Game rules

The ITF (International Tennis Federation) Rules for Tennis apply with the following exceptions:

Rule 1: The Court

  • B1 Court: A standard court of 12,80m x 6,10m with tactile lines on all lines except service boxes. The net height will be 0,83m
  • B2 & B3 Court: A standard court of 18,28m x 8,23m (for doubles 18,98 x 10,97). The net height will be 0,90m.

Rule 2: The Ball

  • A standard Blind Tennis ball shall be used.
  • For international tournaments the current Japanese ball must be used. The host country organizers will decide the colour of the ball depending on the colour of the venue.
  • It is intended that there should be the greatest possible contrast between the ball and the color of the court.
  • We recommend that you inform players of color of the ball in tournament entry and color of the court.

Rule 3: The Racket

Any racket accepted by the ITF in accordance with court sizes.

  • For the B1 game a maximum of 23 inches.
  • For the B2 & B3 game a maximum of 25 inches.

Rule 4: Server & Receiver

Both the server and the receiver may ask an umpire or ball person their own position on court, in order to locate on the court.

Rule 5: When to Serve & Receive

Before starting the service motion the server must call “ready?” and wait for the receiver to reply “yes”. The server then has 5 seconds to serve the ball during which time s/he may not alter their position on the court.  The server must shout “play” immediately before hitting the ball.

Rule 6: Player Loses Point

  • A B1 or B2 player loses the point if s/he does not return the ball before the fourth bounce (3 bounces permitted).
  • A B3 player loses the point if s/he does not return the ball before the third bounce (2 bounces permitted).
  • A sighted player loses the point if s/he does not return the ball before the second bounce (1 bounce permitted).
    Note: At all times the first bounce must be within the court or, in the case of a serve, within the appropriate service court. Any additional bounces may be inside or outside the court.
  • If the player who receives the ball is struck by the ball whilst standing outside the boundary of the court before the first bounce, it is a point for the player.
  • If a player is struck by the ball whilst standing inside the boundary of the court before the first bounce, it is a point for the opponent.

Rule 7: Sight Classification Information

  • The International Blind Sports Association (IBSA) sight classifications apply to blind tennis; these are currently B1, B2 and B3.
  • IBTA will provide sight classifications for international tournaments
  • B1 players must wear a standard Paralympic approved mask. The mask may only be removed once per game and between games.
  • B1: Anyone with a sight classification is eligible to play the B1 game if he/her wears a mask / blindfold.
  • B2: If a B2 player chooses to play in a B3 category they must adapt to the B3 rule of 2 bounces.
  • B3: B3 players may not play in a B2 category.

Rule 8: Requirements to Play in International Tournaments

  • Players must be affiliated to the Association of the country they belong to.
  • Players will not be accepted into an international tournament without a sight classification provided by IBTA.
  • The national representative from each country will decide on the players who will attend international tournaments.
  • Volley is allowed in all the categories.

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