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General Information

We run Social Doubles play sessions on a weekly basis throughout the year (in Summer and Winter). The play is in a doubles format and the focus is to have fun and gain match experience. This is our most popular tennis program.

The indoor Winter season run from approximately September to April each year.

Sun
7:30pm – 9:30pm
All levels

The outdoor Summer season runs from approximately May to September (Labour Day) each year.

Mon
6pm – 8pm
All levels
Thu
6pm – 8pm
Intermediate Priority
Fri
6pm – 8pm
Advanced Priority

Signup for sessions happens each week. These sessions are very popular and often fill up within a few hours.

$12/ session

Membership required.
Become a member: Join our club

View upcoming schedule

Indoor Sessions

We have bookings finalized at North Vancouver Tennis Centre until April 28, 2024.

Excluding:

  • February 18, 2024
  • March 31, 2024

This schedule is for reference only – last minute changes may occur. Further schedules will be posted at a later date depending on court bookings. Please see email and Facebook group for further updates.

Photo Gallery

The focus of Social Doubles is fun and social play. Some photos from sessions throughout the years – we hope you’ll join us soon!

Information & FAQs

The registration process

Can I join as a guest, or play a trial before becoming a member?

Due to the popularity of our Social Doubles, we are not offering trials (or guests) for this program.

VTA annual membership is open for all to join, and then participate in these Social Doubles. Once you have joined as a member you will be able to register to play each week.

We welcome members of the public to spectate any of our Social Doubles play sessions to see if this program (and club) is suitable for you before joining. Please inform our volunteer Play Director you will be spectating (they can also introduce you to some of our members, and answer any questions about our club): playdirector@vtatennis.ca

How does signup/registration work?

Players must be current members of the VTA to sign up for Social Doubles sessions.

  • Members register through the Str8 Sets app (under “Clinics” in the app)
  • Registration opens each week for the coming week (we are currently testing different signup times, so stay tuned to email and Str8 Sets app notifications)
  • Members must pay the $12 for sessions at the time of registering.

If you successfully registered and paid the session will show up under Clinics > My Clinics in the Str8 Sets app.

If a session is full, can I be added to a waitlist?

At this stage, we are not offering a waitlist. It is a first-come-first-served signup process – we suggest you signup as soon as possible when registration opens to secure a spot.

If you have played one week in a row, we ask that you wait 24 hours after signup opens before registering the next week. You will be removed if you sign up earlier (with no refund issued for repeat offenders).

As our Play Sessions are very popular and often fill up we hope this will to allow members who have not played recently fairer access to play.

Can I withdraw from a session I registered for?

Members can withdraw from a session for illness or injury only.

If you are unsure if you are available and able to play in the session, simply don’t sign up for that week. It takes countless volunteer hours to organize these sessions – and late withdrawals require a lot of follow-ups to ensure the space is filled.

The VTA is charged transaction fees to process all refunds due to withdrawal. For this reason refunds will only be processed for valid exemptions (being illness or injury). Members who withdraw need to contact the Play Director directly with a valid exemption, or will not receive a refund.

No-shows to sessions mean that a court is left with just three people, which makes it impossible to play doubles – and a spot available that another member could have taken.

How do I pay for the session?

All members must prepay for the Social Doubles sessions via Str8 Sets. You will pay (via Credit Card) on the Str8 Sets app when you register.

You will only pay for the Play Sessions you have registered to play.

You must have an up-to-date VTA membership ($50 per year) to be able to register online each week for the Play Sessions.

Can I attend more than one Social Doubles session per week?

Yes. During the outdoor season, there are multiple sessions running each week and you can play as many as you like. You will have to complete the signup form again to register for each session.

Keep in mind: If you have played one week in a row, we ask that you wait 24 hours after signup opens before registering the next week (for the same play day). You will be removed if you sign up earlier (with no refund issued for repeat offenders).

What does "Intermediate priority"/"Advanced priority" mean?

During the outdoor season, we have Intermediate and Advanced priority sessions.

  • Advanced: OPEN and A Division
  • Intermediate: B and C Division

For the first 48-hours of registration priority is given to those play levels. After 48-hours members of any level can register for remaining open spots.

Play Format & Locations

What is the format of the Play Sessions

Play is intended to be social and fun. The game of tennis is inherently competitive – however these sessions are not meant to be for training or overly-competitive.

Members sign up as individuals and will be allocated a court of four players (with the intention that you will be with players of a similar skill level).

Each Social Doubles starts with a quick self-guided warm-up on the court; followed by three segments of timed play (all players will be on the court and playing doubles for the entire two-hour session).

For each segment, you will play doubles for 35 minutes. The play coordinator will keep time and call out “start play” or “last point” between each segment.

After each play segment doubles partners are rearranged (see “King’s/Queen’s Court vs Fixed Court” below for details).

Time
Segment
15 minutes
Warm-up
35 minutes
Segment 1
35 minutes
Segment 2
35 minutes
Segment 3

The warm-up segment is open to our members on what they want to focus on. Players generally start closer to the net with easy soft hitting, focusing on footwork. When players are ready they move back to the baseline and continue to rally. Each player usually also spends a few minutes at the net practicing volleys and overhead shots.

King's/Queens Court vs Fixed Court

After each play segment doubles pairings are rearranged – there are two ways we do this.

Fixed Court

(same court, rotating partners)

At the end of each segment players will remain on the same court but rotate partners for the next segment. Meaning, in the three sets you will play doubles paired with each individual on your court.

You will be with the same group of four the whole session on the same court.

King/Queen’s Court

(moving court format)

For this format players will change courts after a segment is complete.

  • Winning doubles partners move ‘up’ one court
  • Losing doubles partners move ‘down’ one court (where court 1 is the highest court)

Doubles pairs must then split for the next doubles segment (the person you played with will now be one of your opponents). Winners on the highest court and losing team on the lowest court do not move courts.

The Play Director will confirm at the beginning of the session what format is being played, but as a general rule:

  • Sunday (Indoor) – Fixed Court
  • Monday – King/Queen’s Court
  • Thursday – Fixed Court
  • Friday – Fixed Court
New members, if you are unsure – one of our existing members can help direct you (once you get the hang of it is very easy – and fun!).
Time
Segment
15 minutes
Warm-up
35 minutes
Segment 1
35 minutes
Segment 2
35 minutes
Segment 3

The warm-up segment is open to our members on what they want to focus on. Players generally start closer to the net with easy soft hitting, focusing on footwork. When players are ready they move back to the baseline and continue to rally. Each player usually also spends a few minutes at the net practicing volleys and overhead shots.

Where do you play?

Further information, including meeting locations, is available on our Play Locations page.

How do I get to Social Doubles?

Members are responsible for getting to the sessions on time. We want all tennis lovers to participate and we welcome everyone.

Not having a car or transport option to a venue should not be a barrier to participating. Many of our members share rides to the venues. If you need a ride (or can offer another member a ride), please post to the VTA Facebook group.

What age ranges and skill levels play at Social Doubles?

The VTA is a 2SLGBTQIA+ association that welcomes everyone who enjoys the game of tennis to participate. To play in these sessions you are expected to understand the rules of doubles tennis at a skill level of NTRP 2.0 or higher.

We have members from 18 to 80+ join us (minors will need permission from a guardian).

We do not accept discrimination or harassment of any kind, including based on age, gender, sexual orientation, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion. Read our code of conduct.

Do I need a doubles partner to participate?

No. Members register as individuals. You will be assigned a court with three other players; doubles pairings will be assigned at each court.

If you are joining for the first time you can request to be placed on a court with a friend of the same level for the first doubles segment.

At the end of each doubles segment, there is some rearranging of players/partners before the next segment. The outdoor and indoor sessions have slightly different systems.

Are there any special rules?

Play Sessions follow standard doubles rules. We do not play short-deuce or other adaptations.

Some groups will play “first-of-five” (or “first in”) for each player’s first service (this is usually when very little or no serves are practiced in the warm-up segment). For the first service, each player is given five attempts to get their serve in. Playing “first-of-five” must be announced and agreed upon by all players before any play begins. First-of-five will only be played for the first 4 games in segment 1.

You are expected to be your own ballpersons. This includes returning balls to other courts that may find their way to your court. Each court will be given one can of balls (three balls).

In order to have a quick game, you should be able to hold a second ball when you are serving (in a pocket or otherwise). If your partner is serving you are expected to hold the third ball.

How do we find out if an outdoor session is cancelled due to the weather?

The Play Director will update players when the weather is iffy. Two hours before the session they will message via Str8 Sets if the session is cancelled or not. In the case there is no post or message, it is assumed the session is going ahead.

If you have paid for a session that was cancelled you will receive a refund.

Indoor sessions proceed when it is raining.

How many games are played in a doubles segment?

There is no maximum or a minimum number of games played within each 35-minute play segment. All players will be on court for the full two hours of play.

Courts should play as many games as you can in that time. Some sessions can get up to 12 games, whereas others only have 5 – it all depends on how quickly the games are won.

All of the completed games should be recorded on the scorecard.

What happens in the different doubles segments?

At the end of each doubles segment, there is some rearranging of players/partners before the next segment.

The way we play depends on a few factors – as a general rule during the outdoor sessions we use “King’s/Queens Court” format and indoor sessions “Fixed Court”. Due to COVID-19 concerns and to limit exposures we have moved towards “Fixed Court” more often.

If you are unsure which format, please confirm with the Play Coordinator on the day. Our experienced members will also help in directing where you should move to.

Fixed Court (rotating pairs)

With this format you will be with the same group of four players the whole session, and remain on the same court.

At the end of each segment, players rotate partners for the next segment. In the three segments you will play doubles paired with each individual on your court.

King’s/Queen’s Court

During outdoor sessions players move courts, when that happens:

    • Winning pair moves ‘up’ one court
    • Losing pair moves ‘down’ one court (where court 1 is the highest court)

Winning pair on the highest court and the losing pair on the lowest court stay on the same court.

Doubles pairs must then split for the next doubles segment (the person you played with will now be one of your opponents). To decide pairs for the next segment:

    • Deuce-side (right) players stay on the same end of the court
    • Advantage side (left) players from the previous round play together

The new pairs then decide between themselves who plays deuce-side and advantage side.

If you are unsure of your new court assignment between segments – any of our members will be happy to help you.

Is there any training or instruction at Play Sessions?

No, there is no instruction or coaching at Social Doubles. Players are required to understand the rules of doubles tennis to play.

The VTA will often run some Novice play sessions and Intermediate Drill sessions during the outdoor tennis season which is run by coaches. Gord and Gayle (friends of the VTA) also offer a range of lessons and coaching, contact them on 604-605-8224.

What should I bring?

The cost of the sessions includes the court rental and tennis balls. We suggest you bring:

  • Tennis racket
  • Shoes with non-marking soles
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Pockets or a ball-holder clip are recommended
  • Water bottle (refill stations are available at all locations)
  • Sun protection (for outdoor sessions)

As we play in public locations, do not bring valuables.

Is it possible to warm up on the courts early?

Check with the Social Doubles coordinator. Each week and location has different restrictions. If there are players on the court please be courteous and do not enter the courts before the scheduled time. Make sure you are back at the meeting/assembly point promptly before starting time for announcements.

What happens to the tennis balls at the end? Do they need to be returned?

Tennis balls do not need to be returned at the end of Social Doubles. Players are welcome to take the used balls after the session and we hope that they go to good use.

If you are a school, charity, community group, or member of the public that would like to collect free tennis balls in Vancouver please contact our Play Director (playdirector@vtatennis.ca).

Anything else I should know?

Make yourself familiar with tennis etiquette and our code of conduct. Apart from that, introduce yourself to people, have fun, and ask questions – we look forward to meeting you!

If you have any other questions or concerns please contact our Play Director (playdirector@vtatennis.ca) or any of our volunteer Board Members.

More questions?

We understand that joining the VTA and a new program can be intimidating but our members will be glad to help and answer any questions at any stage (we’ve all been through the same thing and understand!).

If you have any questions or want more information about our Social Doubles please contact our volunteer Play Director: playdirector@vtatennis.ca