There are more opportunities for people who are blind or partially sighted to play tennis than ever before. And we’re delighted to say, more and more people are taking it up.
The visually impaired (VI) version of the game is played on a smaller court than usual, with a lower net. We also use an audible ball so you can hear it bounce. Depending on your sight, you’re allowed up to three bounces before returning.
Give it a go. You’ll find it’s great fun and there’s a really good social side too. To find a session near you visit our find your local session interactive map or click here for a list of sessions in an accessible document.
To find out more information about VI tennis, how you can get involved, sight classifications, rules of the game and coaching guidance please read our Guide to Visually Impaired Tennis (for an accessible version please click here).
British Blind Sport Have a Go Days
The Tennis Foundation is delivering tennis taster sessions at the majority of the British Blind Sport Have a Go Days. If you are looking to try tennis then why not head to your nearest Have a Go Day (information can be found online here).
Visually impaired tennis clubs around the country will be hosting camps throughout the year. The camps are a great way to develop your tennis in a fun and sociable environment.
Come and compete
The Tennis Foundation runs an array of VI tennis tournaments for blind and partially sighted players of all abilities, junior and senior. The Regional Visually Impaired Tennis Tournaments are hosted across the UK with the National Visually Impaired Tennis Championships taking place in October. Details on 2017 tournaments can be found below. Come and compete
|Date||Event||Location||How to enter|
|18 February||Visually Impaired Regional Tennis Tournament||Dan Maskell Tennis Centre, Loughborough University||Online entry form|
|8 – 9 April||Visually Impaired Regional Tennis Tournament||David Lloyd Club, York||Online entry form|
|13 – 14 May||Visually Impaired Regional Tennis Tournament||The Northumberland Club, Newcastle||Online entry form|
|15 – 16 July||Visually Impaired Regional Tennis Tournament||Hills Road Sports Centre, Cambridge||Online entry form|
|26 August||Visually Impaired Regional Tennis Tournament||Sutton Sports Academy, Sutton||Online entry form|
|17 September||Visually Impaired Regional Tennis Tournament||Edgbaston Priory Tennis Club, Birmingham||Online entry form|
|6-8 October||National Visually Impaired Tennis Championships||Dan Maskell Tennis Centre, Loughborough University||Online entry form|
The Tennis Foundation supported a GB team which competed at the first Blind Tennis International Tournament in Spain in May 2017. For more information on the tournament please visit http://ibta-takei.com/blind-tennis-international-tournament-spain-2017. The GB team of six players was announced in April (see Team Announcement), and you can see how they got on by clicking here – including finding out which of the team won their classification to become the first ever World Number 1!
The Visually Impaired Awards are our way of celebrating the game of VI tennis for those who are blind or partially sighted and the people who help drive this game forward – volunteers, coaches and contributors to the game. It’s our way of saying a big thank you to everyone involved in the sport.
The Awards recognise great work at local, regional and/or national level so please do nominate someone who you feel should be awarded for their valuable contribution over the past year. The 2016 winners were:
Jane Thomas – Coach of the Year
Linda Almond – Volunteer of the Year
Louise Assioun – Contribution of the Year
Visually Impaired Tennis Advisory Group
The Advisory Group, consisting of various stakeholders involved in the sport, aims to support the development of VI tennis within the UK. The Group meet 3-4 times a year to discuss matters including rules/regulations, competitions, classifications and international engagement.
- 23rd June 2016, Roehampton
- 14th October 2016, Roehampton
- 12th January 2017, Roehampton
- 23rd March 2017, Kings Cross London
- 1st June 2017, London
- Next meeting – autumn 2017 (TBC)
- Representatives from the Tennis Foundation
- Representatives from British Blind Sport (visit www.britishblindsport.org.uk for more information)
- Representative from International Blind Tennis Association – Amanda Green (visit www.ibta-takei.com for more information).
- Representative from the South region – Amanda Green from Metro Blind Sports (visit www.metroblindsport.org for more information). Metro Blind Sport, at times, have a stock of the Japanese VI tennis ball if you require any.
- Representative from the North region – Steve Trewick from North East Visually Impaired Tennis Club (visit www.nevitc.org.uk for more information)
- Representative from the East and Midlands region – Fiona Musgrove from Vision4Growth (visit www.vision4growth.org.uk for more information). Vision4Growth, at times, have a stock of the Japanese VI tennis ball if you require any.
- Coaching representatives – Andy Crockett and David Vellala
- B1 player representative – Roy Turnham
Fast track for talent
If you’ve got the talent to progress from playing for fun to competing at the highest level the Game On guide is for you. It gives you the lowdown on the different pathways you can follow to reach the summit of the sport. Please click here for an accessible version of the Game On guide.