Quad Wheel Chair Tennis Eligibility and playing tennis on a Wheel chair

Disability is a matter of perception. If you can do just one thing well, you are needed by someone”- Martina Navratilova.’’’

For many that are not familiar with the term Quad wheelchair tennis, this term is used to refer to players with additional disability in their playing hand and are suffering some form of disability due to some happenings or incident that have affected their spine and have made it difficult for them to function optimally.

This can be a very challenging condition, but it is not the end of their life’s as they can still go ahead to enjoy some of life’s pleasures. One of these pleasures is that they can still enjoy a game of tennis and not just as spectators but as active players on the pitch.

With the introduction of the Quad Wheel Chair tennis game into tournaments, these special players can not only have fun and live a fulfilled life, but they can also make money and acquire a bit of fame by showcasing their skill like any other player.

You can find all the costs of wheelchair tennis and acceessories in Wheelchair Tennis Accessories Costs and How to get them on a budget !.

Brief History of the Quad Wheelchair Tennis Game

The wheelchair tennis game has been around for quite some time and is increasing in popularity. France is believed to be the pioneer country that included this sport in its game program.

It was then included in the Paralympic Games in 1988 as a demonstration that was hosted by Seoul. In 1992, this sport was recognized in Barcelona as one of its sports like any other sport.

Ever since this time, this sport has been included in all the major tournaments of the world and has produced some notable champions like Peter Norfolk, Dylan Alcott, David Wagnar, and Shingo Kuneida.

Read our full guide on wheelchair tennis in Wheelchair Tennis | A Guide To Redefine Disability

What is the Difference between Wheelchair Tennis and the Quad Wheelchair Tennis?

Wheelchair tennis

Both are played by those who have suffered some kind of limb disability that makes them rely on the wheelchair for mobility, but there is a difference in their classification for the tennis game.

Wheelchair tennis is played by a player that is suffering a disability with their legs, but their arms can function perfectly. While the quad wheelchair category is played by people that have suffered a disability in their legs and one of their arms. This makes it extremely difficult for the players to handle the tennis racquet and to smoothly maneuver the wheelchair.

Who is a Quad Wheel Chair Tennis Player?

This term refers to a player that has been diagnosed and certified by a medical expert to have disabilities with his or her limbs due to motor function disabilities. This disability is usually permanent.

There are several disabilities that a player must suffer before he can be eligible to participate as a quad wheelchair player, one of which is that he must have had his legs amputated, or suffered an injury to his sacral cord which would make motor movements almost impossible, and in difficulty moving the arms and or upper limb.

How can Quad Wheel Chair Tennis be played?

By now you must be intrigued about how this game is played, are there special rules, what is the time frame of this game, and how is this game different from other forms of tennis games?

Well, the Quad Wheel Chair tennis game is not significantly different from other forms of tennis game.

An obvious difference that exists which I do not need to point out is that the game is played by players that rely on a wheelchair for their movement from place to place.

Unlike abled people tennis, Quad wheelchair players are allowed to bounce the ball two times. The ball may be in the court or not, the player should endeavor to play the ball back so that it does not bounce the third time to avoid being penalized. As opposed to one bounce that is acceptable in the pedestrian tennis game.

As mentioned earlier, to qualify as a quad wheelchair tennis player, the player must have suffered some arm disability, so he is only allowed to move the wheelchair with one foot. In this game, the wheelchair represents the legs and some rules cover its usage.

Quad Wheel chair tennis rules

In addition to the Quad tennis rules, the following basics must be adhered to

  1. The first is that the wheelchair must not be in motion before the game starts and can only be propelled once to serve the ball.
  2. The other is that it must not be used to hit or touch the opponent or any other person in the court.
  3. Finally, it should be in a good condition before the match, as the wheel wheelchair cannot last more than twenty minutes during the match and it should not be too frequent.

Like every other game, this game is governed by rules which the players must strictly adhere, to succeed at this game. These rules are governed by The International Tennis Federation (ITF) and may not be flouted under normal circumstances.

1. Preparation for the Game – The Player is allowed to prepare and warm up for a period, not more than five minutes before the game starts.

The player must also make available all the equipment he or she needs for the match and make sure that items like the wheelchair are in good condition and is ready for play. If he or she fails to make himself available after being called in for the match to commence, the referee may have no choice but to call off the match. 

2. Serving the ball – The Player is permitted to push the wheelchair in any direction deemed fit before serving or striking the ball and sending it to the opponent.

For players that are unable to perform this function themselves due to their disability, someone is allowed to bounce the ball and they can strike it themselves, or they may use one foot to propel the wheel chair.

3. Loss of Point – A major way a player can lose a point is if the player fails to strike the ball before it bounces three times, even if it is still inside the court, a player is only allowed two bounces of the ball.

Also, if the player propels the chair with his lower limbs he may lose a point; he is only allowed to move the chair with his upper limbs or one foot.

4. Recess – like every other sports game, the players in this game are allowed some period of recess, while some breaks are statutory and can last for a long period of time, others can be initiated by the player, he can signal the referee only twice during the game requesting for a toilet break. The umpire may accept and grant some rest time to both the player and his opponent, before the gap period again.

What Equipment are Needed for the Quad wheel Chair Tennis Game?

Typical equipment required

To be successful in this game a player needs to make use of some special equipment; these are the tennis wheelchair and optimized tennis racquet. The wheelchair used for this game is a little bit lighter than the regular wheelchair, this will make it easier for the player to move around the court, also players may strap to hold himself securely in the seat of the chair to avoid falling off and may use straps to hold the racket in their hand; this is especially so for those players that have difficulty holding the tennis racquet firmly.

The average cost of a new tennis wheelchair ranges from $400 to $15,000 and depending on whether it is manual or automated.

Note: Amputees may make use of hand or leg prosthetics.

This game is played in two sets with a total of four players competing. Any player that completes two sets will be declared the winner of the game. The game was recently expanded to accommodate eight players to compete for the star prize, however, the coronavirus pandemic halted the hosting of the game in Melbourne in 2020.

Average Earning of a Quad Wheel Chair Tennis Player.

It is expected that about USD 77,000 and other juicy benefits would be won by the winner of that tournament. The earnings of these stars vary from one tournament to another. It is believed that the Melbourne tournament will give $32,000 prize money to its winner.

Ending note

Quad tennis is played on the pedestrian court with no modification, with the same height of the net and other equipment, the same ball and tennis racquet, even though a tape may be used to hold it in place and makes use of the same governing rules, except that the ball is allowed to bounce twice anywhere in the court, as against the pedestrian tennis where the ball is allowed to bounce once.

As a concluding note, this game is not only inspiring but is also enchanting to watch. To see the determination and dexterity of these Quad tennis players is not only thought-provoking but is worth emulating.

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