Here’s a few tips that will safguard you from injury:
a. Don’t overplay your current physical condition. (“JUST ONE MORE GAME” has caused way too many accidents!)
b. Hydrate. This means “drink water”. This means YOU. Especially in Florida, where people seem to sweat, Like everywhere. Drink BEFORE you are thirsty. Otherwise it’s too late.
c. If a ball comes onto your court from another court, STOP PLAY AT ONCE. Same if you hear “Ball On Court!”Stretch before and AFTER playing. We know, We know, everyone says that, we all say we do it, but we don’t. So be a trend-setter and do it
d. If you hit a ball into another court, immediately YELL “Ball On Court!”.
e. If a ball is going towards another court, do NOT chase it ONTO the other court. Stop, yell “Ball on Court”, and let the other people stop play and retrieve the ball.
f. If you are crossing an active court to get onto a vacant court or to leave a court, wait until their current point is over. Ask them for permission to cross their court. Like a few of these, this is both an etiquette and a safety issue but I put it here, in safety, as it’s obviously unsafe to do otherwise.
g. If a ball breaks, safely remove it from the court.
h. If ANYTHING falls on the court, quickly remove it.
i. If you see someone who displays signs of dizziness, weakness, or lack of concentration, keep an eye on them. Recommend a time-out if you think it necessary for their sake.
j. If you see someone playing with “bad” shoes…sandals, non-court-shoes, leather soles of any kind, stop play. Bad shoes are disaster and a accident waiting to happen.
k. If you are near your partner with an overhead slam opportunity where you may hit them, stop play. Let the ball drop. Lose the point. Do NOT hit your partner. Stay conscious of where they are.
l. If you can go back more safely for an overhead than your partner, (if their mobility is limited), YOU cover the overheads. Likewise let them cover for you if the situation is reversed.
m. When going backwards for a lob, turn and run backwards, DON’T SHUFFLE BACKWARDS. I have seen SO-O-O many falls happen because someone shuffles instead of turning and running. This is a hard thing to do correctly, btw, and needs to be practiced.
n. Only a few of us need to be reminded of this one, but don’t dive for balls.
o. If someone falls on the court, all play STOPS until their needs are addressed.