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Tennis Ollywood Article: Thirty30 Tennis - An Alternative Scoring System

Updated: Nov 26, 2019

An article “Thirty30 Tennis - An Alternative Scoring System” written by Davide A. Milani, was recently published on the Tennis Ollywood website.

Tennis Ollywood is “Thoughts and reflections on tennis and on the mental, historical, and socio-cultural aspects connected to this game, edited by Davide A. Milani, (amateur) player and a great lover of tennis.”

The article (in Italian) can be read here and an English translation is below.

In recent years there has been much discussion and experimentation to find scoring systems capable of maintaining the appeal of traditional tennis, but at the same time making matches faster and more exciting.

As always, when it comes to innovation, there are those who welcome changes with enthusiasm, those who immediately say they are against and those who, like me, take a little more time to evaluate things and test them.

Here is my point of view on the Thirty30 Tennis, after trying it during a match.

If you are looking for a scoring system that can make your matches more intense, the Thirty30 tennis format surely may interest you.

Everything is the same as the traditional scoring system, except for some details that I will talk about shortly, but all games start at 30-30 (as you can guess from the name) instead of 0-0.

Apparently it changes little, in fact at a mental level everything changes because starting from this situation, two consecutive points are enough to win the game and at the same time it is enough to collect two to lose it.

The specific weight of each point changes.

Brad Gilbert in his "Winning Ugly" book, gives a lot of importance to these kind of points, because they are the ones that put the player in the position to play the game in the next point.

The interesting thing about this system, which I wanted to test, is that it reduces the gap of the value of the players in the field and forces even more to keep the concentration high in every moment of the match because a minimal distraction leads to losing the game or to be reached on the same level.

Winning two points in a row seems trivial, but those who play know that it is not.

Even at the ATP level it often happens that you have to play 3 or 4 deuces before a player manages to win a game by winning two consecutive points.

Mark Milne, the creator of Thirty30 tennis, is seriously pursuing the development of the scoring system because he intends to propose it to the ITF as an alternative "fast scoring" system, for example to the FAST4 formula tested during the NextGen Finals in Milan.

There is a Thirty30 tennis site that details the rules, for which I contributed to the Italian version.

As I mentioned, there are some differences.

At 6-6, a "best of 9 points tie-break" is played, i.e. the first to reach 5 points (at 4-4, the ‘sudden-death’ point rule applies) and wins the set by 7-6.

In the final deciding set, you need to ‘lead by two games‘ to win the set.

‘Change of ends’ are made after the first two games and then after every four.

A best of 3 sets match can last about an hour, which is a good way to avoid having to interrupt a match when the booked time ends.

There is an option that can be added to further shorten the time to limit the number of deuces to four. (A ‘sudden-death’ point rule applies on the 4th deuce to determine the winner of the game.)

I invite you to try it, you can organize mini tournaments, and let me know what you think.

Good tennis to all!

Davide A. Milani, Gallarate, Lombardy, Italy, April 25 2019

Since trialling of Thirty30 was launched all over the world at the end of December 2017 it has been receiving very encouraging feedback (now 200+) and this can be found on the page link below:

Thirty30 tennis – FEELS, LOOKS and SOUNDS like traditional tennis!

Thirty30 tennis – Where EVERY Point REALLY Counts!

Thirty30 tennis – Have You Tried It Yet?

Any questions? Please contact:

Mark J Milne, Arbroath, Scotland

Creator of Thirty30 tennis

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