The 10-and-under competition Rule Change

10-and-under Eligibility

The ITF does not recommend that 10-and-under players compete in 12-and-under competition, unless in exceptional circumstances and subject to the respective National Federation’s competition regulations that are in place. Examples of such exceptional circumstances that would be considered are

1. Significant success and dominant competitive results at 10-and-under competition using the slower ‘green ball’.

2. Technical and tactical competence using the slower ‘Green’ ball during competition.

Extract from ITF Junior Circuit Regulations 2012

Appendix H Age Eligibility Rules, pp84

Competitions for players of 12 & under are permitted with the following: -
b) Players under the age of ten (10) shall not be eligible for entry in any 12 & under international individual tournament sanctioned by a Regional Association and/or National Association. In accordance to the ITF Junior Age Eligibility Rule, the player’s age as of the first day of the tournament Main Draw shall be used. (See ITF Junior Circuit Regulations 2012, Appendix H Age Eligibility Rules, pp84 - Click here)

National Association Specific

Whilst the ITF does have guidelines in place giving recommendations about the age, ball, court and formats, it is up to the National Associations to decide what events the players can play. There are no age restrictions in place limiting children 10-and-under from playing in 12-and-under national events. There are also no restrictions for players who are 8-and-under from playing at the Green stage (Stage 1).

ITF Recommendations

The ITF recommends that players aged between 5-8 years old should be Red, between 8-10 Orange, and advanced players between 9-10 Green. The ITF recommends that players should only move from one stage to another when they have experienced significant success and dominant competitive results in competition at the respective Red, Orange or Green stages and when they have technical and tactical competence at the respective Red, Orange or Green stages during competition.

The ITF does not recommend that 10-and-under players compete in 12-and-under competition except in exceptional circumstances and subject to the respective National Federation’s competition regulations that are in place.

An example of an exceptional circumstance that would be considered is significant success and dominant competitive results at 10-and-under competition using the slower ‘green ball’ as well as technical and tactical competence using the slower ‘Green’ ball during competition. As players move from one stage to the next, they should be encouraged to keep playing in some competition at the previous stage to further develop tactical and technical competencies.

International 10-and-under events

Players aged under 10 cannot play in international events such as the Tennis Europe 12-and-under circuits. According to the ITF Junior Circuit Regulations 2012 (Appendix H Age Eligibility Rules, pp84), Competitions for players of 12 & under are permitted with the following: - b) Players under the age of ten (10) shall not be eligible for entry in any 12 & under international individual tournament sanctioned by a Regional Association and/or National Association. In accordance to the ITF Junior Age Eligibility Rule, the player’s age as of the first day of the tournament Main Draw shall be used.

Players are not allowed to play internationally-sanctioned events and can only play national competition as long as they are sanctioned by the National Federation and their eligibility falls under their respective regulations set.

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