Blind and Visually Impaired Tennis
Blind and visually impaired tennis can be played between blind/visually impaired and sighted players, sighted player will be either blindfolded or in some cases wear glasses that seriously restrict their vision. The game involved heightened sounds to aid the players, hence the name “sound ball”.
Rules of the Game:
The sport is played on either a tennis or badminton court and players use shorter rackets and a foam ball that is softer and slower than a standard tennis ball. A device is inserted inside the ball to create a sound when hit to help identify when it has been hit and from roughly where on the court.
The server calls out “Ready” followed by “Play” as the ball is served. Balls may bounce either two or three times before being hit depending on the player’s level of sight, for blind person it can bounce three times, for a visually impaired person it is twice.
Fully sighted players can take part but will either be blind folded or have their vision seriously restricted by other means such as glasses. Rules vary slightly between fully sighted, vision impaired and blind players.
Find sites of blind and visually impaired (sound ball) interest listed below along with further details of rules, clubs and game video clips. Note: This sport is relatively new so there are currently few clubs and sights of interested out there, however, our busy ABLEize bees will be keeping an eye out to add more or you can of course email us if you find them first.
A BBC news page reporting on GB winning six medals at International Blind Tennis. Read the full report with reports and images from Dublin along with related disability sports articles.
A short YouTube clip of the womans blind tennis final of 2010. Gives a great insight into the game and the playing possibilities.
Details of how are where to play blind and visually impaired tennis along with contact details and any future competitions and VI tennis sessions where you can go along and give the sport a try.
The International Blind Tennis Association (IBTA) highlights the history of blind tennis with rules, training information, news and future tournament dates. Site includes blind tennis video clips.
Providing full rule detail for soundball, the exciting sport of tennis for the blind and visually impaired along with how fully sighted people can play against blind player.
Details of tennis sessions for the blind and vision impaired in Eastbourne, Shoreham and Brighton and Hove. View video clips, tournament dates and how to join in or get involved.
Offering an introduction to blind and visually impaired tennis with video clips and a searchable map of UK locations where you can get involved or give soundball a try.