Rough or Smooth, why do we ask that question at the start of every tennis match??
The history of this great method of determining who serves first:-
For those tennis players ‘mature’ enough to remember the ‘good old days’ of warped wooden racquets… Cast your mind back and you’ll perhaps remember how racquets used to be strung. With an extra piece or two of coloured thread at the top or/and bottom of the strings.
This thread – ‘trimming silk’ – was looped over and around each string horizontally. This process was called trebling.
Quoting www.jimstennis.com – ‘Trebling was originally in a thinner guage gut but was replaced by coloured strings, twines, silks and later nylons. The purpose was to prevent string movement, by having 3 or more rows of strings (hence trebling) at the top of the string pattern and at the throat end wound around the mains. This produced a rough and smooth side to the stringing of the trebling.
Hence rough or smooth, your serve or mine!’
Well that’s the history!
The trebling faded out as metal racquets and new stringing technology came in. Us tennis players were left to come up with our own solutions to traditional method of starting a match!
Nowadays some spin their racquet having spend minutes explaining which side is ‘up’ or ‘down’ on the manufacturers logo on the butt of the racquet.
Others use the knot method, fine of your stringer consistantly left all the knot tails the same way.
Racket Sport Services can now supply the solution, with the Rough and Smooth vibration dampner!
These dampners not only provide a way to determine who starts the match. But provide coaches with a aid to teaching children to keep their eye on the ball. Available both singlely or in packs of ten by clicking HERE