Visually Impaired Tennis
Visually Impaired tennis (also known as VI tennis, Sound tennis or Blind tennis) is one of the leading sports for blind and partially sighted people in the UK.
VI tennis was created in Japan in 1984 and has become popular across the world – it’s now played in more than 30 countries and has ambitions to become a future Paralympic sport.
This format of the game is different to traditional tennis – it's played on a smaller court with a lower net. Some courts also have tactile lines (B1 only) - so players can touch them - and players also use an audible tennis ball that makes noise so they can hear it bounce and being hit.
Who can compete in VI tennis?
VI tennis is open to players of all ages, experience, fitness levels and abilities who have a visual impairment. There are also adaptations that allow families to play together.
VI tennis players compete in different categories, with the B1 category having the greatest degree of sight loss. Depending on a player’s category they may have up to three bounces of the ball before they return it back to their opponent.
Vi Tennis Categories
B1 – No sight, players are allowed three bounces of the ball and nets are lowered
B2 – Partial sight and players are allowed three bounces of the ball
B3 – Partial sight and players are allowed two bounces of the ball
B4 and B5 – Partial sight and are allowed one bounce of the ball