HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (Jan. 20, 2016) — The tennis industry has promoted play on shorter 36-foot and 60-foot tennis courts for a number of years versus the full-size 78-foot tennis court. The shorter courts help players of all ages get active and learn the game in a fun and exciting way. Now, the game of tennis played on 36- and 60-foot courts gets a major boost through the U.S. POP Tennis Association.
POP Tennis uses shorter tennis courts, lower pressure balls and shorter racquets. “POP Tennis is a sport that everyone can immediately play and enjoy,” says Ken Lindner, the president of the U.S. POP Tennis Association and POP Tennis Hall-of-Fame player. “We’ve rebranded what used to be called ‘paddle tennis’ into POP Tennis, a fun and exciting sport that pops!
“We are standardizing the size of POP Tennis courts so the game can also be played on the thousands of 36-foot and 60-foot tennis courts already in use and being built across the U.S.,” Lindner adds. “POP Tennis has also adopted the lower pressure Red and Orange tennis balls that have been used for many years throughout the country for both youth and adult tennis programs and competition.”
POP Tennis on 36- and 60-foot tennis courts is the same as tennis on a full-size 78-foot court, except that in POP Tennis, the serve is underhand and players only get one serve. All other rules and scoring are the same, as well as the strokes, footwork and strategies. Currently, there are more than 18,000 standalone or lined 36- and 60-foot tennis courts in the U.S., many developed with the assistance of the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) facilities grant program.
“Unlike sports that require prior lessons, children and adults of all ages and abilities can just grab a racquet and a ball and have a fantastic time on a 36-foot or 60-foot court, which makes POP Tennis a great family activity,” Lindner says. “Tennis and POP Tennis are totally complementary and compatible sports. POP Tennis is a form of tennis—just about every youngster who has ever picked up a POP Tennis racquet has transitioned naturally and inevitably to play tennis in high school, college, and/or socially.”
“For tennis providers, offering POP Tennis at facilities and parks will help bring more people of all ages into tennis and drive revenue for tennis businesses,” says Jolyn de Boer, executive director of the Tennis Industry Association (TIA). “POP Tennis is a perfect fit for all facilities, especially those who are facing demands from short-court alternative forms of tennis that impact existing tennis infrastructure.”
POP Tennis has already garnered attention throughout the country, including a national feature story on NBC’s “Today” show, in which reporter Jenna Wolfe explained why POP Tennis is so easy and fun to play, and why it will spread quickly nationally and internationally. POP Tennis also has been featured on news shows in cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, San Diego, and a host of others.
“For adults who are new or returning to tennis, for children starting out in the sport, and for those who may not feel they can move as well as they used to, tennis on shorter courts makes perfect sense,” says Lindner. “But POP Tennis is also helping currently active people maintain and improve their health and fitness, because it’s incredibly fun to play. It will keep people on the courts and playing tennis throughout their lives.”
Playing POP Tennis also has advantages for those who enjoy a bit more competition. Current and former professional tennis players, such as Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, John McEnroe, Mardy Fish, Sam Querrey, Alison Riske, Derrick Rostagno, Stevie Johnson, Vinnie Van Patten and others have played POP Tennis for fun. “These top tennis players, along with everyone else who plays POP Tennis, know that POP Tennis helps improve your tennis game, especially hand-eye coordination, reaction time, court movement, groundstrokes, and volleying,” Lindner notes.
A few years ago, the World Singles POP Tennis Championship was held in Las Vegas, in conjunction with a men’s ATP World Tour professional tennis tournament, and a number of pro tour tennis players entered. Capturing the men’s World Singles POP Tennis title was top tennis pro Gael Monfils, currently ranked No. 25 on the ATP World Tour.
Visit POPTennis.com for more information.
About the TIA
The Tennis Industry Association, the not-for-profit trade association for tennis, is THE unifying force in the tennis industry whose mission is to promote the growth and economic vitality of tennis by working closely with the U.S. Tennis Association and industry partners to develop and implement initiatives to increase tennis participation and improve the health of industry businesses. Core TIA activities include producing more than 70 research reports annually on participation and consumer/trade research, in addition to Grow the Game Initiatives such as PlayTennis.com, 10 and Under Tennis, the GrowingTennis System™, Tennis Welcome Centers, Cardio Tennis, Careers in Tennis and Tennis Tune-Up Campaign. Visit TennisIndustry.org or call 866-686-3036.