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  • Writer's picturePhillip Radcliffe

Soft Tennis

By Kyohei Yamato

(Japanese translation below.)

What do you think of when you think of tennis? Most people imagine a hard, yellow ball because many people don't know soft tennis. Soft tennis is not well known all over the world, but it is very popular in Asia.

Soft tennis uses the same size court as hard tennis and uses similar shaped rackets, but it’s unique point as a racket sport is that it has developed as a competition centered on doubles. The professionalism of the position became higher in the process because of this.

In recent years, however, all-round play has mainly evolved from overseas and it has continued to diversify. In the 1970s, softball tennis was the most popular sport in middle and high school. Currently, there are approximately 600,000 registered athletes in Japan. The Japan Soft Tennis Federation also estimates that there are about 7 million enthusiasts.

However, it is also true that, in general and in the consciousness of connoisseurs, there is a very strong sense of soft tennis as a minor sport. The reasons for this can be attributed to the fact that it is not an Olympic sport, it has lacked professional players in Japan for a long time, it is perceived as mainly a school sport (junior high and high school), and it is overshadowed by the influence of hardball tennis and lawn tennis, which have rapidly become popular in Japan since the 1980s.

In order to participate in the Japan Soft Tennis Federation's tournaments-or equivalent-in Japan, you must have the following basic requirements: official equipment must be used in the tournament and must be certified by the Japan Soft Tennis Federation (official equipment includes rackets, racket strings, balls, and uniforms, and shoes.

As for the rackets, the end of the rod-shaped grip must be looped, and the string must be stretched across the entire frame. It should be about 70 cm long and weigh between 200 to 320 grams. Also, unlike hardball rackets, soft tennis rackets have a regular octagonal grip and are not as heavy as hardball rackets. The difference is that a soft ball tennis racket shaft is longer.

The ball should be made of an air-filled rubber ball. As a rule, they are white or yellow in color, 6.6 centimeters in diameter, and weigh between 30 and 31 grams. In the court, the lower end of the ball is dropped from a height of 1.5 meters and the ball is 70-80 A centimeter-bound one.

The Japan Soft Tennis Federation defines the standards for soft tennis courts as follows.

  1. It shall be a rectangle 23.77 meters long and 10.97 meters wide, with a boundary outside the line of demarcation, bisecting the center with a net supported by a net post.

  2. As a rule, the lines of the court should be white and not less than 5 cm and not more than 6 cm in width. However, the width of the baseline must be at least 5 cm but not more than 10 cm.

  3. The height of the net post is 1.07 meters. The height of the net is 1.07 meters. When this is stretched, the net is 1.07 meters above the sideline, and it must be stretched horizontally.

Soft tennis is a sport that is only played in Asia. Why don't you give it a try and spread the word about soft tennis?


大和 京平





ラケットについては、棒状のグリップの端がループ状になっていて、フレーム全体に紐が張られていること。 長さは70cm程度で、重さは200〜320g程度であること。また、軟式テニスラケットは硬式ラケットとは異なり、グリップが正八角形になっており、硬式ラケットほど重くありません。違いは、軟式テニスラケットのシャフトの方が長いことです。ボールは、空気の入ったゴムボールを使用します。原則として、色は白色または黄色、直径6.6cm、重さは30~31gのものを使用します。1.5mの高さからボールの下端を落とし、コートでは70~80aのセンチバウンドのものを使用します。






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