It can be difficult for kids (and parents) to understand when they will move to a different age group and ball colour. In the U.K. your child’s age group in mini tennis (red, orange, green) is aligned to the Lawn Tennis Association’s (LTA) tennis seasons.
The LTA’s tennis seasons
The tennis seasons are:
- Winter: 1 September – 31 March
- Summer: 1 April – 31 August
Working out your child’s current age group
To know which age group your child will be in for the season you look at what age your child will be on the last day of the next season. If their age doesn’t change, then they will stay in their current age group. If their age goes up, then they might go up a group – depending upon the age range of their current age group.
I know that’s a bit confusing! The good news is that the LTA provides a handy Age Group Calculator to work this out for you! We’ve also provided a clear, interactive parent’s guide to Mini and Junior Tennis Age Groups on our inspire2coach website.
Moving to a new ball with i2c
Within our coaching programs, i2c only move a child to a new ball when they’re ready and that is dependent on their ability. The different balls (red then orange then green), the smaller court sizes and shorter racket lengths are there to help children to control the ball and scale down the court to a manageable size. If we move a child up before they’re ready then they may struggle – and that will make their tennis less fun.
However, be aware that if you are entering a competition, the LTA has strict age-based criteria on which mini-tennis group your child can enter.
In the video below, super coach Mel gives us a summary of what this all means for your child’s tennis.
Originally published on: Mar 5, 2018
See more articles on player transitions
- How to Train Young Talented Tennis Players
- “RORANGE” – How to transition players from red ball to orange ball
- i2c Kid’s Club: When does my child move to a new age group? (video)
- 5 Ways to Develop the Serve from Red to Orange (Live Video)
- The BIG move: red to orange!
- 10 steps to introduce a player competency based system for your junior players
- What do you look at when you consider if a red player is ready for orange ball?