Tennis Industry magazine


Your Serve: Hop Into POP!

Tennis on shorter courts, for all ages, is catching on fast- — and POP Tennis is capturing the momentum.

By Whitney Kraft

Over 50 years ago, Dr. Seuss wrote a book called Hop on Pop. Today, many in the tennis industry are hopping into POP — POP Tennis, that is.

If you are a facility owner, tennis director or employee seeking new ways to both attract new clients and retain current players, POP Tennis is a no-brainer addition to your current program offerings. This popular variation on tennis — smaller court, slower ball, paddles, underhand serves — will increase your revenue, boost activity on your courts, provide an alternative option for your patrons and allow increased programming for lessons, round robins and tournaments.

Playing tennis on shorter courts — for all ages — is catching on fast. Many clubs already have the 60-foot courts (or have blended lines on 78-foot courts) and low-compression balls needed for POP Tennis, so getting your customers playing may simply be a matter of putting paddles in their hands. For facilities that don’t have blended lines to mark the smaller POP Tennis court, the USTA offers grants to assist. Many USTA sections also offer their own grants; visit and contact your section for more information.

Since the strokes are similar to yellow-ball tennis on 78-foot courts, players pick up POP Tennis quickly. In fact, POP can help your tennis or platform tennis game by emphasizing square contact and using angles at the net. It certainly sharpens reaction time.

For youngsters, POP Tennis supports the philosophy and implementation of the USTA’s new Net Generation initiative: providing players the opportunity to enjoy tennis on their own terms.

At the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City, we started a POP Tennis class this past spring, and it’s been a hit. In late July, we hosted the POP Tennis New York Open, one of three national stops for the POP Tennis Pro Series, which included a $10,000 prize fund. This was a highly successful event, with pro players and multi-level amateur divisions participating. More importantly, it was fun for all involved.

Tennis facilities do not have to undercut their normal tennis programming by adding POP to their offering. It is, rather, a perfect complement: you’ll attract new clients, and keep current players around on days when they might want something different. Players often play POP Tennis on a shorter court after their normal hour of hitting on a regulation-sized tennis court.

POP Tennis is looking for Ambassadors to help spread the word about this growing sport. Want to help out? Hop on over to

Since 2007, Whitney Kraft has been the director of tennis at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. and director of player operations for the US Open. Previously, he was director of tennis for the City of Fort Lauderdale Park & Recreation Department.

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