AEGON Team Tennis Schools is a programme of three nationally organised competitions, which provides Further Education and Secondary School students with the opportunity to play regular competitive tennis and to represent their school.
All competitions begin locally and culminate in a national final. Responsibility for organising these competitions lies with the LTA and The Tennis Foundation.
The ‘Senior Students’ competition is particularly well positioned for Further Education students, as it covers the school years 11-13. The aim of this competition is to encourage lower rated players to play competitive tennis and provide the team with an opportunity to compete in a national final.
The entry period is in September with local league matches being played October through to December. Winners of the local leagues progress through to the knockout rounds from January, with the national final taking place in March. There are three events to enter; boys, girls and mixed.
The boys and girls events require four players with the format being four singles and two doubles rubbers. The mixed event requires two boys and two girls in a team with the format being four doubles rubbers.
Mini Tennis can be used as a quick and easy format for intra college competition.
A range of resources are available online to assist and competitions can last between 1 – 3 hours in duration. It’s a great way of putting into practice what students learn on the Tennis Leaders or Competition Organisers Workshops.
o You can set up Mini Tennis courts using badminton courts or regular tennis courts see the section on How to set up Mini Tennis Courts
o You can also set up your own courts using Mini Tennis nets or barrier tape for the nets and mark out the lines with masking tape/throw down lines.
o If you can, use 21” rackets and 8cm foam balls.
How do you score in a Mini Tennis match?
Two of the best options are:
1. First to 10 points, like a standard tennis match tie-break, with each player having two service points each, two clear points needed to win. The nominated person serves for the first point,it then alternates every two points; when serving, players should stand behind the baseline; the serve can be hit underarm or overarm and the ball must not bounce before being hit; serves should be hit diagonally, landing in the diagonally opposite service box. Don’t forget to change ends every 6 points.
2. Short sets or full sets, first to four games and six games respectively, with full service games and regular tennis scoring. Alternatively to add a bit of drama, all service games can be decided by a “sudden death” point if they go to deuce (receiver chooses which side). This shortens the time required to complete matches.
In both of the above options you can set the rules about the number of serves you allow, ie. Allow two serving chances like regular tennis or make it harder with only one serve allowed.
Mini Tennis & Tie Break Score Sheets
o You can set your own scoring to fit in with the number of players and courts you have, so a match can be ‘first to whatever you want really!’
o Play doubles matches.
o Play Timed Tennis Matches – Players play for a set period of time, until the whistle blows. The length of matches depends on time available and amount of entries eg. 10minute matches, with a final deciding point if there is a draw on the whistle. Timed matches can be ideal for running intra college competitions as you can plan exactly how long matches will last and therefore the overall time your competition will take. There are a range of example timings and formats-see Timed Tennis
Once you have decided you want to run a tennis event or competition, it is worth considering the following:
o What type of event do I want to organise?
o What type of event do I want to organise?
o Who am I hoping to attract and what will they want?
o What costs are involved, do I need to discuss this with the Student Union, college staff, etc?
o When am I going to run the event?
o Book the courts needed and recruit a team to help organise the activity or event and make sure I have the right equipment available.
o Organise any prizes (if relevant).
o Create an order of play, set of rules, or relevant format/ structure for the event/competition. Think about whether people will feel they’ve had a good opportunity to play and meet people, especially if it’s a social day or event.
o Confirm all entries and ensure they understand the format/structure of the event. How long are they likely to be there and how many chances to play will they have?
o Decide on any social activities alongside the event.
o Confirm that those helping are up to speed with the format.
o Be prepared for sudden last minute entries, drop outs and no shows – have a back-up plan.
o Explain what will be achieved during the event.
o How and where will I market or promote what’s happening?
o Promote the activity or event in advance, perhaps with posters, sign up sheets, entry forms, or via social media or the college website. You can access template posters by signing on to allplay
o The experience people have during an event or competition will affect their satisfaction and – for new recruits in particular – whether they come back. Here are some tips to help people feel welcome and ensure you deliver a good experience for all.
o Arrive in good time and set up any necessary equipment; mini courts, nets, lines, etc.
o Put up copies of the rules and format so that people can read before the event starts.
o Try and stick to the schedule and keep encouraging players throughout.
o Take some pictures or even some video footage which can be used to report on the event afterwards.
o Get feedback from those who took part; get new ideas and find out what works.
o THANK all the helpers as well as those who took part – they will feel valued and more inclined to take part in another event.
o Raise some awareness post event with pictures and a write up on the college website, Facebook page, noticeboards and the local press.
o Ensure everyone who took part knows when the next event is taking place.
Format ideasTeam cones
Timed Tennis and Box Leagues
Squad Tennis /Tag Team Tennis/Elimination Competitions/Compass Draw Competitions/Hit and Mix Doubles Competitions
Charity Tennis Events
Find out more about tennis in primary and secondary schools.
Find out more about tennis in special schools.
Find out more about competition for schools.
Find out more about University Tennis.
The Tennis Foundation is Great Britain's leading tennis charity and works closely with the LTA to provide opportunities to encourage people to both play and enjoy tennis, as well as to maximise their personal potential through the sport.
If would like more information, please contact Christine Sprowell, Further Education Manager