The city of Tracy loosened some of its restrictions on access to city parks on Wednesday, allowing people to play some recreational sports — tennis, handball and volleyball — at the parks that have those facilities.

There wasn’t a big rush to get back onto the tennis courts Wednesday, but as the evening cooled off a bit, Sharon and Mike Stone arrived at Dr. Powers Park to play a couple of sets. It was the first time they’d played since mid-March, so they started off just hitting the ball back and forth.

They’ve been respectful of the stay-at-home and social distancing guidelines, but that has kept them away from their favorite sport. Wednesday was the first day in about seven weeks that they found the local courts unlocked and without the signs forbidding them to enter the courts.

“We can only play because we’re married and we live in the same house. We wouldn’t play with any of our friends yet. Too early for that,” Sharon Stone said, adding that it felt great to get a couple of rallies going.

“Tennis is our life,” she said. “We go on vacations with tennis. We watch tennis, we play tennis.”

On Tuesday, the city announced that as California Gov. Gavin Newsom relaxes stay-at-home orders as they relate to some businesses, cities are also being given latitude to make some public spaces accessible, as long as people are still able to keep their distance from one another.

People can now use tennis courts and volleyball courts at the nine city parks that have them, as well as the handball courts at McDonald Park. Parks were already open for use of walking trails and open turf areas, but playground equipment and restrooms remain off limits. A list of the city’s parks, and the amenities they offer, can be found on the city’s website,

Contact Bob Brownne at, or call 209-830-4227.

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