Purpose: The scaling of tennis equipment was officially launched by the International Tennis Federation in 2007 through the Play and Stay Campaign. This campaign, through a Tennis 10’s initiative, formulated three stages that features different racquet lengths, ball compression variations, and court sizes. The three scaled tennis equipment stages provided a pathway designed to have early success for youth starting to play the game. This investigation delved into understanding perceptions of the three stakeholder groups (parents, players, and coaches) of a scaled tennis equipment program.
Method: Sixty-three young tennis players, 30 parents of tennis players, and 10 tennis coaches were interviewed using a set number of questions designed to identify perceptions of a scaled tennis equipment program.
Results: Tennis players using scaled tennis equipment perceived they were able to play the game with their coach, friends, and family. Parents identified that scaled tennis equipment was designed for their child and promoted confidence. Tennis coaches mentioned that scaled tennis equipment promoted cooperative teaching style and constraints-based coaching and suggested that only team competition should be promoted for players 10-and-under.
Conclusion: All three stakeholder groups indicated success with a scaled tennis equipment program. It appeared to facilitate players’ successful participation in the game of tennis and exhibited confidence. To safeguard the success of a scaled tennis equipment program, transition between stages needs to be done according to skill development success rather than age criteria.