Has Disney infiltrated ITF too?
By Tennis Week
The ITF will take tennis to a new surface next year: sand. The International Tennis Federation announced the launch of the ITF Beach Tennis Tour in 2008.
Beach tennis merges the worlds of tennis and beach volleyball into one sport. The sport is predominantly played as doubles on a court similar to beach volleyball, with players using paddle bats and a slightly depressurized tennis ball. Regular tennis scoring is used, with no-advantage at deuce, no second serve and no let. And of course the ball does not bounce. A relatively small number of nations are currently active in beach tennis, but with 205 National Associations affiliated to the ITF, together with six Regional Associations, the potential for growth around the world is significant.
The 2008 Calendar will consist of National Association sanctioned and/or organized tournaments worldwide, which will offer international ranking points to participants, according to the ITF. Players will be ranked individually based on their results in doubles events only.
"The introduction of the Beach Tennis Tour will assist the ITF in its overall objective of growing and developing tennis at all levels," ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti said. "Beach tennis is a unique and fun alternative of playing the sport, which we hope will widen the appeal of the sport to players of all ages."
The inaugural ITF Beach Tennis Tour will bring the number of ITF-sanctioned Circuits to six. Beach tennis joins the ITF Junior Circuit, ITF Men’s Circuit, ITF Women’s Circuit, ITF Seniors Circuit and NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour. Beach Tennis activities will come under the responsibility of the ITF Professional Tennis Department.
Rules of Beach Tennis and Rules of the Beach Tennis Tour, together with application forms to stage ITF-approved Beach Tennis tournaments can all be found www.itftennis.com/beachtennis.hierachy