Nov 09

Street Facing Hoops–Oops Not on our Street

At some point, communities everywhere will have to decide on why we build towns, cities and villages…

Do we build them for cars or for people?

I vote for people.

Let the kids play.

This November 5th 2015 NP Toronto story sums up our choices pretty well in my view. 

The kids should put another basket directly across the street, paint lines and then real play roundball…

That’s what we did on our road in Kanata, which we turned into a street paddle tennis court:


Still love the tagline: OUR STREET RULES.

In fact, here are the rules for Street Paddle Tennis:

Rules for a Serve—

1. Serve must be underhand.

2. Serve can be out of hand or
bounced once.

3. Serve must go over the serve
lines (it may land anywhere in the court past the serve line).

4. Person who is serving must
stand on backline.

5. Receiving person must also be
standing on their backline.

6. Both people must be standing
within two feet of the back centerlines.

7. Whoever has a ball, serves.

8. Once the person who is serving
hits the ball both players can move.

Rules for rallying—

1. Players must hit ball on first
bounce (or you may volley it out of the air except on a serve).

2. Ball must pass the center of
the court (except on the serve, when the ball must go past the serve line).

3. Ball must land inside the court
or on back lines or sidelines.

4. No overhand smashing (you may
hit the ball overhand, except on a serve, as long as you stop at the vertical;
i.e., no follow through on overhand hits—the idea is to promote longer

5. Paddle or player cannot cross


1. If serve does not go over (or
touch) serve lines, it is a point for the other player.

2. If ball lands out of bounds
(before a bounce), a point is awarded to other player.

3. If ball dose not make it over
the centerline then point is awarded to other player.

4. If ball bounces twice on a side
then point is awarded to other player.

5. First player to seven points
wins. (You do not have to win by two points.)

6. Point is awarded on every play
except a let (the players play the point over).


1. Players who are playing referee

2. If both players are not sure
about a point then it is a let.

Spirit of the Game—

1. In a Street Paddle Tennis
competition or tournament, scores are recorded after each match.

2. Each player also reports a
‘Spirit of the Game’ score for the other player(s)—this is a score that
measures sportspersonship.

3. A score of 10 indicates a very
high standard of fair play. A score of 5 or less indicates very poor
sportspersonship. Individuals with consistent scores of 5 or less may not be
asked to return for tournament play. Fair play is always encouraged.


1. Doubles are played like

2. Both players have to start at
their back line on the serve.

Safety + Suggestions—

1. Never play in traffic.

2. Any asphalt surface will
do—such as a parking lot at work or school.

3. Chalk as many courts as you
have room for and have a tournament amongst all your friends.

4. If sun or wind or other factors
make a difference in the game, switch sides from time to time.

5. Each set is best of five
games—first to three games, wins the set.

6. Each match is best of three
sets—first to two sets wins.

7. Always play fair and, if in
doubt, call a let.

8. You may use spray-on chalk to
lay out a court on grass—street paddle tennis on a grass court is a different
game but just as much fun; you can pretend you are playing at Wimbledon.
You will have to make sure that the grass is fairly short.

Keys to Competitive Street Paddle
Tennis/Handicapping the Game—

1. Rush the Centerline—it is a
good strategy if your opponent does not have a good passing shot.

2. Move Your Opponent Back and
Forth, Up and Down the Court.

3. Spin the Ball.

4. Get lots of competition with
players better than you.

5. Organize Tournaments and

6. Make holes in your racket for a
faster racket. Before drilling the holes, take duct tape and place it around
where you want to drill. Be sure not to make the holes too big so they won’t
affect your shot. After drilling the holes remove the tape, you should be left
with a smooth hole. (Adam, age 13 discovered this).

7. Handicap the games so that
everyone can play with everyone.

8. That means that better players
can play with others who aren’t as good and it can still be competitive.

9. The maximum handicap allowed
under Street Paddle Tennis rules is 5. That means that a better player starts
the game with a ‘0’ while his or her opponent starts with 5 points. So the
weaker player has to win just two points to win the game while the stronger
player has to get seven!

10. Create your own ladder of
competition with a handicap like golf only the inverse of it. For example, on
our block we have the following rankings:

a. Finn Handicap 5

b. Adam Handicap 5

c. Magellan Handicap 4

d. Damien Handicap 3

e. Dekka Handicap 2

f. Naya Handicap 1

g. Ellen Handicap 0

11. Obviously, Street Paddle
Tennis handicaps are the opposite of golf—the higher the handicap, the better
the player!

12. In the above ladder, if, for
example, Finn plays Naya, the score starts off Naya 4, Finn 0.

Lastly, you can draw a court on your road with street chalk. It should look like this:

@ profbruce @ quantum_entity

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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.