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Rules of Soft Tennis
What is Soft Tennis?
The major difference between Soft Tennis and lawn tennis is that Soft Tennis is
played with rubber balls. This is why this form of tennis is called "Soft Tennis".
Therefore Soft Tennis has developed unique features such as lighter and more
flexible rackets with lower string compression to fit for the soft balls, and
unique techniques and game manoeuvring to make the best use of the
softness of the ball. You can hit the ball hard with a good and comfortable
feeling and will find it easy to control the ball. With a soft ball, light racket, low
string compression and reduced speed of the ball after bouncing on the court,
everyone, irrespective of sex and age, can enjoy the play of soft tennis. So, our
catchword "Soft Tennis for Anyone and Everyone" comes. In a doubles match,
which is more popular in soft tennis, you can see breath taking, varied rallies
and destructive net plays. You will also be attracted by exciting and unique
game manoeuvring and impressive combination/cooperative plays shown by
paired players. We assure you that you can enjoy these attractive features of
soft tennis not only as a player but also as a spectator of soft tennis.
Singles and doubles matches for men and women and mixed doubles are
played, the same as in regular tennis. Singles matches are usually played by a
one set, best of seven games system (the player who has won four games first
wins the match), and doubles matches by a one set, best of nine games system
(the pair who has won five games first wins the match). A game in a match is
decided when either player/pair has won four points first. In the case where
both players/pairs have won three points each in a game, it is called "deuce"
and the game is continued until either of them has won two points
continuously, the same as in regular tennis.
For events of soft tennis, there are individual and team competitions.
Competitions are performed by a tournament and/or a round robin methods,
depending on the number of participants. A draw for a competition is usually
decided by the competition organizer. In a team event, all or a combination of
singles and/or, doubles and/or mixed doubles matches, which are to be
decided by a competition organizer, are competed in a tie, and a team which
has won the majority of the matches played wins the tie. You can see these
types of competitions typically in the World Soft Tennis Championships.
Soft, hollow and light balls (see the specifications below) have developed
unique skills, tactics and game manoeuvring for soft tennis. These are quite
different from those in regular tennis, and have developed soft tennis as a
unique and independent sport.
Specifications of Soft Tennis Balls
Rubber-made, hollow and with air in it. White and yellow are the authorized
official colors for soft tennis. 6.6 cm in diameter and 30 to 31g in weight To
bounce 70 to 80cm when dropped from the height of 150cm. To adjust ball's
air pressure to meet the above bounce specification, a pump with a bluntheaded pin is used. The pin is inserted into a slit on the designated place of the
ball's surface to inflate or deflate the ball
Rackets used for soft tennis are almost of the same shape, length and material
as those for regular tennis. Differences are: lighter in weight and more flexible
to suit well to hit the softer and lighter balls. Also, strings are of the same
material but more flexible and the compression of strung strings is usually
lower for the same reason.
Courts and Nets
Courts and nets used for soft tennis are the same as those for regular tennis.
Regarding the net height, however, although the net height is the same 1.07m
from the court surface as for regular tennis, the center strap to lower the net
at the center in regular tennis is not applied for soft tennis, i.e. the same net
height is maintained between the net posts for both singles and doubles
matches of soft tennis.
There are basically three types of serves in soft tennis such as flat, slice and
topspin, and the basic serving techniques are almost the same as in regular
tennis. In soft tennis, however, there are additional unique types of serves
such as underhand-cut and reverse (opposite to slice). To be good at serving
provides a good leverage for winning.
The ball shall be of white, air-filled rubber and comply with the following specifications:
(1) Diameter: 6.6cm.
(2) Weight: between 30 and 31g.
The ball shall have a bound of between 65 and 80cm when dropped from a height of 1.5m upon the Court on which a match is played.
Officially authorized balls are white or yellow in color. If no mention is made as to the color of balls in the conditions of a competition, white balls shall be used. Balls are liable to discolor in play, in which case it shall be assumed that they retain their original color.
Rules of the Game
The rules of the soft tennis game are provided by the International Soft Tennis
Federation. There are many parts of the rules which are common to both soft
and regular tennis, but there are some differences. Here, you will see the
major points of difference.
The prevailing systems by which soft tennis matches are played are, as
described earlier, a one set, best of seven games system for singles and a oneset, best of nine games system for doubles. However, you can apply a longer
match system such as a three or five set match system as you see in regular
Systems for serving and changing ends, except for a serving rotation between
paired players in a game and the systems for a final game, are basically the
same as you see in regular tennis: the server delivers the serve to a diagonally
opposite service court, starting from the right side of the center mark (facing
the net) and then from the left and the change of servers/receivers takes place
every one game and the change of ends occurs after the first game and then
every two games after that.
In soft tennis, however, each of paired players in a doubles match serves
alternatively for two consecutive points. The change of servers/receivers in a
final game takes place every two points and the change of ends occurs after
the first two points and then every four points after that.
Again, the applicable system for singles, such as court, serve and change of
ends, are the same as for regular tennis, except for the systems for a final
game and the net height.
In a final game, the serve rotates between the two competing players for every
two points, not every game as in the normal game, and the change of ends
takes place after the first two points and every four points after that. West Bengal Soft Tennis Association | Rules of the Game 8 of 9Regarding the net height, the center strap is not applied in a soft tennis singles match, as mentioned earlier in Courts and Nets