court tennis, indoor racket and net game of ancient origin. It is believed to have originated (about the 14th cent.) in medieval France and is the forerunner of most modern racket games. In its early days the sport was known as royal tennis because of the interest it held for French and English royalty. Enjoying varying degrees of popularity over the years, the sport was first played in the United States in 1876. Court tennis is played on an indoor, concrete court 110 ft by 38 ft (33.53 m by 11.58 m), which is surrounded by four walls 30 ft (9.14 m) high. A player hits the ball—made of tightly wound cloth—with a 16-oz (.45-kg), 27-in. (68.5-cm) racket over the center net and plays the surface of the floor, the walls, and the ceiling to put the ball out of reach of the opponent. The scoring is intricate, and hitting the ball into wall openings also wins points.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.