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Get elementary school kids immediately into tennis with the QuickStart Tennis format. The format uses short courts and modified equipment to help make the learning process easier and a lot more fun. Your kids will gain confidence by seeing their own immediate progress, making them more enthusiastic about continuing to play and improve. As players advance in skill, they can continue to participate in USTA Jr. Team Tennis as they graduate from modified courts to full-court formats.

Your Role | Getting Started | Play! | Grow Your Program

Your Role

Anyone can help to bring the QuickStart Tennis format to their school or community: PE teachers, administrators, faculty, volunteers and/ or after school providers. Ideally, the program will have support from the following:

Getting Started

01Equipment_GoodSportsYou will need:

An indoor or outdoor play area

  • If you do not have access to tennis courts, the QuickStart Tennis format can be played on blacktops, cement multi-purpose courts, or gymnasium floors. Courts can also be set up on packed dirt, or even on grass.
  • Existing markings on floors (badminton and volleyball lines) can be utilized. Flat rubber lines, chalk or tape can be used for playing surfaces that are not marked.
  • A regulation tennis court can be turned into six 36’ x 18’ QuickStart Tennis format courts by hanging a net or rope with streamers through its center lengthwise from fence to fence

Junior tennis rackets

  • Suggested racquet lengths range from 21"– 23"
  • Ideal for limited spaces

Lightweight nets and portable standards; or makeshift nets or barriers

  • Use any lightweight net that can cover an 18-to 20-foot area, approximately 2 ½ feet high in the center.
  • A badminton or volleyball net can be used
  • You can also improvise by using plastic barrier tape, yellow caution tape, or rope with streamers

Foam and/or low compression tennis balls

  • Foam balls are best for beginning players on smaller courts
  • Low compression/low bounce felt balls are best for the intermediate players on a 60 foot court


02KidsPlaying_PickingOutRacquetsThe Game 
The goal of QuickStart Tennis is to simulate full-size tennis. As a result, play can be either singles or doubles. Overhand or underhand serves can be used. Once in play, the ball can be hit after one bounce or out of the air. All other rules parallel tennis.

Give players two serves to get the point started (overhand or underhand).

For beginners 8 and under, numerical scoring is recommended (1-2-3-4) with games being first to win seven points. If time permits play two out or three games. For more advanced players and those over 8, use numerical scoring with games being first to win four points and sets being first to win four games.

Organizing Play
There are many successful models for organizing play. These range from organized team play, drop-in formats and round-robin tournaments. We recommend play formats that emphasize participation.

Organized Team Play formats are a perfect bridge towards team programs at the middle school and high school level.

  • Concept: To provide structured team matches with students remaining on the same team for an entire season.
  • How to: Students are divided into teams representing their class, their grade, or their school. Team size should reflect the facilities, with the goal of creating matches where every player can remain active. Schedule of matches should allow each team to play each other at least once during the season.

Flexible Team Competition

  • Concept: To allow for team competition in a situation where the student population changes from day to day.
  • How to: Divide students into teams and play a series of short scoring matches (e.g. 11 point games, 21 point games), or for a designated time (ten-minute matches). Each team may have, for instance, four doubles squads.

Round Robin Tournament

  • Concept: Provide students with equal opportunity for singles or doubles play in a non-elimination format.
  • How to: Players are divided into four to five small groups of four to five students. Students will play all other students within that group. This usually results in records that have a distribution like: 3-0, 2-2, and 0-3. For the second half of the intramural program, students are once again divided into groups (or flights) based upon their record.

Grow Your Program

Get to know other Physical Education teachers, parents, and personnel of the school/s and distribute information

Offer to assist with Physical Education classes (demonstrate the QuickStart Tennis Format)

  • Kids are introduced to tennis in the Physical Education classes, which transition into the local USTA Jr. Team Tennis League and/or NJTL or other after-school programs

Recruit your local tennis team to help teach younger kids

Include everyone and keep it fun!

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To get started with USTA School Tennis, contact your local USTA Section Coordinator or e-mail us at schools@usta.com.
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