Children are not young adults.
They are different physically, physiologically, emotionally, and socially. Therefore, youth sports should fit the special needs of children.
With 10 and Under Tennis kids can start playing tennis at the age of 4-5. In order to achieve this, for only the fifth time in the history of tennis, the Rules of Tennis have changed.
The most important changes are the equipment. Smaller courts, smaller sized racquets starting from 17’’ (compared to 27’’ full size racquets) and low pressure balls (Red, Orange, Green) allow kids to start playing tennis at a much younger age. This lets them enjoy the sport and have fun without frustrations of having trouble handling full size racquets and high and heavy bounce of regular balls.
Smaller an scalable courts
Smaller and scalable sized racquets
Low pressure balls for each age and stage of development.
Before the introduction of 10 and Under Tennis, kids had to be 7-8 years old to be able start playing tennis. In this case, ‘’starting playing tennis’’ refers to being able to hold the racquet and swing with success to connect with the ball once. This would allow the coach to teach proper technique and stroke mechanics. The first year or two of the beginning stage of learning was oriented on how to hit the ball before kids were able to play the game. Of course there were and still are kids with more than ordinary athletic abilities and sports specific talents who can do much more than hit the ball at that age, but still there are benefits for them in utilizing modified equipment even though they are able to handle the regular balls and full size courts.
Now with 10 and Under Tennis kids can start tennis at the age of 4-5 and progress through their development pathway until they’re ready to move on to the full size court, racquet and regular balls.
Benefits of starting tennis at the age of 4-5 may not show right away in terms of hitting the ball and sustaining rallies, but activities and games oriented at that stage helps them develop their basic motor skills, ball tracking, sending and receiving skills, reaction, racquet skills, social skills and over time all this is engraved in their muscle memory as they become better athletes at the later stages. By the time they are 7-8 they already know how to hit the ball and they start to learn how to play the ball.
In the chart below, you can see the varying court sizes for TAUT.
Since modified equipment and skills developed at earlier stages allows them to sustain longer rallies and play out the points, kids start to learn where to hit the ball, where to position themselves, how to score, and how to compete. They start to learn how to think on the court and problem solve, which in part will help them in later stages to be tactically smart and mentally strong players.
Develop basic motor skills
Increase receiving skills
Increase reaction time
History of SCJTL and 10 Under Tennis
In July 2006 the Suffolk County Junior Tennis League was among 27 sites selected throughout the Unites States to test the QuickStart Tennis format ( formerly known as Project 36/60).
August 10, 2007
Selected as "Specialist" to first
In one of the most important projects for young players in the United States the USTA Community Development and Player Development departments have joined forces to create QuickStart Tennis.
Update: November 9, 2007
Joe Arias certified as one of 34 National and just three QuickStart Specialists in New York State and the only one on Long Island.
QuickStart Tennis format is tennis scaled to the size and abilities of young players. It is based on six key specifications: court size, net height, age, ball speed and weight, size of racquet and scoring. QuickStart Tennis has been also known as 36/60 which reflects the length in feet of the courts for children under eight and ten years of age. A 36 foot court is used by eight and under children and a 60 foot court for children ten and under. This is a collaborative effort between the USTA Player Development and Community Tennis departments, TIA, USPTA, PTR, and Tennis Equipment Manufacturers.
The new USTA QuickStart Tennis format is a graduated length system to help young players achieve success. It converts school gymnasiums, playgrounds, or any level surface to a tennis playing area in seconds. This concept is spreading rapidly throughout the world, (known as Play and Stay ) and is being used extensively by many tennis federations including Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, England and Canada. Smaller courts and slower balls result in increased ball control and success, keeping a higher percentage of children coming back for more. The "36" portion turns a tennis court sideways and play from alley to alley, since the doubles sidelines are 36 feet apart. Caution tape becomes the net allowing 12 children to play at one time on one tennis court!
The "60" portion is stage two in the progression. A 60-foot court is created by moving the baseline 9 feet forward on each side. Low Compression tennis balls as a perfect transition to full-sized tennis.
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SCJTL Programs: 631-590-5019