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In Prempati here is the new passion.  It is made in the USA

In Prempati here is the new passion. It is made in the USA

In a period when tennis, thanks to the successes of Jannik Sinner, has become one of the most followed sports in Italy, and where racket mania continues to spread in sports centres, another system involving the use of rackets and balls has proven itself popular in our country. Today, Saturday 11 and tomorrow, Sunday 12 November, the first Italian Tennis Championships will be held in Brimbati, in the province of Bergamo.

The sport, created in America by tennis player Joe Sobeck in 1949, combines the rules of squash and American wallball. Using a suspended racket resembling a tennis racket and hollow rubber balls inside, racquetball is played on indoor courts where the walls, floors and ceiling are parts of the playing area. Tennis is designed as a sport that is played mainly 1 versus 1, but there is also a 2 versus 2 variant. In fact both categories will be accepted at the Prempati tournament: men’s and women’s absolute singles and men’s and women’s absolute doubles.

While racquetball is widespread in the United States and has nearly 6 million players, almost no one has heard of the sport in Italy, and more importantly, has never played it. One of the main reasons lies in the fact that most of the tennis courts in Italy are located inside some US military bases, places that Italian athletes cannot reach. The first three fields open to the public were built in 1995 in Puglia but are now used to carry out other activities. The only two courts that everyone can currently use to play tennis are the two courts at the Prempati Municipal Sports Centre.

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In Italy this discipline is part of Figest, the Italian Federation of Traditional Games and Sports and has recently been recognized by CONI. The sponsorship of the Irf, the International Tennis Federation, is also key: in fact, the Brembate event will not only award the title of Italian champion and national ranking points, but will also be valid for qualification for the next Irf tournaments.

Alessandro Stella