Wheelchair tennis players must not only master the game of tennis but the wheelchair as well. Learning mobility on the court is exciting and challenging and helps build strength and cardiovascular ability. Wheelchair tennis provides persons with disability the opportunity to share in activities with their peers and family, whether able-bodied or disabled. A wheelchair player who plays against an able-bodied person in singles or doubles is allowed two bounces of the ball while the able-bodied player is allowed one bounce. Playing wheelchair tennis adds to socialization and the normalization of life after sustaining a disabling injury. Wheelchair tennis is a fun and exciting sport to for anyone to watch and be involved!
Created in 1976 in California, wheelchair tennis is one of the fastest growing and most challenging of all wheelchair sports. In 1998 the United States Tennis Association assumed responsibility for wheelchair tennis in America from the National Foundation for Wheelchair Tennis. Since then the USTA has become the first National Governing Body of both Olympic and Paralympic tennis governing Paralympics, Para Pan Am Games, and World Team Cup (Davis Cup equivalent in wheelchair tennis).
Wheelchair tennis is one of the only Paralympic sports that can integrate with its able-bodied counterpart. The only rule difference being the wheelchair player receives two bounces. This has allowed wheelchair players to participate in USTA League Tennis, USTA Junior Team Tennis, USTA Tennis On Campus, and the opportunity to compete on varsity high school teams.
Wheelchair tennis players can participate in local wheelchair programs, wheelchair tournaments from the local to the international level, and integrate into local able-bodied programming. Tennis promotes good health, socialization, and fun for all players. Wheelchair tennis simply creates that avenue for any tennis player with a permanent mobility disability.
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