Controlling Court Hogs at Your Tennis and Pickleball Club

Controlling Court Hogs at Your Tennis and Pickleball Club

We all know them – most facilities have them – the court hog.

Court Hog (noun) – A “special” player who usually has been at your facility for many year and expects, nay demands, the court they want, when they want it, every time – no questions asked

The court hog plays several days a week, sometimes every day. They are often first in line or first to call to book their court of choice. This court is usually the best court or maybe the court with the most shade or maybe it’s the court that is closest to the pro shop.  It’s the court everyone wants and the court hog will go to any length to make sure they get it, when they want it.

How to tame the ubiquitous court hog and make court availability fair for all players?  There are a couple things you can do as an admin or staff at a tennis and pickleball facility to make sure court hogs get the same treatment as every other player.

Use an online court reservation software. Court reservations software allows specific rules and restrictions to be applied evenly to all your members. If you have different levels of membership at your organization a good tennis or pickleball reservation system will allow all players to get equal amounts of courts. The best court reservation systems will also allow you to maximize your court usage while keeping the highest demand courts and court times distributed fairly among your players. Things like the ability to bypass restrictions if it is within an hour of court time and that court is open.  One of the best is prime time specific restrictions, which can help those members who always want to play during the best hours of the day to only get those options one or two days a week instead of getting the best court and the best time each and every day.

Offer tiered memberships.  Another idea to control court hogs at your tennis or pickleball facility is to offer different levels of membership or player access and charge a premium price. By having a gold or diamond membership at your organization this could provide extra opportunities for court reservations and playing time. That court hog wants to be out there, so let them pay for that extra usage and premium access.  Players can pay to have access to more prime time or more booking opportunities during the week.

Charge for premium court time.  The last idea around controlling court hogs is to charge for premium court time. This allows the club to generate additional revenue when players play during busy or primetime hours. By offering lower court fees or no fees at all during the afternoon or off times, you incentivize maximum utilization of your courts. 

We know you love your members, it’s why you are in the racquet sports industry.  You love the sport and you love the people.  We even love our local court hogs.  If you use some of the strategies above, maybe you’ll even turn that player from a “court hog” at your club to a brand ambassador for your club, because the rules are clear and the playing field is level for all your players.

For more information about a great court reservation software please go to

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