• Wheelchair Tennis

  • A exciting individual sport full of technical skill and impressive athleticism.

  • Overview

    Wheelchair tennis is a great individual sport for those looking for a game that’s both mentally and physically challenging. Wheelchair athletes play in both singles and doubles events, and there are divisions for men, women, and quadriplegics.


    Wheelchair tennis was founded in 1976 when American Brad Parks first hit a tennis ball from a wheelchair and realised the potential of the sport. A former acrobat skier, Parks suffered an injury which left him paraplegic but met wheelchair athlete Jeff Minnenbraker during his rehab and the two started discussing the possibilities of wheelchair tennis.


    Wheelchair Tennis is now played all over the world and top players even compete in Grand Slams and on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour.

  • Who Can Play?

    Wheelchair Tennis is a great sport for people with a range of physical impairments including but not limited to paraplegia, quadriplegia, Cerebral Palsy, Amputations and/or limb differences, and more.


    To play competitively athletes must have a permanent impairment in one or both legs. Wheelchair Tennis classifies athletes into one of two classes.


    • Open: athletes with permanent impairment in one or both legs, but with normal arm function.
    • Quad: for athletes with additional restrictions in the playing arm, which limits the ability to handle the racquet and maneuver the wheelchair.


    The Open Classification is further split into Men’s and Women’s divisions while the Quad Division is mixed-gender.

    There are also up/down tournaments where Wheelchair Tennis players can play with and against running partners.

  •  Watch This

  • Basic Rules

    Wheelchair Tennis is very similar to the running game as it can be played on any regular tennis court, with no modifications to the size of the court or the size of rackets or balls and nearly all of the rules remain the same.


    There are some exceptions to the Rules of Tennis that apply only to wheelchair tennis. These include:


    • The Two Bounce Rule – wheelchair tennis players are allowed two bounces of the ball. Players must return the ball before it bounces a third time. The second bounce can be either in or out of the court boundaries.
    • Players also lose a point if they use any part of their feet or lower extremities against the ground or against any wheel while delivering service, striking a ball, turning or stopping while the ball is in play or if they fail to keep one buttock in contact with the wheelchair when contacting the ball.
    • Speed and Maneuverability

    • Equipment

    • Wheelchair Tennis is often played in specialized sport chairs that are designed with speed, agility, and balance at front of mind. Tennis chairs have cambered wheels to allow for better turning speed and players frequently use a variety of different straps to stay in their chairs and make them an extension of the body. Some players in the Quad Division who have difficulty gripping a racket may also use gloves and often tape the racket in their hands. Tennis chairs are available to BCWSA members through our Wheelchair Loan program to ensure that everyone can get into the sport with as few barriers as possible.

    • Events

    • Competitions

    • BCWSA hosts two tournaments on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour each July. The Kamloops Legacy and Vancouver International Wheelchair Tennis Tournaments bring players from across BC, Canada, and the globe to the west coast to compete for titles and ITF ranking points.


      The BC Provincial Wheelchair Tennis Team attends the Birmingham National Wheelchair Tennis Championships every year where BC has a long history of strong results.


      In addition to ITF and national tournaments, we also occasionally host smaller tournaments and game days for newer players to gain experience and have fun.