Real tennis – one of several games sometimes called "the sport of kings" – is the original racquet sport from which the modern game of tennis (also called "lawn tennis") is derived. It is also known as court tennis in the United States,  formerly royal tennis in England and Australia,  and courte-paume in France (to distinguish it from longue-paume, and in reference to the older, racquetless game of jeu de paume , the ancestor of modern handball and racquet games). Many French real tennis courts are at jeu de paume clubs.
The term real was first used by journalists in the early 20th century as a retronym to distinguish the ancient game from modern lawn tennis (even though, at present, the latter sport is seldom contested on lawns outside the few social-club-managed estates such as Wimbledon).
There are more than 50 active real tennis courts in the world, located in the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States and France.  Other countries have currently disused courts, such as the two in the Republic of Ireland. The sport is supported and governed by various organizations around the world.
Unlike latex-based technology underlying the modern lawn tennis ball, the game uses a cork-cored ball which is very close in design to the original balls used in the game. The 2+1⁄2-inch (64 mm) diameter balls are handmade and consist of a core made of cork with fabric tape tightly wound around it, compacted by outer windings of string, and covered with a hand-sewn layer of heavy, woven, woollen cloth, traditionally Melton cloth (not felt, which is unwoven and not strong enough to last as a ball covering). The balls were traditionally white, but around the end of the 20th century "optic yellow" was introduced for improved visibility, as had been done years earlier in lawn tennis. The balls are much less bouncy than lawn tennis balls, and weigh about 2+1⁄2 ounces (71 grams) (lawn tennis balls typically weigh 2 ounces (57 g)).
Despite trials by Dunlop to introduce machine-made balls in the 1970s,  almost all balls are entirely hand made by club professionals. The inner core of a ball can last several years, but the cover needs to be replaced every two to three weeks, depending on usage.  Balls are produced in sets of around 60 and kept and maintained by clubs. They are not available for purchase by the general public. Balls are stored in a wicker or plastic basket placed in a hole in the floor underneath the net. A trough under the net allows balls hit into the net to roll into the basket. The entire basket of balls is tipped into a tray in the dedans prior to play to reduce time spent fetching balls. As such, ball kids are not required in real tennis.
The 27-inch (690 mm) short, asymmetrical racquets are made of wood and use very tight nylon strings to cope with the heavy balls. The racquet oval is shaped to make it easier to strike balls close to the floor or in corners, and to facilitate a fast shot with a low trajectory that is difficult for an opponent to return. However, the rackets have a small sweet spot, which discourages a large swing in a shot and emphasises accuracy. Rackets are made of a combination of ash, hickory, vulcanized fibre and willow. Gut strings have now entirely been replaced by nylon, allowing strings to be tighter. Rackets are laminated, with improvements in epoxy resulting in stronger, sturdier rackets which last longer and have changed the game to be faster and more hard hitting. 
Most of the rackets in the world are produced by Grays of Cambridge, based in Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Companies that have previously produced real tennis rackets include Dunlop, Slazenger and Gold Leaf Athletics. The introduction of graphite rackets in lawn tennis has reduced the demand for wooden rackets of any sport, resulting in the larger companies leaving the industry. More recently, Harrow Sports has introduced graphite rackets which are not currently permitted by the rules of the game, but are being trialled at the club level. 
Due to the small nature of the game, rackets are almost exclusively sold by club professionals who also provide restringing services to club members. Even at the elite level, professionals string their own rackets.
There are two basic designs in existence today: jeu quarré, which is an older design, and jeu à dedans. Both are doubly asymmetric: each end of the court differs in shape from the other, and the left and right sides of the court are also different. All existing tennis courts in the modern day are of the jeu à dedans variety, except the court at Falkland Palace in Scotland. The jeu à dedans court is a rectangular indoor court with high walls on all four sides and a high ceiling. The floor size of a court can vary from 28.3 by 9.1 metres (93 ft × 30 ft) at Oxford to 29.6 by 9.6 metres (97 ft × 31 ft) and can be constructed of dyed concrete or, in some older courts, flagstone. The surrounding walls are usually constructed of brick or cinder block and are plastered smooth. Some courts, notably Prested and Washington feature glass walls down to floor level, though many more have recently installed glass walls higher up to increase viewing capacity without impacting play.
Three walls feature sloping wooden roofs, known as penthouses, built 2 to 2.2 metres (6 ft 7 in to 7 ft 3 in) above the floor and extending to a width of 1.6 to 2.2 metres (5 ft 3 in to 7 ft 3 in). The wall without a penthouse is called the main wall. Protruding from the main wall is the tambour , an angled wall 0.7 to 1.0 metre (2 ft 4 in to 3 ft 3 in) wide at an angle of approximately 53 degrees, though some courts can be up to 59 degrees. 
Counting clockwise from the main wall, the penthouse are called the dedans penthouse, the service penthouse and the grille penthouse. The side featuring the dedans penthouse is also known as the service end, and the side featuring the grille penthouse is also known as the hazard end. Beneath the penthouses are various openings in the wall, which have various mechanics in the gameplay and allow spectators to view the game. Underneath the dedans penthouse is the dedans, between 5.7 and 6.7 metres (19 and 22 ft) wide positioned centrally along the wall. A net across the opening allows spectators to view the game without fear of injury. Beneath the grille penthouse is the grille, a roughly square opening measuring between 0.9 by 0.9 metres (2 ft 11 in × 2 ft 11 in) and 1.0 by 1.0 metre (3 ft 3 in × 3 ft 3 in) positioned the upper right hand side as viewed from the court. The grille is generally blocked by a solid wood cover and features a picture or club logo, though American courts generally have netting instead. Beneath the service penthouse is a long opening, divided up into smaller openings by wooden or metal posts. The central such opening, known as the line, extends to the floor and allows players to enter the court and change ends. Counted from the centre of the court, the openings are known symmetrically as first gallery, the door, second gallery and last gallery, though at the end of the court closet to the grille penthouse the final opening is instead called the winning gallery and contains a bell which rings when a ball enters the opening. 
Strung across the centre of the court is a net, which sags in the middle. At the centre of the court, the net is positioned 3 feet (0.91 m) above the playing surface, rising to 5 feet (1.5 m) at the sides of the court.  Most courts feature a trough and a sunken basket at the base of the net for collecting balls at the change of ends.
The service court is marked on the hazard side by a line called the service line approximately 7 yards (6.4 m) from the back wall, and a line parallel to the main wall called the fault line. Often, the service court is painted a different colour to the rest of the floor. A series of lines called chase lines measuring distance from the back of the court on the service side and the service line on the hazard side towards the net. Courts in the United Kingdom, United States and Australia mark the distance in intervals yards from the back wall. The lines are numbered on the side walls up to 6 on the service side and 2 on the hazard side, with the seventh line corresponding to the last gallery and second gallery respectively. Subsequent lines correspond to the gallery openings up to first gallery. Often, the last gallery and second gallery lines on the service end are a different colour to the remainder of the lines to make them easier to identify. At Prested in Essex, the floor is painted in alternating green and blue colours in lieu of chase lines. In France, the lines are measured in pied du roi, numbering up to 14 on the service side and 4 on the hazard side.
As many courts were built before the introduction of electric lighting, most courts feature clerestory windows above the main and service walls. Typically, these areas are considered out of court, and are demarcated with an out of court line that extends around the top of the playing area. Often, the out of court area is not plastered like the playing area. Notable exceptions include Hobart, where the wall between the windows is considered in play, and Hyde Bridport, where the two windows at the ends of the court are still in play. Alternatively, some courts feature skylights in the roof of the building. All courts now feature artificial lighting, allowing play at all times of day. Some modern courts, such as Radley and Oratory do not feature windows at all, and are lit entirely artificially. Most courts have gabled roofs, with the ridge line along the length of the court. As such, each court has local rules as to whether balls hit over the beams are in or out of play.
The court at Falkland Palace is the last remaining jeu quarré design which unlike jeu à dedans court lacks a tambour, a dedans and a dedans penthouse. Instead, it features an ais, a piece of wood on what would be the dedans wall adjacent to the service penthouse, and four lunes, openings in the walls high above what would be the dedans. The court is the only existing, playable court in the world to not have a roof.
To begin play, the players spin a racket or toss coin to decide who serves first. Serves are always made from the service end of the court, that is, the side of the court with the dedans. Unlike lawn tennis, at least one foot must be grounded during the service, but the player may serve from anywhere in the court between the dedans wall and the second gallery line. The serve is played onto the service penthouse, and must touch the service penthouse at least once on the receiver's (hazard) side of the court. It may also touch the service wall above the penthouse or the service penthouse on the server's side. From there, it may touch any other surface including the back wall, back penthouse or battery wall. Serves may be volleyed by the receiver, or be played off a single bounce on the floor. To be a valid serve, the ball must land in the rectangle marked by the service line and the fault line. Serves which land between the fault line and the main wall, beyond the service line, or fail to touch the service penthouse are called fault. Players are permitted a second serve, but if it is also a fault, then the server double faults and the receiver wins the point.    Under French rules, balls which land between the fault line and the main wall are not considered a fault, and are instead called a pass, with the serve replayed.
In doubles play, the two players in the pair alternate serving or receiving at the end of each game. The first player will serve or receive the entirety of the first game, with the second player serving or receiving the entirety of the second game and so on. This means that a player from one team will only serve or receive from one player from the other team for the entire set. The exception is if a serve lands between the center line and the fault line, in which case either receiving player may elect to play the ball. At the start of each new set, the players may switch who is serving first and second. The pair at the service end must nominate the first server before the pair at the hazard end nominates the first receiver, so players will occasionally play tactically to ensure that they are at the hazard end at the end of each set to ensure they can choose the match-ups for the new set.
Because there are numerous surfaces for the ball to touch during a serve, there are many different styles of serves which are chosen to achieve different tactical advantages. Since the court is asymmetric, different techniques are required for right and left-handed players. Some of the most common serves include:  
Because of the asymmetry of the court, play generally favours the player at the service end of the court.  The presence of the tambour at the hazard end introduces uncertainty for the receiving player. Unlike lawn tennis, where players alternately serve and receive entire games, in real tennis players must win the right to serve. To do so, the receiver must lay a chase, though a server can also lose the right to server by laying a hazard chase. There are four ways to lay a chase: 
Laying a chase or hazard chase does not immediately score points nor trigger a change of ends. Instead, the length of the chase is recorded and play continues until either:
When the condition is met, the players change ends and resolve the chases in the order in which they were laid. To resolve a chase, the point is played with the additional condition that shots hit by the receiver must not become dead (i.e. second bounce or entering a gallery) further from the back wall than the point at which the chase had been set, in which case the receiver would lose the chase (and also the point). In the case of a hazard chase, any winner hit by the receiver wins the point, but any ball that becomes dead between the point where the chase was marked and the grille wall loses the point. Any shot which is equal to the length of the chase being played is called chase off - no change is made to the score but the chase is not replayed. The presence of chases encourages players to play the ball as deep into the court as possible, as short chases close to the back wall are heavily weighted towards the server, and discourages shots such as a smash or a drop shot.
There are three so-called winning openings that win the point automatically for the player on the opposite side of the net. These are:
The heavy, solid balls take a great deal of spin, which often causes them to rebound from the walls at unexpected angles. For the sake of a good chase (close to the back wall), it is desirable to use a cutting stroke, which imparts backspin to the ball, causing it to come sharply down after hitting the back wall. Players at the hazard end will generally try to hit the ball as deep into the court as possible to lay difficult chases and recover the serve. Players at the service end will use the uncertainty caused by the tambour to deceive their opponents. Different serves and strategies are deployed to prevent players hitting chases, galleries or openings, particularly when playing off chases. Moreover, because of the weight of the balls, the small racquets, and the need to defend the rear of the court, many lawn tennis strategies, such as playing with topspin, and serve-and-volley tactics, are ineffective, except in doubles play.
Play must be continuous, so at the conclusion of one point, the server immediately collects a new ball and moves into position to serve the next point. Time wasting is generally not observed. Players may generally take a short break at the change of ends for refreshments, but may not leave the court except with the permission of the marker (and usually at the end of the set). The general etiquette is that the player changing from the service end to the hazard end will wait for the other player to come around the net, and place a ball on their racket for them to serve.
The score of the match is kept by a marker. The role of the marker is to mark the position of chases, call service faults, record the score and manage the conduct of the players. Traditionally, the marker stands at the net opening to get a view of the whole court. However, from this position the marker cannot see the service penthouse, so must rely on the sound of the ball or an assistant marker to call service faults. For safety reasons, most clubs and tournaments have moved the marker to a seat in the dedans. In this case, the players call the length of any hazard chases, unless an assistant marker is employed in the grille. As the game is small, most professionals are also trained markers, hence it is not uncommon to see players in a tournament marking other matches in the same draw, even at the elite level.
The scoring system of real tennis mirrors that of lawn tennis, the latter having inherited the system from the former. A game is won by the first player to have won a total of four points, and to be at least two points more than their opponent. The points are called "love", "15", "30" and "40" respectively. If both players have reached 40 in the game, the score is called as deuce. After a game has reached deuce, the player with one more point than their opponent has advantage. The score is typically called as "advantage server" or "advantage receiver"" as appropriate. Unlike lawn tennis, where the first score called corresponds to the server, in real tennis the first score called corresponds to the player who has won the most recent point. As chases are resolved at or before game point, no chases carry through to subsequent games.
In handicap matches, players may require different numbers of points to win a game. A player with receiving odds starts a game requiring less than four points to win the game, while a player with owing odds requires more than four points to win the game. Such odds are counted backwards, so a player requiring five points starts at "owe 15", while a player requiring six points starts at "owe 30". A player with half-odds starts each second game with the nominated score, that is, a player playing "owe half 15" starts the first game at love, and the second game at owe 15. In handicap matches, deuces are never played - a score of 40-all is winner-takes-all.
A set is a series of games counted up to a predetermined number, usually 6. The sets are counted in the ordinary manner (ie. 1, 2, 3 etc). There are no tiebreakers or advantage sets played, so at a score of 5-all, the player who wins the next game wins the set.  Because the service is decided by the chase rule, rather than alternating between the players, there is little residual advantage from serving first by the time the set is nearly over.
Depending on the tournament, the number of games required to win a set can be varied by the tournament organisers. 8 is a popular choice, also known as a pro set, though variations include sets to any number between 5 and 10. Some tournaments permit an unlimited number of games in the set, with the match only concluding if a timer has expired. If the match is to be played across more than one set, the set is only ever to 6 games.
A match is a sequence of sets. A match is determined through a best of n sets system. In tournaments with a round robin stage (often as the qualification to a knock-out stage)  matches are usually played to one set. Minor tournaments, Ladies Open tournaments and Ladies World Championships are played as best of three sets. Major tournaments, leading amateur tournaments, Open tournaments and matches up to the semi-finals of the Doubles World Championships are played as best of five sets. Matches in the first round of the Singles World Championships are played as best of nine sets, played across two days with four or five sets on the first day, and from zero to four sets on the second day.  The Singles World Championships Final Eliminator and Final Challenge are played as best of thirteen sets, played across three days, with rest days inbetween. 
The term "tennis" is thought to derive from the French word tenez, which means "take heed" – a warning from the server to the receiver. Real tennis evolved, over three centuries, from an earlier ball game played around the 12th century in France. This had some similarities to palla, fives, Spanish pelota or handball, in that it involved hitting a ball with a bare hand and later with a glove. This game may have been played by monks in monastery cloisters, but the construction and appearance of courts more resemble medieval courtyards and streets than religious buildings. By the 16th century, the glove had become a racquet, the game had moved to an enclosed playing area, and the rules had stabilized. Real tennis spread across Europe, with the Papal Legate reporting in 1596 that there were 250 courts in Paris alone, near the peak of its popularity in France. 
Royal interest in England began with Henry V (reigned 1413–22) but it was Henry VIII (reigned 1509–47) who made the biggest impact as a young monarch, playing the game with gusto at Hampton Court on a court he had built in 1530 and on several other courts in his palaces. His second wife Anne Boleyn was watching a game of real tennis when she was arrested and it is believed that Henry was playing tennis when news was brought to him of her execution.  Queen Elizabeth I was a keen spectator of the game. During the reign of James I (1603–25), there were 14 courts in London. 
In France, François I (1515–47) was an enthusiastic player and promoter of real tennis, building courts and encouraging play among both courtiers and commoners. His successor, Henry II (1547–59), was also an excellent player and continued the royal French tradition. The first known book about tennis, Trattato del Giuoco della Palla was written during his reign, in 1555, by an Italian priest, Antonio Scaino da Salo. Two French kings died from tennis-related episodes – Louis X of a severe chill after playing and Charles VIII after striking his head on the lintel of a door leading to the court in the royal Château at Amboise. King Charles IX granted a constitution to the Corporation of Tennis Professionals in 1571, creating a career for the 'maître paumiers' and, establishing three levels of professionals – apprentice, associate, and master. The first codification of the rules of real tennis was written by a professional named Forbet and published in 1599. 
The game thrived among the 17th-century nobility in France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, and the Habsburg Empire, but suffered under English Puritanism, as it was heavily associated with gambling. By the Age of Napoleon, the royal families of Europe were besieged and real tennis, a court game, was largely abandoned.  Real tennis played a role in the history of the French Revolution, through the Tennis Court Oath, a pledge signed by French deputies in a real tennis court, which formed a decisive early step in starting the revolution.
An epitaph in St Michael's Church, Coventry, written circa 1705 read, in part: 
Here lyes an old toss'd Tennis Ball:
Was racketted, from spring to fall,
With so much heat and so much hast,
Time's arm for shame grew tyred at last.
During the 18th century and early 19th century, as real tennis declined, new racquet sports emerged in England: rackets and squash racquets.
There is documented history of courts existing in the German states from the 17th century, the sport evidently died out there during or after World War II.[ citation needed ]
In Victorian England, real tennis had a revival, but broad public interest later shifted to the new, much less difficult outdoor game of lawn tennis, which soon became the more popular sport, and was played by both genders (real tennis players were almost exclusively male). Real tennis courts were built in Hobart, Tasmania (1875) and in the United States, starting in 1876 in Boston, and in New York in 1890, and later at athletic clubs in several other cities. Real tennis greatly influenced the game of stické, which was invented in the 19th century and combined aspects of real tennis, lawn tennis and rackets.
Real tennis has the longest line of consecutive world champions of any sport in the world, dating from 1760.
A forgotten master of designing, building and restoring real tennis courts was the British Fulham-based builder, Joseph Bickley (1835–1923).  He became a specialist around 1889 and patented a plaster mix to withstand condensation and dampness.   Examples of his surviving work include: The Queen's Club, Lord's, Hampton Court Palace, Jesmond Dene, Newmarket, Moreton Hall, Warwickshire and Petworth House.  There are also examples of his projects in Scotland and in the United States.  
There are more than 50 real tennis courts in the world, and over half of these are in Britain.
New court projects
Tennis is mentioned in literature from the 16th century onwards. It is frequently shown in emblem books, such as those of Guillaume de La Perrière from 1539. Erasmus lets two students practice Latin during a game of tennis with a racquet in 1522, although the playing ground is not mentioned.  A 1581 translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses by Giovanni Andrea dell'Anguillara, printed in Venice in quarto form transforms the fatal discus game between Apollo and Hyacinth into a fatal game of real tennis, or "racchetta."
William Shakespeare mentions the game in Act I – Scene II of Henry V ; the Dauphin, a French Prince, sends King Henry a gift of tennis-balls, out of jest, in response to Henry's claim to the French throne. King Henry replies to the French Ambassadors: "His present and your pains we thank you for: When we have matched our rackets to these balls, we will, in France, by God's grace, play a set [that] shall strike his father's crown into the hazard ... And tell the pleasant Prince this mock of his hath turn'd his balls to gun stones". Michael Drayton makes a similar reference to the event in his The bataille of Agincourt, published in 1627.
The Penguin book of Sick Verse includes a poem by William Lathum comparing life to a tennis-court:
If in my weak conceit, (for selfe disport),
The world I sample to a Tennis-court,
Where fate and fortune daily meet to play,
I doe conceive, I doe not much misse-say.
All manner chance are Rackets, wherewithall
They bandie men, from wall to wall;
Some over Lyne, to honour and great place,
Some under Lyne, to infame and disgrace;
Some with a cutting stroke they nimbly sent
Into the hazard placed at the end; ...
The Scottish gothic novel The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg (1824) describes a tennis match that degenerates into violence.
The detective story Dead Nick takes place in a tennis milieu. The title alludes to a shot that hits "the nick" (where the wall meets the floor), called "dead" because it then bounces very little and is frequently unreturnable.
Hazard Chase (1964), by Jeremy Potter, is a thriller-detective story featuring real tennis on the court at Hampton Court Palace. During the story the game is explained, and the book contains a diagram of a real tennis court. Jeremy Potter wrote historical works (including Tennis and Oxford (1994)), and was himself an accomplished player of the game, winning the World Amateur Over-60s Championship in 1986.
The First Beautiful Game: Stories of Obsession in Real Tennis (2006) by top amateur player Roman Krznaric contains a mixture of real tennis history, memoir and fiction, which focuses on what can be learned from real tennis about the art of living.
The Corpse on the Court (2013) is a mystery by Simon Brett. It features the recurring lead character of Jude learning many details about the sport from aficionados.
In The Chase by Ivor P. Cooper, in Ring of Fire II in the 1632 series , up-timers Heather Mason and Judy Wendell learn the sport from Thomas Hobbes. Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden is depicted as an aficionado of the game.
Sudden Death (2013), a novel by Alvaro Enrigue, is interstitched throughout with descriptions of a real tennis match between the Italian artist Caravaggio and the Spanish poet Quevedo. The details of play are interspersed among historical reflections on the game, descriptions of techniques for making the balls, quotations from contemporary sources, gambling that accompanied the game, the backgrounds of the participants and the strategy discussions between the players and their seconds. It is intentionally unclear which details are real and which are imagined by the author.
Real tennis is featured in the film The Seven-Per-Cent Solution , a fictional meeting between Sherlock Holmes and Sigmund Freud. One of the film's plot points turns on Freud playing a grudge match with a Prussian nobleman (in lieu of a duel).
The film The French Lieutenant's Woman includes a sequence featuring a few points being played. Also The Three Musketeers (1973) and Ever After briefly feature the game. Although presented with varying degrees of accuracy, these films provide a chance to see the game played, which otherwise may be difficult to observe personally.
The Showtime series The Tudors (2007) portrays Henry VIII playing the game. The film The Man Who Knew Infinity features a short sequence of G. H. Hardy (Jeremy Irons) and John Edensor Littlewood (Toby Jones) playing real tennis.
The series Billions , Opportunity Zone episode, very briefly features Damian Lewis and Harry Lennix playing real tennis.
In the movie Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead they play a game of questions in a disused real tennis court.
In series 1, episode 2, "Old School Ties" (first broadcast in 2007) of the UK television series Lewis , two characters are briefly shown playing on the court at Oxford University.
A pair of supporting characters is seen briefly playing real tennis about 62 minutes into the 1984 Rob Lowe movie Oxford Blues.
Real tennis has occasionally been televised, but the court (which does not well lend itself to the placement of cameras), the speed at which the ball travels, and the complexity of the rules all militate against the effectiveness and popularity of televised programming.
Web-streaming is proving a helpful innovation, and realtennis.tv broadcast its first tournament, the European Open, from 8–9 March 2011.
Many top national and international tournaments can be seen live or on replay via YouTube channels.
Badminton is a racquet sport played using racquets to hit a shuttlecock across a net. Although it may be played with larger teams, the most common forms of the game are "singles" and "doubles". Badminton is often played as a casual outdoor activity in a yard or on a beach; formal games are played on a rectangular indoor court. Points are scored by striking the shuttlecock with the racquet and landing it within the other team's half of the court.
Tennis is a racket sport that is played either individually against a single opponent (singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles). Each player uses a tennis racket that is strung with cord to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over or around a net and into the opponent's court. The object of the game is to manoeuvre the ball in such a way that the opponent is not able to play a valid return. The player who is unable to return the ball validly will not gain a point, while the opposite player will.
Table tennis, also known as ping-pong and whiff-whaff, is a racket sport derived from tennis but distinguished by its playing surface being atop a stationary table, rather than the court on which players stand. Either individually or in teams of two, players take alternating turns returning a light, hollow ball over the table's net onto the opposing half of the court using small rackets until they fail to do so, which results in a point for the opponent. Play is fast, requiring quick reaction and constant attention, and is characterized by an emphasis on spin relative to other ball sports, which can heavily affect the ball's trajectory.
Racquetball is a racquet sport and a team sport played with a hollow rubber ball on an indoor or outdoor court. Joseph Sobek invented the modern sport of racquetball in 1950, adding a stringed racquet to paddleball in order to increase velocity and control. Unlike most racquet sports, such as tennis and badminton, there is no net to hit the ball over, and, unlike squash, no tin to hit the ball above. Also, the court's walls, floor, and ceiling are legal playing surfaces, with the exception of court-specific designated hinders being out-of-bounds. Racquetball is played between various players on a team who try to bounce the ball with the racquet onto the ground so it hits the wall, so that an opposing team’s player cannot bounce it back to the wall.
Squash is a racket-and-ball sport played by two or four players in a four-walled court with a small, hollow, rubber ball. The players alternate in striking the ball with their rackets onto the playable surfaces of the four walls of the court. The objective of the game is to hit the ball in such a way that the opponent is not able to play a valid return. There are about 20 million people who play squash regularly world-wide in over 185 countries. The governing body of squash, the World Squash Federation (WSF), is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), but the sport is not part of the Olympic Games, despite a number of applications. Supporters continue to lobby for its incorporation in a future Olympic program. The Professional Squash Association (PSA) organizes the pro tour.
A racket, or racquet, is a sports implement used for striking a ball or shuttlecock in games such as squash, tennis, racquetball, badminton and padel. In the strictest sense a racket consists of a handled frame with an open hoop across which a network of strings is stretched tightly. Some rackets may have a solid or perforated hitting surface instead of a network of strings. Such rackets may be called a paddle or bat. Collectively, these games are known as racket sports.
Jeu de paume, nowadays known as real tennis, (US) court tennis or courte paume, is a ball-and-court game that originated in France. It was an indoor precursor of tennis played without racquets, and so "game of the hand", though these were eventually introduced. It is a former Olympic sport, and has the oldest ongoing annual world championship in sport, first established over 250 years ago. The term also refers to the court on which the game is played and its building, which in the 17th century was sometimes converted into a theatre.
American handball, known as handball in the United States and sometimes referred to as wallball, is a sport in which players use their hands to hit a small, rubber ball against a wall such that their opponent(s) cannot do the same without the ball touching the ground twice or hitting out-of-bound. The three versions are four-wall, three-wall and one-wall. Each version can be played either by two players (singles), three players (cutthroat) or four players (doubles), but in official tournaments, singles and doubles are the only versions played.
Squash tennis is an American variant of squash, but played with a ball and racquets that are closer to the equipment used for lawn tennis, and with somewhat different rules. For younger players the game offers the complexity of squash and the speed of racquetball. It also has exercise and recreational potential for older players.
Rackets or racquets is an indoor racket sport played in the United Kingdom, United States, and Canada. The sport is infrequently called "hard rackets", to distinguish it from the related sport of squash.
Stické, also called stické tennis, is an indoor racquet sport invented in the late 19th century merging aspects of real tennis, racquets and lawn tennis. It derives from sphairistikè, the term originally given to lawn tennis by Walter Clopton Wingfield.
The Falkland Palace Royal Tennis Club organizes play at the real tennis court in the gardens of Falkland Palace, Fife, Scotland.
The National Tennis Club (NTC) is a court tennis club in Newport, Rhode Island, United States. Its home is the reconstructed Court Tennis Building at the Newport Casino. The National Tennis Club hosted the Real Tennis World Championship match in 2004, when Robert Fahey successfully defended his title against Tim Chisholm. The Court Tennis Building was constructed as part of the original Casino complex in 1880 and in 1980 the National Tennis Court was rededicated, largely through the efforts of Clarence "Clarry" Pell, as the symbolic home of the sport in the United States.
This page is a glossary of tennis terminology.
Frontenis is a sport that is played in a 30 meter pelota court using racquets and rubber balls. It can be played in pairs or singles, but only pairs frontenis is played in international competitions. This sport was developed in Mexico around 1900, and is accredited as a Basque pelota speciality.
Padel, sometimes called Padel Tennis, is a racket sport typically played in doubles on an enclosed court slightly smaller than a doubles tennis court. Although Padel shares the same scoring system as tennis, the rules, strokes, and technique are different. The balls used are similar but with a little less pressure. The main differences are that the court has walls and the balls can be played off them in a similar way as in the game of squash and that solid, stringless bats are used. The height of the ball being served must be at or below the waist level.
The racket sport traditionally named lawn tennis, invented in Birmingham, England, now commonly known simply as tennis, is the direct descendant of what is now denoted real tennis or royal tennis, which continues to be played today as a separate sport with more complex rules. Most rules of (lawn) tennis derive from this precursor and it is reasonable to see both sports as variations of the same game. Most historians believe that tennis originated in the monastic cloisters in northern France in the 12th century, but the ball was then struck with the palm of the hand, hence the name jeu de paume. It was not until the 16th century that rackets came into use and the game began to be called 'tennis'. It was popular in England and France, and Henry VIII of England was a big fan of the game, now referred to as real tennis.
The 1877 Wimbledon Championship was a men's tennis tournament held at the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, London. It was the world's first official lawn tennis tournament, and was later recognised as the first Grand Slam tournament or "Major". The AEC & LTC had been founded in July 1868, as the All England Croquet Club. Lawn tennis was introduced in February 1875 to compensate for the waning interest in croquet. In June 1877 the club decided to organise a tennis tournament to pay for the repair of its pony roller, needed to maintain the lawns. A set of rules was drawn up for the tournament, derived from the first standardised rules of tennis issued by the Marylebone Cricket Club in May 1875.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to tennis. Tennis is a sport usually played between two players (singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles). Each player uses a specialized racquet that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court.
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