Lining a tennis court requires more than painting straight lines around the boundaries. The placement and thickness of lines are regulated by International Tennis Federation rules for regulation courts. With the addition of the new court size for 10 and Under match play, you may need a second set of different-colored lines on your court. Knowing the rules and having the right tools will help you more easily create legal lines for your court.
Visit the website of the International Tennis Federation, U.S. Tennis Association or American Sport Builders Association to download a copy of the technical specifications for tennis courts. In addition to the placement of the lines on the court, you'll need to leave a certain amount of room outside the boundaries of the court for players to chase balls.
Lining a Hard Court
You will need: Tack or light nails; a chalk line; masking tape roller; white paint; paint brush.
Measure your court dimensions and, using tacks or nails to secure a chalk line to the court, or pressing the end of a chalk line at the beginning of your measurements, snap a straight chalk line down the middle of where you will place each line. You will paint along these chalk lines to make your lines. Be careful when you drive and remove tacks or nails so that you don't pull material out of the court.
Center a tape roller which holds two rolls of masking tape approximately 2 inches apart along the chalk line and roll out two lines of tape along the chalk line. You will paint between these two lines of tapes to create your lines. Tennis courts lines should be between 1 inch and 2 inches thick. They may be up to 4 inches thick along the baseline, but the extra thickness should move into the court, not behind your 78-foot measurement.
Paint between your tape lines and let the paint dry. After the pain has dried, gently begin removing the tape lines. If the paint or court surface begins to pull up, stop to see what the problem is. You may need to let the paint dry or court surface cure a while longer.
Repeat this process using an approved, blue paint if you are laying the lines for a short court on the regulation court.
Lining a Soft or Grass Court
When lining grass courts and some soft courts, you will use chalk instead paint. Follow the same measuring and chalkline procedures to lay out your court and apply the chalk with a chalk dispenser. If you will be applying semi-permanent lines to a soft court, you will need nails, a mallet and the lines. The lines are a canvass-like material referred to as line tape. Gently pre-stretch your lines, making sure not to stretch them beyond regulation length, and nail the tape down, taking care not to create bubbles or humps in the line.