Rules of Wheelchair Tennis
As followed by the United States Tennis
Association and International Tennis Federation
RULES OF PLAY
The game of wheelchair tennis follows the same rules as able-bodied tennis as
endorsed by the International Tennis Federation except the wheelchair tennis
player is allowed two bounces of the ball.
I. THE COMPETITIVE WHEELCHAIR TENNIS PLAYER
The only eligibility requirement for an individual to become a competitive
wheelchair tennis player is that they must be medically diagnosed as having a
mobility-related disability. In other words, a substantial or total loss
of function in one or more extremities. If, as a result for these
functional limitations, this person would be unable to play competitive
able-bodied tennis (that is, having the mobility to cover the court with
adequate speed), then this person would be eligible to play competitive
wheelchair tennis in sanctioned Wheelchair Tennis Players Association (WTPA)
II. THE BALL IN PLAY
In wheelchair tennis the ball is allowed to bounce twice before being
- If the ball is taken on the first bounce it must bounce within the bounds
of the court.
- If the ball is taken on the second bounce, the second bounce can hit the
ground either within the bounds of the court or outside the boundaries of
the court before being returned.
III. THE SERVICE
- The served ball may, after hitting the ground in the service court, hit
the ground once again within the bounds of the court or it may hit the
ground outside the court boundaries before the receiver returns it.
- The Server shall throughout the delivery of the service: Not change
position by rolling or spinning. The serve shall not by slight
movements of the wheels which do not materially affect the location
originally taken up by him, be deemed to 'change his position by rolling or
- If the Server deliberately uses any part of his lower extremities as
brakes or as stabilizers while delivering the service, the serve is deemed a
IV. PLAYER LOSES POINT
The wheelchair is part of the body. All applicable rules apply. A
player loses a point if:
- The ball in play touches them or their wheelchair or anything they wear or
carry, except the racquets in their hand(s). The loss of a point
occurs regardless of whether the player is inside or outside the bounds of
their court when the ball touches them.
- A served ball hits them or their wheelchair or anything the wear or
carry. If the Server hits their own partner with the served ball, then
it is a fault.
- The player deliberately uses any part or their feet or lower extremities
as brakes or as stabilizers while delivering service, stroking a ball,
turning or stopping.
- The player fails to keep at least paretically seated in their wheelchair
when contacting the ball.
It is legal for a player to hit a return, fall out of their chair and then
get back into the chair to make the next return.