• United States Tennis
John Stone began the
Special Olympics NC
Tennis program in Sanford
in 1985. Tennis
became a statewide
SONC sport at the
1986 Summer Games
in Charlotte. In 1992, tennis moved to the Fall Tournament
and, except for a two-year stint at the Midsummer
Tournament, it has remained a fall sport.
• In match play competition, a screening round is held on
the first day. Finals in singles and doubles are held on
• Based on qualifying information, athletes and teams
are put into divisions, which are competitive groupings.
Match play athletes are in divisions of 3-4 teams, while
skills divisions can have as many as eight athletes.
What is Short Court?
Short court tennis is for athletes moving
from skills to full court match play. The
court is modified so athletes only play in the
service boxes. A larger, softer ball is used.
Only athletes and
are allowed on the
after each serve.
All awards are given on the last day of
competition. Athletes must wait for everyone
in their division to complete competition
before places can be determined, so there
may be a delay since not all athletes will finish
at the same time.
Types of Competition:
Individual Skills: athletes who are working
on skills for match play are scored in serving,
groundstrokes, and volleys
Singles: 1 athlete
Short & Full court Unified doubles: 1 athlete and
1 Unified Partner
Short & Full court Traditional doubles: 2 athletes
Unified competition brings people with and without
intellectual disabilities together on the same team.
Do You Know How Tennis Is Scored
Each tennis match is made up of two to three sets. To win a set,
you must win at least six games.
The games are scored starting at “love” (or zero) and go up to
40, but that’s actually just four steps. From love, the first point
is 15, then 30, then 40, then game point, which wins the game.