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Visually Impaired tennis


VI Tennis player.jpg

Visually Impaired tennis (also known as VI tennis, Sound tennis or Blind tennis) is one of the leading sports for blind and partially sighted people in the UK.    

VI tennis was created in Japan in 1984 and has become popular across the world – it’s now played in more than 30 countries and has ambitions to become a future Paralympic sport.    

This format of the game is different to traditional tennis – it's played on a smaller court with a lower net. Some courts also have tactile lines (B1 only) - so players can touch them - and players also use an audible tennis ball that makes noise so they can hear it bounce and being hit.   

Who can compete in Visually Impaired tennis?  

VI tennis is open to players of all ages, experience, fitness levels and abilities who have a visual impairment. There are also adaptations that allow families to play together. 

In VI tennis players compete in different categories, with the B1 category having the greatest degree of sight loss. Depending on a player’s category they may have up to three bounces of the ball before they return it back to their opponent.

Find nearby Visually Impaired tennis venues

Use our interactive map below to find your nearest venue that supports Visually Impaired tennis:

VI tennis categories 

  • B1 – No sight, players are allowed three bounces of the ball and nets are lowered 
  • B2 – Partial sight and players are allowed three bounces of the ball  
  • B3 – Partial sight and players are allowed two bounces of the ball 
  • B4 and B5 – Partial sight and are allowed one bounce of the ball 

Want to start competing? Check out our Disability Competitions Calendar to find out how you can get involved. You could even go on to represent Great Britain at the International Blind Tennis Championships.

VI tennis balls

Our partner LUSU have VI balls available for purchase. They've brought these in bulk and sell them to VI tennis players and coaches at cost price to help us further open up tennis. You can access VI balls below:

Buy VI balls

LUSU logo on a white background


Jack Draper was at the National Tennis Centre to try his hand and learn more about Visually Impaired Tennis.


Game on (Performance Pathway)

Want to take your game to the next level? We’re here to support you on every step of your path to becoming the best player you can be – whether you’re looking to become a regular competitor or go on to become the next international disability tennis star.

Find out more about disability tennis, our different player developmental pathways and programmes, national and international competitions, and how we can support you on your journey.

Read more about our Disability Tennis Performance Pathway

Open Court – get involved!

Funded by Sport England and the LTA, the Open Court Programme supports more than 500 tennis venues across Britain deliver sessions for disabled people and those with long term health conditions. 

So, if you’re a player or a parent or guardian or carer interested in finding out more, you can find your nearest venue here: 

Find a venue

GB disability teams

We support programmes for Learning Disability, Deaf and Visually Impaired tennis - find out more about our national teams and how you could get involved.

Learning Disability tennis

Want to get involved in Learning Disability tennis? Discover more here.

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