History

Blind Tennis, tennis for people who are blind or vision impaired, is a relatively new sport. It was developed in Kawagoe, Japan in 1984 by Miyoshi Takei, a blind student and his Physical Education Teacher. They worked on developing a ball with sound that a vision impaired person could hear. The bounce height and speed of the ball are very important when calculating the tragectury of the ball. After trials with many different materials, foam was settled on as the best option. The official ball was introduced at the first tournament in Japan in October 1990. From the sport has developed and spread, initially throughout Japan and eventually to other countries. There are currently 30 countries playing Blind Tennis, the sport having expanded dramatically since 2005. In February 2014 International Blind Tennis Association )IBTA)was launched. This marked a new phase in the Sports history and development. The first congress adopted international regulations ensuring that all countries play by the same rules. The second International Congress took place in September 2015 in Italy. The IBTA Executive Committee was established with responsibility for the organisation, coordination, promotion and expansion of Blind Tennis worldwide. The main objective is to meet the criteria to become a Paralympic sport. In May 2017, Spain hosted the first International Blind Tennis Tournament, after which a World ranking was established. The second International tournament is due to take place in Dublin in April 2018 and will welcome competitors from five continents. Unfortunately, In 2011 Mr. Takei passed away, so has not witnessed the growth and development of Blind Tennis.