Halloween tennis, laser tag planned

ELLSWORTH — With the additional precautions and safety concerns about COVID-19, the Ellsworth Tennis Center has come up with a novel idea: it will host area children under age 15 on Halloween day for socially distanced tennis play and “masked” laser tag in its two 120-by-120-foot court areas. There will be no charge; children just have to wear costumes and comply with COVID-19 precautions. Procedures include mask-wearing, use of hand sanitizer and parents’ filling out a form certifying the health of the participating children/household.

Ellsworth Tennis Center owner Susan Scherbel said “experts are saying that tennis is likely the best indoor socially distanced sport.” Although tennis courts were initially closed in the early stages of the pandemic, state guidelines have been revised.

“First, people do not normally get within 6 feet of one another on a tennis court, except at the change-over, which is easy to avoid; and, second, the CDC has determined that surface transmission isn’t a big factor — particularly from tennis balls or other fibrous surfaces.” Scherbel added, “I think this is risk that can be managed if we are sensible and adhere to the CDC and USTA recommendations.”

Tennis Coordinator Karen Robidoux and the center’s new manager, Hugo Ball-Greene, will be monitoring the guidelines to ensure safety. In addition, Robidoux and Ball-Greene ask that parents call to reserve their times. Robidoux explains, “We have no idea how popular this will be, but we are limited to 50 at a time and will need to get forms out to parents in advance.”

She asks that interested parents call the center at 664-0400 to reserve times.

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