Beach tennis stands among tennis and beach volley. Played worldwide from California to Italy, from Brazil to Haway, not a single beach resort lacks the necessary equipment to play.
The August in Marina di Ravenna (Ravenna) (Italy) took place the 8° World Championship of beach tennis.
In the last few years beach tennis had a boom that few other sports have ever met before. Faster than tennis, far more spectacular and easier to be played than volley, is at present the last fashion all over italian seaside resorts.
As beach volley follows volley rules, so beach tennis finds its roots in tennis.
The biggest news about beach tennis is that it shoud become an olympic discipline!
In Italy beach tennis is a huge success, especially on the Romagna shores.
From Riccione to the Ferrara Lidos, 5000 beach tennis courts have been created and are always engaged.
The reasons of this success rely first of all in the low costs of the equipments that are at anyone reach and to the fact that this is a sport that involves a good muscolar activity, not counting the fact that tennis is the 3rd world famous sport.
The true origins are not known exactly.
In Italy at the beginnig of the 80's in the province of Ravenna the first beach tennis courts were born and people began to play.
At first it was a simple knocking-up, but with time it acquired more complex rules.
Pleople started to play using volley fields, lowing nets at 1.70 mt and the first matches were organized.
Thanks to baths owners beach tennis developed far more easily.
Wishing to give their bathers a funny pastime, they created beach volley fields and beach tennis courts that diffears only for the net height (1,70 mt for beach tennis and 1,85 for beach volley).
IFBT was born to organize this pastime into a real sport, with an official regulation, competitions, championships, stages, courses, judges, referees, trainers, instructors and masters.
PRESENTATION AND TARGETS
IFBT was born in 1997 with the target of promoting competitive sports and in particular Beach Tennis, King Pong, Green Tennis, Gym Tennis and Free Tennis.
The Federation has also developed stages and courses for the professional training of qualiefied operators in these sectors.
IFBT is an organization structured in International and National Committees and incorporates the "maxi racket" disciplines that can be summed up in the following ones: Beach Tennis, Green Tennis and Gym Tennis.
Each of them has a superintendent.
The Federation promotes also additionals disciplines such as King Pong and Free Tennis.
The Technical Committee is formed by a group of professional masters and sportive medical officers.
Advisory Body of Research has the function of collecting technical and didactics informations in order to warrant and safeguard the technical-scientifical rigour of each single sector.
TECHNICAL PROFESSIONAL TRAINING
This is the most demanding task of the Federation.
It's divided in the following units:
PROFESSIONAL TRAINING COURSES/STAGES
They are splitted for sectors and held in different geographical resorts to help the easier partecipation of a greater number of people.
They are structured on different levels and concern management, marketing, juridical and fiscal aspects.
All stages, courses and workshops are divided in three tests: written, oral and practical ones. These are held by highly qualified professional operators of the sectors.
They are useful for athlets and technicians to keep updated in all the matters concerning their discipline such as feeding, athletic training, educational materials and so on.
Current means of comunications allow a particular immediacy of informations.
For members and anyone who wishes to study in depth their professional training, IFBT places at disposal books, videos, and other educational stuff.
A web site and E-mail are also available.
BEACH TENNIS REGULATION
Game target is to hit the ball that cannot touch one playground and bounce. Just because is a volley game, beach tennis is greatly enjoyful and when played at good levels, also highly spectacular. A great many of rules reflect those of tennis.
Courts' sizes are measure 16 X 8 mt,
Net is at 1.70 mt height outdoor and at 1.85 mt indoor.
Score is counted in as in tennis: a game is made by 0/15/30/40 points, a set is made by 6 games, with a possible tie break over a even score of 6.
A match is played over a distance of a single set (long set over 9 games or one set over 6 games) or preferably over a distance or 3 sets (over 6 games).
Eventually one must not forget a rather important detail: beach tennis has incredible low expenses: equipment is cheap and courts, at least in summer on the shores, are obviuosly for free.
Both played indoor and outdoor the "maxi-racktes" are an assured thrillig show and amusament for the athlets.
After summer huge success, beach tennis became officially an indoor sport: all you need is a gym with a volley field, rackets, ball and will to play.
FUTURE IS IN BEACH TENNIS SPORTS SOCIETIES
Premise: Any development plan cannot set aside a thorough analysis of the reality in which one must operate.
Beach tennis is based on two main points: sports societies and the Federation. The growth of this discipline goes through them at present.
The two main points are athletes requirements and self-management limits. One cannot practise and cultivate ones image together.
For a single person is not possible to fulfil all requirements. On the other side sports societies are already structured to face marketing and promoting aspects and often their greater requirement is to have the larger quantity as possible of product to offer to potential buyers.
What is there better to offer the choice to be present all year long with different features that can meet both consumers and resort targets?
A thorough analysis of the relation between expenses and benefits woud be surely on the credit side.
Creating a beach tennis sector inside a sports society represent a further growth.
The Federation task is to help this development. Internationally widespread, it can start the promotion and qualification on huge basis of potential trainees.
The reorganization and development of Beach Tennis Club and of the Beach Tennis Card as temporary form of subscription are to be seen from this point of view.
The organization of provincial, regional, national, international contests and the development of national and international championships are integral part of this project.
COMPETITIVE SPIRIT IN BEACH TENNIS
Generally, a sport to be successful needs sided public and supporters.
Conscious of this, we asked ourselves how to involve public and attract the attention of media on a discipline unknown to many.
We tried to concentrate on the "show" formula, entertaining people with sides shows such a Miss election, games, music among matches. Promoters who have beach tennis at heart are fundamental in order to allow this discipline to grow further and to improve technical and competitive athltes' level, while waiting it becomes an olympic sport.
BEACH TENNIS AND TELEVISION
Beach tennis could join well with television: it's a sunny and colorful sport, amusing even among public and an assured spectacle.
It has an easy television rendering: it can be shoot with good output and low production's costs.
Shooting needs a professional commentator since rules are not well known by many and at first sight beach tennis can be seen only as a play, but TV can well assimilate it since the game is of easy understanding.
Another solution are backstage specials, with interview to players, match clips and so on.
Beach tennis is a good televion product that gives full satisfaction to sponsors that stand out well during shots.
For these reasons the connection with television must be the top objective.
Television increases the value of the product and its credibility and has a huge comunicational impact.
Establishing a relationship with a tv channel gives more chances to obtain spaces, since nothing can be imposed, but one must undergo other people's will.
Waiting for satellitar channel that represent the future of sport both in Italy and abroad.
BEACH TENNIS: A PERFECT PAIR.
Indoor tennis needs beach tennis because this represents its natural completion, strategical in the synergistic development of movements.
The Federation believes in beach tennis that has acquired by now its own particular identity and we are organizing a full competitive activity that entertains public with its involving spectacle.
We are enthusiastic of beach tennis and we will stake on it more in the future.
Marketing: how publicize oneself in beach tennis.
If communication is a requirement that sports societies cannot release, it's true also that often they lack of the resources to advertise themselves.
Here are some practical advices within everyone's reach.
Beach tennis is a sport coming into the limelight that will be surely hugely talked about, but this does not always produce a quality and quantity growth of interest among public, sponsors and media.
In particular small and medium realities, that after all are the true basis of this movement, have little occasions to find spaces among medias and therefore to self-promote and increase their contacts.
For this reason it's fundamental to find solutions that effectively promote club's activity without weighing much upon the budget.
USE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE LOCAL MEANS OF COMMUNICATION.
A sport event, especially when not impressive, is hardly featured by media even local ones.
Even more so is hard to find spaces for basic information such as team presentation or a new sponsorship.
The same happens for infos addressed to public and the local community, that, with the exception of prestigious ones, are destined to be hardly spread.
To get round this rather frequent situation, the only thing to do is to involve as much directly as possible local medias, organizing short press conferences, mailing regularly press releases with photos or even set up a collaboration in exchange for spots on player's outfits or inside courts.
Generally these initiatives can be done with no expenses, but they need seriousness and professionality.
MAKE USE OF PERSONAL ACQUAINTANCES
The fact that these kind of interventions are at everyone's reach, does not mean that they are of easy realization.
One must not give up though, but try to find alternative solutions or create new ones.
Public relations are, in particular, an excellent way to reach directly or by whispers a huge number of people.
To start with one must try to make oneself known among the political and entrepreneurial classes, fact tha
may contribute to aware public opinion.
Team presentation, club's parties, opening of a new sport facility or competitive event of importance are all valid occasions to involve more opinon leader of the local community.
One must not think though that public relation have to be addressed only to very important people, but often, especially in small realities, supporters are to be find among fans and amateurs.
For this purpose, mailing must be done both to vips and to subscribers and families of the athlets belonging to juniores categories and to training sports center.
Much depends on the way the value of one's activity is understood and appreciated by others and it's possible that these privileged people will spontaneously widespread a positive image of the club.
REALIZE DIRECT MARKETING PROGRAMMES
Once the immediate interventions to acquire a bit of reputation have been systematically set up, it's possible to use more complex and sophysticated means.
Among these, we find direct marketing, that concerns all the interventions addressed not to the mass of people but to preselected subjects.
As regards public relations that are based upon an informal communication to people that may influence the opionions and behaviours of others, direct marketing is based upon an aimed contact with single subjects.
In order to achieve the target, the most used direct marketing techiniques are mailing and telemarketing.
Mailing consists in sending post to a preselected list, while telemarketing is a telephone contact.
In both cases it's fundamental, first of all, to create an address file.
For this reason, old subscribers, previous sponsors and commercial partners, families of young people that gave up training, teachers of primary schools, could be, for example, all categories of people that may be hooked again.
The resume of these contacts, will help at least to explain the resons of the club's abandonning and could recreate a feeling.All the same, a direct contact could be determining to involve those subjects that are already close to the society or those that are not usually in contact with it.
SYNERGICAL INTERVENTIONS WITH SPONSORS
As we have pointed out before, sports societies hardly have a budget to invest for promoting activity, but on the other side this is an essential thing.
In case of lack of budget, one can try to rely on sponsors using, if possible, their means of communications.
It's possible that they use for their targets other means that could be useful for the club too.
For this purpose, the club could make the proposal of using the team image for the sponsor's targets, starting in this way a profitable and synergical activity that could minimize costs. and increase mutual benefits.
Having a sponsor with a reputetion increases the team reliability and fame.
For this reason a sponsor must be seen not only as a financial backer, but as true partner in the business.