The History of Tennis: Engaging Your Mind and Body for Almost 1,000 Years
Few sports are more exciting to watch or better at testing your athletic limits than tennis. It burns calories, builds muscle and has the added advantage of also being great for your brain. The vigorous exercise generated by tennis releases endorphins, which have considerable psychological benefits. This means that tennis not only makes you fit and healthy, but also decreases stress, enhances your mood, alleviates depression, and boosts self-confidence.
One of the most consistently popular sports worldwide, tennis has a long history dating back centuries. A close ancestor of the game we know now began in France, circa 1200 A.D. Monks of the time batted a wooden ball over a rope and against a wall in a contest eventually known as “jeu de paume” or “game of the hand.” Tennis comes from the French word “tenez,” which means “to take.”
As you can imagine, whacking a wooden ball with your hand proved uncomfortable. Players started to wear gloves with webbing between the fingers. A paddle followed and then the two ideas combined into a paddle with webbing. This early version of the racquet used sheep gut as webbing in order to bat around a lighter ball made from cork.
The Other Sport of Kings
The game’s popularity gradually spread across Europe and even became a favoured pastime of English royalty. Rather than makeshift contests staged in courtyards, later versions of the game used actual courts constructed specifically for the sport. However, tennis of that time still did not entirely resemble the way we play it today.
This finally changed when tennis courts appeared in America during the latter half of the 19th century. A new land shifted the way tennis was played. The decision to start staging tennis matches on grass required a lighter ball made from India rubber. The more popular hard-surface version of the game dominated, however, and the first Wimbledon match took place in the 1870s.
You Can Hit it out While in
Indoor tennis was widespread for several hundred years, but its popularity gradually declined as the game evolved. Tennis existed as a mostly outdoor pastime until 1963, when Air Structures American Technologies Inc. constructed the first air-supported tennis dome for the World’s Fair in Queens, New York. ASATI’s creation garnered much attention and commercial construction of these recreational domes began in 1966.
Enthusiasts could now enjoy their favourite game throughout the year, no matter what the weather. Engineers created heater inflation full recirculation air systems for domes located in colder climates to provide maximum comfort for players in regions like Canada. As a result, our citizens have access to some first rate indoor courts offering the latest in technology and comfort.
Whether you wish to play a match in the tropics or enjoy a quick game with friends during an Ontario winter, tennis domes make it possible. This is also a wonderful “contact sport” – it allows for easy socialization and the chance to make new friends. So hit the court keep in shape and keep up with friends and family!