Tennis10s is a scaled down version of tennis, which uses smaller rackets, a smaller court, softer tennis balls and a games approach to introduce young children to tennis. By utilising scaled-down equipment and playing surfaces, children can learn to enjoy the game quickly. Any flat surface from a playground or school patio to a proper tennis court can be used.

Using games is a key element of the programme. Their main goal is having fun. They have to be adapted to the players and provide different variations and combinations. They need easy rules, with a clear scoring system. Group or team games are the best ones. All players should participate. Try to avoid games which eliminate children. If an elimination system is used, it is important to introduce a ”last hope” or consolation opportunity.

The game is divided into three colour-coded stages: RED, ORANGE and GREEN.


Tennis 10s Stages
Court Size (metres) 11 x 5.5 18 x 6.5 Full court
Racket Size (inches) 19, 21, 23 23, 24, 25 25, 26


foam or low compression felt


low compression felt


low compression felt

Scoring Tie-Break to 10 points 2 short sets with tie-break in 3rd

2 short sets with tie-break in 3rd

best of  short sets

Age 4 to 8 8 to 9 9 to 10




From January of 2008 Tennis Ireland has implemented the following policies in regards to the running of Under 8, Under 9 and Under 10 competitions.
All Under 8, Under 9 and Under 10 competitions are to be played:

  • On a MODIFIED COURT- RED for Under 8’s, ORANGE for Under 9’s & GREEN for Under 10’s.
  • With MODIFIED RACKETS appropriate to the height of the child.
  • With MODIFIED BALL DENSITYRed spot for U8s - Orange spot for U9s – Green spot for Under 10s full court.
  • With a competition format that allows MULTI MATCHES– Round Robin – World Cup – Feed in and Play back draws etc.
  • With a MODIFIED SCORING system – Best of 3 tie breaks for RED (each tie break up to 10 points). Short sets commencing at 2 games all and first to six games, first point after deuce, Tie Breaker in the 3rd set for ORANGE and GREEN Tennis. (Modified scoring systems are now part of the ITFs ammended rules of tennis)

PLEASE NOTE: Due to time constraints Competition Organizers may feel the need to reduce the games played further. For example in the early stages of a Round Robin event, the organizers may decide to play one short set with first to six games starting from two games all and first point after deuce to decide a match result. 

To BE ELIGIBLE to play children must be on the 31st December of the previous year:

  • 7 for Under 8 (RED) tournaments (born 20011/12 for 2019)
  • 8 for Under 9 (ORANGE) tournaments (born 2010 for 2019)
  • and 9 for under 10 (GREEN) tournaments (born 2009 for 2019)

To find out the Tennis10s Calendar for the year go to Calendar in the top navigation bar and select Junior Calendars.




11 X 5.5m
18 x 6.5m
Full Court



1. There should be no recognised `winner` in under 9 events. The tournament ends when the round robin groups have been completed. Alternatively the winner of each group could play off in order to ensure competitive matches for the stronger players. Scores and results should not be posted on noticeboards/websites etc.
A highly recommended format is to place each entrant on a team of 4 or 6 players. Playing on a team appeals to children of this age, while serving to ease the `pressure` on each individual player. Teams do not have to comprise members from the same club – from a social as well as organisational point of view it is good to have teams made up of players from different clubs.
2. The format should take into account that players in these age groups should not need to be at the venue for more than two hours in a row.
3. Players should play a maximum of two matches per day.
4. Tournaments for these age groups should if possible have a doubles event.
5. Court/time allocation: An average match using the format recommended below takes 45 minutes to complete. With 16 boys and 16 girls in the tournament the tournament requires 48 court hours. Using four courts it will take 12 hours to complete, split over two days – 6 hours per day – ensuring players need only play two matches each day.
6. Round robin groups should ideally have four players in each group.
7. Sets one and two in each match should begin with the score at 2-2, and be won by the first player to reach 6 games (not necessary to lead by 2 games to win the set).
8. In first and second sets there should be `no-ad` scoring (i.e. first point after deuce wins the game).
9. The third set (if necessary) should be a `champions tie break` - first to reach 10 points wins (not necessary to lead by a 2 point margin). Other rules of the champions tie break are the same as for a regular tie break.
10. Tournament formats other than round robin, which guarantee each entrant a number of matches, are available at
NOTE: Sometimes children in these age groups struggle with score keeping and rules. In an ideal world each match in these age groups would be umpired, but the mimimum on court supervision requirement is one court supervisor for each 3 courts (the court supervisor moves around three adjacent matches to help the players as necessary).