Beach Tennis has its origins in several places around the world, including Brazil, Italy and Spain, and has greatly developed as a game over the past 25-30 years. The current Beach Tennis heartland however is undoubtedly in Italy, where it all began in the 80`s, with it being most popular in the Emilia Romagna region. Its 1600 Beach Tennis courts must surely rival the substantial number of Beach Volleyball courts along the famous California shoreline.
Beach tennis is already widely played in Europe and globally, participating countries include Holland, Belgium, Germany, France, Poland, Italy, Spain, Cyprus, UK, Portugal, Slovenia, Croatia, Czech Republic, USA, Aruba, Latin America, Thailand, Australia…
The game has grown from being a fun activity on the beach to a highly competitive sport on a well organised circuit. In November 2007 the ITF announced the launch of the ITF Beach Tennis Tour in 2008. A Tour calendar has been published every year since, with the number of tournaments increasing steadily, along with the variety of hosting nations.
An increasing number of players are turning professional with a number of former and present tennis professionals also taking to the game, and a World Ranking system is in place.
What is Beach Tennis?
Beach Tennis is a cross between tennis, beach volleyball and badminton. It’s a fun sport suitable for all ages and abilities, ideal for families, groups of friends, leisure as well as professional players. It’s very easy to play and has real health benefits.
Rules of Beach Tennis
- Beach tennis is played on leveled sand with a same size court as the volleyball court 16 metres in length, 8 metres wide. The net is set at 1.7m.
- The game is played with a carbon or carbon/fiberglass racket (paddle) without strings and a low compression orange ball.
- Usually doubles is played although singles can be played on a slightly smaller court, 16 metres by 4.5 metres.
- Scoring is similar to tennis although the server has only one underarm or overarm serve played from behind the baseline. Either player on the opposing side may return the serve. The serve alternates between all four players.
- There is no advantage in the scoring so the next point after deuce wins the game but otherwise normal tennis scoring 15-0, 30-0… There are no lets; if the ball hits the net, strap or band and goes over then the ball is in play.
- Change of ends is exactly the same as tennis: after 1 game, 3 games, 5 etc .
- There are many different scoring formats, 1 set, best of 3 sets, best of 5 sets, timed match play but the chosen format should be agreed before the start of an event or match.
- A team wins the point when the ball hits the ground inside the lines of the opponents’ court or opponents hit the ball out or in the net.
- Men must hit underarm serves in mixed doubles.
The video below, Beach Tennis Basics by the ITF (in English), will give you a more visual idea of this sport we love so much!