There is no set scoring system that must be followed in 10/u competitions. The following scoring options are included in the ITF’s Rules of Tennis, to allow competitions to tailor matches to the needs of their 10-and-under players:
- one match tiebreak to seven or 10
- best of three match tiebreaks to seven
- one short set (first to four games)
- Best of three short sets (first to four games)
- Tiebreak instead of a third set
- No-ad scoring (play one game point at deuce).
Also, instead of using single elimination formats, multi-match formats and ‘tennis festivals’ are recommended, which involve all players playing more than one match (e.g. round robin, compass draw), to ensure that all children play the same number of matches. Timed matches can help with effective organisation and rotation.
Team-based matches are strongly recommended for 10/u players, especially at Red and Orange stage.
Kids and scoring
For young children, learning to score is a gradual process. Mistakes will be made and at first it may help to ensure there is adult supervision. Try encouraging your young players to learn about the rules of tennis at practice sessions or during coaching lessons.
As kids progress, so too will their ability to score their own matches. Use the following as a guide.
Adults or assistants should keep score, though older Red players may be able to score themselves. Try using a visual scoreboard; for example, pegs and cones, which may help children to learn how to score.
Encourage children to score their own matches with adults or assistants as supervisors.
Players should be able to keep their own score.