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Impact Team Tennis 101: A Beginner’s Guide

A player bouncing a tennis ball on a racket

When it comes to professional tennis, Impact Team Tennis (ITT), formerly called World Team Tennis (WTT), stands out as a beacon of innovation and inclusivity. Founded in 1973, this mixed-gender professional tennis league has captured the hearts of fans worldwide with its dynamic team format and unwavering commitment to gender equality.

Keen to learn more? Keep reading as we delve into the exciting world of Impact Team Tennis or World Team Tennis, exploring its origins, format, and the unique experience it offers to players of all levels.

Origins of Impact Team Tennis

IIT or WTT traces its roots back to the early 1970s when tennis legend Billie Jean King, alongside co-founders Larry King, Fred Barman, Jordon Kaiser, Dennis Murphy, and Frank Fuhrer, sought to revolutionize the sport. Dissatisfied with the gender disparities prevalent in traditional tennis tournaments, they envisioned a league where men and women could compete together on the same teams, with equal status and recognition for all players.

Format and Gameplay

At the core of Impact Team Tennis is its innovative team-based format, which sets it apart from traditional tennis leagues and competitions. Each ITT match consists of five sets featuring men’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s singles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles.

Before each match, coaches determine the order of play, ensuring that each player on a team has the opportunity to showcase their skills in at least one set.

Scoring in ITT follows a no-advantage format, with sets typically decided by the first team to win five games. In the event of a tie at four-all, a nine-point tiebreaker is played to determine the winner. One point is awarded for each game won, with extended play and a super tiebreaker used if necessary to determine the match’s outcome.

Inclusivity and Gender Equality

One of the defining features of Impact Team Tennis is its unwavering commitment to gender equality. As the first professional sports league to grant equal status to each man and woman competing for their teams, ITT has shattered barriers and paved the way for a more inclusive future in sports. By providing a platform where male and female athletes can compete side by side, ITT celebrates the talents and contributions of all players, regardless of gender.

tennis racket and a ball

Courts and Visual Identity

The World Team Tennis (WTT) court, introduced in the early 1970s, revolutionized tennis with its distinctive four-color (calico) design, aiming to eliminate court lines and represent various tennis surfaces.

Originally created to eliminate court lines, the colorful court features blue and green service boxes, a brown baseline area, and maroon doubles alleys. This visually striking design has become synonymous with ITT and serves as a testament to the league’s innovative spirit.

Over time, the court changed, including the addition of lines and color adjustments. In 2006, WTT returned to its signature calico/checkerboard pattern. In 2019, WTT modernized its look with a deep blue playing surface and gray outer court, enhancing visibility for broadcasts. Throughout its history, the WTT court has been a symbol of innovation and tradition in tennis.

Getting Started

Now that you’re familiar with the basics of Impact Team Tennis, it’s time to get involved! Whether you’re a seasoned player or new to the sport, there are plenty of opportunities to join a team, participate in matches, and experience the excitement of team tennis firsthand.

Joining an ITT league, with the support of organizations like WATA, not only provides an opportunity to improve your tennis skills but also offers a chance to connect with others who share your passion for the game.

Reach out to learn how WATA helps seasoned players and newcomers get acclimated to the format and rules of team tennis.








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