PUSLINCH, ONTARIO April 30, 2021 – Today The Farley Group, the world's leading manufacturer of sports domes, is announcing that Lauren Trevor, The Farley Group’s Vice President of Finance, is being promoted to the position of President effective April 30th, 2021. President and CEO John Simpell will continue his tenure as CEO.
In announcing this promotion, The Farley Group President and CEO John Simpell said,
“With the support of our board, senior management, and all our dedicated employees I am delighted to announce Lauren’s promotion to President. During her time with the Farley Group Lauren has demonstrated exceptional leadership and has exhibited her suitability for this role through her adaptability and desire to be involved and knowledgeable in every aspect of the organization. This is why I’m confident Lauren is the right person to lead the Farley Group through the next phase of our growth as an organization. We will benefit from her financial background, manufacturing experience, and her drive for interminable improvement as we continue to set the industry standard for dome quality and after-market service.”
In her 19 years of manufacturing experience, Lauren has held various roles including general labour, purchasing, and logistics, along with managerial roles in human resources, finance, and accounting. Lauren has been with The Farley Group since January of 2018. Her responsibilities during her tenure as Vice President of Finance at The Farley Group included oversight of the company’s finance, accounting, and human resources departments.
On accepting this promotion, Lauren said, “I am thrilled to have been selected for this leadership position and eager to continue working with our executive team. The Farley Group is at the forefront of our industry. I look forward to continuing that legacy of excellent service while leading innovation and growth.”
Jim Estill, CEO of Danby Appliances and The Farley Group Board Member and Shareholder, said in support, "Lauren's experience at Farley will allow her to provide the leadership needed to grow Farley for the future. I am highly confident Lauren will take Farley to the next level."
About The Farley Group
The Farley Group has a proud 50-year tradition in the manufacturing, installation, and servicing of sports domes throughout the world. Ever since its founder, Ralph Farley, brought the concept to North America from Sweden over 50 years ago, Ralph and his associates have been committed to quality and integrity in dome design and fabrication. Today, The Farley Group comprises an expert staff of sales consultants, designers, and highly skilled production and service professionals who are well experienced in all facets of air structure technology. The Farley Group is committed to providing only the best of products and ensuring that their customer experience is the best in the industry.
Domes are perfect for tennis, soccer, and other indoor recreational activities. For project photos, costs, and more information on The Farley Group, visit: https://www.thefarleygroup.com/.
Name: Lauren Trevor
Name: John Simpell
Pickleball: it’s like table tennis without the table. Or, you could say it’s like ping-pong on a tennis court.
However you put it, pickleball is one of the single fastest-growing sports in the world right now. And believe it or not, this is very, very good news for tennis clubs.
In cities across North America, where the demand for pickleball courts has outpaced the infrastructure, tennis clubs are cashing in ‒ just by adding pickleball lines to their existing tennis courts.
Just ask your local court contractor. These days, there’s a good chance they’re spending more time painting pickleball lines than tennis lines!
The market for pickleball just keeps growing. More than 3.3 million Americans played pickleball last year, a 10% increase in three short years. The sport made headlines last summer when it became a viral sensation in the Disney World NBA Bubble.
There’s even a group pushing for pickleball to become an Olympic sport, which could fuel an even greater explosion of interest.
Now, don’t get us wrong: tennis is here to stay. Not even a gold medal could turn pickleball into a replacement for good, old-fashioned tennis.
But for tennis clubs looking to shore up membership revenue ‒ especially in the wake of pandemic lockdowns ‒ bringing in pickleball could be the answer. And you don’t have to sacrifice a single tennis court to make it happen!
Let’s take a closer look at the surprising courtship between tennis and pickleball.
1. Background: What is Pickleball?
2. Pickleball vs. Tennis: What are the Differences?
3. 3 Ways to Add Pickleball Lines to a Tennis Court
Pickleball is a court game that combines elements of tennis and table tennis/ping pong: players at opposite ends of a court, a plastic ball, paddles, and a net. It can be played in singles or doubles.
The popularity of pickleball is usually attributed to its beginner-friendliness. It’s a simple, low-impact sport that new players can pick up the game in an afternoon. Pickleball is especially popular with the “cocktail crowd”: active adults over 55, who have the free time to play in peak and off-peak hours.
But don’t be fooled by its simplicity. Pickleball veterans bat a serious game! Where beginners usually hit the ball back and forth 15 to 20 times on a point, the pros can go for 90 or more.
While the two sports have plenty in common, the differences matter when it comes to planning a court.
A tennis court is 78 feet long and 36 feet wide. A pickleball court is much smaller at 44 feet long by 20 feet wide. In tennis, the net is set to a height of 43 inches at the ends and 36 inches at the centre; a pickleball net, on the other hand, should be 36 inches high at the ends and 34 inches in the centre.
Beyond the courts, the differences between tennis and pickleball are obvious. Pickleball is played with a plastic, perforated ball (called a pickleball) and paddle, rather than a tennis ball and racquet. The two sports also have different rulesets.
Now, the uninitiated might be tempted to view tennis and pickleball at odds, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, some of pickleball’s biggest advocates are current and former tennis players.
Pickleball is a popular “step-down” sport for tennis aficionados who need a change of pace. Many pickleball greats are former tennis players who transitioned to the lower-impact sport later in life.
Despite their differences, tennis and pickleball can easily coexist at the same club ‒ sometimes even on the same courts. With a bit of good planning, tennis clubs can leverage this to redouble their membership revenue.
Here’s the best part: you don’t have to tear up your existing tennis courts to bring in pickleball.
While replacement is always an option, adding pickleball lines to an existing tennis court lets the two sports coexist and gives club management an inexpensive way to gauge interest in pickleball.
Just keep in mind that for sanctioned tennis play, the rules only allow for tennis lines to appear on courts. So, unless you’re prepared to go all-in on pickleball, you’ll want to save your prime courts for tennis tournaments!
There are two ways to add pickleball lines to an existing tennis court:
a. One pickleball court per tennis court
b. Two pickleball courts per tennis court
This arrangement utilizes the existing tennis net. Since a tennis net is two inches higher in the centre than a pickleball net, you will have to install tie-downs to lower the net to the correct height. There is a product called the Convert-a-Net designed for this purpose.
This arrangement allows for two pickleball matches to take place on one tennis court at once. However, it requires that you bring in portable pickleball nets.
Be mindful of the fact that pickleballs are lighter than tennis balls and thus more susceptible to the wind. Having pickleball courts this close together outdoors can lead to balls ending up in someone else’s court!
Truthfully, playing pickleball outdoors has all the challenges as outdoor tennis...especially in the colder months. But with the help of a dome, pickleball can become an all-season sport just as easily! Learn more about the benefits of a tennis dome.
Have the lines installed by an experienced contractor! Tape won’t do the trick. In addition to being unattractive, and almost always crooked, tape can bond with the playing surface over time, becoming impossible to remove without damaging the court.
To make it easier to tell the lines apart, pickleball lines on a tennis court should not be painted white. Pickleball lines should be painted narrower than tennis lines for the same reason.
Since a tennis court is longer than a pickleball court, you might want to install a temporary barrier so that pickleballs don’t have to be chased the full length of the court.
It goes without saying that 2020 has been a difficult year for sport clubs.
But today, we’re happy to share some news that’ll help us build a brighter future for the 250+ tennis clubs across Ontario.
As of October 1st, 2020, members of the Ontario Tennis Association now have access to a resource that could help them bounce back in 2021: a partnership with North America’s 1# Tennis Dome Supplier and Service Provider.
The Ontario Tennis Association (OTA) has announced that The Farley Group is the new Official Tennis Dome Supplier and Service Provider of the Ontario Tennis Association and its over 250 members. Effective October 1, 2020, the 4-year agreement is in place until September 30, 2024.
We can’t wait to lend our air structure expertise, as well as our passion for setting industry standards when it comes to service and support, to OTA members across the province! Here’s what this exciting partnership means for Ontario’s tennis clubs.
If you’ve ever taken or taught tennis lessons in Ontario, you’ve probably heard of the Ontario Tennis Association.
Founded in 1919, the Ontario Tennis Association (OTA) is the governing body for tennis in Ontario. The Ontario Tennis Association is the single largest provincial association within Tennis Canada, with 250 clubs and approximately 75,000 players across the province.
The OTA’s mission is twofold: to encourage participation in tennis as part of a healthy lifestyle, and to promote the pursuit of excellence in the sport for all tennis players.
With those goals in mind, it’s clear why the Ontario Tennis Association and The Farley Group are a perfect fit.
Here are a few important stats.
Today, tennis ranks as the 8th most played sport in the country, with about 6.6 million Canadians picking up a racquet in 2019.
But that number would be much higher if not for the startling lack of indoor tennis courts throughout much of the country.
Amazingly, a whopping 51% of Canadians say they would play more tennis if only they had access to convenient and affordable covered courts nearby!
Right now, only 10% of outdoor tennis courts get covered during the winter...and 85% of those covered courts are located in either Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver! Millions of Canadians are being left out in the cold.
And this, right here, is where The Farley Group and the OTA can make a huge difference together. Canadians are clamouring for indoor tennis facilities, and tennis domes are the simplest, fastest, most cost-effective way to provide them.
We think tennis domes could be the key to getting more and more people involved in this incredible sport. Who knows ‒ with more tennis domes in Ontario, the number of Canadian players could climb to 7, 8, perhaps even 10 million people!
Truly, the sky's the limit.
Tennis domes (also known as ‘tennis bubbles’, which is the term used by Tennis Canada and others) are incredibly versatile structures that can be designed, constructed, and installed at a fraction of the cost of a brick-and-mortar structure.
Domes can be permanent or seasonal/temporary. You can have a year-round tennis bubble that offers air-conditioned play in the summer and warmth in the winter, or a seasonal dome that covers the court only from fall to spring.
Domes can be used to cover tennis courts, of course, but also soccer fields, pools, driving ranges, velodromes, volleyball courts...practically any sporting arena you could imagine.
We’ve also seen domes used as community spaces like gyms, party venues, and storage facilities! The possibilities are virtually endless.
Now, if you’re used to playing in the great outdoors, you might wonder what it’s like to play tennis in a dome. To be honest with you, it’s hardly any different from playing on a regular court.
Some athletes worry that a dome might feel “stuffy”, but that shouldn’t be the case. The Farley Group’s tennis domes are exceptionally well-ventilated (more on that later) and completely climate controlled for optimal, predictable comfort.
As for the playing experience? The only real difference is that domes will offer a cooler playing temperature during the warmer months than outdoor play, which means the ball will bounce slower than it might outdoors. But the change is so minimal that most players have no problem adjusting!
Here’s why now is the perfect time for this exciting new partnership.
It comes at a time when, in light of COVID-19, the advantages of a dome are more evident and important than ever before.
We know the risk of transmission is generally lower outside than indoors. That’s all well and good when it’s July, but as the temperature falls, so do the prospects of outdoor tennis.
The good news? The air inside of a dome is a lot closer to outdoor conditions than most buildings.
1. The Air Quality In a Dome Resembles Outdoor Conditions.
A typical dome contains 500,000 to 5,000,000 cubic feet of air; for a topical comparison, a typical classroom contains just 6,000 cubic feet of air.
2. Dome Ventilation Is Remarkably Better Than In Most Buildings.
Under ASHRAE standards, a normal classroom’s ventilation is designed to move 222 cubic feet of air per minute; domes have a minimum of 50 times more outside fresh air!
3. There’s Tons of Room To Breathe In a Dome.
At 6-foot social distance, a dome provides about 800 cubic feet of ventilation air per person per minute; a typical classroom with 20 students would provide 11 cubic feet.
In other words, you could say that playing tennis is a dome is the next best thing to playing outdoors!
The Farley Group is proud to be the Official Tennis Dome Supplier and Service Provider to Canada’s largest Provincial Tennis Association. Reach out to us to learn more about what we do or find out how your tennis club can benefit from this exciting partnership!
We know that COVID-19 is more easily transmitted in closed areas than outdoors.
Case in point: Restaurants. Indoor dining was one of the first things to go when the pandemic hit, but it wasn’t long before public health experts gave the green light to open-air patios ‒ and the restaurant industry (plus their loyal customer base) was quick to adapt.
Another perfect example? Classrooms. Recent reports from Harvard University and a group of Ontario hospitals have recommended moving classes outside when possible because the risk of transmitting COVID-19 is much lower there.
Since summer, we’ve seen outdoor elementary school classrooms, outdoor fitness classes, even outdoor university lectures.
Problem is, tolerable temperatures for outdoor learning don’t last long in most of Canada and the Northeastern U.S.A., and unfortunately, COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere soon.
But that doesn’t have to mean class is cancelled.
Because ventilation and air flow inside of a dome is close to outdoor conditions, domes are being pegged by some engineers as a solution for cities and educational institutions searching for reliable clean air.
Plus, domes aren’t just safe alternatives to classrooms! Last spring, Columbia University quickly transitioned its upper Manhattan soccer dome into a 288-bed field hospital. And in China, where air quality has long been an issue, domes have been used as safe alternatives to outdoor spaces for years.
“I think everyone understands and agrees that the best alternative is to be outside as far as the COVID-19 situation goes,” said Farley Group president and CEO John Simpell. “But now that everyone is being forced inside, the focus is on finding safe alternatives.”
When it comes to reducing the risk of transmission, being in a dome could be the closest thing to being outside – and the safest way to keep learning, training, and other in-person activities alive over the coming winter.
Read More: “Domes could be a key to keeping activities alive over winter” [Kitchener Record]
Have a dome emergency? Don’t wait. Call our 24-hour emergency service hotline at 1-888-445-3223 now!
Every air-supported dome The Farley Group builds is precisely designed and engineered to withstand the worst the local climate is expected to throw at it.
But let’s face it: without good maintenance, a truly wicked storm can topple even the toughest of domes to the ground.
And while many storm-damaged domes are quick to fix, the hit to your finances ‒ not to mention the community’s confidence ‒ might not recover so quickly.
As we approach the summer thunderstorm season, we wanted to share a few important tips and reminders to help you keep your dome (and its occupants) as safe as possible.
Read on to learn about the most common warm weather issues your dome will face, how to prepare your dome for a storm, what to do in an emergency, and why even the best dome operators can run into problems.
You wake up early on a muggy September morning to the sound of wind and rain pounding the window. Thunder growls in the distance, and your alarm clock is stuck, blinking, at 12:00 AM. You’re not normally at the dome for another few hours...but you’ve had three texts and five missed calls from your head of operations within the last ten minutes.
“Power’s out. Standby generator isn’t working. Checking owner’s manual...”
You arrive on site just in time to see the dome ‒ half deflated, shuddering in the wind ‒ caught on a light pole near the perimeter. A tear erupts in the fabric membrane, and in seconds, the dome is flat on the ground.
What a nightmare!
There’s a reason why we’re telling you this horror story. It’s a perfect storm of the two most common culprits behind dome emergencies: nasty weather and mechanical failure.
With over 30 years’ experience servicing air structures, The Farley Group’s Dome Service Technicians have seen it play out almost exactly like this scenario more than a few times.
Here’s the thing...
While we can’t speak for other manufacturers, we can tell you that each Farley dome is custom-designed and engineered to conform to local building codes and climatic conditions. A licensed engineer inspects and stamps each dome to ensure it meets the location’s needs. Additionally, in especially windy areas, restraining cables will be included in the design to keep the dome secured.
What’s more, all our air structure packages are equipped with an emergency standby system that automatically activates during a power outage. Driven by a generator, this system keeps the dome inflated until power is restored.
However, like any large structure, a dome must be inspected and serviced on a regular basis if it’s going to perform to the high structural standards to which it was designed.
All the precautionary measures in the world won’t help if they’re not working as intended!
But here’s the good news: there are straightforward steps you can take right now to make sure your dome is storm ready. And you don’t have to wait until a storm’s on the horizon to do it.
First, be vigilant and check your local weather network regularly. Since you can’t watch the forecast 24/7, consider using an app that sends severe weather alert notifications to your phone.
Routine maintenance and inspections are more important now than ever, especially if you’re behind on things this year due to the lockdown. Now is the perfect time to review the 10-Point Dome Maintenance Checklist.
Above all, when a storm is on the way, take the necessary precautions to protect your dome from potentially costly damage.
If you have any questions about preparing your dome for a storm, you can always reach out to us at email@example.com. We’re here to help!
Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible to prepare yourself for extreme weather. Some events, like microbursts, can appear so suddenly and unexpectedly that you simply cannot see it coming.
When that happens, you need to act as quickly as possible.
If your dome is deflating, damaged, or at serious risk of damage, don’t hesitate for a minute. The longer you "wait and see", the greater the risk your air structure could suffer costly damage! Take these steps immediately to minimize the fallout and keep everyone as safe as possible.
Evacuate the dome immediately. Ensure there are no patrons or employees inside the dome or in the surrounding vicinity. If you need help, call 911.
Call our 24-hour dome emergency hotline (1-888-445-3223). You will speak directly with an experienced Dome Service Technician who will take your call immediately or return your call within minutes. Don't second-guess whether you really have a true emergency, just call!
Minimize the damage to your dome. The Dome Service Technician will help you determine whether to handle a problem yourself, schedule dome service soon, or dispatch an emergency service team to your dome ASAP. If you need emergency service, the technician will walk you through any interim solutions or stop-gap measures you can use temporarily while help is on the way.
You know the steps you need to take to keep your dome and its components in good working order. You know what to do if there’s a storm coming, and the immediate actions you must take to minimize damage and keep people safe if there is an emergency.
But there’s one problem...
If you were around when your dome was first installed, you probably remember feeling the excitement ‒ not to mention a certain amount of stress ‒ that comes with running a brand-new air structure.
Newly minted dome owners tend to be on high alert for anything and everything that could possibly go wrong. Some of the people we work with call for help more times than we can count over the course of that first year!
However, once you’ve learned the ropes, it’s easy to stop sweating the small stuff...and, occasionally, you may brush aside things that should be red flags. You might think, “Oh, that? It’s been like that for a while” or “We’ll wait and see if it keeps up.”
Now, we don’t mean to say that most dome operators are like this (and we know for a fact that you’re not!) But if you spend a long time meeting and talking to other dome owners, you’re bound to meet a few who are a bit ‘relaxed’ when it comes to maintenance.
Trouble is, there are many maintenance issues that simply should not be left well alone!
At The Farley Group, we encourage anyone who owns, operates, or manages a dome to have the entire structure inspected and serviced at least annually. Preventative maintenance will always save you bigger problems down the line!
The Farley Group can provide a detailed inspection of your dome, including climbing the roof of the structure. Our top priority (and yours), of course, is the dome’s structural integrity and the safety of the people inside.
With over 30 years’ experience servicing air structures, The Farley Group is the go-to service team for dome owners like you. Our professional service technicians have vast experience in all aspects of dome repairs and operations, from routine maintenance to full reconstruction.
Reach out to us online or call us at 1-888-445-3223 to schedule an inspection. Remember, we’re here to help. Stay safe!