Wheelchair tennis celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2011 as an organised sport, and since its inception in the United States in 1976, it has become one of the fastest growing wheelchair sports in the world.
Wheelchair tennis follows the same rules as non-disabled tennis, except in wheelchair tennis competitions the ball is allowed to bounce twice - the first bounce being within the bounds of the court. Athletes must also have a permanent, substantial or total loss of function in one or both legs.
Played by both men and women, the events are held in singles and (between two players) doubles (between two pairs), with the winner of a match being the first athlete or team to win two sets of play. It is an energetic and skilled game in which athletes must have high levels of skill, fitness and strategy.
There is an additional quadriplegic division where those with a permanent disability in three or more limbs can play. This is a mixed category for male and female to compete against each other.
Athletes that are aiming for the top of the sport can compete in the Paralympic Games, an included sport since 1992, or an international wheelchair tennis tour that now boasts over 170 tournaments across 46 countries. Equally suited to the social participant, wheelchair tennis is an exciting and enjoyable sport that can be played outside in the summer sun or inside a stadium during the colder months.
Operating under Tennis NZ, the NZ Wheelchair Tennis Committee continues to ensure that more New Zealanders are introduced to the sport and our elite athletes keep competing at the top level.