North East Visually Impaired Tennis Club

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A 21 inch racquet and JBTF Soundball


Any comfortable, loose fitting clothing can be worn. VI Tennis is usually played indoors, in which case indoor non marking shoes should be worn.


Standard tennis racquets are used, players may use any standard size racquet they are comfortable with, however we recommend a racquet size of between 21 and 23 inches for B1 players and 23 inches or larger for players in the B2, B3 and B4 players.


The current standard tournament ball is a Japan Blind Tennis Federation sound ball, a soft foam ball with a hard plastic inner containing ball bearings which make a characteristic rattling sound when the ball is in play, allowing players with low - or even no - vision to locate and engage the ball.

JBTF Soundballs are available for import from Shoei Industry Co. Ltd. in Tokyo, Japan. Information in English on ordering balls can found at the website of Japanese tennis coach Ayako Matsui, here.

Tactile Markings

For B1 players, tactile markings are placed around the lines of the court. There is currently no standard way to do this, and clubs are always experimenting with new techniques. Popular methods include thin rope or string, washing line, standard throw down lines. And lashings and lashings of good old masking tape.

Courts and nets

In tennis venues, VI tennis is played in the familiar red and orange court setups, usually (in the UK) indoors. The game has also been very successfully played in a variety of venues from badminton courts to sports halls to parks. Anywhere you can get a mini net up - and there is sufficient run off space to play safely - should be suitable.