Beach tennis: what it is and how to play it?
Do you enjoy going to the beach but being active at the same time? Then beach tennis may be the game for you. Increasingly widespread, beach tennis is a racket sport that, as the name reveals, is played on sandy beaches across the world.
Easy to play for a novice, and fast enough to keep even seasoned tennis players challenged, beach tennis takes elements from tennis, badminton and volleyball. But what are the rules? And what equipment do you need? In this post, we’ll tell you all you need to know about beach tennis.
A brief history of beach tennis
It is believed that beach tennis emerged in Italy in the 1970’s as a way to keep tourists entertained while on holiday. Because of its appeal to a wide ranging audience, it quickly took off and is now played in many countries across the world, including across Europe, the USA, and South America.
Indeed, the ITF Beach Tennis World Tour now includes more than 300 events across 37 countries, culminating in the ITF Beach Tennis World Championship and ITF Beach Tennis World Cup.
Beach tennis: What are the rules?
The main difference between beach tennis compared to tennis or paddle is that the point ends when the ball hits the ground. For the rest, the rules are similar to any other racket game.
The score is identical to that of paddle tennis. Whoever gets to two sets first wins, reaching six games in each of them, always with a difference of two. In case of a tie at six, a tie-break is played and there are no advantages in the games. If deuce is reached, a golden point is played.
The fact that the ball cannot bounce makes the technique of beach tennis unique. The volley is the base of the game combined with the spike and the lob. The characteristics of the playing court also condition the type of shots made.
How big is the beach tennis court?
Beach tennis is normally played as doubles rather than singles and the size of the standard court is 16 meters long and 8 meters wide. Although rare, singles matches can be played, and the size of the court is altered to 16 meters long by 4.5 meters wide. The net is 1.7 meters high.
What equipment is needed for beach tennis?
The racket and the ball are the two main pieces of equipment needed. The beach tennis racket is a little longer, narrower and thinner than a paddle racket. To be more specific, according to international regulations, the maximum measurements are 50 centimeters long, 26 centimeters wide and 38 millimeters thick.
The ball is, in terms of shape, the same as that of tennis and paddle. It is, however, softer. The International Tennis Federation classifies it within the 'Type 2' class, also known as Orange or Low Pressure balls.