Beach tennis: a new sport trend and a call for research

A recent sport that could help you in physical activity levels

The exponential growth of a sport modality has been observed in Brazil, mainly in coastal cities. It is beach tennis. The origin of this sport dates back to Italy in the 80s. Only in 1996 the official rules of the sport were determined.

Worldwide it is estimated that more than 1 million people are practicing this beach sport, which is played using Beach Tennis paddles and a low compression tennis ball, on sand courts measuring 16 x 8 meters and a net 1.7 meters high.

The relationship with two other sports is evident: tennis and beach volleyball. The first one is due to the use of a racket, balls, counting of points, techniques, and strokes with the same name, the possibility of playing singles and/or in pairs, and the grip. The second due to being a sport practiced on the sand, it does not have an advantage in the service. Also, the same dimensions of the court of beach volleyball were adopted, with similar tactics and player movement.

The increase in the number of practitioners and athletes, culminating in the creation of new courts to play (both public and private) as well as events as new competitions are organized. The main characteristics that could explain this growth are the democratization and ease of learning of this sport, which allows the participation of several populations playing matches from the first contact of the racquet and ball. The low motor complexity required to practice this sport also contributes to comprehensive participation. The fun in practice is a key point. In Brazil, a form of the game that integrates different people is the rotating racket. There is no division by skill level and everyone can participate in a collaborative environment. As was done in the last Olympics in Tokyo, the mixed category with 1 man and 1 woman pairing is a popular game mode. The individual category is not that popular.

The low financial cost is a factor that facilitates access to the practice of Beach Tennis, since it is not necessary to purchase proper clothing or shoes, as in other sports. However, due to the sophistication and increase in the technology of the rackets, there is an increase in the price of this equipment.

The professionalization of the sport is evident and has been taking place in recent years. The ITF Beach Tennis World Cup 2021 PRO and Juniors is taking place in Rio de Janeiro – Brazil, from 5 to 10 October.

Despite the growth of the sport, research about beach tennis is still very scarce. There are some articles in areas such as injuries1 and the most recent work  evaluates the acute effects of a beach tennis session on blood pressure in adults with hypertension2. In this sense, there is a need for more research on the modality, including different perspectives of investigation such as exercise physiology, biomechanics, and sports psychology.

This sport is going through a moment of appreciation and recognition, Beach tennis seems to be an enjoyable form of physical activity and you should try it out.

Authors and Affiliations:

Fábio Hech Dominskiis a Brazilian physical education professor with PhD in human movement sciences. He lives in Florianopolis and works in Joinville. When not studying in the Laboratory of Sport and Exercise Psychology at the Santa Catarina State University, he can be found weightlifting at the gym, or now at home. E-mail: fabio.dominski@udesc.br and Instagram: @fabiodominski

Bruno Hech Dominski2 is a Brazilian biologist and master’s student. He lives and studies in Florianopolis. When not doing his research at the Laboratory of Bacterial Molecular Genetics, Bruno likes to read a good book. E-mail: brunodominski7@gmail.com and Instagram: @brunodominski

  1. Laboratory of Sport and Exercise Psychology (Lape) of the Santa Catarina State University – Florianópolis – SC, Brazil.
  2. Laboratory of Bacterial Molecular Genetics (GeMBac) of the Federal University of Santa Catarina – Florianópolis – SC, Brazil.

Competing interests

None declared

References

  1. Berardi M, Lenabat P, Fabre T, Ballas R (2020) Beach tennis injuries: a cross-sectional survey of 206 elite and recreational players. Phys Sportsmed 48:173–178.
  2. Carpes, L., Jacobsen, A., Domingues, L. et al. Recreational beach tennis reduces 24-h blood pressure in adults with hypertension: a randomized crossover trial. Eur J Appl Physiol 121, 1327–1336 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-021-04617-4.

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