For years most sports have taught children the basics through the use of smaller or modified equipment and a reduced playing area. This approach helps children learn new skills faster and easier. It also means kids experience success early, which means there is a better chance that they will enjoy themselves and want to play again.
But tennis has lagged behind. In the past, children were taught on a full-size court with a yellow ball. For small children, the court is too big to cover and the ball bounces too high for them. This can cause problems with stroke development and it’s frustrating for kids.
Using slower red, orange or green balls and smaller courts will help put an end to these problems and give kids the chance to serve, rally and score right from their first time on court.
The low-compression red, orange and green balls are slower and don’t bounce as high, which gives kids more time to hit the ball and it encourages correct stroke technique.
The smaller courts are great for young players who progress to larger playing areas when they are ready.
Add to this racquets that are the correct size for kids and chances are their first tennis experience will be a great one.
This change applies to all Tennis Australia sanctioned 10-and-under competitions and comes into effect from 1 January 2012. All 10 and under competitions should use the appropriate low-compression red, orange or green ball for each age group and matches should be played on the approved smaller courts. In open-age tournaments/competitions it is recommended that the lower grades use red, orange or green low-compression balls.
You can find more information about the balls, courts, smaller racquets, temporary lines, scoring, where to purchase equipment and Tennis Australia’s kids starter program, MLC Tennis Hot Shots, in the following pages:
|> Low-compression balls||> Scoring|
|> Courts, Nets and Lines||> Purchase equipment|
|> Racquets||> MLC Tennis Hot Shots|