Rackets

Structure of Rackets in the UK

The sport is governed in the UK by The Tennis & Rackets Association (T&RA), which is also responsible for the sport of Real Tennis. Around 700 people regularly play Rackets and over 3,600 are members of the T&RA.

The T&RA is responsible for the following key areas:

  • setting and administering the rules of the sport; and custodian of its history and traditions;
  • helping to finance, restore, construct and maintain courts in the UK;
  • organising national championships, for both male and female players, both amateur and professional;
  • supporting the development of both elite players as well as new professionals; and
  • broadening the appeal of the sport across all age groups.

 

The T&RA is governed by an elected Board, working alongside a full time Chief Executive, who is based at the T&RA's office at The Queen’s Club, in London. Both players and clubs are represented in the T&RA governance structure. Members elect representatives to the Board and to the Rackets Committee, which is responsible for administering the game, while clubs and schools have representation at the Rackets Committee level.

Most active players are based in the 14 Rackets Public Schools and 5 Rackets Clubs which have their own court and which are spread across the UK. Each school court is run on a day to day basis by a professional and often an assistant, who typically report to their school hierarchy and indeed the wider structure of Rackets. Rackets Clubs, such as Seacourt, Manchester and Queens are run by professionals and the two courts based at military venues, Sandhurst and Dartmouth, are run by volunteers and enthusiastic players. Rackets professionals are a key part of the game as they supervise the intial coaching of the sport, which can seem quite daunting at first. They encourage participation and develop players so they can progress as social/elite competitors. Rackets professionals are responsible for the maintenance of the court, coaching, arranging matches and tournaments and so on. These Rackets professionals are represented by the Rackets Professionals Association (RPA). The RPA acts for tournament professionals and coaching professionals and has a dual role in the development of professionals in the sport and also in ensuring that marking and organisation of tournaments is efficient.

The T&RA has a well-developed programme of Rackets competitions and tournaments, for both professionals and amateur players – whether they are seasoned members of the global rackets circuit or social players. In any season – which runs from September to June – approximately 500 unique players enter one or more T&RA sponsored tournaments which typically take place in our various member clubs across the country. In addition to this, hundreds of schoolboys and schoolgirls enter the National Public Schools singles and doubles championships which take place in December and April of the academic year. These are staple competitions in the UK Rackets season and have been a constant fixture for the last 125+ years.

The T&RA is one of two National Associations governing Rackets, the other two being the North American Rackets Association (NARA). Together they are responsible for the biannual World Championship challenge. While sponsorship of this event is not within the gift of any one Association, each has an important role when the event is held. The World Championship was last held in 2019, at the Queen’s Club in the UK and at the Detroit Racket Club in the USA.

Chris Davies/ Ed Hyde, February 2021

The Tennis and Rackets Association is grateful for the sponsorship and support of:

Logo - Tennis and Rackets
Lead Sponsor for Tennis
Logo - Brown Advisory
Lead Sponsor for Rackets