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2012 Special Olympics National Invitation Tennis Tournament

Awards Ceremony
Singles Competition
Singles Play
The 2012 Special Olympics National Invitation Tournament wrapped up on Wednesday March 15 with hundreds of athletes from across the nation gathering at the Van der Meer Tennis Center on Hilton Head Island.  The National Invitation Tournament is the largest Special Olympics tennis event in the state, and one of the largest in the nation. 

Play started on Monday, March 12 with all levels of athletes taking to the courts.  After play concluded, the athletes enjoyed a cookout and a pro exhibition.  Play resumed bright and early Tuesday morning and continued throughout the day Tuesday and Wednesday.  In addition to individual competition, and doubles events, the athletes enjoyed skills competitions, with the top three athletes in four levels of skill recognized for their abilities in groundstrokes, volleys, and serves. 

The athletes at the event are divided into four skill levels, depending on their level of ability.  Level 1 athletes compete in skills events on a 42’ court with a red foam ball.  Level 2 athletes compete on a 42’ court in no-ad set match play.  Level 3 athletes compete with an orange ball on a 60’ court, and Level 4 athletes compete on a full court with a standard tennis ball.   

The event is significant in that it brings numerous professional tennis organizations together.  The event is hosted with significant help from the Professional Tennis Registry, which is based at the Van der Meer Tennis Center.  In addition, USTA certified umpires chair each match, and local tennis volunteers and USTA staff all pitch in to help the event. 

For lots of pictures of the athletes, visit our Facebook page.  For more information on the National Invitation Tournament, or Special Olympics in South Carolina,  you can visit