Tennis 10s play + stay
SFS Performance Tennis - Mini Tennis Line Sets

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"I have recently been testing a brand new product that I think will be of interest to many coaches. Tennis 10s is a vital programme in world tennis - both for players and coaches. In Ireland, developing Tennis 10s to the degree it demands has been held back slightly due to the fact that very few permanent red or orange courts exist. Coaches have always had to create the court using throw down lines, markers etc. But what I hear from coaches is that the lines that are currently in the marketplace are not ideal for this function. I think the solution just might have arrived... The new lines that I have been experimenting with are made from silicon rubber. This gives the product a 'sticky' feel, and I found that this ensures that it lies flush to the court surface. These lines have been designed very specifically for Tennis 10s, cut to length and complete with helpful markings for easy alignment."

Peter Farrell
Tennis Ireland Coaches
Association Development Officer

Tennis 10s Explained

Tennis 10s is tennis competition for players aged 10 and under. The ITF recommend that players aged 10 and under do not train or play competition with a regular yellow ball on a full court, but instead train and compete with a Red, Orange or Green ball on the appropriate sized court.

Download the Tennis 10s Manual / Download the Tennis 10s leaflet

Using these slower balls will help players to develop the most efficient technique, and to implement advanced tactics, that in most cases could not be performed using the yellow ball on the full court.

Tennis 10s is part of the ITF’s ‘Tennis Play and Stay’ campaign

Formats and scoring systems

The following scoring systems are included in the Rules of Tennis, to tailor competitions to the needs of 10 and under players:

  • 1 match tiebreak to 7 or 10
  • Best of 3 match tiebreaks to 7
  • 1 short set (1st to 4 games)
  • Best of 3 short sets (1st to 4 games)
  • Tiebreak instead of a 3rd set
  • No ad scoring (play 1 game point at deuce)

A combination of these Instead of using single elimination formats, multi-match formats and ‘tennis festivals’ are recommended, which involve all players playing more than one match (e.g. round robin, compass draw), to ensure that all children play the same number of matches. Timed matches can help with effective organisation and rotation.

Team based matches are strongly recommended for 10 and under players, especially at Red and Orange.

10 and under programmes generally cover players aged 4-10 and the ITF advises a progression through Red, Orange and Green for all players in this age range. See the Homepage or Equipment section for further details of stages and equipment for Mini players.

Introducing tennis to young starter players in the right way is critical. As well as helping players to develop a range of physical skills, the red, orange and green stages, gradually teach tactical and technical elements of the game on smaller courts using slower balls. Appropriate competition is also very important in making tennis fun and stimulating for young starter players.

The ITF stress that slower balls should be used by all players aged 10 and under, as they help players develop advanced tactics and technique. Some nations mandate competition so that players 10&U only use slower balls, except for very few, exceptionally talented players.

Many nations around the world have well-established 10 and under programmes, supported by a range of resources and articles - many of which can be accessed through this section.