Technical – Slip Resistance

Technical Information - Slip Resistance

Surface Grip & Slip Resistance

  • Colour Coatings for Sport Surfaces should contain Texturing Agents.
  • Coatings must provide the required grip in Dry, Wet and Damp conditions.
  • Slip Resistance is a measure of Surface Grip.
Cushioned Acrylic Indoor Tennis Courts
Slip Resistant Colour Coatings

Paint used to coat the macadam or rubber forms the playing surface and the correct choice is critical if an acceptable and durable playing surface is to be provided.

When a coating is applied it reduces the friction of the surface. If the reduction is too great the court can become slippery and hazardous in damp and wet conditions.

To control the reduction in friction, paint manufacturers incorporate texturing agents such as silica or aluminium oxide in the paint formulations. These are designed to provide a textured finish to the paint coating that, in conjunction with the inherent texture of the surface, provides adequate grip in dry, wet and damp conditions.

The level of slip resistance properties of the paint coating is primarily influenced by the size of particle used to form the texturing agent. The larger the particle, then the rougher the coating and the higher the slip resistance.

Whilst high slip resistance may initially be considered desirable this is not always the case. If the slip resistance is too high players of some sports, particularly Tennis, may object to excessive grip that causes difficulties in turning, especially in dry conditions. Excess wear of the felt covering of tennis balls will also result.

Recommended Levels of Grip

The surface of Netball, Basketball and MUGAs Courts usually require a higher slip resistance due to the characteristics of the dynamic nature of play involved. Therefore, they usually have a higher recommended value of 75.

Higher grip gives players the confidence they need to move and stop according to the way the sport is played. This means that different sports have different requirements for the coatings.

It is important to appreciate that the level of grip required for Netball will result in quite an abrasive finish to the court surface.

Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

  • Recommend a Slip Resistance > 60 on TRRL Slip Test for Tennis.

All England Netball Assoc. (AENA).

  • Recommend a Slip Resistance > 75 on TRRL Slip Test for Netball.
Augmenting Slip Resistance

The Sports Coatings we use are manufactured to provide at least Tennis Levels of grip (> 60) as standard. However, to achieve Netball Levels of grip (> 75), the paint requires to be augmented with additional Aluminium Oxide aggregate by mixing it with the paint prior to spraying.

Recommended that only Water Based or Solvent Based Polyurethane paint is augmented with aluminium oxide aggregate as these have the required strength to hold the additional grip in situ on the sports surface after application.

They will also strengthen the surface and provide a durable coating able to combat heavier use, whilst incorporating the increased level of slip resistance needed.

Monitoring Slip Resistance

The Slip Resistance of macadam, polymeric and acrylic courts can be measured.

The measuring device consists of a pendulum and rubber foot that is allowed to slide across the court surface. The resistance to the foot sliding across the surface is recorded and expressed as a Measure of Slip Resistance.

Criteria should be met when the court surface is dry or wet.

The friction or slip resistance of the playing surface is measured using the test procedure described in BS EN 13036 Part 4 (a similar test is also described by the International Tennis Federation in their Initial ITF Study on Performance Standards for Tennis Court Surfaces)

Slip Resistance Testing can be carried out by specialists such as;

Maintaining Slip Resistance

The paint film encapsulates the texturing agent. The rate at which the texturing agent wears and becomes smooth will influence how long the court has an acceptable level of slip resistance.

The rate of wear is influenced by many factors including:

  • Type of footwear used on the court.
  • Frequency the court is cleaned and debris is removed.
  • Amount of usage.
  • Formulation of the coating – water-based coatings can soften if exposed to moisture for prolonged periods making the coating more prone to wear in areas of shade or damp.
  • Size of particle used to form the texturing agent – larger particles tend to break away and wear more rapidly than small ones.

Whilst the use of paints with a texturing agent has overcome many of the problems of slippery courts that used to be associated with painted courts, there is a limit to their ability to provide high levels of grip in damp conditions, particularly after drizzle or heavy dew.

Example Maintenance Schedule

Typical Maintenance Schedule

Daily – at the end of the day’s play.
Ensure the net is slackened and rolled up in the middle & shut gates.

Weekly – Sweep or blow leaves, rubbish etc. from court.

Early Spring and/or Autumn – Kill moss & algae

Annually or Biannually -Thorough pressure cleaning.

Every 4 – 6 Years – Clean and Repaint playing surface.


(More Information – Technical Info. – Maintenance of Coatings)

Technical Information - Slip Resistance