Intellivision Cartridge Instructions
(For 2 Players)
You're at center court, facing your opponent across the net, testing your
strategy and your skill! You serve, rally, go for a passing shot! Computer plays
lineman and keeps score. Here's fast-paced action -- the speed and pressure of
World Class competition! Still, this is INTELLIVISION tennis. No waiting for a
court. No balls to chase. No throwing your racket! "Are the players ready?
OBJECT OF THE GAME is to score more points than your opponent by hitting the
ball into your opponent's court in such a way as to prevent him or her from
hitting it back into your court.
GAME RULES IN BRIEF
1. Game action starts when server serves the ball (tosses it into the air and
hits it across the net into the service court diagonally opposite).
2. If serve is good (lands on or inside opponent's service court lines),
opponent hits the ball back across the net, so that it bounces the first time on
or inside the lines of server's court. Players continue to hit the ball back and
forth across the net (rally) until one player misses the ball or hits it out of
bounds. The other player wins a point.
3. A serve is NOT good if the server misses the ball on his swing or hits the
ball outside his opponent's diagonally opposite service court. These are called
FAULTS. Two faults (DOUBLE-FAULT) gives the point to opponent.
A serve is NOT good if the ball touches the net before landing in opponent's
correct service court. This is called a LET. There is no limit on the number of
let serves allowed. (A LET serve is not a fault.)
4. A return is NOT good if a player allows the ball to bounce more than once; if
a player misses the ball; or if a player hits the ball outside the lines of his
opponent's court. A return that is good scores a point for the other player.
If the ball touches the net before bouncing in opponent's court DURING A RALLY,
the return is good and must be hit by the other player.
5. To win a game, you must win at least 4 points and at least 2 points more than
your opponent. Game points are called as: 1 point - 15; 2 points - 30; 3 points
- 40; tie score at and after 40 - deuce; 1 point more than opponent - Ad.
Sets are at least 6 games long -- 2 games more than your opponent wins the set.
(For example, 6 games to 4, 6 to 3, 7 to 5, etc.)
TIE-BREAKER decides winner when games in a set are even at 6 all.
To win a match, you must win 3 sets out of 5.
6. In regular play, players switch sides (automatically) after every odd-
numbered games (1st, 3rd, 5th, etc.). Players do not switch sides during a Tie-
Breaker in INTELLIVISION Tennis.
EXAMINE YOUR CONTROLS:
SERVICE KEYS: Used when serving to determine generally where the ball will land
in opponent's service court.
 -- INNER COURT (closest to Center Service Line)
 -- CENTER COURT (center third of any service center)
 -- OUTER COURT (outside third of any service court)
Upper Side Keys -- HARD SWING: On Serve - sends ball fast and deep into
opponent's court. Takes practice to serve inbounds. On Return - ground stroke.
Ball remains low, appears faster.
Lower Side Keys -- SOFT SWING: On Serve - sends ball slower, with slight upward
curve. Easy to serve inbounds. On Return - lob. Ball curves upward stays in the
air, like a popfly.
Direction Disc -- "MOVE PLAYER": Moves your player in any of 16 directions,
without turning the player to face that direction. PLAYERS ALWAYS FACE THE NET.
INTELLIVISION TENNIS is a game of concentration, eye-hand coordination, timing
and strategy. Keep your eye on the ball's shadow, especially on a high lob
stroke. Learn to time your serve and return. Timing determines where and how far
the ball will travel.
GETTING STATED -- SELECT A GAME SPEED
You can play INTELLIVISION Tennis at FOUR different speeds, depending on your
experience and skill. If you are just beginning, you may wish to start at slower
speed. On the fastest speed, players and ball both move faster. You will need
very sharp reflexes to play at this level.
To select the FASTEST speed - WIMBLEDON - press the DIRECTION DISC on either
Hand Controller. To select any slower speed, press one of the three TOP SERVICE
KEYS [1 -3] on either Hand Controller.
 INNER -- PRO (Medium Fast)
 CENTER -- CLUB PLAYER (Medium)
 OUTER -- BEGINNER (Slower)
CHECK THE COURT!
After you select a speed, the tennis court and scoreboard will appear on your TV
screen, with Red and Blue players both on the court. There will be no immediate
action, so you will have time to get familiar with the court layout.
Practice moving your player around the court, using the DIRECTION DISC, before
you start to play. Get the feel of your player's movements, speed and
responsiveness. Notice that both players FACE THE NET AT ALL TIMES. Your player
will move only within his own court. You cannot run your player around the net
into your opponent's court. When players switch sides of the court, they do so
NOTE: You must serve the ball before rallying. No warm-up rally before the game.
GETTING IN POSITION FOR THE SERVE
THE SAME PLAYER SERVES THROUGHOUT A GAME. RED PLAYER (left hand controller)
ALWAYS SERVES FIRST IN A MATCH.
Your player always serves from behind the Base Line, alternating between right
and left of the Center Mark, after each point scored. Your serve always travels
to your opponent's service court DIAGONALLY opposite from your player.
PRESS ONE OF THE THREE TOP SERVICE KEYS [1 -3]. This positions the server and
determines generally where your serve will land in your opponent's service
 -- INNER COURT (closest to Center Service Line)
 -- CENTER COURT (center third of any service center)
 -- OUTER COURT (outside third of any service court)
YOU MUST PRESS A SERVICE KEY BEFORE YOU CAN PROCEED WITH YOUR SERVE.
After you press a Service key, your player will automatically move into the
correct position behind the Base Line. On your first serve this position will be
RIGHT of the Center Mark.
Once in position to serve, your player is "frozen" in place and will not move
until you press a Swing button (side of Hand Controller). This prevents you from
accidentally incurring a "foot fault" (touching or stepping over the Base Line).
After you press a Service key, the ball will automatically appear in your
player's hand after approximately a 1-second delay. This gives your opponent
time to move his or her player into position to receive the serve.
You can change your mind on where you want to place the ball, as many times as
you like, until you actually HIT the ball. Simply press a different Service key.
POSITIONING YOUR PLAYER TO RECEIVE THE SERVE
When you see your opponent's player moving into serving position along the Base
Line, position your own player to receive the serve. Remember that your
opponent's serve will land in your service court DIAGONALLY opposite his player.
It's generally a good idea to place your receiving player close to or behind the
Base Line. You can always run up to hit a soft serve. Running back to get a hard
serve is more difficult.
THE SERVE: YOUR NUMBER 1 OFFENSIVE WEAPON!
Once you are in position to serve, use the SIDE SWING BUTTONS to make the serve.
1. PRESS ANY SWING BUTTON TO TOSS THE BALL INTO THE AIR. The ball will travel to
the same height, regardless of which Swing button you press.
2. PRESS ONE OF THE SIDE SWING BUTTONS A SECOND TIME, TO SWING AT THE BALL.
Either HARD SWING button (top) will give you a long, fast serve. You will need
some practice to use this serve, as it is difficult to place accurately within
your opponent's service court. It is also difficult for your opponent to hit.
Either SOFT SWING button (bottom) will give you a slower, shorter, looping
serve. It is much easier to make a good serve using this button. It is also much
easier for your opponent to return.
TIMING YOUR SERVE
Normally, the best time to press the Swing button a second time in serving is
when the ball is at its highest point in the toss. On a Hard Swing, you may want
to let the ball drop a little from its highest point, to increase your chances
of placing the ball inside your opponent's service court.
THE HIGHER THE BALL IS WHEN YOU HIT IT, THE FARTHER IT WILL TRAVEL.
If you swing too soon or too late, you may miss the ball entirely. This counts
as a fault. (See next section.)
TIP TO THE SERVER: Use the VOLLEY! After you make a hard, aggressive first
serve, rush the net and get set for the return. You're in position to hit the
ball in the air, before it hits court on your side! This is a classic move in
World competition tennis!
NEVER volley when you are returning your opponent's serve, as this will cost you
the point. You must let the ball bounce once in your service court before
returning a serve.
You incur a fault when:
* You swing but do not hit the ball while serving.
* The ball does not bounce the first time on or within the lines of your
opponent's diagonally opposite service court.
(If you toss the ball, but DO NOT swing at it and it drops to the ground, you DO
NOT incur a fault. Press a Service key to retrieve the ball.)
When you fault, you will hear a SOFT TONE and see the word FAULT on the Game
Scoreboard, between the two scores.
You may fault ONCE attempting to serve, without losing the point. If you fault,
you must press a Service key again (the same or a different key) and try to
serve again., Your player serves from the same side of the Center Mark as
If you fault TWICE IN A ROW (a DOUBLE-FAULT), you lose the point. If the game
isn't over, your player automatically moves to the other side of the Center Mark
when you press a Service key for your next serve.
After a point has been won, you play with a clean slate (two chances to make the
A let serve also removes the ball from play, but does not cost you points. It
does not count as a fault either.
A Let serve occurs when the ball hits the net, then travels on over it into your
opponent's court diagonally opposite service court. (If the ball lands outside
your opponent's service court, the play is a fault.)
There is not limit to the number of let serves allowed on a point. The computer
will alert you to a let serve with a SOFT TONE and the word LET in the center of
the Game Scoreboard.
RETURNING THE BALL (GET THE RALLY GOING!)
The only controls you will use in returning the ball (hitting it back to your
opponent), either after a serve or during a rally, are the DIRECTION DISC and
the SIDE SWING BUTTON. The Service keys are used only by the server and only
preceding a serve.
USE THE DIRECTION DISC TO MOVE YOUR PLAYER INTO POSITION TO RECEIVE AND RETURN
Remember that your player will always face the net, even when running backwards
Your player can hit the ball whenever it is at a height between his knees and
the top of his head, and about a racket's reach away (either right or left). If
the ball has been lobbed to you (hit in a high arc), watch the ball's SHADOW on
the ground, to see where to position your player. If you watch the ball, your
position will be too far off to hit.
WHEN YOU PLAYER IS IN POSITION TO RETURN THE BALL, PRESS ONE OF THE SIDE SWING
BUTTONS. When you press a Swing button, your player will draw back his racket
Ground Stroke --PRESS EITHER HARD (top) SWING BUTTON. The ball will travel low
and reach your opponent's court quickly.
If you use a Hard Swing button to return a lobbed ball, you will get a much more
powerful stroke than an ordinary ground stroke. This is called a SMASH.
Lob -- PRESS EITHER SOFT (bottom) SWING BUTTON. The ball will travel in a high,
curved arc. Since it spends more time in the air than with a ground stroke, the
ball appears to travel slower and is easier to hit by your opponent. The
distance between the ball and its shadow is more pronounced with a lob than with
a ground stroke.
Only one player (the server or the receiver) can swing his racket at a time.
After you hit the ball, your side Swing buttons will not work until it is your
turn to hit the ball again.
You can only swing your racket when the ball is in play (after the serve and
before the point is won). You will NOT BE ABLE TO SWING at a fault serve or a
ball that has bounced more than once in your court. Your side Swing buttons will
not work as soon as the computer determines that the ball is out of play.
You will hear a WOOSH when you swing and a SOFT CLICK when you hit the ball.
WHEN TO SWING
Returning A Serve
You must let the ball bounce ONCE in your service court before you hit it. If
you hit the ball before it bounces (unless it hit the net first), you lose the
After the ball bounces once in your service court, you can swing at it as many
times as you like, until you hit it or until it bounces again.
RETURNING THE BALL IN A RALLY
When you hit the ball after the serve, it must land on or inside the lines of
your opponent's court to be considered good. (The lines of the court are the
net, the Base Line and the two Side Lines.)
Once the computer determines that the ball will NOT BE GOOD:
If you swing and miss, you win the point. If you don't swing, you win the point.
If you swing and hit, play continues.
If the ball bounces inside the court and then goes out, it is still considered
good. If you do not hit it, you lose the point.
If the ball strikes the top of the net and then continues over into your court,
you must hit it or lose the point. There is no "let" in rallying, only in
TIMING YOUR SWING
WHEN you hit the ball during your swing determines WHERE the ball will go in
your opponent's court.
Think of the swing motion as a 135� semi-circle that starts almost behind the
player and ends in front of him, with the racket extended forward.
A hit at the beginning of this semi-circle (an early swing) will send the ball
toward the top of the court (top of your TV screen).
A hit at the mid-point of the semi-circle will send the ball nearly straight.
A hit at the end of the semi-circle (a late swing) will send the ball toward the
bottom of the court (bottom of your TV screen).
OUT OF BOUNDS
When you return the ball, it must bounce the first time ON OR WITHIN the lines
of your opponent's court. If your hit sends the ball outside your opponent's
court, you will hear a WARNING BUZZ and see the word OUT! in the center of the
After the serve, players continue the rally until one player scores the point.
At various times during a rally, the CROWD MAY CHEER for a particularly good
shot. The CROWD ALSO CHEERS at the end of a rally of reasonable length. Notice
that the crowd's eyes follow the action during a rally.
When a point is scored, it is displayed on the Game Scoreboard, under the player
who won it.
END OF GAME
After one player wins a game, according to the tennis scoring rules described in
the next section, the CROWD CHEERS. The word GAME appears in the center of the
Game scoreboard, in the winning player's color. The point scores on the Game
Scoreboard return to zero. The Set Scoreboard above the court indicates the game
won, beside the winning player's color.
The serve changes after every game. The computer automatically keeps track of
whose serve it is and where that player should serve from, so you don't need to
worry about this.
After every ODD-NUMBERED GAME in a set (1st, 3rd, 5th, etc.), players switch
sides of the court. The computer automatically moves the players to opposite
sides of the court. During the time in which this is happening, your Hand
Controllers will not control the players. Each player's point scores continue to
be displayed below the player.
THE TENNIS SCORING SYSTEM
Tennis has a scoring system that is unique to the game. It is unusual, but it is
not difficult to master. Tennis is scored in GAME, SET and MATCH.
TO WIN A GAME . . .
You must win at least 4 points and a least 2 points more than your opponent. The
traditional way of calling point scores is as follows:
1 point: 15
2 points: 30
3 points: 40
Score tied at 40 or over: Deuce
1 point more than opponent: Ad (for advantage)
2 points more than opponent: Game
(For Tie-Breaker scoring - see below)
Point scores of 15, 30, 40 and Ad appear in white under the side of the court
that you are playing on during that game. Point scores of Deuce and Game appear
in the center of the Game Scoreboard. Game appears in the winning player's color
(red or blue).
In tennis a score of 0 points is called Love. A zero score is simply displayed
as 0 in INTELLIVISION Tennis.
TO WIN A SET . . .
You must win at least 6 games and at least 2 more games than your opponent. If
the Set Score is at 6 to 5, you must continue playing.
When you win a set, the CROWD CHEERS and the game scoreboard reads GAME, then
SET in the winning player's color.
If the Set Score is even at 6 games all, a Tie-Breaker decides the winner. When
this happens, each player serves twice in a row, alternating until at least 7
Tie-Breaker points are played.
Tie-Breaker Serving: The player who served the last game serves ONE point. His
opponent then serves TWO points. Each player then serves TWO points, alternating
until the Tie-Breaker is completed.
Again, the set must be won by at least 2 points., (For example, 7 to 4, 12 to
10, even 15 to 13, etc.)
TO WIN A MATCH . . .
You must win 3 out of 5 sets. As soon as one player wins 3 sets, the match is
over. The CROWD CHEERS. The Game Scoreboard reads out GAME, then SET, then MATCH
in the winning player's color. Both players automatically run to the net, shake
hands, and run off the court.
WOOSH: Whenever racket is swung.
SOFT "CLICK": Whenever ball is hit with racket.
SERIES OF RAPID CLICKS: Ball hits the net and does not go over.
WARNING "BUZZ": Return is out of bounds.
"CROWD CHEERS": For particularly good shots, for long rallies, at end of game,
set and match.
SOFT TONE: Let ball (hits net and drops into service court) and fault service.
GAME IN REVIEW
The instructions below are to get you started or refresh your memory if you are
already familiar with the game. TO WIN AT TENNIS, YOU WILL WANT TO READ THE
1. Turn Master Component OFF/ON switch ON.
2. Select game speed. Press Direction Disc for fastest speed. Press one of three
Service keys [1 - 3] for slower speeds ( INNER is medium fast,  CENTER is
medium,  OUTER is slow). Court appears on screen with Red player on left,
Blue player on right.
3. Red player (left hand controller) has first serve. Press any SERVICE [1 - 3]
key to position server and determine where serve is to go. (Same player serves
Press any SWING (side) button to toss ball into air. Press SWING button again to
swing at ball. Either top button gives hard swing. Either bottom button gives
4. Blue player use Direction Disc to maneuver player into position to receive
and return ball. Press SWING button to hit ball. Top buttons give ground stroke.
Bottom buttons give lob. (Forehand and backhand are the same is this game.)
5. You incur a FAULT when serving if you swing at and miss the ball, or if you
place the ball outside your opponent's diagonally opposite service court. Two
faults (DOUBLE-FAULT) costs you a point.
If the ball strikes the net during a serve and continues on into opponent's
service court, the serve is a LET. Unlimited number of lets allowed.
6. SCORING: Your first point is displayed as 15, your second point as 30, your
third point as 40. Tied score at 40 or over is displayed as Deuce. After Deuce,
1 point more than opponent is displayed as Ad. 2 points more than opponent wins
the game (displayed as GAME).
To win a game you must have at least 4 points and at least 2 points more than
your opponent. To win a set, you must win at least 6 games and at least 2 games
more than your opponent. To win the match, you must win 3 out of 5 sets. (Tie-
Breaker is described above.)
HOW TO WIN!
COURT TACTICS. Tennis is a game of position. Maneuver your opponent out of
position and you have a PASSING shot opportunity. (In other words -- "hit 'em
where they ain't!")
KEEP THE BALL IN PLAY. Don't try for a winner every shot. Play the percentages.
Get a rally going and let the other guy make the mistakes.
EASE UP ON 2ND SERVES. Lean into your 1 serve and go for the ace. If you fault,
go for position rather than speed on the 2nd serve. Avoid a Double Fault.
WORK ON COORDINATION. Practice using the Direction Disc and side Swing buttons
until they work smoothly together. Time spent on coordination will really pay
WATCH ON POSITION. Take 1st serves farther back. Move up a bit for softer 2nd
serves. (Of course, your opponent can cross you up. Stay alert!) A good rule is
STAY UP OR BACK. Avoid court center. You can't return a ball hit at your feet!
USE LOBS OFTEN. Lobs cross up your opponent. If he rushes the net, hit the ball
over his head, deep into the backcourt!
WATCH YOUR TIMING. You must return all balls after one bounce, or in the air
directly (except when returning a serve).
CHANGE OF PACE. Go from soft strokes to hard strokes. Mix 'em up and cross 'em
GET THE SERVICE BREAK. When your opponent is serving and gets behind, don't let
him off the hook! Bear down and win the game.
TAKE AN EXTRA SWING. Miss a return -- swing again! Except when you're serving,
extra swings are OK.
RUSH THE NET AND VOLLEY! After you hit a good first serve hard -- move up to the
net and take the return in the air before it hits the court. You'll need quick
ACE: Opponent misses serve completely. (Also SERVICE ACE)
AD: For ADvantage. Example -- at deuce, you win a point: it's your Ad. Win one
more point and you take the game.
DEUCE: Tie score at 40 or over. (Must win by two points.)
DOUBLE FAULT : Two service errors on any point. (Also called DOUBLES.) Server
FAULT: Any service error. Ball lands out of bounds, in the wrong court, etc.
GAME, SET, MATCH: Games are at least four points (15-0, 30-0, 40-0 and game).
Sets are at least six games. Matches are 3 out of 5 sets.
GROUND STROKE: Basic stroke in tennis. Ball must be hit (RETURNED) after no more
than one bounce. FOREHAND and BACKHAND are the same in INTELLIVISION Tennis.
LET: Ball hits net before dropping into opponent's court. On serve only. (Also
LET SERVICE) Try again!
LOB: Hitting ball high in the air -- like a flyball.
LOVE: Zero -- as in 15-Love, or 5 games to Love, etc.
NOT UP: Return error -- ball takes more than one bounce before it is hit -- lost
RALLY : Keeping ball in play -- serve and return, back and forth.
SERVE: Offensive stroke. SERVICE ball must go into opponent's SERVICE court.
SET POINT: Possible winning point in a set. (Also MATCH POINT -- possible
winning point in final set.
SMASH: Aggressive return of opponent's lob. (Also OVERHEAD)
TENNIS COURT: The playing areas as marked off by sidelines, etc. (As in a
basketball court.) All INTELLIVISION games are SINGLES. No alley lines for
Doubles (2 players on a side) are needed.
(c)1980, 1998 Intellivision Productions, Inc.
Play this game on the INTELLIVISION LIVES! CD-ROM, available at