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The Sand Pit
Long Island Tennis Magazine

Long Island, NY
For the 2010 season, the biggest development for Beach Tennis USA (BTUSA) is the switch from standard tennis racquets to paddles for regulation tournament play. The change was made largely to facilitate the unification of the many international beach tennis associations throughout Europe, South America and Asia. Read article from Long Island Tennis Magazine


Republished from: Long Island Tennis Magazine  
Now in its sixth full season, Beach Tennis USA continues to spread the gospel of beach tennis throughout the U.S. and beyond

For the 2010 season, the biggest development for Beach Tennis USA (BTUSA) is the switch from standard tennis racquets to paddles for regulation tournament play. The change was made largely to facilitate the unification of the many international beach tennis associations throughout Europe, South America and Asia.

“By converting to the paddle, Beach Tennis USA will be able to work more closely with our international partners to grow the sport, both on the pro and recreational levels,” said Marc Altheim, BTUSA’s founder and commissioner. Altheim added that he believes the switch to paddles will help introduce beach tennis to more “non-tennis” players, thereby allowing it to become a more mainstream activity for casual beachgoers. 
Jim Lorenzo, president of BTUSA, has been working to achieve the company’s long-term goal of making beach tennis an Olympic sport.

“In addition to implementing the use of paddles we have initiated dialogue with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to discuss ways that we can unify the sport of beach tennis worldwide,” said Lorenzo.
Finally, to further its efforts in standardizing the sport on a global level, Beach Tennis USA also has adopted the international court dimensions of 8 X 16 meters and a net height of 170 centimeters (5’ 6 ¾”).

Another major development in 2010 is a partnership with the Amateur Athletic Union of the USA Inc. (AAU). For the first time, beach tennis will be included in the AAU Junior Olympic Games, the largest youth multi-sport event in the country; which this year will be held from July 29-Aug. 7 in Hampton Roads, Va. More than 14,000 participants representing 50 states and U.S. territories take part in more than 20 sports. The Beach Tennis Championships will be held on July 31 and Aug. 1.

“The 2010 AAU Junior Olympic Games will be open to anyone who wants to play beach tennis, even if it’s for the first time,” said Altheim. “We'll have clinics, games and activities for anyone who wants to give it a try."
BTUSA’s first major tournament of 2010 was held in Key Biscayne, Fla. on March 27-28 at the Sony Ericsson Open in Crandon Park. Pro and amateur play was held for men and women, and players from throughout the U.S. and around the world competed. This was the fourth consecutive year that BTUSA held a tournament at the Sony Ericsson Open.

Winners of the BTUSA tournament Pro Divisions at the Sony Ericsson Open were Lee Whitwell and Joslyn Burkett of San Diego (Women’s Division) and Alex Mingozzi and Alessandro Calbucci of Ravenna, Italy (Men’s Division).

“Once again, our tournament at Sony Ericsson was a huge success,” said Lorenzo. “Our relationship with the City of Miami and Miami Dade County has progressed to the point where they gave us permission to set up five permanent beach tennis courts.”

The first BTUSA Instructor Certification Program was held at the Sony Ericsson Open. According to Lorenzo, 12 individuals completed the one-day certification program, which was taught by master instructors Alex Mingozzi, Massimo Mattei and Matteo Marighella of Italy. A certification program will be held on Long Island during the month of June and the date and place will be posted on the BTUSA Web site,www.beachtennisusa.net, in the weeks to come.

In addition to the Sony Ericsson Open and the AAU Junior Olympics, BTUSA will be holding tournaments in cities including, Long Beach, N.Y.; Virginia Beach, Va.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Chicago; San Diego, Calif.; Hermosa Beach, Calif.; Santa Barbara, Calif.; Santa Cruz, Calif.; and Charleston, S.C. The sixth annual National Championship will be held in Long Beach, N.Y. on Labor Day weekend (Sept. 4-6).

Long Beach, N.Y., which is the unofficial home of American beach tennis, will also be the site of league and recreational play on both weekdays and weeknights during the summer. Courts will be located on the beach at New York Avenue, and people of all ages and skill levels can sign up. Details will be posted on the BTUSA Web site (www.beachtennisusa.net) in the weeks to come.

Also in Long Beach, N.Y., Skudin Surf and BTUSA have entered into a partnership for 2010. Beach tennis will be incorporated into the surfing school’s summer camp program, and children who attend the camp in July and August will have the opportunity to learn the sport of beach tennis.

If you want to try your hand at beach tennis this year you should check out Beach Tennis USA’s Web site to find out where you can play and how you can purchase an official BTUSA/Vision Paddle. These high-quality carbon paddles are available in several varieties and can be purchased individually or in bundles. Official paddles are available in the U.S. only through Beach Tennis USA.

In case you don’t live near a beach or have access to a sand court, don’t fret. Beach tennis can now be played on the grass or in the snow, making it a year-round sport. Look for more about this in the next installment of The Sand Pit.

BTUSA on the Island in ‘10
This summer, Beach Tennis USA will hold at least one Ranking Tournament per month in Long Beach, N.Y. As we went to press, two tournaments have been scheduled with more to follow. The site, www.beachtennisusa.net, will be updating the tournament schedule throughout the spring/summer as more information becomes available.

June 12-13: BTUSA Ranking Tournament
September 4-6: 2010 BTUSA National Championships

What is Beach Tennis?


Introducing the Hottest Sport on Sand: Beach Tennis!

Take the fun and fast-paced sport of tennis... combine it with the sun, sea and sand of the beach... and you have beach tennis, the most electrifying new sport to hit the U.S.

Beach tennis merges the worlds of tennis and beach volleyball into one exciting sport. It can be played both competitively and recreationally and because it’s so simple to play, it appeals to athletes and non-athletes of all ages.

So what exactly is beach tennis? It’s like regular tennis except it’s played on a regulation beach volleyball court. Using beach tennis paddles, two players on each team volley back and forth, hitting a slightly depressurized tennis ball directly over the net without letting it bounce... it’s hard to make the ball bounce on sand! One hit per team is all that’s allowed.

Your team scores a point each time your opponents hit the ball outside the lines or let it hit the sand.

What are the Rules?
The rules of beach tennis are similar to those of regular tennis:
- Scoring is 15-30-40 with no advantage; at 40-40 (deuce) next point wins
- In Mixed Doubles, men serve underhand
- Lets are in play
- Only one serve is allowed per point
- The ball can NOT hit the sand. If it does, the opposing team receives a point
- If the ball strikes the line in any way the shot is good
- No part of a player's body or his/her equipment may touch the net or cross the plane of the net (over or under). If it does, that player's team will lose the point being played
- The player serving must stay behind the base line while serving. If any part of a player's body touches the base line in his/her service motion before hitting the ball, it is considered a foot fault and the serving team will lose the point
- Only one hit is allowed to get the ball over the net; in doubles, you may not pass the ball to your partner
Can anyone play?
Yes, that’s the best part. Beach tennis has a very short learning curve. If you can hold a paddle, you can learn to play beach tennis very quickly. If you are already a tennis player, chances are you can play beach tennis competitively on the first day.
Can I use my Platform Tennis paddle?
Yes, however you will find Beach Tennis paddles to be a little longer, lighter and softer. Once you get hooked you will want to use official equipment.
What Kind of Ball is used?
A 50% pressurized tennis ball is the approved ball of Beach Tennis USA and the I.F.B.T. .
How Popular is Beach Tennis?
It is currently played in 57 countries, including major events in Italy, Japan, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Argentina & Brazil. With over 2 million players worldwide this is a very rapidly growing sport. In the US, the AAU Junior Olympics has adopted Beach Tennis as an official event for 2010.
Can it be played without sand?
YES - Beach Tennis is also played on grass and indoors.
How does it compare to Platform Tennis?
Like Platform Tennis it is extremely easy to learn, any current paddle player will have no problem picking up this sport quickly.



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