Source: Indys Child Parenting Magazine

New Teaching Format is Introduced to the Game of Tennis
"QuickStart" initiative brings out children's love for the sport

by Barbara Wynne

May 01, 2011

The source of my column this month stems from my love and passion for the game of tennis.

Recently, the sport has adopted a new format in its teaching methods for children ages 10 and under. Locally, the National Junior Tennis League of Indianapolis and the Washington Township Schools Community Tennis Program have both adopted this new format. Most of the other Indianapolis area tennis programs will soon be offering the new format to their younger players as well.

It’s called the QuickStart Tennis play format, and it’s impact on children has been extremely positive as it encourages kids to fall in love with the sport from the start. The QuickStart format uses racquets, balls, and courts that are sized right for kids, allowing them to play tennis shortly after picking up a racquet for the first time.

The QuickStart format changes the size of the courts to 36’ for ages 8 and under and to 60’ for ages 9 and 10.

The format also introduces color-coded balls, designed to match the size of the children; the orange ball, foam ball, red felt ball, traditional yellow ball and the green dot ball.

The foam ball and the red felt ball are appropriate for ages 8 and under and ideal for those playing on the 36’ court, as they have low compression, thus bouncing lower to the ground. The foam ball is safe and the red felt ball is slower and lighter than the traditional yellow ball.

The orange ball is better suited for ages 9 and 10 and is ideal for children playing on the 60’ courts. The orange ball is the same size as the yellow ball but is lighter, moves slower and bounces slightly higher than the red felt ball.

There is also the green dot ball, which is a transitional ball recommended for ages 10 and above who are moving to the standard 78’ court.

All children enjoy being members of teams and enjoy having support from teammates, which is another reason why the QuickStart format works.

Please go to and watch some videos of the QuickStart format. For dates of events for round robins and low-key competitions for players ages 10 and under, check Most of all, remember LOVE is a big part of tennis so enjoy it as a family and give lots of encouragement to your children.