What's love got to do with it?

Who the hell made up the game of tennis?

My brother Elijah is obsessed with the game of tennis. Months ago he attempted to explain the rules and scoring of the game but I was completely lost after "when you have a score of zero, then it's love." Huh?

This past weekend I went and watched Elijah play two sets... or is it matches... I don't know, he played against two different people and each time someone had to win six games two out of three times. Does that even make sense? It barely does in my head.

Anyway, I at least learned the scoring part of it. But I still don't understand why it is the way it is. My conclusion? Out of all the games involving a ball, tennis was the last one invented. By the time Mr. Tennis got around to coming up with a new ball game, all the rules and scoring had been used. So he had to come up with something completely crazy in order not to sound like a knock off of another already-invented game. Well way to make up a game that makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE, Mr. Tennis.

Here's what does make sense:
1. Two players (raqueteers?) use a raquet to hit a ball over a net.
2. If the ball goes out of the big square, it's out and the other player scores.
3. You have to win by two.
4. When you serve, it must go to the opposite square on the other side (this one's a little iffy since it sounds like a random rule thrown in there for the heck of it).

Here's what doesn't make sense:
1. The scoring is not normal in that it goes 1, 2, 3, etc. Or even in twos or fives or tens. It's completely random in that it goes from zero to 15 to 30 to 40. And then that's it.
2. When it's zero, you can't even call it zero. You call it love. What?
3. When it's tied, you don't say 15-15, but you say 15-All. Ok.
4. When it's tied at forty, you don't even say 40-All. You say Deuce.
5. After Deuce, there are no numbers anymore. Since you have to win by two... point units... then depending on who gets the next point, you call it an Add In or an Add Out. Then if the opposite person scores the next time, you're back to calling it Deuce.

Are you lost yet? If you're not then you at least like tennis enough to know how to follow it or you are related to someone who makes you feel obligated to know what's going on.

Of course, this is all coming from a person who grew up in a football-loving family but never learned the scoring until her senior year of high school. I didn't have the faintest idea about first downs until someone kindly clued me at a HOCO game. The only football terms I knew were "touchdown," "field goal," and "go Jackets."

1 comment:

  1. Speaking of jackets (blech, bad taste in my mouth), I found a GA Tech cap in my car. My first inclination was to burn it, but I restrained myself. It is my assumption that it belongs to you...