Beach tennis is one of the hottest sports that are gaining momentum around the world, especially in many coastal cities. This sport is best described as a fast-paced hybrid between beach volleyball and tennis.
As the name may suggest, the game is mainly played on the beach. But have you ever wondered if beach tennis can be played on other surfaces besides the sand?
Beach tennis can be played on other surfaces such as concrete, grass, or even snow. While most players prefer to play it on the sand, it’s possible to play it on other surfaces because the ball doesn’t have to bounce.
Nonetheless, for Pro level tournaments, beach tennis is always played on the sand.
Continue reading to find more about playing tennis on different surfaces.
According to the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the custodian of beach tennis rules, the playing surface for beach tennis must be composed sand leveled on a flat surface, and it should be free of shells, rocks, or any other irregular items that may pose a danger to the players.
Besides this, the court boundaries need to be marked with colored tape that has a contrasting color with the surface.
Grass, Hard, and Sand Surface
The International Federation Beach Tennis (IFBT) has also given guidelines with regards to different versions of beach tennis. The federation, which provides rules for competition besides promoting the sport, is divided into three different fields:
- Beach tennis, which is played on the sand.
- Racket volley, which is played with a tennis racket and also on the sand.
- Gym racket, which is played with a paddle racket on the grass or a hard surface.
These last two are slight variants of beach tennis, but in essence, they almost the same.
Below are two clips of Gym Racket & Racket Volley
Gym Racket on a hard surface:
Racket Volley (From Beach Tennis USA, when they used to play with tennis racquets)
An Up-and-Coming Sport
The sport originated from Italy in the early ’70s when a group of tennis players tried to play tennis on existing beach volleyball courts.
Over the past four decades, beach tennis has spread across the globe. In Italy alone, it’s estimated to have around 1700 beach tennis nets on the beaches along its coast.
This figure does not include the growing number of indoor and inland courts. The game, which was initially played on the beaches, is now being played on tennis clubs, resorts, country clubs, gyms and any other place where sand can be mounted.
Play It Anywhere, Anytime
The sport is exceedingly versatile. If you are not into competitive matches, you can play beach tennis on where it is convenient for you, or where you love the most, be it on the snow, grass, or other hard surfaces.
In other words, you can play beach tennis irrespective of the season. On top of this, beach tennis rules are a good mix of beach volleyball and tennis. It also requires minimal setup costs. As you know, the game can be performed on any beach as long as you have the necessary equipment.
Why Beach Tennis?
Why choose beach tennis when you can just play tennis, volleyball, or any other net aport? Well, like tennis and volleyball, beach tennis is also a physical sport that requires agility and strength. But, it has other unique advantages that you will not get from most games.
Easy On Your Body
Let’s face it. Beach volleyball, for instance, can be bruising and hard on your wrist. Likewise, tennis involves playing with a stiff racket, and sometimes your ankles and feet may land on a hard surface. Since you will most likely be playing beach tennis on the sand, your ankles and feet will have a softer landing spot. Also, the paddles provide comfort to your forearm and wrist.
You have to also bear in mind that, in beach tennis, you are playing barefoot with comfy attire. And, if you are playing this game on the beach, you will have a glimpse of the sky and the landscape of the sea. In between matches, you can, even, dive in the water.
Simple and Easy to Play
Moreover, the sport is simple to learn and play; there is no setting, spiking or bumping skills required. All you need to play beach tennis is a slightly depressurized tennis ball, two paddle rackets, a net, and space, probably a volleyball court. In most cases, you will find that beach volleyball courts are already set up on various beaches in different parts of the world.
Moreover, the sport can be played as you listen to your favorite music, unlike other sports which are played in silence. The laid-back ambiance of the sand, beach, people, and music in beach tennis favors discussions on issues non-related to beach tennis. So, you never know, you may find a client or a partner while on the court.
Sun, Sand, and Fun!
A Sport for Everyone
Appeals to Many
If you are a competing athlete, beach tennis can also be your game. In short, the sport appeals to both beach lovers and athletes.
If you are interested in socializing and expanding your circles of friends, then beach tennis is an ideal game for you. It is a fact that this sport has more social engagement than many other racquet games. Some people have likened beach tennis to 21st-century badminton since you can play it competitively or play it as you enjoy your drinks.
About Beach Tennis
A Few Things to Know
- The scoring is almost similar to tennis, only that it uses a no-advantage scoring system.
- Beach tennis is predominantly a doubles team sport. However, players can also choose to play singles, which is played on a slightly narrower court.
- To play the game, the competing players should be standing opposite each other.
- Players win points when the opponent hit the ball into the net or out, and when the ball touches the ground in the opposing court.
- If the ball hit the boundary line, it’s considered in.
- A shot is considered good should the ball hit the net, pass over to the other side and hit the ground.
- Who serve first is usually decided at the beginning of the match through a toss.
- Unlike badminton, any member of the receiving team can return the serve.
Overall, beach tennis courts are rectangular; just like most racquet sports, the lines of the court have a color that contrasts with that of the playing surface.
The field is divided into two equal sections by a net attached to posts. The net, which measures 5.57 ft. (1.7 meters) in height, should have small meshes that cannot allow the ball to pass through.
For doubles, the playing court must be 52.5 feet (16 meters) long and 26.2 feet (8 meters) wide. For singles, the playing area should keep the same measures as the doubles length, while the width should be slightly narrower at 14.9 feet (4.5 meters).
There are different balls approved by ITF, but the ones that are commonly used for beach tennis are the ‘orange’ (stage 2) balls. Initially, stage 1 (green) low compression balls were allowed, but they were replaced in 2010.
Stage 2 balls are preferred because they are slightly softer, which means they travel slower than other tennis balls, so it increases the pace of the rally thus making the game more enjoyable. In most cases, these balls are colored half orange/half yellow.
Overall, it may be said …
Beach tennis is a fun and engaging sport. Going into the future, beach tennis will most likely provide a new breed of world-class talent and probably eat into the territory of other beach and racquet sports.
As mentioned above, getting started is simple. Simply try it out with your family or friends during, literally, any time of the year. You can play it in your backyard, driveway, or closest park. It’s a very adaptable sport; so much, that you can play it on the snow! Take that tennis!
Anyways, whether you play it on the beach, grass, or your backyard, we hope you have a great time! Thanks for stopping by!