How playing Tennis with a is possible? Tennis is an active sport that needs more energy and power. How can wheelchair users play Tennis? People with impairments are a part of every society and community, and their number is extensive around the world, and the number is growing every day.
According to WHO, the world’s 10% population deals with some injuries types that limited their physical abilities in their lives. Based on this group of people’s skills and interests, wheelchair tennis is an adapted sport for those people with impairments who love to play Tennis. The court size, net height, and rackets are the same as the pedestrian tennis, but the differences are the specially designed wheelchair and the ball, which may bounce up to two times, where the second bounce may also occur outside the court.
The creator of this sport is Brad Parks in 1982, and France became the first country to put the sports program in place. Wheelchair tennis is played at Grand Slams and is one of the sports of the Summer Paralympics. The game was promoted during the years:
– 1988: introducing the game to Paralympic Games as a demonstration event at the Seoul 1988 Summer Paralympics
– 1990: playing wheelchair tennis alongside the non-disabled players’ event in Miami
– 1992: Summer Paralympics in Barcelona and acquiring the status of a full-fledged competition
2000: Summer Paralympics in Sydney, which immensely boosted public appreciation and led to the sport’s introduction to the four annual Grand Slams of Tennis.
– 2004: Adding the Quad category to the Paralympics Games, after the efforts of Rick Draney
– 2005: The Masters series was created, comprising all the events at the Grand Slams and the end of year championships, as Wimbledon and the US Open joined Melbourne.
– 2007: Roland Garros joined, and the Classic 8s were replaced by the Australian Open, held at the same venue two weeks later.
– 2009: all events played at the non-disabled and Slams were renamed Grand Slams.
– 2013: the ITF decided to adopt match tiebreakers in place of a third and deciding set in doubles matches
Who is eligible for Wheelchair Tennis?
Eligibility is to determine who can participate in a particular sport based on their physical conditions and abilities. Some people with severe impairments cannot take part in such sports. Wheelchair Tennis is a sport for those who have the following impairments:
Impaired Muscle Power
It refers to those players who have a Health Condition that either reduces or eliminates their ability to contract their muscles to move or to generate force voluntarily.
The players who have a complete or partial absence of bones or joints because of a consequence of trauma, illness, or congenital limb deficiency
Leg Length Difference
Those players with a difference in the length of their legs
The players that have an increase in muscle tension and a reduced ability of a muscle to stretch caused by damage to the central nervous system
This group of the player has uncoordinated movements because of damage to the central nervous system.
The players that have continual slow, involuntary movements
Impaired Passive Range of Movement
The players with a restriction of passive movement in one or more joints
How did players classify for Wheelchair Tennis?
All the Players are classified for competitions to have balanced teams with the same abilities to have fair competitions. That is why players are classified in parasports. There are two main categories for this sport, and each category has singles and doubles tournaments. The classifications for wheelchair tennis are:
Wheelchair tennis, The ‘Open’ Class
This classification is for those athletes with permanent impairments of one or both legs but with normal arm function. Men and women are included.
Wheelchair tennis, The ‘Quad’ Class
This classification is for those athletes with additional restrictions in the playing arm, limiting the ability to handle the racquet and maneuver the wheelchair. As an “open” class, Men and women are included in the “Quad” class.
How wheelchair tennis affects players’ life?
Based on many types of research, wheelchair tennis has positive impacts on players. Playing sport needs free time and no matter man or woman, sports have lots of benefits. The first benefit is that all the sports ensure physical and mental health. Socializing, having social relationships, and finding new friends is another advantage of most sports. Traveling for some competitions makes the most enjoyable times with friends and teammates and can see new cities and countries. It can be an excellent experience for people with impairments because traveling is programmed and designed for their conditions, which is a moral one. Each sport helps to improve some skills and helps to strengthen some particular parts of the body.
Wheelchair tennis helps to increase the coordination between the brain, the eyes, and the body and improve the body’s reflections. The ability to move as fast as possible will increase for the athletes. With regular practices, the motivation will increase, the stress and negative thoughts will lessen, and the body tiredness will decrease. Players won’t feel bored if they love the sport. Wheelchair tennis brings self-fulfillments, self-satisfaction, and safety to the players, which improves their mental health. Good physical appearance and ideal weight are possible with wheelchair tennis.