supervisor.
Each tournament shall have spare nets available.
There can be no commercial or manufacturer identification on the net except as approved by the ATP.

WTA
See answer 20.

Davis Cup
A court marked for doubles with a doubles net may be used for singles matches , provided that it is properly equipped with singles sticks.


Net posts and net post signage

ATP
The net posts shall conform to the specifications in the Rules of Tennis, unless otherwise approved by the ATP. No signage of any type may be placed on the net posts or net except as determined solely by the ATP.

WTA
WTA Tour/sponsor net post signage must be erected consistent with the specifications provided by the Tour. 

WTA/sponsor shall receive exclusive net post signage at both ends of the net on all competition courts. The WTA will provide specifications to each Tournament prior to production deadlines. If WTA/sponsor elects to provide the signage, the Tournament shall be responsible for storing the signage so that it may be used again the following year. Any lost or misplaced signs will be reproduced by WTA/sponsor at the expense of the Tournament.


Colour - beck fences, back walls, banners, sings and seats

ATP

1. The back fences, back walls, net, net posts, line umpires and other fixtures on a court shall not have any white, grey, yellow or other light colours that can interfere with the vision of the players as determined by the supervisor.
2. Background and lettering on rotating banners should be consistent with the colour of the back walls. If placed in front of back walls, rotating banners can change only during a changeover. If placed in front of side walls, rotating banners can change only after the completion of any game.
3. Spectator seating shall not have any white, grey, yellow or other light colours that can interfere with the vision of the players. Light coloured seats shall be covered to comply with this rule.

WTA

Behind the Court
The back fences, back walls, net, net posts, line umpire boxes and other fixtures on a court shall not be predominantly white, gray, yellow or any other light color that can interfere with the vision of the players as determined by the Supervisor.

Banners
There can be no banners with predominantly white, gray, yellow or any other light color backgrounds behind the ends of the court. Background and lettering on rotating banners should be consistent with the color of the back walls. If placed in front of back walls, rotating banners can change only during a change of ends. If placed in front of side walls, rotating banners can change only after completion of any game. When light lettering needs to be used on a darker background, PMS Color “Cool Gray” 4 to 6 (5 to 6 for outdoor tournaments) are the preferred colors.


Court surface - identification

ATP
No commercial branding (sponsor, series or federation), court manufacturer branding or any other mark may be placed on the surface of the court, with the exception of “Host Locality” (See 3b) unless otherwise approved by the ATP.

WTA

Advertising and other marks or material placed on the court surface outside the lines is permitted unless it interferes with the vision of the players or the playing conditions.

Notwithstanding paragraphs above, any advertising, marks or material placed on the net or placed at the back and sides of the court, or on the court surface outside the lines may not contain white or yellow or other light colours that may interfere with the vision of the players or the playing conditions.

Advertising and other marks or material are not permitted on the court surface inside the lines of the court.


Scoreboard requirements

ATP

Each tournament must provide scoreboards for all courts to be placed at the corner or side of the courts. Placement and color of scoreboards shall not interfere with a player’s vision.

WTA

Scoreboards must be provided on all match courts. The scoreboard will be placed at the corner or side of the court and must not obscure the playing visibility. The scoreboard must be a dark color.

Scoreboards and video screens may be placed a minimum of 40 feet (12.19 meters) above the court surface, as long as they do not interfere with play and/or present a distraction to the players.

Davis Cup
If the scoreboard carries the name of the manufacturer in a prominent position, this constitutes advertising and the home nation must immediately seek approval from the ITF. Where approval is not granted, the name of the manufacturer must be covered. The official event title (as supplied to the home nation) is to be placed on any scoreboard. Stickers measuring 34cm x 150cm will be included in the advertising material. If the scoreboard is larger, it is permitted to make a larger official event title in the correct colours light green lettering (PMS 351u) on dark green background (PMS3308u).


Court specifications, position and colour

ATP
Court Surface
1. Outdoor court surfaces shall be classified as either a) hard; b) clay or c) grass
2. Indoor surfaced shall be Indoor Hard and shall be constructed using an acrylic or similar surface paint applied on a hard or semi-hard base.
3. Any court surface or change in court surface must be approved by the ATP.
4. A change in a tournament's court surface will not be considered for approval without a written petition by the tournament.

Size, position and colour of courts:
1. The court shall conform to the specification of the Rules of Tennis. The ATP reserves the right to restrict the colour of an indoor synthetic court as well as outdoor surfaces. The lines of the court must be white.
2. Courts shall be laid out with the long axis north and south; however, geographic considerations may modify this orientation in order to minimize the adverse effect of serving into the sun.
3. Courts shall not be less than 60 feet (18.29m) wide and 120 feet (36.58m) long. Stadium courts should be 66 feet (20.11m) x 132 feet (40.23m).

WTA

a. Court Specifications
i. Court Surface
(a) Tournaments must be played on a surface that is approved by the WTA, including, but not limited to, the color of the court surface. Tournaments must submit a written request for approval to the WTA prior to making any changes to the existing surface and pay the cost of any testing deemed necessary by the WTA.
(b) If a new surface is being considered, approval must be given by the WTA. If the Tournament fails to utilize the surface recommended by the WTA, individual players may refuse to participate in the Tournament, in which case the WTA neither is responsible for such action by a player nor subject to any penalties.
(c) The surface must be maintained to the satisfaction of the Supervisor/Referee.
(d) Tournaments must ensure that the same surface is used for Main Draw and Qualifying. If there are circumstances beyond the control of the Tournament Director, Qualifying matches may be held on a different surface, only with approval of the WTA. All practice courts, with a minimum of one (1) on site, must be of the same surface and condition (i.e., indoor/outdoor) as the Main Draw match court(s).
(e) Unless otherwise approved by the WTA, outdoor courts shall be laid out with the long axis north and south; geographic considerations may modify this orientation in order to minimize the adverse effect of serving into the sun.

Davis Cup
Surface:The surface of the courts to be used in the Competition shall be grass turf; a natural or artificial fine gritty material; cement or a bituminous composition or a synthetic surface; but in no case shall a Tie be played on a surface of stone or any other surface except by mutual agreement between the two Nations competing. If the Host Nation under normal conditions as determined by the Referee is unable to provide a playable match court at the scheduled starting time, the Home Nation shall forfeit the Tie and the Visiting Nation shall be determined the winner of the Tie. The Referee may extend the starting time if, in his opinion, the match court could satisfactorily be made playable within a reasonable time which shall not exceed three hours. For all ties in the World Group and Group I the court surface must be of a type used in a Grand Slam tournament or in a minimum of three Tournaments in the Men’s Professional Tour held in the year previous to the Tie.

Note 1. for the purpose of this regulation ‘normal conditions’ refers to a situation when, for example, the weather and climate conditions are good and satisfactory for play but the match court, due to negligence by the Home Nation and/or court manufacturer, still fails to be playable in the opinion of the Referee. Rain or other unavoidable hindrance beyond the control of anyone would not constitute a reason for the Referee to call off a Tie and award the victory to the Visiting Nation.
Note 2. For the purpose of this Regulation, Tournaments in the Men’s Professional Tour include only those events with minimum prize money of $350,000.
Note 3. In case it is proposed to play a tie on any court surface laid on a temporary basis, the method of construction shall have the prior approval of the ITF. Such method should be advised to the Visiting Nation 1 month prior to the Tie.
Note 4. In case a Tie is to be played on a carpet the Home Nation shall inform the visiting team and the ITF about the type of carpet to be used and type of base on which the carpet is to be laid. In no case shall a carpet, synthetic or other, be laid on a temporary basis when a Tie is held out of doors.

Dimensions and certificate: For all ties in the World Group, there should be a space behind each baseline of not less than 27 feet (8.23m) and at the sides of not less than 15 feet (4.57m)., Furthermore, for all World Group ties, the overall required court area, i.e. 132 feet (40.23m) x 66 feet (20.11m) must be rectangular in shape. Application to use a court that does not meet with the above requirements must reach the ITF as soon as possible after the draw of the completion of the previous round and at least eight weeks before the date fixed for the commencement of the Tie, whichever is earlier. For all ties in the Zonal competition, there shall be a space behind each baseline of not less than 21 feet (6.4m) and at the sides of not less than 12 feet (3.66m).