Blind and Visually Impaired Regional Tennis Series 2017

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Information, Rules and Format
Entries
All players should obtain a BTM and enter on-line through the LTA Competitions search. Links for each tournament will be published at the start of the year.
Each tournament should have a paper entry form too for B1 players however once any paper entries are received they should be inserted by the tournament organiser onto the on-line entry system through TTP so they are showing on the entry list.
Tournament closing date
4 weeks before the start date of tournament.
Late entries from non-seeded players may be considered by the tournament organiser and referee.
Withdrawal deadline
2 weeks before the start date of the tournament.
Acceptance list
The acceptance list should be published within 72 hours of the tournament closing date.
Entry Fee payment
The tournament organiser will decide on the entry fee payment method for each tournament and this will be published on the tournament information sheet.
Classification
All players must be classified through BBS to compete. Once the entry deadline has passed tournament organisers and referees will contact BBS to check each player’s classification – info@britishblindsport.org.uk
Rules
All regional tournaments will adopt the International Tennis Federation rules of tennis with amendments as below.
Serve
All players must use “ready” “yes” “play” procedure.
Ball
Japanese yellow ball.
Racket size
Any racket size is accepted.
B1 Mask
Paralympic recognised mask should be used. Players must not remove their mask when competing. They should signal to the umpire if they need to alter it in any way.
Player hit by ball before it bounces
B1: if the ball hits the player inside the playing area before the first bounce, it is a point for the opponent. If the ball hits the player outside the playing area before the first bounce, it is a point for the player. The player is considered inside the court if any part of their body is touching the playing surface inside or on the court lines. This would mean the player loses the point if the ball strikes them. This is based on ITF’s Rules of Tennis -http://itf.uberflip.com/i/619434-2016- rules-of- tennis-english/0 specifically points 18 (Foot Fault) and 24i (Player Loses Point).
B2-5: If the ball hits the player inside or outside the playing area before the first bounce, it is a point for the opponent.
Tactile Marking
It is the tournament organiser and referee’s decision what they use to mark out the B1 courts for play. Tournaments should inform B1 players before the tournament how the B1 court will be marked.
Clothing
All players should wear recognised sportswear and indoor (non-marking) trainers for all matches. Each regional tournament should advise all players if there are any specific rules which they are putting in place for their tournament.
Wrist Bands
Tournaments are asked, where possible, to provide coloured wrist bands for players to identify what sight category and the number of bounces allocated for that category.
Court Dimensions and Net Height

Blind (B1) Court

There will be tactile markings on all lines except the service box line (dotted lines). The dotted lines need to be marked out by tape unless court lines are already visible. The tactile tramlines should extend past the baseline.

Singles

  • 12.8m x 6.1m
  • Service line = 1.8m from the baseline
  • Net height = 83cm

Doubles:

  • 12.8m x 8.23m (singles tramline)
  • Service line = 1.8m from the baseline
  • Net height = 83cm

Visually Impaired (B2-B5) Court

Extra wide tape is recommended to mark the lines on the court.

Singles:

  • 18.28m x 8.23m (singles tramline)
  • Service line = same as full court
  • Net height = 91.4cm (3 feet)

Doubles:

  • Doubles = 18.28m x 10.97m (doubles tramline)
  • Service line = same as full court
  • Net height = 91.4cm (3 feet)

Bounces

Blind (B1) and B2 = up to 3 bounces

B3 = up to 2 bounces

B4/B5 = 1 bounce

If a player wants to play in a higher sight category they must adopt the rules of the higher category.

If two sight categories have to merge due to low entries, players must play to the rules of their own sight category.

Volleying

Volleying is permitted for all players.

Doubles

During a doubles match where players can range from B2-B5, all players will receive the same number of bounces as they receive in a singles match and are allowed to volley.

Ball Touch Rule

The following rule applies when the ball touches a player before bouncing.

B1 player: Inside the court – lose the point. Outside the court – win the point.

B2-5 player: Inside the court – lose the point. Outside the court – lose the point.

Format

Each tournament will have a singles event and depending on time and court availability a doubles event.

Each sight category will play in separate draw.  If there are not enough entries in one category the tournament should liaise with the competitions team at the Tennis Foundation and two categories may be merged.  Players are permitted to play up one category.

Categories:

Men Women

B1 B1

B2 B2

B3 B3

B4/B5 B4/B5

The B1 division will be split men and women.  However, if there are not enough entries in either the men or the women’s category then the categories can be merged.

Draws

The draw for each category will be decided by the tournament organiser and referee.  They will do their best to give players as many matches as possible.  Draws will be published 48 hours before the start of the tournament.

Scoring

The scoring format for both the singles events and doubles events for each category will be decided by the tournament organiser and referee.  This will be confirmed to players when the acceptance list is published.

Example scoring methods:

B1 singles and doubles – one short set (tie-break at 3-3)

B2 – B5 – one short set (tie-break at 4-4)

B2 – B5 doubles – best of three 7 point tie-breaks