Tennis Facts for Kids – 5 Terrific Facts about Tennis

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Updated on: Educator Review By: Michelle Connolly

Do yo enjoy watching the Wimbledon?! Let’s learn five terrific tennis facts for kids.

Tennis Facts for Kids Fact Number 1: The First Tennis Ball Wasn’t Yellow

Charles Goodyear who also invented the first rubber football, invented the first tennis ball in the 1850s. The original ball was completely rubber, but would wear down too easily. To stop the rubber ball from breaking they were covered in white or black flannel. It wasn’t until 1986, when the famous Wimbledon began appearing on Tv,  that the neon yellow ball was used. They believed that the colour yellow would be easier for spectators to see at home when watching Wimbledon.

Tennis Facts for Kids

Tennis Facts for Kids Fact Number 2: People Used to Play Tennis with Their Hands

Before Tennis rackets were invented people used to play Tennis with the palm of their hands. The players hands would become red and swollen during the game. That sounds very painful, doesn’t it ! Some people had custom made gloves which they wore to stop the stinging while playing a game, others simply wrapped rope around their hands to strike the ball with. In 1874 the very first Tennis racket was invented by Major Walter C. Wingfield. These tennis rackets were made from solid wood. They were like a modern table tennis racket, however much larger. You can imagine how heavy these must have been.

Tennis Facts for Kids Fact Number 3: Venus and Serena Williams Were The First Pair of Sisters to Win Olympic Gold Medals in Tennis

Venus and Serena Williams are two of the most well known tennis players in history. The sisters were both coached by their parents Richard Williams and Oracene Price. Serena and Venus made History when they won their first Olympic gold medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Both sisters have each won four gold medals at the Olympic games to date. There was a movie made about their lives and how their father coached them called “King Richard”

Tennis Facts for Kids

Tennis Facts for Kids Fact Number 4: The Scoring System Is Based on a Clock Face

The 15, 30, 40 Tennis scoring system originated from a clock face that would be at the end of the court. Look at the clock on the wall. When a player scored a point the pointer on the clock was moved a quarter to 15, if they scored another it was moved another quarter to 30.  This would mean the third point should be the third quarter mark on the clock 45, but it is not. The third point is 40 as it was shorter to say than 45.

Tennis Facts for Kids Fact Number 5: The First Tennis Courts Were not Rectangle

The first tennis courts were in the shape of an hourglass, designed by Major Walter Clopton Wingfield. Think of your egg timers but less narrow in the centre! These tennis courts were wide at the back but were narrower near the net. The nets were also taller than they are now making it harder to hit the ball over to the other side. The first tennis matches were played on grass courts and were called lawn tennis. There are four main types of tennis courts, Grass courts, Clay courts, Hard courts and artificial grass courts. Each surface causes the tennis ball to bounce differently. Hard courts are the most popular surfaces to play on.

Tennis Facts for Kids LearningMole
Tennis Facts for Kids: Two people playing tennis

We hope you enjoyed learning more things about tennis as much as we loved teaching you about them. Now that you know how majestic this sport is, you can move on to learn about other sports and activities like: Football, Hockey and Golf.

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