08.11.16 – Road tennis

According to http://www.barbados.org/road-tennis-barbados.htm, road tennis was invented in the 1930s.

It came about when black bajans did not have access to the tennis courts owned by whites, so the drew a court on the floor, stripped an old tennis ball so they could not be accused of theft, and begun playing tennis in the road.

According to http://www.proroadtennis.com/, Road Tennis was referred to as “poor man’s tennis” in relation to traditional tennis.

In the early days two players used pieces of wood as racquets and in extreme cases hard back books. Courts were marked out in roads with marlstones and a piece of wood represented a net. An old lawn tennis ball was used. The table tennis scoring system was adopted.

As the game evolved the fur from the lawn tennis ball was removed. This process is know as ‘skinning’. Racquets made out of plywood soon replaced pieces of wood and the road tennis courts were painted.

Road tennis is like table tennis on the floor. The stills and techniques that you would use in road tennis are very similar to table tennis.

But why am I telling you all this, well because I went to my first road tennis game last night whet I watched several very exciting games in which my cousins sons won their matches.

It is a bit of a stretch to call it the World Road Tennis Competition when the countries playing are Barbados, Canada, Dominica, Jamaica, St Vincent, Trinidad, and the USA, however I guess if it takes off even further then they will own the name, and the game.

The adult men’s and adult women’s games we fast and hard fought with last year’s prize being a car and $3k in prize money, so the stakes are high.

There are people who train every day, and have courts on their property, and some who fit it in around a gruelling day job and still manage to play at a professional level.

The speed and technique of the game is more like table tennis than lawn tennis, with long high speed rallies full of cuts, spins, and precision shots that barely get over the net.

This would be quite an interesting game to take back to the diaspora in Melbourne.


~ by jeditopcat on 12 November, 2016.

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