Dear Luminaries,

First, I’d like to reiterate my support for all the work everyone is doing to infuse new energy into the sport we love. Since we’re in what I feel is a new phase, inevitable questions have been raised, specifically having to do with rules and what truly makes and defines our game. Fair questions all. As such I’d like to offer a proposal and possible solution that may be OK with most of us.

As we all know, our sport has a couple of accepted variations, bucket and no bucket. More recently, some of us have chosen to play some sets with new rules (lets on serve, receivers’ option, fences, overhead serves etc.). The big question I’ve been hearing from everyone is, what rules are we going to adopt as the ‘official rules of Pop Tennis?’. I believe we’re asking the wrong question. I will digress for a minute.

Picture an English dictionary. A dictionary does not dictate the words we MUST use when we speak English. A dictionary simply REFLECTS the language that the people use. It changes, fluctuates, updates and refreshes itself constantly. It reflects the reality that already exists. And the reality of Pop Tennis is that people like different styles of play- some people like to play bucket, some people prefer no bucket, fences, lets, receivers switching sides, and overhead serves, and many variations thereof. If you disagree with this you haven’t been paying attention. We as a Pop Tennis community should embrace not discredit new ideas, options, and ways to have fun. Pop Tennis should be vibrant, dynamic, young, urban, hip and fun – just like its mecca – Venice Beach.

And as such, I would love to see our pop Tennis Rule Book (I prefer the term ‘Guidelines’), reflecting this reality. I recently, saw a group of very good players from Pepperdine who wanted to play with racketball rackets and a nerf sponge ball. They were having the time of their lives. Who was I to tell them, ‘Hey, you shouldn’t play like that, you need to play with paddles and a deflated tennis ball’? I don’t think even the most fundamentalist among us would think twice about not letting them have their fun. Heck, maybe their crazy game was more fun – their points sure were lasting longer than ours do.

So all I ask is that our Pop Tennis Guidelines, list the ‘traditional rules’ by which most of us play (scoring, lines, etc.) and at the end include a clause that says that there are a number of variations that players may include or opt for, and that players can adopt their own rules if all players agree. I know the inevitable question is – so what do we do about tournaments? Of course, the tournament committee or the sponsor can set the official tournament rules, but wouldn’t it be fantastic (again reflecting the reality of our sport) if the tournament allowed the 4 players in each matchup to play whatever style they wanted? Clearly, if players don’t agree on what style to play, they must play the default setting – the one decided on by the tournament committee. And to those who say, “It’s confusing to the spectators.” Honestly, so what? They’ll catch on.

Thanks for reading. I don’t have all the answers, but I think that honest and open discussion during this new chapter in our sport can’t hurt.

 Roberto Donati

Thank you for visiting POPTennis.comTennis is Poppin’!  We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you on the court.

POP Tennis is growing and quickly spreading across the world. To provide more information to the growing team of players of all ages, we are reconstructing and adding to

Some of the improvements and additions that you will see in the coming months will include the following;

Membership Opportunities: POP Tennis will make it easy to join the movement and be part of the cool social sport.

POP Ambassadors: Get involved and receive information on how to spread the word and sport of POP Tennis. We need leaders in the sport and want you to be one of them.

Clubs, Tournaments, Play Dates & Leagues: As more clubs sign up, you will easily be able to find a place to play, be social and have fun.

POP Tennis Newsletter: Stay updated and read about other POP enthusiasts.

Equipment: Information on where and how to purchase your favorite POP racquets, green dot low compression balls and cool POP swag.

We know you are excited to learn more and get back on the court so we will leave some introductions and announcements to the near future.

In the meantime, if you are interested in reading the history of Classic POP Tennis, videos, news links and other cool stuff continue on our current website.

Be sure to mark your calendars for July 29-30 for the N.Y. Open and October 7-8 for the Venice Beach Open!

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Thanks again and Keep Poppin’!