Wheelchair tennis is a sport of inclusion. According to Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, adaptive and able-bodied athletes can play the sport together with the right equipment.
Wheelchair tennis can be played the following ways:
- Singles wheelchair athlete vs. wheelchair athlete
- Singles wheelchair athlete vs. stand up athlete
- Doubles wheelchair athletes vs. wheelchair athletes
- Doubles wheelchair athletes vs. stand up athletes
- Doubles 1 up 1 down (wheelchair athlete and stand up athlete together on both sides)
There is only one rule in wheelchair tennis that separates it from regular tennis. “The tennis ball is allowed to bounce twice before a return must be made, of which only the first bounce must be within the lines of the court,” states Magee Rehabilitation Hospital. Otherwise the rules of wheelchair tennis are the same as regular tennis.
There are specific wheelchairs made for wheelchair tennis. The tennis chair has wheels that are angled to account for the fast and smooth turns needed for returns. The tennis chair also has two small wheels located in the front next to the footrest and one wheel centered in the back for support. Tennis chairs are lighter than the everyday chair which makes it easier for athletes to move around the court. However, sport chairs are only needed for competitions. Don’t be afraid to go ot on the court in your everyday chair to enjoy the sport!
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