The main differences from regular tennis
- The court dimensions:
- 12 x 5 metres for singles
- 12 x 6 metres for doubles (by creating a tramline 50 cm from the singles sideline on each side). The rest of the internal dimensions are in the diagram below
- The net height at the posts must be no shorter than 80cm (31.5in) and no higher than 91.5cm (36in). In tour events like Masters and Slams the net height minimum is 85cm. For smaller events and for social play you can use pretty much any mini net and it will probably be no lower than 80cm but its always worth checking. Especially when you know some ridiculous 6-4 Karlovic style players are likely to show up.
- Racquets must be no shorter than 20.8 inches and no longer than 21.5 inches. Most manufacturers "21 inch" racquets fall within this variation despite being labelled as 21 inches in length. Head size may be no greater than 107 sq inches;
- The official ball of touchtennis is the touchtennis ball which is 8CM in diameter and made from cut foam. It really does make all the difference.
- If the racquet leaves your hand in order to make a shot, then that shot will still count so long as your racquet does not fly over the net on to your opponents side of the court;
- If once you are disarmed and you have made a shot with your racquet throw, then you may continue that rally with your body parts! Note though, that you MUST have made the shot prior to this with a racquet that was NOT in your hand and thrown to make it
- No Let Rule – if the ball clips the net and then lands in the correct service box (diagonal to the server) then that ball is considered "in play"
- Grunting – it is recommended that you grunt during play as it is known to distract your opponent!
- Ball toss – once the server tosses the ball upward to serve then that player is obliged to hit it. Unlike tennis we do not want any Pat Rafter specials of 10 ball tosses followed by "Sorry mate!" You throw it, HIT IT! Or you lose one of your serves
- If your serve hits your opponent without bouncing then it is a fault UNLESS they are touching the service line or are inside the service box when the ball hits them in which case the server wins the point.
- A serve may not be volleyed back by the returner
- Only ONE serve is permitted in touchtennis
Rules for tournament play
- You must be 16 or over on the date of the event. No exceptions may be made to this rule by an organiser
- Warm ups are prohibited after your first match. Once each player has played an initial match no further pre match warm ups are permitted on that day. Should a tournament stretch over more than one day then a further 3 minute warm up is permitted for each player assuming one or both of them have not played before on that day in a tournament match;
- Foul language: One audible obscenity of any description is an IMMEDIATE point penalty. 3 audible obscenities in a match means immediate disqualification
- Racquet abuse: If you smash a racquet you are immediately disqualified. You are also fined £20.00 which must be paid prior to playing any further tour matches. However, if you do no damage and you can still play with it, then you may continue playing as long as you use the same racquet for the rest of the match…even if you break a string during the match after you have whacked it against something, you still need to continue using it.
- Serving: Overarm or underarm serving is permitted but it is mandatory to inform your opponent that you are about to serve underarm. This also allows people to abuse you for taking the soft option!
- If you win the toss in doubles you can either choose to serve, or choose which member of the opposing team serves first!
Scoring Format for Tournament Play & Prize Money
- We use short sets to 4 games and if a set goes to 4 games all then a tiebreak is played
- Each game is scored like a normal tennis game i.e 15-0 30-0 40-0 game with the exception of games where the score reaches deuce (40-40). At this point a deciding point is played and the receiver decides which side the server must serve to. This point decides the winner of the game. Its also referred to as a sudden death point. You don't return to deuce. (this is also played at 4 points all in a tiebreak - see below)
- In all events that are NOT slams (one of the 4 major trophies) all matches including doubles are played as best of 3 sets (first to win 2 out of the 3 sets wins).
- The 3rd set is also played fully to 4 games and at 4-4 a tiebreak is played
- In doubles matches the 3rd set is a match tiebreak and it is played to 7 points
- Singles tie breaks are first to 5 points. Players change ends every 4 points. At 4-4 in a tiebreak a deciding point is played. The receiver at that point decides whether to take the serve on the deuce side or ad side.
- In Slams we play best of 5 sets
- Prize money is only payable to those players that actually win a match. You don't qualify for prize money if you get a bye and then get smoked in your first match! You have to win a match first!