T&RA Eye Protection Notice
The T&RA strongly recommends the use of eye protection for both Real Tennis and Rackets.
Background and testing regime
Following a risk assessment, it was recommended that eye-protection testing in Real Tennis was carried out with some urgency. Although eye-protection is recommended, this is currently not mandatory. There have been cases of eye injuries in the sport, some of which have been lifechanging. The testing process was designed to assess the protection provided by a selection of representative eye-protectors, which are currently available.
Eleven varieties of (largely WSF approved) eye-protectors were submitted to the Experimental Techniques Centre, Brunel University, for simulated impact testing, which involved a Real Tennis ball being fired at velocity onto the lens. The testing was performed in accordance to BS7930-1:1998 (Eye protectors for racquet sports). Although written for squash, the test methodology was considered to be representative and applicable to Real Tennis.
Real Tennis balls were fired at three speeds, 45mph, 70mph and 90mph, directly at the head form (frontal). The process was repeated from a 45 degrees angle at 45mph (lateral), representing a likely deflection off racquet or tambour or bandeau. Carbon paper was placed on the iris, covering the eye position on the head form, to determine whether the eye suffered any impact.
You can read more about how the testing went HERE.