All you need to play tennis is a pair of shoes, a racquet, a can of balls and a public court, but members of the Bainbridge Community Tennis Association note it is a lot more fun if you can play with a regular group.
The association — a nonprofit that offers that opportunity to adults 18 and older — is gearing up for summer doubles play.
Summer doubles is unique in that everyone is welcome, and the programs are free. Players find fairly decent competition no matter what their level because matches are arranged strictly by ability. Men, women, young and old compete together on courts that are geared to their competitive strengths.
A free clinic for new and returning players will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 19 at the Bainbridge High School courts.
BCTA is not solely about tennis, according to members. It is a micro-community of Bainbridge Island with a core group that meets all winter long when the weather allows, expanding to well more than 100 players as summer approaches. Families play together, members bring their friends and visitors from out-of-town find BCTA on the web and drop in for a match.
BCTA has also been a way for tennis players new to the area to meet locals.
More than 180 players have asked to receive tri-weekly email invites this summer.
Invitations are sent for five programs: 5 p.m. Tuesday Intermediate and Social Doubles; 7 p.m. Tuesday Advanced Doubles; 7 p.m. Thursday Social Doubles for All Levels; 8:30 p.m. Saturday Advanced Doubles; and 10 a.m. Saturday Social Doubles for All.
All events are at the Bainbridge High School courts.
Players interested in receiving weekly email invites to play in BCTA’s programs or new players wanting to attend the July 19 free clinic should contact Julie Riely at bainbridgecta.com.