Frequently Asked Questions

 

How can I join Lakewood?
Are there any restrictions on membership?
What are membership dues?
When does the club open for play each year?
What is rotation?
What is advanced rotation?
What happens when it’s raining, or after a rain?
Who keeps the courts in shape?
What are the rules about having guests?
What are the rules concerning children?
Where should I park a car?
When can I play?
Why are the courts closed in the middle of each day?
How often can I play?
As a prospective new member, when can I play?
Can I reserve a court?
How are courts assigned during arranged play?
What happens if a group has played during the previous arranged play session, and players want to keep playing?
Must I be there at the time set in the schedule for court changeover?
What are the rules concerning court courtesy?

How can I join Lakewood?
Lakewood is a private, non-profit club.  To be admitted, you must be sponsored by a member.  If the Board determines that new members can be admitted, sponsors can get an application from the Lakewood website (look under ‘forms’) in the spring.  All prospective members must attend an orientation session early in the season, where new members learn about the club, and particularly about the rules and social aspects of rotation.  There is a minimum level of tennis ability required of all prospective members, so that they’ll be able to fully participate in rotation sessions; prospective members are evaluated at the orientation session by a group of members.  There is an initiation fee required of all prospective members (currently $300).  Prospective members are then required to attend at least three rotation sessions during the Dance Card phase, having their “dance card” signed by members they have played with.  After admission, provisional members are again reviewed by the board towards the end of their first season, and if approved, become full members. The admissions process is more fully described on the Admissions Page of our website.

Are there any restrictions on membership?
Newton residents have priority, and so do former members who want to rejoin, spouses and children of members.

What are membership dues?
Currently, the annual dues are $250 per adult if postmarked by March 15th. Dues are $325 if postmarked after March 15th.  Junior members (children of members under 18 as of April 1st) don’t pay.  Payment is due by April 1st, payable to Lakewood Tennis Club and sent to the treasurer at the Club’s post office box, 610221, Newton, 02461.

When does the club open for play each year?
Usually, about the second week of May; the club remains open until about the second week of November. Both dates depend on the weather.  The courts are clay, and clay has to harden up in the spring.  If people play on it too soon, there’s a risk of damage.  And once there’s a hard frost in the fall, the season is over, again, because playing after a hard frost would damage the courts. To learn when opening day will actually happen, call the hot line in early May: 617-283-1025.

What is rotation?
(Please see the Rotation Page for more details.)
Rotation is what makes Lakewood different from most tennis clubs.  It is a time for members to simply show up and play competitive yet social mixed doubles tennis with other members.  That social aspect – the chance to get to know other members – is as important as playing the game.  During rotation, the games and sets are short (best of five no-ad games wins).   The complete rules for rotation play are available at on the Rotation page.

What is advanced rotation?
Advanced rotation is intended for those who qualify for a more competitive and a faster game. Players must possess strong fundamental skills, including a strong serve, play with power and consistency, and understand and use basic doubles strategy and teamwork.  Players are expected to run hard, play aggressively, and not restrain their own service or strokes, nor expect other players to do so.

What happens when it’s raining, or after a rain?
A light summer shower is not usually a problem.  The courts dry quickly, although not as fast as har-tru courts.  But playing on the courts, or even walking on them, after a heavier rain can damage them.  If there is any question about whether the courts are playable, call the “hotline,” 617-283-1025.   The latest information will be on the recorded line, and it is updated at least daily.

Who keeps the courts in shape?
The grounds committee oversees all aspects of the condition of the courts – nets, fences, windscreens, making sure the courts are smooth and well-drained, and doing all the work that goes into opening up the courts at the start of the season, and putting them to sleep at the end.  Lakewood’s courts are about as nice as any clay courts, anywhere.  They are brushed, and the tapes cleaned, every morning before play starts, and again at midday. The courts have daily maintenance throughout the season – watering and rolling, cleaning leaves etc.   Occasionally, members are asked to join work parties, and they happily volunteer!

What are the rules about having guests?
In brief, members are encouraged to have guests at “off-peak” times, when the courts are lightly used.  Members can have up to four visits by guests in any calendar month, but a single guest cannot play more than twice in a calendar month.  Since Lakewood is run on an honor system, with nobody minding the gate, members must sign in their guests on the guest log at the courts, before starting play. For a full explanation, see the Rules page.

What are the rules concerning children?
Junior members (children of members who are under 18 as of April 1) can play by themselves but must yield the court if adult members are waiting.  If a junior is playing with an adult member, he or she can play during an arranged play session to the same extent as an adult.

Where should I park a car?
The best way to get to the club is to walk or ride a bike.  That said, those who drive should do so carefully and slowly, and park on Manchester Road, only on the side closest to the courts, to keep from blocking traffic. Avoid parking on Wenham Road – it’s a cul de sac; if you must park there, please park on the north (odd numbered) side of the street.

When can I play?
The courts are open daily between 9:00 am and dusk – no lights.  The most popular times are early mornings on weekdays, Saturday and Sunday mornings, and weekday afternoon rotation and arranged play sessions.  During other times, the courts are more lightly used, so members can almost always find an open court.  On holidays, a Sunday schedule is followed.

Why are the courts closed in the middle of each day?
The courts are closed for ninety minutes, during which time they are brushed and lightly watered.

How often can I play?
Members have virtually unlimited use of the courts, with some exceptions. If other members are waiting at a changeover time, players already on the courts from the previous arranged play session must leave.

As a prospective new member, when can I play?
Until an applicant gets a “dance card,” guest rules apply.  After an applicant attends an orientation session and meets all qualifications, and the Board issues a dance card, prospective members can play only at regular rotation sessions.
When the prospective member submits the dance card and the Board approves the member as “provisional,” the player has full playing rights for the rest of the season.

Can I reserve a court?
No.  Arranged play sessions start at the times listed on the court schedule (which is posted at the courts and on the website under Members/Schedule).  During arranged play sessions, if members are waiting, players must leave the courts at change-over times.  If there are more groups of players than courts, one player from each group draws a number to determine which groups play during that session.

How are courts assigned during arranged play? 
Players leave the courts at times set up in the schedule.  When four or more groups show up for arranged play, the groups that will play, as well as the court each group plays on, should be determined by picking a number. Even if there are fewer groups than available courts, the court each group plays on should be determined by picking a number.  Otherwise, one of the groups is, in effect, reserving a court (to play in the shade, for example.)  In practice, it generally doesn’t work this way — most players simply agree on which group gets which court, but picking a number to assign courts even when there are four groups or less is the fairest way to choose.  If one of the groups is playing singles, no matter. They get to draw a number with the rest.  One person can’t hold a court, but two certainly can.

Must I be there at the time set in the schedule for court changeover?
Yes, if you want to be part of the court selection process; show up late and you could be shut out entirely if there are four groups already playing.  Court changeover times are a “bright line.”  The first group to show up before the court change happens doesn’t “get a leg up” on either whether they play, or on court selection at court change time.  All that matters is whether the group is there at the time for the court change, and then someone from each group there draws a number.  Any group that shows up after the court change time doesn’t get to play during that session if there are four groups already there and playing.

What happens if a group has played during the previous arranged play session, and players want to keep playing?
If one of the groups has a player or players who have played the previous hour, they go to the bottom of the preference list.  Otherwise, the rule that “players waiting have preference over those players on the court with respect both to occupying a court as well as to choice of court” wouldn’t mean that much.  Still, if a group already played for the previous session, and another group shows up after the changeover time, the courteous solution is for the earlier group to finish up soon and yield the court to the latter group.  The spirit of the rules is as important as a literal reading.

What are the rules concerning court courtesy?
Courtesy is fundamental to Lakewood – it is written into the Rules and Regulations, and the By-laws, too.  It isn’t possible to list all the ways to observe courtesy or all the possible ways to disregard it, but here are a few recurring grievances, and the official line:  Loud talking by those on the bench is discouraged; cellphone use on the bench, or anywhere else on the courts, is strongly discouraged (please turn your phone off if you bring it, and if you must make a call, go outside the gate).  Leave pets at home; don’t tie them up around the courts.  No cussing or temper tantrums!  Make sure when you return a ball to a neighboring court that someone knows it’s coming.  Wait to cross a court until play has stopped, and then move as quickly as you can, along the backcourt fence.  And in general, behave!