Last week at the Australian Open, it seemed that for a brief moment in time, the laws of physics took a leave of absence. Maria Sharapova noticed a spot on the court that felt different than other areas and when she bounced a tennis ball there, it simply didn’t bounce—it stuck to the surface like Velcro. It turns out this was a dead spot, and it caused quite a stir on YouTube and Yahoo. Our guest Michele Norris talks to Joe Ure, director of distribution sales for Sport Court, which provides playing surfaces for basketball and tennis courts, about what causes a dead spot and how they’re fixed.
Dead spots are often caused by heavy foot traffic on the court over a long period of time, which can degrade the surface and cause it to lose resiliency. Moisture and inconsistent surface materials are also common causes of dead spots, as can an uneven floorboard that is not well-integrated with the synthetic basketball surface.
If a dead spot is left untreated, it can lead to unpredictable bounces that make it difficult for players to control the ball’s path and slow down the pace of play. However, with regular inspections and prompt repairs, you can help to keep your courts in good working order and prevent dead spots from forming. To do this, you can test the surface of your court by tapping it with your finger or a small object, like a pen. If the sound is dull or the feel is mushy, this may indicate a dead spot has formed.