Thursday, February 25, 2010

FYI - History - The Origins of Tennis

The attached video is a 1 minute piece on the "Origins of Tennis." Its one part of many i'll show here on the blog this season. Tennis is a game that its historians believe was started as something like hand ball with a make shift net. It was a competition to a set number of points between two people.

Its believed that a tennis like game can be much documented and traced to France in the 13th century. Tennis had a sort of explosion of popularity within all walks of French life at the beginning of the 13th century. Tennis much like our baseball, wherein its exact time and place origins are still disputed. Germany, Spain and Italy have similar stories of tennis during the same time period, but their documentation only refers to nobility, religious types and the rich playing something like it. It lacks the other documented descriptions of the game that French historians have, which I'll note below.

French tennis participants would hit a make shift ball with their hands. The commoners played it on the streets in the same way. The monks played it in their monasteries. The monks latter got in much trouble because some played it too much. Which is where some of the documentation of its existence comes from, notes of the monks being scolded by there higher ups, for playing tennis and placing bets on their competition. The wealthy and titled played it in their complexes and castles.

The origins of the racquet are actually believed to be from this same time in France, as the well to do began to experiment with unique homemade gloves to hit the ball with instead of solely using their bare hands. This is an important point. The beginnings of glove usage, as an implement used by the player to help hit the ball better. With this fact, tennis historians agree that said place and time in France is where they have the most proof for the genesis of tennis. Remember this is not "Modern Tennis," but its roots which actually are what is referred to as "Real Tennis," and "Court Tennis."

I wish we had out workout and meeting today but the darn snow rears it ugly face again. So we'll try again next week. I'll tell you the exact day and time over the weekend. If you have any questions or issues, you all have my email. Please feel free to write and i'll be glad to help. Enjoy the video clip, as you'll also get a lesson on scoring. But remember newbies when you get to "40 - All," in a particular game, you then have to win two points in a row to win the game.