The sport of rackets or racquets is believed to have started in the 1700s in two of London's prisons, namely King’s Bench and Fleet. It was modified from the sport of Fives, a handball game where players hit a small ball against a wall. Instead of using their hands, prisoners used tennis rackets to speed the game up. It was often played in a corner, so that a side wall could be used as part of a match. The sport soon became popular outside of the prisons, including schools. The oldest surviving court is in Eglington Castle in Scotland. The date is not exactly known, but it would have been in the early 1840s. The first recorded match was in 1846. The court is now also the oldest indoor sports building in Scotland. The inspiration behind lawn tennis came from the games of badminton, rackets and real tennis. Rackets made it to the Summer Olympic Games of 1908, but over the next thirty years and following the second world war, the sport began to experience a decline in popularity.  

One of the biggest promoters of the sport was Dick Bridgeman who also founded the Dick Bridgeman Tennis and Rackets Foundation This was to raise funds to help support young professionals and ensure the future of the game. The foundation is now simply known as the Tennis and Rackets Association (T&RA), and together with the North American Rackets Association (NARA) continue with support of professionals and overseeing the management of the Rackets World Championships. The court is 9.1 m by 18.3 m and is enclosed. The walls and floor are smooth and the colour is normally in contrast to the white ball. The sport is considered the fastest racket sport in the world and with the help and management of the two associations, is continuing to gain popularity and increase participation internationally.

Tennis & Rackets Association

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