Tennis is a sport that first originated in Europe during the 19th century. Since then it has gained wide popularity and is played worldwide. The game is played between either two people or two sets of people. A match is split into games and sets, with a player winning a match by being victorious in either two out of three or three out five sets and a set is won by winning six games with a lead of at least two games. Scoring for games start out at love (zero) then progress to 15, 30, 40, and then game. If the score becomes tied after three points the game is at “deuce” and a player must win by two points.
A player scores points by using a racket to hit rubber ball with a fuzzy outer layer over a net that splits the court into two sides. The court measures 78 feet long by 27 feet wide (35.99 for doubles) with the net stretching the full width of the court. There are three main types of court playing surfaces used: clay, hard, and grass.
A game is started out by one player hitting (serving) the ball to the opposing player on the opposite side of the net (the receiver). The ball is then volleyed back and forth until one player either hits the ball outside the marked boundary lines or into the net and a point is scored. A match is governed on the court by an umpire who presides over the match from a raised sideline chair. The umpire is usually assisted by line judges that help determine if a ball has landed in or out of bounds. Also, there is a referee that remains off-court who acts as the ultimate authority on any official tennis rules. In 2006 and 2007 certain events and tournaments started using challenges similar to what is used in the NFL.