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Beach Tennis Rackets in the sand
Beach Tennis Rules | How to Play Beach Tennis

What is Beach Tennis

Beach tennis is an exciting and fast-paced sport that combines elements of tennis, beach volleyball, and badminton. Played on sand, it involves two teams of two players each, who use specially designed paddles and a decompressed tennis ball to volley it over a high net.


The objective of beach tennis is to score points by landing the ball in the opponent's court  What sets beach tennis apart is its emphasis on teamwork, agility, and finesse, as players must adapt to the shifting sands and the wind's influence on the ball. It's a popular recreational activity enjoyed by beachgoers around the world, offering a fun and active way to soak up the sun while honing one's athletic skills. The sport has two World Governing Bodies, the IFBT (International Federation Beach Tennis) and the ITF (International Tennis Federation) and has been professionalised, it is hoped Beach Tennis will make it onto the Summer Olympic Programme in 2032 in Brisbane.


The Basic Rules of Beach Tennis

While specific rules may vary slightly depending on the organisation or event, here are the basic rules of beach tennis:

1. Court Setup:

Beach tennis is played on a rectangular sand court that measures 16 meters (52.5 feet) in length and 8 meters (26.25 feet) in width.

2. The Beach Tennis Net:

A net is placed in the center of the court, and its height depends on the code, for IFBT events both the men, women and mixed doubles events see the net height at 1.7m, whereas in recent years in ITF tournaments the men play at 1.8m and the women's and mixed categories play at 1.7m


3. Teams:

Beach tennis is usually played in doubles, with two players on each team. Teams can be either all-male, all-female, or mixed.

4. Scoring:

Beach tennis generally uses the same scoring system as regular tennis, with points awarded as 15, 30, 40, and game, and games won consecutively leading to a set. The first team to win two sets (best of three) wins the match. The key difference however is that there is no advantage at deuce.

5. Serve:

The server must serve either over arm or underarm from anywhere behind the baseline, and serve to any part of the opposing court. In mixed doubles the male players must serve underarm.

There is no second serve and and no lets calls. So if the ball touches the net during the serve the point continues.

3. Play:

The ball must be volleyed back and forth between the teams over the net.  The ball must not bounce. As soon as it touches the sand the point is over. A point is awarded when the ball: Lands on the sand in the opponent's court. Hits the net and then lands in the opponent's court. The opponent fails to return the ball into the playing area.

4.  Change of sides:

Players change sides after every odd numbered game in a set.

5. Faults:

A fault is called if the ball is hit out of bounds, doesn't clear the net, or if a player commits other rule violations. If a player serves a fault, they do not get a second serve attempt.

6. Winning:

The team that reaches the required number of games first (usually two sets) wins the match.

7. Tiebreak:

In some variations, a tiebreaker may be used to decide a set that reaches a certain score (e.g., 6-6). In a tiebreaker, players take turns serving and receive one point for each rally won until one team reaches a predetermined number of points (either 7 or 10) with a minimum two-point lead.


In order to play Beach Tennis, a few pieces of equipment are required as follows:

1. The Beach Tennis Racket

A paddle type racket made from foam and carbon fibre that is shorter than a traditional tennis racket, with holes across the surface to allow air to pass through as the racket head is moved through the air.

2. A Beach Tennis Ball

A Beach Tennis Ball is the same size as a standard tennis ball, however it has been decompressed by 50% which changes the speed and allows for greater control when using the paddle style of racket. 

beach tennis racket and balls

3. The Court Playing Area

A sand court measuring 16m x 8m marked with lines at least 2 inches thick

4. The Net

A mesh net with holes smaller than the ball, so it cannot pass through on contact, held in place by two posts fixed into the sand at a height of 1.7m for women's and mixed games and 1.8m for men's competition in ITF events. 

It's essential to check the specific rules of the organisation or event you are participating in, as slight variations may exist. Beach tennis is a fun and dynamic sport that can be enjoyed by players of various skill levels, whether for leisure or competition.