The high school state tennis championships, held in Clayton County the past 10 years, are moving to the new 60-court Rome Tennis Center at Berry College, the GHSA announced Wednesday. All 16 boys and girls state finals will be played May 12.
The size of the tennis facility, the largest of its kind in Georgia, will make for an easier day for teams and spectators.
The GHSA plans to use 40 courts and schedule all eight girls finals at the same time in the morning, then all eight boys finals at the same time in the afternoon.
That means that all five positions in a match – three singles and two doubles – will start simultaneously for all 16 state championships.
For logistical reasons, that’s not usually been the case.
The GHSA had 17 courts available at the Clayton County Tennis Center at International Park in Jonesboro. That is a good-sized tennis center, but not compared to the new Rome facility.
In Jonesboro and other venues it has used, including those in Macon and Stone Mountain Park, GHSA could schedule three or four classification finals at a time, meaning those classes starting later might have to wait for previous finals to finish if they ran over time. In many cases, not all five matches in a later-starting final could start simultaneously because they were taking a court as it became available.
“We are fortunate to have a center like this one in Georgia, and it was an easy decision to move the state finals to a show place like the Rome Tennis Center,’’ GHSA executive director Robin Hines said in a statement. ‘’We hope this will be a great championship site for many years to come.”
The Rome Tennis Center has permanent outdoor seating for 800 spectators and 220 parking spaces on site and 250 more on a hill adjacent to the center.