OLD RUGBEIAN REAL TENNIS CLUB
Real Tennis is the old game from which lawn tennis was developed in the 19th Century. It is the ancestor of all modern racquet sports.
Variants of the original game grew up in streets, monastic cloisters and castle courtyards (similarly to the way Rugby House versions of quad fives are developed) and it has been played since at least the 11th Century and was at some time codified into more or less common rules and even more or less common standards of court construction, which means that courts vary in size and (to a lesser extent) in features.
One of the oldest courts still in use is at Hampton Court Palace, where the game has been played since 1530 and is open to the public to watch (except in winter).
In spite of the obvious convenience, popularity and economy of slinging a net across a patch of lawn marked out with chalk lines as compared with the trouble and expense of mimicking a medieval castle courtyard, with walls, cloister rooves, also a net, etc., Real Tennis continues to be played in the UK, USA, France and Australia. Disused courts still exist in various other countries.
The Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Middlesex have their own courts, Manchester and Bristol students have access to courts at local clubs. Other informal arrangements for students exist elsewhere.
The game relies more on cunning and skill than raw power and fitness (although these may help) and is thus enjoyable by players of all ages from pre-teens to pensioners.
The ORRTC comprises about 80 Old Rugbeians who have picked up the game at some time. It is a game which is particularly well-suited to those who have played Rackets, but is also quickly picked up by players of any other Racquet sport as well as cricketers and hockey players. The nearest courts to the School are at Leamington Spa and Moreton Morrell, and attempts have been made sporadically to introduce pupils at the School to the game by agreement with those clubs. The ORRTC has a group membership at Moreton Morrell which is now our "Home" court.
We arrange approximately 10 matches per season for teams of five players at different courts around the UK. We also usually submit entries to the annual Henry Leaf competition (School Alumni/ae Pairs).
The ORRTC welcomes any OR or Rugbeian who plays the game or would like to find out more about it.
Oliver Buckley (W 67-71) is the Hon. Sec and can be contacted by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 020 8743 9796.