About POP Tennis
POP Tennis is the rebranding of the 100-year-old paddle tennis that is being played across the USA and around the world. POP Tennis is a scaled-down version of regular tennis, only played on shorter tennis courts, with shorter, solid racquets, and lower compression tennis balls. POP Tennis has the same scoring and rules as tennis, with the exception of serving. (POP Tennis players are allowed one underhand serve).
It can be played indoors and outdoors and is very easy to learn. POP Tennis is a fun, social activity that adults and kids can play and enjoy—immediately! Simply grab a racquet and a ball and start playing.
According to the Carolina Paddle Tennis Association, Reverend Frank Peter Beal created the sport of Paddle Tennis in 1898. He saw Paddle Tennis as an activity for children and as a means for them to learn to play Tennis. His initial Paddle Tennis court was 18’ x 39’, exactly one-half the size of a regulation tennis court. Players used a sponge-rubber ball and a wooden paddle. The much smaller court and the short-handled paddle allowed children to pick-up the game quickly; as a result, they enjoyed playing while attaining mastery of a racquet sport that prepared them to play tennis.
Reverend Beal then moved to New York City in 1921, and the following year, the first Paddle Tennis tournament was held. During this time, adults began playing the sport and enjoyed how easy and exhilarating it was to play. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Paddle Tennis grew in popularity and spread to other cities, such as Los Angeles.
By the late 1950s, the game’s popularity had grown and in 1961, the official Paddle Tennis court was lengthened by three feet on each end in order to make it 20’ x 50’ thus creating the “Classic POP” Tennis court size. At this time, the sponge-rubber ball was replaced with a decompressed tennis ball, the net was lowered, and the overhand serve was also eliminated, and only one underhand serve was allowed. These changes were accepted by both the East and West Coast Paddle Tennis Associations and are still in effect today for “Classic POP”.
While the popularity of the game progressed, confusion with the name arose. The term “Paddle” tennis differed drastically per geographic region and has since been confused with sports other than the original game (i.e. ping pong, platform paddle tennis, paddle ball, beach tennis, pickleball or more recently padel). The need for a new name to set the game apart was necessary.
In 2015, an integral group of trailblazers coined the unique name, POP Tennis™. Alas, the spirit, popularity and sound of our sport is portrayed through its namesake and re-brand. “Everything about our sport, POPS!”™
In 2016, POP Tennis was adapted by the United States Tennis Association. The game now uses both 60’ and 50’ courts to provide more options for play. POP Tennis is sweeping the nation in both public and private facilities. The national tour has grown to multiple cities and is sponsored by leading sports manufacturers.
Where to Play
The official POP Tennis court sizes are 60′ x 21′ for singles and 60′ x 27′ for doubles. POP Classic (original Paddle Tennis) is played on a 50′ x 20′ court. POP Tennis can be played anywhere, and is played all around the world. In fact, there are over 30,000 current POP Tennis courts in the United States alone. You can check out the official POP Tennis Court Locator Map to find a court near you.
If you don’t have an official POP Tennis court to play on, that’s okay! You can easily convert any standard-sized tennis court to a POP Tennis court by using tape to create lines. Be sure to set the lines 9 feet in from either end of the baseline on a standard tennis court.
You can even go a step further and build your own POP Tennis court. The smaller size makes it a perfect addition to your backyard or place of business. And because it’s a social activity that people of all ages can enjoy, you will get more use out of this than your ordinary tennis court.