Sports hall design advice

Continental would be delighted to help advise on the layout of your sports facilityOne of the benefits of talking to Continental when planning your facility is our experience of hundreds of similar projects over the past 45 years.

We provide a consultancy service to architects, quantity surveyors, builders and owners of sites to help you so that you do not have to re-invent the wheel when designing your facility.

This valuable service is provided free from the early planning stage, through the tender specification stage and onwards hopefully until completion of your project. All that we ask in return is that we are able to submit a quotation for the equipment that you ultimately specify.

We repeatedly come across the same issues and problems on projects, so to help you avoid repeating mistakes that we have seen before we have compiled the most common pitfalls in our Sports Hall Design FAQs here

The principal guidance on the design and layout of sports halls in the UK is the Sport England document "Sports Halls Design & Layouts" which was updated in 2012 to provide Sport England's current advice on multi-sports hall facilities and includes recommended sizes of sports halls and courts dimensions in line with the national governing bodies requirements.

IMPORTANT REVISION: In its latest guidance, Sport England has made a revision to the standard 4 court hall size, from 33 x 18m to 34.5 x 20m.  Sport England consider that adopting the dimensions of the revised 4 court hall as the minimum is important for both formal sports participation and fostering the opportunities offered by sport clubs, NGBs and leagues in the development of sports teams and competitive fixtures and that it will provide fit for purpose space allowing intra and inter school competitions in an appropriate environment.

Sport England state that programmes geared to delivering NGB compliant community participation through to club competition can only be served by a hall 34.5 x 20m or larger which enables the main indoor sports to be played in an appropriate environment that complies with NGB technical guidance and therefore safety standards.

At the same time as revising the hall dimensions, Sport England have revised and simplified the different levels of play for the individual sports into four level of play categories:

  • International
  • Premier
  • Club
  • Community

Sport England recently (August 2012) issued further guidance in a series of documents under the title of "Affordable Sports Halls":Sport England

These new documents and associated CAD drawings will help current and future stakeholders review their sports hall proposals and give a better understanding of the interrelationships between the:

  • Design
  • Specifications and sustainability
  • Capital funding
  • Programmes of use
  • Operating budgets.

The use of a ‘one-stop-shop’ procurement route is also illustrated that can speed up and simplify the planning, design and construction processes.

Potential uses of the documents include:

  • Developing feasibility studies and option appraisals
  • Establishing a robust project brief
  • Developing the business plan and operational budget
  • Selecting a procurement route and project programme
  • Validating key project details
  • Forming a template for a future project. 

The documents detail stand-alone 4 and 5 court sports halls, plus supporting changing and health and fitness facilities that are compliant with other relevant Sport England Guidance and current industry standards and have been considered by Leisure Operators and Building Contractors.

Full details including various appendices, CAD drawings and other information are available on the Sport England website here.

Design guidance

Sports hall design guidance

File Size: 2.95 MB

Sport England's guidance for design of indoor sports halls

Fitness and exercise spaces

File Size: 1.01 MB

Sport England's guidance on designing spaces for fitness and exercise

Sports flooring

File Size: 860.81 KB

Sport England's guidance on flooring for indoor sports

Pitches and court sizes

File Size: 881 KB

Sport England summary of the pitch sizes for various sports

Developing the Right Sports Hall

File Size: 1.03 MB

Sport England's revised guidance on larger sports hall sizes

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