The ITF Annual General Meeting in Washington voted to approve a rule change for 10-and-under tennis competition when it launched ‘Tennis 10s’, tennis competition for 10-and-under age group using slower ‘Red’, ‘Orange’ and ‘Green’ balls on modified courts. Tennis10s is supported by the top national tennis federations, including the 4 Grand Slam nations.
The Tennis 10s rule change will come into affect from 2012 when 10-and-under competition using a regular tennis ball on a full sized court will no longer be permitted, and instead a slower ‘Red’, ‘Orange’ or ‘Green’ ball must be used on one of 3 court sizes. Full details of the exact rule change can be found in the accompanied attachment.
The slower balls and scaled court sizes are designed to make tennis easier and more fun for young children and also to ensure that competition at this age is appropriate.
ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “Tennis10s and this rule change represent a huge step forward for tennis. The purpose of the rule is to improve the way we introduce tennis to young children and it follows similar changes made in other sports, such as ‘Mini Soccer’ and ‘Little League Baseball’.
ITF Director of Development Dave Miley said: “As well as providing a more positive and dynamic experience for players, the slower balls and scaled down courts are excellent for developing high performance juniors, as they give players more time and control and allow them to develop and use advanced tactics and technique that they could never do on the full court with the regular ball”
Patrick McEnroe, US Davis Cup Captain said: “I am completely convinced that the rule change being introduced by the ITF regarding 10 and under competition will be a very positive step not only for increasing tennis participation but also in the development of performance players”