North East Visually Impaired Tennis Club

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About VI Tennis

Origins


VI Tennis was invented by Mr Takei Miyoshi from Saitama in Japan. Born in 1968, Miyoshi-san lost his sight when he was just one year old.

While at high school in 1984 Miyoshi-san decided that he wanted to be able to play tennis and undeterred by his lack of sight devoted several years of his life to researching and designing a ball and modified rules that would allow blind and visually impaired people to play. You can find out more about the amazing life and work of Takei Miyoshi at the japan Blind Tennis website by clicking here.

The video above shows the 2010 Japan Blind Tennis mens' singles final : Takei vs Ono. Both players are blind.

Rules

VI tennis is played using a sponge ball with a rattle in it and is usually played on a short court with a short racket. Until recently, VI Tennis in the UK was played in the service box of a standard tennis court, while in Japan it was played within the boundaries of a badminton court.

In 2014 the first congress of the International Blind Tennis Association was held in Texas USA with a view to introducing a standard set of international tournament rules and promnoting VI Tennis as a paralympic sport.  The IBTA conress adopted a standard ITF mini red court for B1 players and a standard ITF mini orange court for all other sight categories.

B1 players are allowed three bounces, B2 players are also allowed three under the new IBTA rules, B3 get two and B4 are only allowed the standard one.

Volleys are not allowed and are 'player loses point'.

For more information and resources, check out our rules section.

VI Tennis in the UK


VI Tennis is a growing sport in the UK and around the world.  In the UK there are currently clubs in Brighton, Cambridge, London, Manchester, Wrexham, York and Leeds.  And then of course, there's us!

VI Tennis Worldwide


VI Tennis is played in (at least) the USA, Spain, Argentina, Australia, Singapore and of course here in the UK.

For more information or a press kit get in touch with us at play@nevitc.org.uk