About RTS

In 2016, the RTS Website was selected by the UK Web Archive, The British Library as a site and organisation that “reflects the rich diversity of lives and interests throughout the UK”. 

The Real Tennis Society/Société Historique de la Paume promotes the sport of Real Tennis through its history.  “Tennis” originated in Europe during the Medieval period and continues to thrive as “Real Tennis”, “Court Tennis” (USA) and “Jeu de Paume” (France) in the 21st century played by 10,000+ people on 46 active courts worldwide.  There are traces of courts all over Europe [Court Register] which are being rediscovered and hopefully one day revived as awareness of the sport grows.  Providing historical context and scholarly information about the sport is essential to develop, promote and save (i.e. Troon and Dublin courts) renovation projects especially in new locations where awareness of the sport is much needed.

2016 News

In 2016, there are two new courts in the works: Wellington College (UK) (official opening: 23-25 September) and Charleston, SC (USA) (please donate now by following the link); a late 16th century court at Chinon has been acquired for renovation (Become a “Friend of Chinon”) while the court of Fontainebleau will undergo renovation this summer.  We are waiting with great anticipation to hear about the possible restoration of the Pau court this autumn. Please take the time to find out more about how you can help the IRTA prevent the Dublin City Council from dismantling the court for a new museum.  See also a recent article in The Times on saving the Dublin court. If you would like information on any of these projects please contact us below using the form. 

Save the dates for the Trois Tripots Tournament: September 29 – October 4 to play on 16th & 17th century courts in one of the most beautiful locations in the world.

The Second International Conference on the History of Tennis was held on the 17 & 19 May, 2016 in the Casino of the International Tennis Hall of Fame during the men’s singles World Championship. Information about the conference can be found HERE in addition to the highly successful exhibition Court Tennis Contemporary: a group show of 15 artists inspired by the original racquet sport at the Newport Art Museum, 17-21 May.  The video links to the 3 days of tennis are available HERE

In addition to providing regular News and information on “Recent History“, the RTS website is home to 3 scholarly databases on the sport and its related games: A Bibliographic Database: “Library“, Visual Database: “Gallery” and the “Court Register“.

The RTS was established in 2012 [Launch Event] following the first international conference on the history of real tennis “Tennis: History & Mysteries” held at The Queen’s Club during the 2012 men’s World Championship.  Eleven scholars contributed papers and a wonderful gathering of history enthusiasts participated in the two-day conference, book signing and dinner. Information on Conferences and Exhibitions please click here and our first Tour.

We invite anyone interested in the history of tennis to become a member and support our online databases and to attend events, lectures and the Tour.  We are aiming to register the RTS as a charity in the near future.

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