10 and Under Tennis, featuring the 10 and under tennis play format, is a top priority for the USTA as it is the future of tennis. 10 and Under Tennis is designed and structured for kids to learn, rally and play quickly in a way that is both enjoyable and rewarding. Following this new format ARARAT has designed and is launching ATP4Kids which will follow the USTA 10 and under program with one big difference! We’ll be utilizing our North Campus facility to provide the program in a climate controlled, indoor facility, allowing kids to participate year around.
Although different than what most adults grew up with, tailoring tennis equipment and court sizes for those under the age of 10 makes sense. Think about it…you do not see kids playing soccer or baseball with adult-sized equipment or on regulation size fields, and now with 10 and Under Tennis using the 10 and Under tennis play format, you will not see tennis players doing that either. You also won’t see players waiting in lines to hit the ball or see tennis balls bouncing over a child’s head. What you will see is kids having success and enjoying the game right away, while wanting to come back for more and developing a passion for this lifetime sport.
“Scaling tennis down to the size of children promotes greater participation and ensures that young kids can play tennis much more quickly,” said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. “10 and Under Tennis is critical to the long-term growth of our sport, and ultimately will help us develop new generations of talented players.”
One of the biggest challenges facing 10 and Under Tennis is educating the masses, whether it is parents, facilities, teaching professional and others, about the advantages of using the modified equipment, court sizes and training techniques found with the 10 and Under tennis play format.
10 and Under Tennis using modified equipment offers young people the opportunity to pick up the game more quickly while ensuring they are still having fun in the process.
For an adult player to succeed at tennis, racquet control is essential. Same goes for kids. But since kids are smaller than adults, kids have trouble controlling full-size racquets. They’re too long, they’re too heavy, and the grips are too large. Kids need racquets that are proportionate in length and weight and have a grip that fits their smaller hands.
For 8 and under, the racquet should be 19, 21 or 23 inches.
For 10 and under, the racquet should be 23 or 25 inches.
Kids need a ball that’s sized and paced to their playing abilities. A regulation tennis ball moves too fast, bounces too high and is too heavy for their smaller racquet. Each age group, therefore, uses a ball better suited to their size and unique playing ability.
For 8 and Under, a RED foam or felt ball or a very low compression ball moves slower, bounces lower and travels less distance.
For 10 and Under, an ORANGE or GREEN low compression ball moves a little faster and travels farther than the ball used with the younger group, but it still has a lower bounce than a traditional yellow ball.
The 10 and Under tennis play format uses courts and nets that are scaled to the size and ability level of young children.
For 8 and Under, children will play on a court that is 36-feet long and 18-feet wide. The net is 18 feet long and 2 feet, 9-inches in height. Portable nets and support systems are available from many manufacturers, or temporary nets can be constructed using tape or caution tape tied to existing nets, fences or even chairs.
For 10 and Under, a regulation net is used on the 60-foot court. If you are not using an existing court and net, the net height for the 60-foot court is three feet.
The scoring system has been modified as well. Gone is the traditional 15, 30, 40, deuce system. This type of scoring allows adaptability according to play level and tournament conditions.
For 8 and Under, there are only seven points in a game, so match play is short and sweet. Kids play the best of three games; the first to score seven points wins the game. The first to win two games wins the match. The longest the match will last is approximately 20 minutes.
For 10 and Under, players should play the best-of-three sets; the first to win four games wins a set. For the third set, the first player to win a seven point tiebreaker wins the match.
Click here to view more details about Ararat Tennis Program for Kids, including session/scheduling information.