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Why Tennis Definitely Isn't Just a Summer Sport Anymore

 

Historically, Canada hasn’t exactly been known for its tennis cred. If you thought to name Canada’s Top Ten Sports, tennis probably wouldn’t have made the list - even after naming hockey, lacrosse, baseball, skiing and ice fishing.

 

But things are changing fast. 

 

Tennis now ranks as the 8th most-played sport in the country, with 6.6 million Canadians hitting the courts last year. The number of frequent plays (meaning people playing four or more times over 12 months) has risen 36%. What’s more, the rise in tennis participation among young Canadians is even stronger, with over 510,000 kids between 6 and 11 taking up the racquet.

 

Not to mention the growing list of young Canadian tennis superstars like Dennis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassme and Bianca Andreescu. The future of tennis in this country - both professionally and recreationally - looks brighter than ever.

 

There’s just one little problem: winter. To be specific, it’s the bone-chilling, bus-cancelling, 30ᵒ-below-freezing-style winters we get here in Canada.

 

Despite popular belief, it’s not impossible to play tennis outdoors in the winter. For tennis diehards, it could even present a bit of a fun challenge. However, most municipalities don’t maintain their outdoor courts in the winter, and the supply of indoor tennis courts is seriously lacking.

 

Of the 7,500 tennis courts open for use in the warmer months, only 10% get covered with an air dome during the winter. That’s only one covered tennis court for every 50,000 Canadians...and 85% of those courts are in either Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver. 

 

Why are there so few? The CEO of Tennis Canada, Michael Downey, put it best. “We’re fighting this perception that tennis is a summer sport,” he says in an interview with the Globe and Mail. 

 

That perception might’ve been true once, but times have changed, and 51% of Canadians now say they would play more tennis if they had access to convenient and affordable covered courts nearby.

 

Michael continues, “Many municipalities aren’t thinking about tennis in the winters – they just think ‘yeah we’ve got some courts, people use them in the summers.’ So we have to change that mindset.”

 

Cost is another major factor, according to Michael and Tennis Canada. Brick and mortar tennis facilities cost millions of dollars to build, so they’re a tough sell to municipalities. 

 

The good news is, there’s an easier and much more affordable option out there, and Tennis Canada has made it a mission to get municipalities on board. In fact, they’re planning to hit the road and visited 50 cities and towns (armed with a hundred pages of information) to spread the word about a cost-effective way to provide year-round tennis.

 

As you might have guessed, we’re talking about air-supported domes! 

 

Inflatable domes (also known as ‘bubbles’, which is the term used by Tennis Canada) are incredibly versatile. They can be used to cover tennis courts, soccer fields, or any number of other field sports. We’ve also seen municipalities use them for other community spaces, like gyms, party venues and swimming pools. Just about anything you do outdoors can be done under a dome!

 

Domes can be permanent or temporary. You could 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. 

 

You might wonder what it’s like to play tennis in a bubble. It’s hardly any different from playing on a regular court - the only point of interest is that domes will offer a cooler playing temperature in the summer (since they’re climate-controlled), which can cause the ball to bounce a bit slower. Fortunately, this isn’t a major adjustment and most players can adapt their game quickly!

 

As for the height of the bubble? Not a problem, unless your game involves hitting the ball dozens of feet in the air and having it rain down on your opponents! You won’t ever have to worry about scraping the ceiling.

 

Once people see what’s possible with a dome - along with the skyrocketing interest in tennis - we’re confident that more and more municipalities will get on board with building a tennis bubble of their own. 

 

It’s exciting to see Tennis Canada take an active role in promoting the cause across the country. We wish them the very best of luck and our full support! 

 

We’ll leave it at that for now, but don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like to learn more about what air-supported structures can do!

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Montana State University racing to reopen fitness center for students

MSU racing to reopen fitness center for students

 

Dozens of construction workers are hustling to install temporary basketball courts at Montana State University and get the main fitness center ready for students’ return in three weeks, all part of a major effort to replace two gyms lost last winter when the roofs collapsed in record snowfall.

 

MSU’s insurance companies have paid out about $2.5 million for the work so far and the final total is likely to be “considerably more,” Dan Stevenson, associate vice president for university services, said during a tour of the construction area Monday.

 

Workers have demolished the old gyms, reinforced exposed interior walls of the Marga Hosaeus Fitness Center and laid foundations for two new “bubble” structures.

 

https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/montana_state_university/msu-racing-to-reopen-fitness-center-for-students/article_1f38bd87-d3e9-58b6-91f9-8eddb1c5108e.html

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Bear Mountain Tennis Centre opens its first state-of-the-art Bubble

Bear Mountain Tennis Centre opens its first state-of-the-art Bubble

 

(Victoria, BC – October 27, 2018)  The newest and best place to play tennis on Vancouver Island is opening its doors for the indoor season. The Bear Mountain Tennis Centre and Director of Tennis Russ Hartley welcomes  members of the public and all tennis enthusiasts to be the guests and experience the Resort’s brand new four-court tennis bubble from 12 noon to 6 PM on Saturday, October 27th.

 

https://bearmountain.ca/bear-mountain-tennis-centre-opens-its-first-state-of-the-art-bubble/

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Doug Miller's Glacier Ridge Sports Park rises again along West Ridge Road

Doug Miller's Glacier Ridge Sports Park rises again along West Ridge Road

 

Glacier Ridge Sports Park, the home to many area golf events and youth soccer clubs, was officially reinflated last week after an eight-month hiatus.

 

Located at 4618 W. Ridge Road, Parma, and owned by former Rochester Rhinos forward and current Rochester Lancers head coach Doug Miller, the dome complex was destroyed during a windstorm on New Year’s Day.

 

https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/sports/2019/08/15/glacier-ridge-sports-park-dome-arena-reinflated-doug-miller-parma-rochester-ny/2008939001/

 

 

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"World's Greatest!"... The Farley Group Air-Supported Structures

"World's Greatest!"... The Farley Group Air-Supported Structures

 

We were recently featured in “World’s Greatest” Episode 266 - The Farley Group Air Supported Structures. With a focus on design, technology, and customer satisfaction, we’re committed to providing only the best air dome structures and ensuring that our customer experiences the best that The Farley Group has to offer. Production: How2Media.

 

add a comment
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Special Olympians have a ball playing bocce in Bradford

Special Olympians have a ball playing bocce in Bradford

 

High-school teams from across the region came to the Bradford Sports Dome to play in a one-day qualifier for bocce ball competition

 

Those are by-words of the Special Olympics, an organization dedicated to changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, through sports. Special Olympics athletes discover new abilities, new skills, and new friendships through competition.

 

 

https://www.bradfordtoday.ca/local-sports/special-olympians-have-a-ball-playing-bocce-in-bradford-8-photos-1151840

 

 

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5 Awesome Sports You Didn’t Know You Could Play In the Winter

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, winter sports like skiing and ice hockey are just as beloved as field sports. But not everyone is eager to switch out the cleats for snowshoes come fall. Good news: there are plenty of awesome summer sports you probably didn’t know you could play in the winter!

 

 

1. Beach Volleyball

Who says you need a beach to play beach volleyball? Although the game may have originated as a summer pastime, it has evolved into a sanctioned Olympic sport practiced by serious athletes.

 

There are now indoor beach volleyball facilities (sand and all) built for year-round play. Sports domes like the Volleydome in Calgary boast courts for traditional indoor volleyball and the two-on-two beach game.

 

2. Soccer

A little snow on the ground isn’t enough to stop the world’s game. With the right gear, it is possible to play soccer in the wintertime.

 

Of course, the game changes quite a bit when the green turns to white, and not necessarily for the better. The ball skips and glides across the snowy pitch with ease but is much harder to keep in control. The low-friction playing surface also puts players at risk of injury.

 

Playing soccer outdoors in the cold isn’t ideal unless the season runs long or winter comes early. Fortunately, there’s an alternative: the soccer dome.

 

Failing that, there are plenty of soccer drills you can practice almost anywhere, with or without a soccer dome.

 

3. Tennis

Why play a sport associated with short shorts and miniskirts in the winter?

 

Because it’s surprisingly awesome.

 

Tennis becomes a whole different game when the temperature drops, demanding a new playstyle and tweaks to your equipment. It’s a great challenge for seasoned tennis players who want to try something new.

 

Just be sure to dress for the weather with a moisture-wicking base layer and lots of insulating layers on top.

 

4. Cycling

Believe it or not, there are lots of ways to experience the joys of cycling in the winter.

 

If you’re brave enough to venture outdoors, it’s possible to outfit your regular commuter bicycle to tackle the slippery roads ahead. However, it does require some extra maintenance; MEC recommends that you wipe down the chain after every ride, apply lube to the chain at least three times a month, and spray aerosol lube on all the moving parts once another.

 

Winter mountain biking is another option. This heart-pounding winter sport is one of the best ways to soak in the breathtaking snow-covered wilderness.

 

For cyclists who prefer to stay warm, there’s track cycling, a lesser-known Olympic event that provides an incredible workout and a great show for spectators. Thanks to air-supported structures like the Team USA Velodrome, you can pick up this sport at any time of year.

 

5. Ultimate Frisbee

It might not have made the Olympics yet, but Ultimate Frisbee has been soaring in popularity ever since its inception in the 1960s. It’s become a favourite of college students and rec leagues around North America.

 

Trouble is, it’s not easy to catch and throw a plastic disc with mittens on.

 

That’s why we’re excited to see more and more Ultimate Frisbee leagues making use of indoor facilities like sports domes.  Hopefully, there will come a day when frisbee domes are as ubiquitous as soccer domes!

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How Cold is Too Cold For Soccer?

Soccer is one of the most popular sports in Canada. With benefits such as increased aerobic capacity, muscle tone, flexibility and endurance, it’s a great sport for children and adults alike.

 

Because year-round leagues are becoming popular, more and more teams are training in subzero temperatures. However, there are risks involved with playing soccer in cold weather, so it’s important to keep players safe, warm and comfortable.

 

Soccer in Winter

 

 

The influence of cold weather can have a substantial impact on overall health and safety during practices and games.

 

However, with proper precautions, players can avoid succumbing to cold-weather illness or injury.

 

Wind Chill

If the field is not covered by a soccer dome, wind chill is an important factor to consider. 

 

Pay attention to the wind chill temperature index (WCT). Even on more mild days, prolonged exposure can lead to frostbite.

 

The wind chill temperature is how cold it feels outdoors. Wind chill is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin cause by wind and cold. Thus, the wind makes it feel much colder and poses a more serious risk to playing outdoors.

 

A gust of wind can be enough to infiltrate your clothing and remove the insulating layer of warmth that surrounds your body. The risk of frostbite increases as wind chill falls. It only takes up to 30 minutes to be exposed to frost bite if the wind chill drops below -7 degrees Celsius.

 

Dressing for Cold Temperatures

When outdoor temperatures drop, the body loses heat more rapidly than usual. It’s important to dress appropriately when playing in cold weather. Layering clothing can be effective, as long as layers are removed to avoid overheating. Dress so that you start off warm and remove articles of clothing as needed.

  • Start with a base layer made of polypropylene. It’s vital to avoid sweating before playing outdoors since your body will cool quickly. Polypropylene is a moisture-wicking fabric that does not absorb sweat.

  • Next, cover your first layer with a good insulating fabric such as microfleece or thermal. A mock turtleneck is a great option as well.

  • The outer layer should protect your extremities.

  • Ensure that feet, head, ears, hands, eyes and skin are protected before braving the elements. Wear additional clothing such as hats, headbands, gloves, sweatshirts and sweatpants.

  • It’s also a good idea to pack sunglasses and apply sunscreen before heading out.

Playing in an Air Structure

Soccer domes are a great option if temperatures or weather conditions are less than ideal. An air-supported dome structure provides shelter from the elements and a consistent temperature all throughout the year!

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4 Unique but Brilliant Uses for Air Domes

Chances are, you’ve seen sports domes for soccer and tennis. Maybe you’ve even heard of a Volleydome. But could you imagine a dome housing a 42-foot tall obstacle tower? How about an Olympic-sized velodrome?

 

Most domes we create are destined for field sports. But beyond that, the potential uses for air dome are practically endless. Air-supported structures can come in a wide variety of different shapes, sizes and colours, and we’re constantly pushing the boundaries of what air domes can do.

 

 

These are some of the creative uses for air domes we’ve helped build over the years (plus, one particularly unique dome we spotted on the far side of the world.)

 

1. Team USA’s Velodrome Dome

The year was 1983. America needed a cycling venue for the upcoming 1984 Summer Olympic Games. They answered the call with a sprawling, 35-acre facility that would later become an official Team USA Olympic Training Centre.

 

Today, the campus in Colorado Springs, Colorado is the training grounds for hundreds of Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Among its facilities is a full-size, 333.3-metre banked cycling track for velodrome events. Within that loop is a second, 200-metre roller sports track.

 

Colorado Springs gets plenty of precipitation from fall to spring, which restricted cycling and roller sports to the summer — until recently. In 2015, the Training Centre added a massive air-supported structure to protect the grounds from rain and snow.

 

2. Bo Jackson’s Elite Sports

Bo Jackson’s Elite Sports (BJES) operates some of the leading sports training centres across the USA. Athletes who are lucky enough to visit their Columbus, Ohio location will find a huge air dome packed with 114,000 square feet of unique training spaces.

 

Among the array of playfields and sports equipment is an impressive, 42-foot tall climbing tower BJES calls The Gauntlet. The Gauntlet is a competitive, vertical obstacle course that puts athletes’ physical and mental endurance to the test. It includes a speed climb, ten auto-belays, a fire pole, chimney climbs, cargo nets, and a face-to-face challenge course.

 

When people think air domes, they tend to picture a soccer dome with vast, clear spans and empty vertical space. BJES, on the other hand, has packed every inch of their dome with awesome athletic challenges. As obstacle course-style events continue to grow in popularity, we expect to see more uses for air domes like this one.

 

3. Russel Township’s Community Air Dome

Russel, Ontario is a modest place. With a population of just over 16,500, the township doesn’t have the same resources as nearby giants like Ottawa and Gatineau. But they’re a great demonstration of how a single air-supported structure can serve many parts of a community at once.

 

Russell’s air dome is a multi-use facility. The dome itself houses a track, sports turf, and a gym complete with cardio equipment, weights, and strength machines. The lobby building has a restaurant and conference room.

 

Residents of all ages use the space to meet, play, and stay physically active. Soon, Russell will be adding a second dome with tennis and pickleball courts (a nod to Canada’s fastest-growing sport).

 

4. Edmonton Roller Hockey Dome

You don’t have to have seen a game of roller hockey to imagine what it’s like. The game borrows many of the same rules and equipment from ice hockey, including an NHL-size rink with concrete instead of ice.

 

The Edmonton Sportsdome is home to two such rinks beneath a 60,000 square foot structure. Many roller rinks double as ice-skating rinks in the winter, but the air-supported ceiling allows these rinks to stay safe and dry year-round.

 

Plus, it has room for all the amenities of a full-size community hockey arena: dressing rooms, referee rooms, a small medical room, and even a restaurant and lounge.

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6 Helpful Tips for Playing Tennis in Cold Weather

Tennis as a winter sport? It’s possible. With the right gear and a fiery spirit, you can continue to sharpen your tennis skills throughout the winter months! Here are some practical tips for playing tennis in cold weather, with or without an air-supported dome.

 

1. Warm-Up

It takes a bit longer to loosen up in low temperatures. Give your body a chance to warm up with a 10-minute stretching routine before you begin playing. Your muscles will thank you the next day!

 

2. Stay Hydrated

Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you can cut back your water intake. You won’t feel as thirsty playing in the winter, but your body still needs water to stay strong, fast and healthy. Drink plenty of water before you go outside and bring a bottle of water with you. If freezing is a problem, use a wide-mouthed bottle and store it upside-down.

 

3. Wear Shades

Sunglasses are a touchy topic in the world of tennis, but one thing is clear: the winter sun hangs lower in the sky, and the snow makes its glare even worse. If you have a personal rule against wearing sunglasses, you might make an exception for winter tennis.

 

4. Switch to Softer Strings

The lower the temperature, the stiffer racquet strings become. High-tension stings are prone to break in the cold. Softer string compositions, like multifilament or natural gut, perform better in the winter.

 

5. Adjust Your Play Style

Frigid weather has an interesting effect on tennis balls. The rubber hardens, and the air pressure inside the ball drops. The result? The ball feels softer in hand, but much harder on impact – which makes for a very different kind of tennis.

 

Since the ball has far less bounce, and the racquets are less elastic, you must aim deeper and hit harder to get the ball over the net. Topspins lose their edge; drop shots, slices, and flat serves are deadly. Winter tennis demands even more movement than summer tennis, with players travelling deeper in the court to catch the low ball.

 

It’s practically a whole new game!

 

6. Protect Yourself

Are you brave enough to venture out in freezing weather? Your dedication to the sport is admirable. But without proper preparation, exercising in sub-zero temperatures can be hazardous to your health. Any exposed skin can be at risk of freezing, which leads to frostbite, and wearing sweat-soaked clothing can increase the risk of hypothermia.

 

Proper winter tennis attire consists of a lightweight, moisture-wicking base beneath layers of insulating fabrics. Be sure that the outer layer or water-repellent. Gloves are important, even if they hinder your grip. Finally, don’t forget to wear a hat — you lose about 50% of body heat from your head.

 

Too Cold for Tennis? Use an Air-Supported Dome

Snow and ice add a cool twist to tennis, but cold-weather tennis is not for everyone. That’s why sports domes were invented! An air-supported dome structure provides shelter from the snow and a comfortable playing temperature all throughout the winter. We have the pictures to prove it!

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Why Tennis Definitely Isn't Just a Summer Sport Anymore



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Montana State University racing to reopen fitness center for students

MSU racing to reopen fitness center for students

 

Dozens of construction workers are hustling to install temporary basketball courts at Montana State University and get the main fitness center ready for students’ return in three weeks, all part of a major effort to replace two gyms lost last winter when the roofs collapsed in record snowfall.

 

MSU’s insurance companies have paid out about $2.5 million for the work so far and the final total is likely to be “considerably more,” Dan Stevenson, associate vice president for university services, said during a tour of the construction area Monday.

 

Workers have demolished the old gyms, reinforced exposed interior walls of the Marga Hosaeus Fitness Center and laid foundations for two new “bubble” structures.

 

https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/montana_state_university/msu-racing-to-reopen-fitness-center-for-students/article_1f38bd87-d3e9-58b6-91f9-8eddb1c5108e.html



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Multi-Sport Domes Sports Domes News

Bear Mountain Tennis Centre opens its first state-of-the-art Bubble

Bear Mountain Tennis Centre opens its first state-of-the-art Bubble

 

(Victoria, BC – October 27, 2018)  The newest and best place to play tennis on Vancouver Island is opening its doors for the indoor season. The Bear Mountain Tennis Centre and Director of Tennis Russ Hartley welcomes  members of the public and all tennis enthusiasts to be the guests and experience the Resort’s brand new four-court tennis bubble from 12 noon to 6 PM on Saturday, October 27th.

 

https://bearmountain.ca/bear-mountain-tennis-centre-opens-its-first-state-of-the-art-bubble/



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Tennis Sports Domes News

Doug Miller's Glacier Ridge Sports Park rises again along West Ridge Road

Doug Miller's Glacier Ridge Sports Park rises again along West Ridge Road

 

Glacier Ridge Sports Park, the home to many area golf events and youth soccer clubs, was officially reinflated last week after an eight-month hiatus.

 

Located at 4618 W. Ridge Road, Parma, and owned by former Rochester Rhinos forward and current Rochester Lancers head coach Doug Miller, the dome complex was destroyed during a windstorm on New Year’s Day.

 

https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/sports/2019/08/15/glacier-ridge-sports-park-dome-arena-reinflated-doug-miller-parma-rochester-ny/2008939001/

 

 



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Soccer Multi-Sport Domes Sports Domes News

"World's Greatest!"... The Farley Group Air-Supported Structures

"World's Greatest!"... The Farley Group Air-Supported Structures

 

We were recently featured in “World’s Greatest” Episode 266 - The Farley Group Air Supported Structures. With a focus on design, technology, and customer satisfaction, we’re committed to providing only the best air dome structures and ensuring that our customer experiences the best that The Farley Group has to offer. Production: How2Media.

 


add a comment
Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn
Multi-Sport Domes Infomation Sports Domes News

Special Olympians have a ball playing bocce in Bradford

Special Olympians have a ball playing bocce in Bradford

 

High-school teams from across the region came to the Bradford Sports Dome to play in a one-day qualifier for bocce ball competition

 

Those are by-words of the Special Olympics, an organization dedicated to changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, through sports. Special Olympics athletes discover new abilities, new skills, and new friendships through competition.

 

 

https://www.bradfordtoday.ca/local-sports/special-olympians-have-a-ball-playing-bocce-in-bradford-8-photos-1151840

 

 


add a comment
Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn
Multi-Sport Domes Infomation Sports Domes

5 Awesome Sports You Didn’t Know You Could Play In the Winter

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, winter sports like skiing and ice hockey are just as beloved as field sports. But not everyone is eager to switch out the cleats for snowshoes come fall. Good news: there are plenty of awesome summer sports you probably didn’t know you could play in the winter!

 

 

1. Beach Volleyball

Who says you need a beach to play beach volleyball? Although the game may have originated as a summer pastime, it has evolved into a sanctioned Olympic sport practiced by serious athletes.

 

There are now indoor beach volleyball facilities (sand and all) built for year-round play. Sports domes like the Volleydome in Calgary boast courts for traditional indoor volleyball and the two-on-two beach game.

 

2. Soccer

A little snow on the ground isn’t enough to stop the world’s game. With the right gear, it is possible to play soccer in the wintertime.

 

Of course, the game changes quite a bit when the green turns to white, and not necessarily for the better. The ball skips and glides across the snowy pitch with ease but is much harder to keep in control. The low-friction playing surface also puts players at risk of injury.

 

Playing soccer outdoors in the cold isn’t ideal unless the season runs long or winter comes early. Fortunately, there’s an alternative: the soccer dome.

 

Failing that, there are plenty of soccer drills you can practice almost anywhere, with or without a soccer dome.

 

3. Tennis

Why play a sport associated with short shorts and miniskirts in the winter?

 

Because it’s surprisingly awesome.

 

Tennis becomes a whole different game when the temperature drops, demanding a new playstyle and tweaks to your equipment. It’s a great challenge for seasoned tennis players who want to try something new.

 

Just be sure to dress for the weather with a moisture-wicking base layer and lots of insulating layers on top.

 

4. Cycling

Believe it or not, there are lots of ways to experience the joys of cycling in the winter.

 

If you’re brave enough to venture outdoors, it’s possible to outfit your regular commuter bicycle to tackle the slippery roads ahead. However, it does require some extra maintenance; MEC recommends that you wipe down the chain after every ride, apply lube to the chain at least three times a month, and spray aerosol lube on all the moving parts once another.

 

Winter mountain biking is another option. This heart-pounding winter sport is one of the best ways to soak in the breathtaking snow-covered wilderness.

 

For cyclists who prefer to stay warm, there’s track cycling, a lesser-known Olympic event that provides an incredible workout and a great show for spectators. Thanks to air-supported structures like the Team USA Velodrome, you can pick up this sport at any time of year.

 

5. Ultimate Frisbee

It might not have made the Olympics yet, but Ultimate Frisbee has been soaring in popularity ever since its inception in the 1960s. It’s become a favourite of college students and rec leagues around North America.

 

Trouble is, it’s not easy to catch and throw a plastic disc with mittens on.

 

That’s why we’re excited to see more and more Ultimate Frisbee leagues making use of indoor facilities like sports domes.  Hopefully, there will come a day when frisbee domes are as ubiquitous as soccer domes!



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Tennis Soccer Multi-Sport Domes Sports Domes Volleyball

How Cold is Too Cold For Soccer?

Soccer is one of the most popular sports in Canada. With benefits such as increased aerobic capacity, muscle tone, flexibility and endurance, it’s a great sport for children and adults alike.

 

Because year-round leagues are becoming popular, more and more teams are training in subzero temperatures. However, there are risks involved with playing soccer in cold weather, so it’s important to keep players safe, warm and comfortable.

 

 

The influence of cold weather can have a substantial impact on overall health and safety during practices and games.

 

However, with proper precautions, players can avoid succumbing to cold-weather illness or injury.

 

Wind Chill

If the field is not covered by a soccer dome, wind chill is an important factor to consider. 

 

Pay attention to the wind chill temperature index (WCT). Even on more mild days, prolonged exposure can lead to frostbite.

 

The wind chill temperature is how cold it feels outdoors. Wind chill is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin cause by wind and cold. Thus, the wind makes it feel much colder and poses a more serious risk to playing outdoors.

 

A gust of wind can be enough to infiltrate your clothing and remove the insulating layer of warmth that surrounds your body. The risk of frostbite increases as wind chill falls. It only takes up to 30 minutes to be exposed to frost bite if the wind chill drops below -7 degrees Celsius.

 

Dressing for Cold Temperatures

When outdoor temperatures drop, the body loses heat more rapidly than usual. It’s important to dress appropriately when playing in cold weather. Layering clothing can be effective, as long as layers are removed to avoid overheating. Dress so that you start off warm and remove articles of clothing as needed.

  • Start with a base layer made of polypropylene. It’s vital to avoid sweating before playing outdoors since your body will cool quickly. Polypropylene is a moisture-wicking fabric that does not absorb sweat.

  • Next, cover your first layer with a good insulating fabric such as microfleece or thermal. A mock turtleneck is a great option as well.

  • The outer layer should protect your extremities.

  • Ensure that feet, head, ears, hands, eyes and skin are protected before braving the elements. Wear additional clothing such as hats, headbands, gloves, sweatshirts and sweatpants.

  • It’s also a good idea to pack sunglasses and apply sunscreen before heading out.

Playing in an Air Structure

Soccer domes are a great option if temperatures or weather conditions are less than ideal. An air-supported dome structure provides shelter from the elements and a consistent temperature all throughout the year!



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Soccer Sports Domes

4 Unique but Brilliant Uses for Air Domes

Chances are, you’ve seen sports domes for soccer and tennis. Maybe you’ve even heard of a Volleydome. But could you imagine a dome housing a 42-foot tall obstacle tower? How about an Olympic-sized velodrome?

 

Most domes we create are destined for field sports. But beyond that, the potential uses for air dome are practically endless. Air-supported structures can come in a wide variety of different shapes, sizes and colours, and we’re constantly pushing the boundaries of what air domes can do.

 

 

These are some of the creative uses for air domes we’ve helped build over the years (plus, one particularly unique dome we spotted on the far side of the world.)

 

1. Team USA’s Velodrome Dome

The year was 1983. America needed a cycling venue for the upcoming 1984 Summer Olympic Games. They answered the call with a sprawling, 35-acre facility that would later become an official Team USA Olympic Training Centre.

 

Today, the campus in Colorado Springs, Colorado is the training grounds for hundreds of Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Among its facilities is a full-size, 333.3-metre banked cycling track for velodrome events. Within that loop is a second, 200-metre roller sports track.

 

Colorado Springs gets plenty of precipitation from fall to spring, which restricted cycling and roller sports to the summer — until recently. In 2015, the Training Centre added a massive air-supported structure to protect the grounds from rain and snow.

 

2. Bo Jackson’s Elite Sports

Bo Jackson’s Elite Sports (BJES) operates some of the leading sports training centres across the USA. Athletes who are lucky enough to visit their Columbus, Ohio location will find a huge air dome packed with 114,000 square feet of unique training spaces.

 

Among the array of playfields and sports equipment is an impressive, 42-foot tall climbing tower BJES calls The Gauntlet. The Gauntlet is a competitive, vertical obstacle course that puts athletes’ physical and mental endurance to the test. It includes a speed climb, ten auto-belays, a fire pole, chimney climbs, cargo nets, and a face-to-face challenge course.

 

When people think air domes, they tend to picture a soccer dome with vast, clear spans and empty vertical space. BJES, on the other hand, has packed every inch of their dome with awesome athletic challenges. As obstacle course-style events continue to grow in popularity, we expect to see more uses for air domes like this one.

 

3. Russel Township’s Community Air Dome

Russel, Ontario is a modest place. With a population of just over 16,500, the township doesn’t have the same resources as nearby giants like Ottawa and Gatineau. But they’re a great demonstration of how a single air-supported structure can serve many parts of a community at once.

 

Russell’s air dome is a multi-use facility. The dome itself houses a track, sports turf, and a gym complete with cardio equipment, weights, and strength machines. The lobby building has a restaurant and conference room.

 

Residents of all ages use the space to meet, play, and stay physically active. Soon, Russell will be adding a second dome with tennis and pickleball courts (a nod to Canada’s fastest-growing sport).

 

4. Edmonton Roller Hockey Dome

You don’t have to have seen a game of roller hockey to imagine what it’s like. The game borrows many of the same rules and equipment from ice hockey, including an NHL-size rink with concrete instead of ice.

 

The Edmonton Sportsdome is home to two such rinks beneath a 60,000 square foot structure. Many roller rinks double as ice-skating rinks in the winter, but the air-supported ceiling allows these rinks to stay safe and dry year-round.

 

Plus, it has room for all the amenities of a full-size community hockey arena: dressing rooms, referee rooms, a small medical room, and even a restaurant and lounge.



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Sports Domes

6 Helpful Tips for Playing Tennis in Cold Weather

Tennis as a winter sport? It’s possible. With the right gear and a fiery spirit, you can continue to sharpen your tennis skills throughout the winter months! Here are some practical tips for playing tennis in cold weather, with or without an air-supported dome.

 

1. Warm-Up

It takes a bit longer to loosen up in low temperatures. Give your body a chance to warm up with a 10-minute stretching routine before you begin playing. Your muscles will thank you the next day!

 

2. Stay Hydrated

Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you can cut back your water intake. You won’t feel as thirsty playing in the winter, but your body still needs water to stay strong, fast and healthy. Drink plenty of water before you go outside and bring a bottle of water with you. If freezing is a problem, use a wide-mouthed bottle and store it upside-down.

 

3. Wear Shades

Sunglasses are a touchy topic in the world of tennis, but one thing is clear: the winter sun hangs lower in the sky, and the snow makes its glare even worse. If you have a personal rule against wearing sunglasses, you might make an exception for winter tennis.

 

4. Switch to Softer Strings

The lower the temperature, the stiffer racquet strings become. High-tension stings are prone to break in the cold. Softer string compositions, like multifilament or natural gut, perform better in the winter.

 

5. Adjust Your Play Style

Frigid weather has an interesting effect on tennis balls. The rubber hardens, and the air pressure inside the ball drops. The result? The ball feels softer in hand, but much harder on impact – which makes for a very different kind of tennis.

 

Since the ball has far less bounce, and the racquets are less elastic, you must aim deeper and hit harder to get the ball over the net. Topspins lose their edge; drop shots, slices, and flat serves are deadly. Winter tennis demands even more movement than summer tennis, with players travelling deeper in the court to catch the low ball.

 

It’s practically a whole new game!

 

6. Protect Yourself

Are you brave enough to venture out in freezing weather? Your dedication to the sport is admirable. But without proper preparation, exercising in sub-zero temperatures can be hazardous to your health. Any exposed skin can be at risk of freezing, which leads to frostbite, and wearing sweat-soaked clothing can increase the risk of hypothermia.

 

Proper winter tennis attire consists of a lightweight, moisture-wicking base beneath layers of insulating fabrics. Be sure that the outer layer or water-repellent. Gloves are important, even if they hinder your grip. Finally, don’t forget to wear a hat — you lose about 50% of body heat from your head.

 

Too Cold for Tennis? Use an Air-Supported Dome

Snow and ice add a cool twist to tennis, but cold-weather tennis is not for everyone. That’s why sports domes were invented! An air-supported dome structure provides shelter from the snow and a comfortable playing temperature all throughout the winter. We have the pictures to prove it!



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Tennis