Tag Archives: World TeamTennis

Get in on the Tennis Action with the Washington Kastles

Professional tennis is about to get pretty exciting for fans in DC, and I’m not talking about the next round of Wimbledon matches we’ll be watching on TV.  In less than two weeks, some of the sport’s biggest stars (do the names Venus and Serena ring a bell?) will take court right here in our city, as the Washington Kastles bring world-class tennis — with a twist — to the Southwest Waterfront from July 5 – 21.

The Kastles are the DC franchise of World TeamTennis, the professional league that, you might say, is a complete 180 from Wimbledon. WTT breaks from the familiar traditions of tennis — teams play by a unique set of rules, loud music and fun spectacles occur during the match, and the crowd is not just welcome, but encouraged to be a part of it all. It’s a sporting event that focuses on the fans just as much as the stars.

Kids, especially, will have loads to enjoy with many extras just for them.  Quickstart courts will be set up for a little pre-match play.  There will be racquet giveaways for children 12 and under (and word has it that there will be plenty available, so just about every kid can get one — look for a tent/table with signage). Kids are often included in fun promotion between sets.  And fans 16 and under are invited on court after matches for autograph sessions with all the players (that’s right, opportunities to meet Venus and Serena!).

Kastles mascots Topspin & Slice

And, parents, note this date: July 18, which is Family Night. Not only will there be even more activities for kids, but KidFriendly DC readers can get a 10% discount on tickets to that match by using the code KIDDC when purchasing online through Ticketmaster.  Regular ticket prices for all matches start at $15.

The rest of the Kastles 2011 home schedule is as follows:

DATE                                     OPPONENT           
Tuesday, July 5                          Kansas City                         w/Venus Williams
Thursday, July 7                        Boston                                  w/Serena Williams
Tuesday, July 12                        New York                             vs. John McEnroe
Thursday, July 14                      Springfield
Friday, July 15                            St. Louis                               Chris Evert fan reception
Monday, July 18                        Sacramento                          Family Night
Thursday, July 21                      Philadelphia                         Season Finale

All of the home matches will take place in the team’s brand new venue, Kastles Stadium at the Wharf. The location on the Southwest Waterfront will offer spectators views of the city’s landmarks along with on-court action.  Matches start at 7pm, and gates will open at 5:15pm.  More information about the Washington Kastles is available on the website.  And for a bit more about World TeamTennis, see this post from last year.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Deal, Live Entertainment, Outdoor, Sports, Summer

Tennis, Anyone?

For years, my husband and I have had an ongoing debate about tennis and its spectator silence rules. He doesn’t understand why there is no cheering during points, why the crowd can’t yell at the exact moment the server is going to hit the ball in an attempt to break concentration and foil an ace, like fans do during free throws at basketball games. I understand where he’s coming from, but as someone who grew up playing tennis, I feel a loyalty to the sport and its unwritten rules, as important or ridiculous as they may be.

“Tennis requires great concentration,“ I always tell him. “And a quiet stadium is part of the tradition. Besides, it’s cool to hear the sound of the racquets hitting the ball.”

“And shooting a basketball through a hoop from 15 feet away doesn’t require focus?” is the usual retaliation, along with a diatribe about why the “tradition” is B.S. (But he never argues about it sounding cool.)

Okay, I get it. And to be totally honest, sometimes I think it would be kind of fun to hear the crowd go crazy or see how a player handles some good heckling.

Well, apparently we can. Because the World TeamTennis Pro League brings its own set of rules to the court with a different match format (games are no-ad and count toward the overall team score) and different fan rules (cheer as loud and heckle as much as you want).

The WTT Pro League has been around for 35 years (Philadelphia’s team, the Freedoms, actually inspired Elton John’s famous song. Who knew?), but if you haven’t really heard of it, that’s probably because DC didn’t have it’s own team until 2008. The Washington Kastles are the newest franchise to the league, but they are off to a great start as the reigning 2009 champions. That’s not surprising when you hear Serena Williams, one of the most exciting womens players ever, was on the team. And good news: this year Venus is joining her.

The 2010 WTT season begins next week, July 5, and continues for three weeks until July 25. The Washington Kastles’ first home match is July 6 against the Freedoms. All home matches take place at Kastles Stadium at City Center, 11th and H Streets NW. I can’t vouch for it myself, as I haven’t yet been to a match, but according to Yelp reviews, it’s a really good time. And, of course, something the whole family can enjoy. Tickets start at $15, and So What’s the Deal currently has several promotions going on for tickets at various prices.

So, if Wimbledon has you and the kids excited about tennis, or you’re looking for a new sports team to support now that the US is out of the World Cup, or if your family just wants to do something different, go check out the Kastles.

And cheer as loud as you want.


Filed under All ages, Live Entertainment, Outdoor, Seasonal, Sports, Summer