Thirty30 Tennis Article included in UKs Tennis Threads Magazine
Updated: Feb 19, 2020
An article including the new and exciting Thirty30 (T30) tennis scoring method has appeared in the April 2018 edition of Tennis Threads magazine.
Tennis Threads is the newest and now the only printed Tennis magazine in the UK.
Packed with exclusive news and reports from some of the most respected Tennis journalists in the UK.
The article appears on pages 84 & 85, is part of the Tennis Industry Association (TIA) UK News and is titled "Enhancing The Tennis Experience To Increase Its Appeal."
The article can also be read here:
Enhancing the Tennis Experience to Increase its Appeal
Traditional sports including tennis are having to think outside the box far more to keep existing members or participants, or to get them to play more regularly or to attract new players into the sport.
In the case of tennis there is the added challenge of maximising the game’s assets (tennis courts) in order to generate more revenue and make tennis financially sustainable. This is of particular relevance for indoor tennis venues, where there are worrying signs of courts being converted permanently to other activities that generate far greater financial returns.
Tennis has good potential to enhance the tennis experience, through facility improvement, online booking systems, flexible membership schemes (similar to fitness clubs) but also through organising new and exciting group activities based around tennis, like Cardio Tennis. Such activities can generate significant net profit to the venue or club concerned and are becoming more popular in attracting more participants and potentially a great way to get new club members.
One of the main aims of the LTA, the TIA and other sporting bodies in tennis is to see growth in participation. As a result, a number of ‘tennis introductory’ programmes have been introduced over the last two decades with various degrees of success.
Short Tennis and Mini Tennis come to mind as forerunners of increased participation programmes focusing on introducing youngsters to the game. Touchtennis is being seen as a similar tool to introduce adults into tennis. There are also numerous fitness based ’high intensity’ group activities being held on tennis courts that can have a positive cross over impact for tennis, such as ‘Fight Klub’.
Another aspect of expanding the appeal of the game is via the introduction of shorter scoring systems.
In the professional world the Fast4 Australian system (short set games, no advantage points and no lets) was adopted for the NextGen finals held last year in Milan while the Tie Break Tens (based on pro-tie-break sets only) have established their own show events, the fourth having just been held in Madison Square Gardens, featuring Serena Williams, amongst other WTA names, and won by Elina Svitolina.
Described as a ‘short form tennis competition’ the winner collected $250,000 for her efforts.
But most club players aren’t really interested yet in adopting a new scoring system and as regards Fast4, the jury is still out as far as spectators are concerned.
If club players want shorter matches, they would most certainly prefer to use a more traditional scoring system – one that keeps the rules of the game they grew up with.
To that end, Thirty30 is being promoted by Mark Milne of Arbroath in Scotland.
The main point is that the scoring remains the same, it just starts at 30-all!
It retains the traditional “Tie-Break Set” and ‘final set’ “Advantage Set” with the set going to the player winning six games provided there is a two-game margin – with ad points played out as in a conventional game.
Should the score be six games all, a “Short Set Tie-Break” (i.e. the first player to win five points wins the “Game” and “Set”, with a deciding point if the score reaches four all) is played rather than a conventional “Tie-break game” (i.e. the first player to win seven points wins the “Game” and “Set”, provided there is a margin of two points over the opponent) to decide the set seven games to six and you can play one set or best of three or five sets matches.
As Mr Milne points out, Thirty30 (T30) matches contain many more “big points” with every second point being a game point unlike Fast4 which produces less of these as it uses the Sudden Death system at Deuce.
The set’s game score ticks over more quickly and there are more intense and exiting moments with end-of-set dramas being reached more quickly. A best of 5 sets match should take no longer than 90 minutes.
Changing from the traditional tennis scoring format to the T30 format is simple and seamless for players, audiences and officials.
Mr Milne believes that both T30 and Fast4 provide shorter matches but his format retains the traditions of tennis much better while maintaining those traditions which are key to the future of the game. And that includes playing ad points.
Ruaridh MacLeod, Club Coach of Arbroath LTC in Scotland, endorses the system. “I used the format for my older juniors in the squad and they loved it. When I asked what they preferred in terms of normal games or Thirty30, 100% said they preferred the Thirty30 format. Feedback on it was “Faster and can play more games and sets”; “More exciting”; “Ends up being like the length of a normal game a lot of the time but with excitement of game points and deuces”; “More fun” and at the end when I asked, they all said they want to play more of that”.
He then went on to add “I am using the Thirty30 format regularly in coaching sessions at the club and am now looking to run an event at Easter time aimed at Adults, Kids and Parent & Child.”
There can be no doubt that as a method of expanding the appeal of the sport, T30 has a part to play and other innovative tools, products and mechanisms developed for sport and for tennis will also play a key part. We will be highlighting some of these and describing their impact in future issues of Tennis Threads.
The April 2018 edition is "Issue 4 Vol 2", and can be purchased online for £5 at: https://tennisthreads.net/shop-now/
Note that this article went to print before the "Golden Game" at 6-all was replaced with the '9 point tie-break'. See Rule 03.
An update to the rule was published in the Tennis Threads May 2018 Edition, i.e.
Since trialling of Thirty30 was launched all over the world at the end of December 2017 it has been receiving very encouraging feedback (now 100+) and this can be found on the page link below:
Thirty30 tennis – FEELS, LOOKS and SOUNDS like traditional tennis!
Thirty30 tennis – EVERY Point REALLY Counts!
Thirty30 tennis – Have You Tried It Yet?
Any questions? Please contact:
Mark J Milne, Arbroath, Scotland
Creator of Thirty30 tennis