International Beach Tennis Cup scheduled for Okinawa

An international sports event featuring a new sport of beach tennis that combines beach volleyball and tennis is scheduled to take place at Okinawa Chura Sun Beach in Toyosaki, Tomigusuku, on Nov. 1 & 2.

The Okinawa International Beach Tennis Challenge Cup will be held for the first time on Okinawa. It is a tour cup with 20 games and accredited by the International Tennis Federation and Japan Tennis Association with the Okinawa tournament ending the 2014 cup series.

The sport resembles beach volleyball, but special rackets called ‘paddle’ are used to hit the ball, which is a slightly depressurized tennis ball. Players rally with the ball in the air without bouncing it on the ground. The point system is the same as in tennis.  The court is a standard 30 by 60 feet beach volleyball court with a 5-foot-10-inch-high net in the middle.

The new sport is getting popular in the U.S., South America, Europe and Asia, and the number of players is estimated at 40,000 to 50,000 across the world.  The Japan Tennis Association is the principal governing body of the sport in Japan, and holds all Japan Championship and Rakuten Open tournaments in addition to domestic cup-style tours. Many players visit Japan for the tournaments from all over the world.

About 70 players from all over Japan are expected to come to the cup in Okinawa.  Noriyuki Okamura, the chairman of the Japan Federation of Beach Tennis, says, “Okinawa is an ideal place to play beach tennis because people can play this sport here all year.  We would like to spread beach tennis, and make it to take root in Okinawa. Our aim is to organize the World Championship tournament in Okinawa in the future.

For more information, call 03-3666-5558.