Wheelchair tennis is an adapted sport, but one that is designed such that it can be played against able bodied tennis players. As the name indicates, the sport is played in a wheelchair, typically one that is specifically designed for the sport. Besides the general modifications seen on all sports chairs, cambered wheels with pneumatic tires, small casters, and no brakes, tennis chairs tend to be among the lightest of the sports chairs, and also tend to have a longer rear caster, to prevent tipping when leaning back for certain shots.
From a rules perspective, the only difference between able bodied tennis and wheelchair tennis is that the wheelchair player is permitted two bounces before hitting the ball. The first bounce, as is the case for able bodied, must be in the court, but the second can be anywhere. Thus, no additional burden is placed on the able bodied player. However, it is important to note that a common difficulty for able bodied players when they first play against a wheelchair player is the tendency to stop playing when the ball bounces a second time. For at least the first few games against a wheelchair player, the able bodied player needs to pay particular attention to the allowed number of bounces.
One of the great things about wheelchair tennis, besides just the sheer amount of fun that it is, is the fact the wheelchair players can play against their able bodied peers. I routinely play with the men’s doubles group at my club, even though I’m the only wheelchair player. One of our local junior players plays on her high school JV team, again, as the only wheelchair player, then moved on to be a captain of the varsity team. For the recreational player, this opens up significant opportunities to interact with their able bodied friends, and make new ones, in ways that were not feasible before the advent of wheelchair tennis.
Wheelchair Tennis San Diego Program
Wheelchair Tennis San Diego is a program of the Barnes Tennis Center in Point Loma. We meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 6-8ish. The program has two features. The first is to provide a place to play for current wheelchair players. All are welcome, but in order to play with the group, the manager of the program will need to evaluate your ability. For those familiar with the divisions of USTA Wheelchair tennis, basically anyone from C division through Open will be able to join in. On occasion, we do provide drills for the whole group. We will announce these as they occur.
Anyone in the D division or new to the game can participate in our coaching program. Coaching is provided on Tuesday evenings from 6-7. It is imperative that anyone interested in coming out for coaching inform the mailing list no later then Monday evening. The main reason for this is so that our coach is able to find someone to replace him in the main group.
In order to subscribe the mail group, click this link and fill out the form. After your subscription is approved, please email the group and introduce yourself. Let us know a bit about you and your background with tennis.