The International Beach Tennis Championships, which will pit the world's top-ranked players against each other for one of the largest prizes in beach tennis, will be held on the Hermosa Beach Strand Friday through Sunday.
Governed by the International Tennis Federation, professional beach tennis is similar to regular tennis except it is played on sand courts. Players volley a special ball back and forth over a net with tennis paddles but cannot let the ball hit the sand. Unlike volleyball though, each team can only hit the ball once to get it over the net.
Started in Italy more than 30 years ago, the beach sport came to the United States in 2005. In California, Hermosa Beach was the very first city to set up a beach tennis court.
Although it may not be the world's most recognizable sport, organizers said it has been the fastest growing beach sport in the world over the past few years. Its popularity, organizers said, is helping the sport gain traction to be added as a future Olympic sport.
"We have worked tirelessly to get the infrastructure in place to play beach tennis in Southern California and have been making great strides introducing the sport on the west coast," said West Coast Beach Tennis co-founder Donny Young. "It really is a sport for everyone and it's exciting to watch it start to spread across the nation."
Play begins Friday at 9:30 a.m. with the singles division and runs until Sunday. All matches will be played along the Hermosa Beach Strand just north of the Hermosa Beach pier.
Friday, October 25:
- 9:30 a.m. Start - Singles Division
Saturday, October 26:
- 9:00 a.m. Start - Pro Doubles Division
Sunday, October 27:
- 8:30 a.m. Start - Amateur Doubles Division
- 11:00 a.m. Start - Pro Mixed Division
- 6:00 p.m. - After Party at Baja Sharkeez at Pier Plaza