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USTA Initiates 10 and Under Tennis Program

Aug 16th, 2012
Staff Writer
Girl and tennis coach

The United States Tennis Association has began an initiative to implement a new kind of tennis for players 10 years and younger, in hopes of improving the quality and enjoyment of the game for kids unaccustomed to a professional-sized court.

The USTA is currently offering free junior membership for 10 and under players until December 31st of 2012. This enables the child to participate in USTA Junior Tournaments and in USTA Jr. Team Tennis, as well as an annual subscription to the Bounce Newsletter, according to USTA.com.

This is an attempt to gain support for the 10 and Under Program that now utilizes a newly sized, 60-foot court (traditionally 78 feet). Designed specifically for children at a beginning level, these new courts offer a new opportunity to smaller people interested in playing the sport on a smaller level.

To further establish what the USTA hopes will be a new era of tennis, they offer facility grants for painting permanent 36 and 60-foot lines on existing courts, or producing 10 and under courts independently. "The USTA will match dollar for dollar the investment an existing tennis facility makes toward the total cost of painting blended lines or converting tennis courts," according to their 10 And Under Tennis Facility Resources website.

A striking example of the success of this new style of play for younger kids was recently displayed. Andre Palmer, Southern California four-year-old, saw his first tennis tournament victory on the new 10 and Under court.

Competing in the South Pasadena, Andre won nine straight matches to capture a eight-and-under tournament title. Tournament director and Stanford All-American tennis player John Letts was impressed: "This was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen in my 35 years of experience in tennis," Letts said about Andre, according to the USTA article.

The new trend could change tennis for young people around the world. By including the new, smaller dimensions, the USTA hopes to provide children with the ability to hold longer rallies, and most importantly, have more fun.

TennisWorkout.com

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