What a racquet!
May 7, 2007 11:14 AM   Subscribe

I was given a New York City tennis permit for my birthday ($100 value) which I just received. Does my girlfriend need one too?

I went online to find out how I could either reserve courts or what the process was to play. I guess I was under the impression that if someone has a tennis permit, they can bring someone else to play with that doesn't have a tennis permit. Then I came across this page which states that each person must have a valid permit to play. Argh! This seems ridiculous. What if my 3 friends from out of town want to play tennis with me? Then my girlfriend (the main non-permit holder who I would like to play tennis with regularly) found this pdf, which does not make it clear that all players must have a permit, but that someone within that group must have a permit.

Does anyone have any experience with what the correct rule is and how heavily enforced it is? We'd like to play at courts in Manhattan, but would also like to head out to courts in Brooklyn and Queens (especially if they are more lenient over there)

In addition to my question, I'd also be interested in hearing your experiences both good and bad about playing tennis recreationally in New York City.
posted by zackola to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total)
I'm on my way to play in Riverside Park right now -- it is glorious and well worth the $100 for the annual pass. In Manhattan the rules are strictly enforced, which works out fine -- it's a mixed bag of players, everyone's got a story, and the rules keep it all bouncing along.

Your girlfriend or out of town pals will be able to play with a day pass -- I think you can purchase it in a couple of locations, Central Park and maybe at the courts in the west 90s (the clay court) but you should call and check that.

Happily, you can not reserve courts on line or by telephone, it's survival of the first come-first serve. On weekdays, you can show up between 9 and 4 approximately 1/2 hour before court time (on the hour) and you'll probably get on the schedule. On the weekends, there is sometimes a 2-hour wait, but the die hards bring coffee and newspapers and it's quite convivial.

Have fun, it's swell.
posted by thinkpiece at 11:32 AM on May 7, 2007

I loved playing tennis in NY. I used to play at Fort Greene Park which had six ok courts, no crowds and nobody there to check permits (although I did have one). The neighborhood's changed a lot in seven years so it might be a different situation now. IIRC, I brought a guest to the really nice Prospect Park courts and he payed the official there something under $10 to play for the day. Again, it's been a while so this might be wrong.
posted by otio at 11:55 AM on May 7, 2007

I've always found that each person needs a permit -- I haven't had a season pass for some years now, but each player has always needed a pass at the East River Park courts by the Williamsburg Bridge, which is where I play on occasion. It's probably easier to snag a court there than some more populated areas -- it has 12 courts and if you get there at about 15 minutes before the hour you can usually snag one.
posted by AJaffe at 1:28 PM on May 7, 2007

They're a hawk at Fort Greene now. But there's a 2-court location not too far away on Cumberland near Atlantic that rarely in full use.
posted by yeti at 1:50 PM on May 7, 2007

If she's going to play with you more than a handful of times, just buy her a pass. $100 is not very much money for a summer's worth of tennis, and hey, the courts are public so your money goes to a good cause.
posted by lia at 3:23 PM on May 7, 2007

« Older How do I stop myself from cheating?   |   Which Mac notes application do I need? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.