Official Tennis Rules
Once you learn the official tennis rules and practice playing tennis, you will have a fun diversion you can turn to for many years to come. Playing tennis is like riding a bicycle in that you can remember how to do it even if you haven't practiced for years. If you remember these official tennis rules, you can just grab a partner and some gear, find an empty court and enjoy the game.
- Playing The official tennis rules state that tennis opponents must stand on opposite sides of the net. One player will start as the "server" (players will switch off) and he or she must toss the tennis ball in the air, hit it with the racket and successfully hit the ball into the service area diagonally opposite. The other player must successfully return the shot over the net and within the confines of the court. The player who misses, hits out of bounds or does not hit the ball over the net first loses the point.
- The court Tennis is a very particular sport in that you can't play it just anywhere. A court has to be 78-feet by 27-feet wide (36-feet wide for doubles). In addition, a tennis court must be divided in half by a regulation tennis net. The ends of the court are called the baselines and the sides are called the sidelines.
- Other elements of the court Professional tennis matches feature other elements that practice matches do not. According to official tennis rules, an official tennis court has backstops and sidestops, along with umpires, ball persons and areas for spectators. These features add to the excitement of the game during a professional match, though they are of course not necessary for practice or for amateur games.
- Gear Official tennis rules state that regulation tennis balls and rackets must be used during a match. In addition, event coordinators must announce how many tennis balls are used during a match and how the ball change policy will work. Broken rackets can be replaced, but generally players who cause game delays can be given point penalties.
- Scoring Tennis is a sport that is very unusual in that, with tennis scoring, there are several points in a game, several "games" in a set and several sets in a match. In addition, a score of zero is referred to as "love," with subsequent points referred to as "15," "30," "40" and "Game." The player serving will call out the score for every point.
While you may not need to know all of these official tennis rules and regulations to enjoy rallying back and forth with a friend, they can be fun to know anyway. Sometimes a casual game can be fun, but a match that takes all the rules into account can make for more satisfying competition.