BEACH TENNIS WIKI

Beach Tennis stands for good vibes, a cool community and an acrobatic trending sport.

What is Beach Tennis?

Beach Tennis Vibes

Beach Tennis is more than “just Tennis in the sand”.
Beach Tennis stands for good vibes, a cool community and an acrobatic trend sport that counts nowadays to be one of the fastest growing sports in the world.

Beach Tennis is a mix of Tennis, Beach Volleyball and Badminton: The rules and some aspects about the technique of the shots are taken from Tennis, the movement in the deep sand & the atmosphere are similar to Beach Volleyball, and the reaction time and height of the net are like in Badminton.

Beach Tennis is a perfect sport for every age, and can be learned very quickly because the technical demands for a rally are much lower than in other sports. Moreover the sport is popular for the athletic, acrobatic jumps and dives and an amazing party atmosphere.

Beach Tennis History

Beach Tennis was born in the 1980s at the Adriatic Sea in Italy.

Since 2008 Beach Tennis has been an official sport governed by the ITF (International Tennis Federation). Since then the number of players and tournaments has increased constantly. At the moment the sport is “positively exploding” in Brazil and is attracting many new sponsors and Live TV.

In 2019 Beach Tennis was introduced as an official sport at the ANOC World Beach Games in Doha - the long term goal is to develope Beach Tennis to become an Olympic sport.

Beach Tennis vs. Tennis

Beach Tennis is not just Tennis in the deep sand - it is played on a different court and with different equipment. Also the technique and tactic are not the same as in regular Tennis.

Beach Tennis is played on a Beach Volleyball court with a lower net than in Beach Volleyball but higher than in Tennis (normally 170cm). Furthermore, players are using Beach Tennis rackets and a Tennis ball with less pressure (stage 2) because the racket doesn’t have strings and the court is much smaller.

The technique of the shots in Beach Tennis is quite similar to Tennis. But the ball is not allowed to touch the ground, so all shots have to be played as volleys. Because of the higher net and the deeper sand the ball flies differently and has normally a higher point of impact during a rally. Therefore, the basic position of the racket is much higher than in Tennis. In general the movements of the racket for the shots are much shorter or reduced to a minimum because the players are standing much closer to their opponents, thus there is less time to react. Moreover, there are some special shots in Beach Tennis that don’t exist in Tennis, for example: the “windmill”, “rainbow” or “veronica”. 

Because of the deep sand and the higher net, the tactical game in Beach Tennis is structured quite differently than in Tennis. There are more rhythm changes such as stop-lob play than in tennis and the defense is more important as well. Another difference is that Beach Tennis is a team sport because it is mainly played as doubles (2 against 2) and not singles.

Why should you play Beach Tennis?

Easy to Play

Beach Tennis is easy and fast to learn.

For having some fun points and rallies most of the beginners don’t need a lesson with a coach but just some simple advice on how to hold the racket and they are good to go. In Beach Tennis the technical requirements are not as crucial as in Tennis or in Beach Volleyball for example. Therefore, you see players getting better much faster than in other sports. Of course, if you want to reach a higher level, you also have to take lessons with a coach.

Our Masterclass can also help players from all levels to enhance their level on the Beach Tennis court - especially in terms of technique and tactic. In addition, not much equipment is required for the start - all you need is a racket, a ball and beach outfit. Prices for "beginner rackets" are starting at around €40 in Europe and around R$500 in Brazil.

The Social Aspect

Beach Tennis is not played alone but at least with two - most of the time with 4 players (two against two), which means that it is a team sport.

Most of the time the players meet in bigger groups to play in a rotation mode on several courts together. A perfect meeting point is the beach - but there is also the possibility to play Beach Tennis in cities and in the countryside. Often the Beach Volleyball infrastructure is simply shared since the courts are identical. Many BT clubs were built in Brazil in the last years. Most of them have more than 10 courts, some of them even more than 30 courts.

The "Beach Tennis Community" can generally be described as a very open and happy community, which is also attractive for families to join. Good music and deep sand under your feet also contribute to the great holiday atmosphere ... and one or the other Beach Tennis day ends with a little beach party 😉

Healthy Sport

Beach Tennis is a perfect sport from a health point of view, as the deep sand provides optimal cushioning for bones, tendons and muscles.

Many people who have had to give up other sports due to physical complaints or injuries find their new challenge and passion in Beach Tennis. Even if the sport initially seems exhausting for most people, it is still gentle on the body and does not cause any major risk of injury.

Beach Tennis is also a great sport for the cardiovascular system, as both endurance and speed are trained. In general, Beach Tennis is a sport that can be played from a young to an advanced age.

 

Potential of the Sport

Beach Tennis is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Easy to learn, affordable game equipment and a great community make the sport so attractive.

Beach courts are comparatively cheap to build and easy to maintain. In addition, the sport is not only popular for playing by yourself, but also for watching the professionals. Beach Tennis is convincing with relaxed beach vibes, acrobatic dives and jumps and fascinating rallies, as well as party music 🥳.

In Brazil, the sport is booming to such an extent that large new beach facilities are being built almost every month, new clubs are being formed and one tournament after the other is taking place 🚀.

 

Organizational Info

Rules

Most of the Beach Tennis rules have been adopted or adapted from tennis, as the sport is officially subordinated to Tennis. Here we present only an overview of the most important rules. If you are interested in all ITF rules in detail, you can view them here.

Here is an overview of the most important rules:

  • Beach Tennis is generally played as doubles or mixed doubles (two against two)
  • the ball must be hit out of the air (without bouncing) and must be played directly to the other side of the court
  • the counting method is adopted from tennis:
    • 0,15, 30, 40, game
    • two sets to 6 games - at 5:5 it goes to 7 games - at 6:6 a tiebreak to 7 points is played - in case of a set tie a decisive match tiebreak (to 10 points) is played
    • it is played with the "no-advantage" rule, i.e. at 40:40 the next point decides
    • in the tiebreak, the side is changed with the opponent after the first point and then every four points
    • normally, when changing sides, there is always a short handshake with the opponent (like in Beach Volleyball)
  • the serve can be played from anywhere behind the base line anywhere on the court (does not have to be diagonal like in Tennis) and there is no replay when the ball touches the net
  • you have only one serve - if you miss it, it counts directly as a fault
  • there is a 3m zone behind the net which the returning players are not allowed to enter before the server has hit the ball ("no-block-zone")
  • in mixed the man must serve underarm
  • in professional men's doubles (ITF Tour) the net height was raised to 1.80m in 2023

Court Info

The official size of a Beach Tennis court is the same as in Beach Volley - 8m x 16m. Therefore, the infrastructure of Beach Volleyball facilities can be used very well for Beach Tennis. The dimensions of the court for singles are 4.5m x 16m.

However, the net height differs - it is usually 1.70m. On the ITF Tour the net height for the men's doubles is 1.80m. The increased net height for men was tested in 2021/2022, and introduced as an official rule in 2023. It should result in longer rallies. The official net height for Juniors is also 1.70m. However, it is recommended to adjust the net height as desired depending on the size of the children, so that the longest possible rallies can be achieved (if it is not an official tournament). Beach Tennis nets are close-meshed so that no balls can fly through the net. However, if there is no Beach Tennis net available, a Beach Volleyball net can be used for casual training.

There are also mobile net systems with lines that can be installed very quickly so there are no more excuses for not having a Beach Tennis match on a lonely beach 😉.

Equipment

The Ball:

Beach Tennis is played with pressure-reduced tennis balls (stage 2 = 50% pressure-reduced), which are known from children's or junior Tennis. Stage 2 balls are available from various Tennis and Beach Tennis brands. Up to now there is no unique "Beach Tennis ball". The ITF is still trying to optimize the ball for BT and is conducting tests in cooperation with the ball manufacturers for this purpose.

The Racket:

There are special Beach Tennis rackets that should not be confused with Padel rackets. Padel rackets are slightly different in shape and, above all, the hitting surface is thicker. This creates a completely different feeling when touching the ball - these kinds of rackets are not recommended for Beach Tennis. BT rackets have a smaller hitting surface and no strings compared to Tennis rackets. Tennis rackets are also not recommended for Beach Tennis because they are too big and the strings make the ball too fast and bounce too far (which makes defending almost impossible).

A Beach Tennis racket is a maximum of 50 cm long and a maximum of 26 cm wide. The profile (thickness) should be constant and not exceed 38 mm. The surface of the racket is usually made of carbon, kevlar or fiberglass and the inner material is made of a foam - the black or white EVA. The foam can have varying degrees of hardness (hard = little bounce; soft = more bounce). Also, each racket has a different number of holes (depending on the player's preferences). The more holes a racket has, the more elastic it becomes and the easier and faster it is to move from one side to the other (less drag). "Thinner" rackets (20 mm thick) are usually harder, have comparatively fewer holes and thus do not have an extreme bounce compared to thicker rackets with more holes.

Often players ask themselves which racket fits them best. You should not only go by the color or a fancy design 😉 It is especially important that the racket fits well in the hand of the player, that the strokes can be controlled well with it and that no arm pain is caused. Adult rackets usually have a weight of 340g to 360g - children's rackets weigh less and are also smaller. Also, rackets can vary greatly in balance, being either head-heavy or grip-heavy. Additionally, rackets can be provided with a coating ("treatment") that is applied to the hitting surface. There are also different forms/thicknesses for the usually very rough coating. In general, the coating is intended to help with strokes where spin is used. At a professional level rackets are customized at a pro store.

Socks:

Beach Tennis is best played barefoot. However, if the sand gets too hot, Beach Tennis socks (neoprene socks) should be used to protect against burns. Thicker neoprene socks are also popular on cooler days to protect against the cold.

Federations

The sport Beach Tennis is officially managed by the ITF (International Tennis Federation). The structure is the same as for Tennis: the international umbrella organization is the ITF. This has the national umbrella organizations as stakeholders, such as the CBT in Brazil, the FITP in Italy or the DTB in Germany. These are then followed by the regional state associations.

The ITF has been running the sport of Beach Tennis since 2008 and is recognized as the most professional international tour in the world. The best players in the world all play on the ITF Tour, where by far the most prize money is paid out. Currently, a rapidly increasing number of players and tournaments can be seen, especially due to the Beach Tennis boom in Brazil. That's why higher categories and more prize money are being discussed. If you as a player have questions about the development of the tour, or have suggestions on how processes can be optimized, feel free to write in this group or contact the ITF Player Council in any other way.

Of course there are other international and national circuits. An example is the IFBT Tour and the International AMA Tour, where mostly amateurs participate. In Brazil, there are more and more circuits that are being formed due to the growing interest in the sport. One example is “Circuito Beach Tennis”. Below you will find a list with the respective links.

INTERNATIONAL CIRCUITS:

ITF Tour

IFBT Tour

International AMA Tour

Circuito Beach Tennis

NATIONAL CIRCUITS:

Aruba - BTA

Austria - OETV

Brazil - CBT

Canada - CBTA

Chile - FETECH

France - FFT

Germany - DTB

Italy - FITP

Japan - JFBT

Spain -RFET

Venezuela - FVT

...

ITF Tournament Info

ITF Categories, Ranking Points & Prize Money

RP = ITF Ranking Points

RC = Regional Championships (European, Pan-American, African Championships)

$ = Prize Money in US-Dollar per team - starting with the lowest possible amount per category. Additional tax reductions are made from this amount according to the national requirements of each country. This must be mentioned on the ITF factsheet, as well as the currency in which the prize money is paid.

No prize money for Regional Championships and for the World Cup.

Prize Money Distribution per Team:

Ranking Points: Qualification

RP = ITF Ranking Points

MD = Main Draw

QD = Qualification Draw

Ranking Points: Consolation

RP = ITF Ranking Points

Ranking Points: World Cup

RP = ITF Ranking Points

Entry Fee

The maximum entry fee may be charged per team per tournament (unless otherwise authorized by ITF), covering teams in both main draw and qualifying. Indoor events may charge an additional US$20 per team.

Important ITF links - ranking, (provisional) tournament calendar, IPIN etc.

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