Tennis: the basics

Explaining the rules of tennis for beginners.


Nora Cecchi

Sophmore Avina Doty serving in her tennis match against Lakes.

The game of tennis is a popular game played all around the world mostly by European countries and some countries like Australia and New Zealand. According to, the game of tennis is not even top five in popularity amongst the United States population. Many Americans grow up learning and playing sports like baseball, basketball and especially football, but not tennis. 

Although lacking in popularity, many high schools in America offer tennis as a sport. Senior Callie Bemis is playing tennis for the first time this year for the high school. 

“The rules of the game and the scoring of the game was a little confusing at first but practice makes it easier,” said Bemis. “But the coaches were very helpful and are still helping with questions I might have”. 

Tennis is very similar to games like volleyball, ping-pong and badminton in the way there are volleys over a net. Tennis differentiates itself from the others by using a baseball-sized bright green ball and is played on a large court. The goal is the same in each game by wanting to hit the ball in bounds on the other side of the net without a return, but the scoring system is very different.

Many Americans who don’t play tennis do not understand the scoring system or the way the rules work. Bemis fell into this category until she joined tennis this year. The scoring system might seem complicated or confusing compared to other sports, but they are very easy to learn.

“Before each serve the server says the score. ‘Love’ all means zero zero. So the first serve of each match the server will say ‘love all’ when the point is played the same server will serve again,” Bemis said. “It goes love, 15, 30, 40.  When both teams have the same number like 30, 30 the server would say ‘30 all.’ But if the score is 40, 40 it’s called ‘deuce’”.

The game can also be played in doubles, where there are teams of two on each side of the net. Many beginners enjoy playing doubles rather than singles because it gives an easier experience. Junior Nicole Kutcher also is one who enjoys playing doubles.

“I prefer playing doubles because it is less stressful as a beginning tennis player,” Kutcher said. “It is nice to have someone to talk to on the court”.

While tennis is a unique sport to many high school students, many high school athletes are giving the sport a try because of how easy it is to pick up the game.