Beach tennis is played in over 50 countries around the world with the popularity being the highest in Italy, Spain, and Brazil. It is a favourite among all age levels and with the playing surface being soft sand, it provides a good cardio workout with the added benefit of not being too strenuous on the knees. The rules are based on tennis, with the difference that the ball cannot touch the sand. This means that the game is entirely made up of volleys, making it much faster than traditional tennis. A point starts when the ball is served and eventually hits the sand. The objective is to hit the ball once to ensure it gets over the net. This often means that players dive to reach the ball in a similar fashion to volleyball. The tennis ball is also depressurized to ensure it moves slower through the air. The court is an equivalent size to a beach volleyball court.
International Beach Tennis (IFBT) is currently the world governing body for the sport. Beach Tennis is also recognized by the International Tennis Federation as one of the fastest growing sports in the world. IFBT oversees the World Championships, European Championships, Pan-American Championships, the World Cup Tour, and the IFBT Tour. The organization is based in Barcelona, Spain.