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T&RA Guidance on Non-Wooden Racquets and Handicaps

Update Mar 01, 2022
Published Feb 24, 2022

We are aware that sportswear manufacturer Harrow has produced a prototype non-wooden Real Tennis racquet.

This guidance explains how any matches played using these racquets should be entered on (RTO). The guidance is effective immediately and until further notice.

Laws of Real Tennis:

The Laws state that Real Tennis racquets “shall be made entirely of wood or wood based derivatives, but may include laminates made of other materials and essential adhesives, but not of any mineral substance”.

Therefore non-wooden racquets cannot be used in matches or tournaments that are formally being played according to the Laws of the game.

Any questions about the possibility of these racquets being sanctioned for use in future should be directed to the relevant national Tennis Committee.

Recording results on RTO:

Players who wish to play matches and record results with non-wooden racquets should use the W/Hand (Wrong Hand) handicap available to each player on RTO. You will need to ask your Club Professional to set up a W/Hand handicap for you if you do not already have one. The starting handicap should be the same as your standard current handicap.

A separate W/Hand handicap can be added for both singles and doubles.

There is no need for players to be given provisional handicaps when using non-wooden racquets.

If you already have a W/Hand handicap:

W/Hand is used for players using their weaker hand, or using oversized racquets or now for non-wood rackets. Players cannot have more than one W/Hand handicap. Therefore some players may need to choose which category they wish to use their W/Hand handicap for.

For example, if you currently use W/Hand for an oversize racquet, but now wish to use it for a non-wooden racquet, you will need to ask the Club Professional to amend the handicap to be the same as your current standard handicap.

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