International Blind Tennis. Formation of International Blind Tennis Association
Internationally, it was agreed to refer to the game as Blind Tennis. The terminology “Visually Impaired Tennis”, was not understood by other countries. This also sets it in line with Wheelchair Tennis as an instantly recognised name
It was designed in Japan 1997, as a rehabilitation aid for people going through sight-loss, by Miyoshi Takei (for more read VI tennis background). It was originally played on badminton courts using21-inch rackets, this progressed to playing on the service boxes of a tennis court, for a few years. Vision 4 Growth was one of the Urst vi tennis providers to adopt the International Rules (which emerged from the International Conference 2015), setting the games on mini red and orange courts. Our 2015 Annual tournament was one of the first in the UK to adopt these new rules. Establishing a strict sight -classification , ensured fair play together with adherence to bounce allowances.
“The improvement of pace, co-ordination and skills of players has been incredible and for audiences, it has created a much more energetic and intense game to watch.”
Alex Wheen, Head Coach, V I Tennis Cambridge
Today, there are around 43 countries enjoying blind tennis. An international Committee was delivered in 2015, in Mexico, all leading providers, including Vision 4 Growth were invited.The Tennis Foundation, Metro Blind Sports and V I Tennis York were among UK delegates who attended. The International Blind Tennis Assocciation (IBTA( was formed.In 2016, an international meeting in Italy established the perimeters of Blind Tennis and looked at establishing international guidelines.
Amanda Green from Metroblindsport became our Uk representative. Her reports are fed back to the National V I Tennis Advisory Commitee, which meets 3-4 times a year. In 2017 the first International Blind Tennis Tournament took place in Spain. Vision 4 Growth provided the B1 Competitor Nikhil Nair.
Later in 2017, a much larger committee was formed on which Amanda Green took office alongside representatives from across the world. Subcommittees were duly formed to oversee sight-classification, performance enhancing and marketing
Click here for video from first International tournament in Spain 2017 –