Tennisopolis : Tennis Social Network

"New Tennis" : new rules for making the game even more fun, exciting, and fast-paced.

Well, I probably should be working but am going to take a few minutes off to quickly write about tennis things on my mind for years. I think the game of tennis needs to change its rules to keep up with the times.

Example: why is there a rule that disallows volleyball style serve? If you can visualize a volleyball service, the player stands back from the baseline several feet, then rushes forward several steps, tosses the ball, then jumps up and strikes. According to current tennis rules, you can't do that -- you can't do that kind of forward movement. The feet must be set prior to striking the ball, with an allowance for jumping up to strike the ball -- so long as the jump begins from a feet set position. But . . . if you tried the volleyball rush-forward-toss-jump-and-strike, and you time the hit right, you'll see amazing power because of the physics of the motion. More importantly, it's actually fun.

Also: I see the volleyball style serve as a way for 5'5" guys like me to neutralize the advantage that large guys over 6'0" have in the game today. When I was playing years ago (70s and 80s) on the public courts, I don't recall seeing so many larger guys playing the game like you do today -- they played mainly pick-up basketball then. I think it has to do with the phenomenal power that the new equipment gives to large guys. Certainly the new materials have given more power to small guys like me, too -- but I think it's disproportionately changed for the better for large-framed guys. The volleyball style serve would neutralize this advantage, in my opinion.

The other rule change I'd like to see has to do with playing left-handed players. Since I am a righty, if I'm playing a lefty, I want to be able to serve first into the part of the court we now call the "add" side. That way, the rules neutralize the advantage that lefties have under current rule, where they can continually slice it to my dumpy backhand when serving to the add-side. I, too, should have the same privilege, since after all, the slice is the most natural serve for beginner-intermediates like me.

Finally, I think all games should be no-add. This is especially important on public courts -- let's speed up the game. There's no reason why two (or four) players should take the full hour to play a set to see who wins -- if players warm-up for ten minutes then play a set that takes another 35 to 40 minutes, then quit the court ten minutes ahead of the schedule hour of play and let the next people on.

Another change I'd like to see doesn't have to do with tennis rules per see but tennis custom. Two players who are simply hitting (i.e. not playing a set) for the whole duration of their hour playing time should let another pair do the same on one side of the court. There's absolutely no reason why two people should hog the whole court for a full hour when there are others waiting.

So, my hope is that tennis players begin to adopt these changes on tennis court across the USA. Before playing, they could agree, are we going to play by "New Tennis" rules or by the traditional rules?

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Comment by Tony Daysog on August 7, 2010 at 8:52am
One more thing I'd like people to consider: tennis tournaments for players 4.0 and below should always be round-robin. The idea that I only get to play one round (since I'm a bit of a hack) and that's it -- one and done -- man, that kind of gets to me. After all, I'm paying full-fare to play this or that tournament, right? For heaven's sake, let me play at least three times, even if I lose each! And please, always guarantee a t-shirt!

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