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Private Lessons on Public Courts?

An amendment to ban private tennis lessons from Barrington's public courts is endorsed by the recreation commission; it gets a public hearing next week.

Private tennis instructors could be banned from Barrington’s public courts if they want to teach as soon as next week.

The Town Council introduced an amendment to the recreation ordinances at its last meeting that would prohibit any private instructor from using any of the public tennis courts in Barrington for private lessons or instruction.

The Parks and Recreation Committee voted last week to support the amendment, said Michael Seward, chairman of that committee.

“They proposed a more stringent requirement,” he said. “We were just looking for a fine or other penalty.”

But the committee recognized that enforcement of the less stringent amendment would be difficult, Seward said, even though “you can usually recognize when a tennis teacher is using the court because there are tennis balls all over.”

The amendment goes up before a public hearing at the next Town Council meeting next Monday, June 5. It would go into effect immediately.

“We looked at similar sized towns,” Seward said. “Only two towns allow private instructors to teach on their public courts.”

Those towns ask for at least $1 million in liability insurance and indemnification, Seward said.

Barrington’s public tennis courts are located at the high school, middle school, off of Kent Street and in Chianese Park off of Centennial Street.

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