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Tennikoit, also called ring tennis, is an outdoor game which was started in the early 1960s. It was played by high school girls in the USA since the 1930s. Four decades since its inception, the game has risen from district levels to international levels with nearly 20 countries all over the world competing for the crown. It is one the most interesting games and when played by someone spectators just love to watch the way the ring flies above the net.
History and description
Tennikoit is one of the obscure sports which almost faced extinction. However the sport received timely attention and it survived and flourished. Even though exact records are not available to document the place and date of birth of Tennikoit, it's largely believed that South India is its birthplace.
The game can be played with a minimum of two people (singles) up to a maximum of four people (doubles). The name "Tennikoit" is given to a circular ring made of rubber. A game of Tennikoit essentially involves the exchange of the tennikoit across the courts. The net between the two courts acts as a barrier. A typical Tennikoit court essentially looks like a Badminton court. Each individual tries to score 21 points in order to be declared a winner. However, in order to be declared a winner, one has to maintain a minimum of two points lead over the opponent. If each of the players score 21 points, then the winner is decided by tie-break. The match is a set of 3 game.
Court and equipment
Tennikoit can be played indoors or outside. This variation of ring tennis can be played on any surface which includes red sand, clay, and cement. The dimensions of the courts are the same for both Singles and Doubles. Their measure is 12.2 m by 5.5 m. A centre line divides the Tennikoit court into two equal courts. The players are not allowed to play in the other side of the court during service. Each playing zone is 5.2 x 2.75 m. The height of the net that divides the court another direction is 1.8 m. There are strict rules about the material to be used, the height of the pole, and the "antennas" are used to mark the limits of the sides of the net. The net height for the Sub-Junior division is 1.67 m.
Participants and their duties
A timeout is allowed for 30 seconds per set for each team. A yellow card system is in place for any violation of this rule.
Rules of Tennikoit
In Tennikoit, you play 3 sets of 21 points. The winner of 2 sets wins the match. However, a time limit of 30 minute is in place per set. This means the server should win a point within nine rallies. Failing to do so will then result in a point for your opponent.
Playing actions and faults
The game is started with a service, and you must serve the ball diagonally to the other player. The first return can be anywhere. Each player takes 5 services in a row, regardless if that person has won the point or not. Like tennis, the service changes half courts every time. All services should have an upward tendency. No one is allowed in the dead court. A koit hitting the antenna or sailing away should be called out, even if it did fall in the court. A koit is prohibited to enter the other side through the net. Both wobbling and shaking are considered faults.
Tennikoit was initially a popular game amongst girls. However, when the sport was taken to a professional level, fierce competition often attracted large crowds. Today, the game conducts events for men, women and mixed doubles sections. As per the Tennikoit Federation of India, there are 5,000 registered Tennikoit players and they have had 29 annual championships to date.
- Source:Tennikoit Federation of India
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