|Blazesports doubles tennis competition|
The USTA is divided into 17 sections throughout the country. Each section provides community programs that offer total integration into their tennis programs. That means that any player, disabled or non-disabled, can learn to play tennis. It also means that a wheelchair player does not need to find another wheelchair player in order to enjoy tennis. A person who uses a wheelchair can easily play someone without a disability. Additionally, USTA-certified teaching pros are required to have a working knowledge of wheelchair tennis in order to instruct wheelchair tennis players properly.
The USTA and BlazeSports America now offer a One-Up/One-Down tennis tournament in eight of the 17 USTA sections. One-Up/One-Down is a doubles format that partners one wheelchair player with a non-disabled partner.
The USTA has created a self-rating system that allows wheelchair tennis players to compete against non-disabled players on an even playing field matching their tennis skills. The system can be found at http://www.usta.com/leagues/custom.sps?iType=931&icustompageid=1655.
In September 2005, Karin Korb became the first wheelchair tennis player to defeat a non-disabled player in tournament play at the National Public Parks tennis championships in Stamford, CT. Learning tennis can begin at any age. While it will take a certain ability level to play the game, skills can be developed long before your chair meets the court. A young player can be given tennis balls to become familiar with the equipment and eventually begin to work with a racquet.
Who Can Participate
Wheelchair tennis is available to athletes in the following categories:
- spinal cord injured/wheelchair
Ambulatory tennis is available to athletes in the following categories:
- cerebral palsy/brain injury/stroke
- les autres
- Wheelchair Tennis Video-enabled Factsheet - http://www.ncpad.org/37/291/Wheelchair~Tennis