Well, Naples tennis friend (and retired engineer) Jack Moter is one of those people! He writes….
“When sweeping clay courts lines, I’ve always wondered what pattern to use to minimize total steps. I decided that since I have time on my hands, I’d take a crack at that problem.
“In the accompanying tennis court diagram, the intersection of lines or of lines and the net are denoted by numbers in a circle. The accompanying chart shows the path followed which attempts to minimize the distance traveled.
“The chart has a column labeled “S” which shows the start of a leg of the pattern, and a column labeled “E” which shows the end of the leg of the pattern. The rightmost column shows the distance (in ft.) traveled for that leg of the pattern.
“Wasted movement (no lines swept) is indicated by blue shading. Each leg of the pattern begins where the previous leg ends.
“Not counted is the distance traveled to arrive at the start point, the small distance traveled to get from one side of the net to the closest point on the other side of the net (movement between points 12 and 13), and the distance from the final point in the pattern to where the line sweeper is kept.
“This example shows a pattern with total distance traveled of 604.5 ft. where the wasted distance traveled is 124.5 ft.
“Can you find a pattern that covers less distance?”
Thanks to Weird Jack Moter.
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