Despite its complexity, the tennis scoring system has been stable since the Victorian period. The modern game of tennis traces back to a medieval game called jeu de paume, which began in 12th ...
The system is very confusing and antiquated, but tennis has a long tradition behind it and the scoring has been passed down through the centuries. Another similar answer: The origins are not fully known, but one common explanation was that when the game was first being played back in medieval times, a clock face was used on court.
Although this suggestion might sound attractive, the first reference to tennis scoring (as mentioned above) is in the 15th century, and at that time clocks measured only the hours (1 to 12). It was not until about 1690, when the more accurate pendulum escapement was invented, that clocks regularly had minute hands. So the concept of tennis scores originating from the clock face could not have come from medieval times.
There is no clear answer as to why tennis is scored this way. However, there are many theories. One very popular theory is that the origins of 15, 30, and 40 are medieval French.
Origin of Tennis Scoring. Tennis Scoring dates way back to the 15th century. It was a sport discovered in France and was called ‘jeu de paume’. The scoring system was based on the hands of the clock. A clock face was used on the court. The clock hand moves a quarter for each point.
When the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club organised the first tennis tournament in 1877, they chose to follow the medieval system. They played on a rectangular lawn and decided to score points 15, 30 and 40. This became the basis of the rules of tennis that people still follow today. The tiebreaker was added in the 1970s. It was included in the tennis scoring rules by the recommendation of James Van Alen, then president of the Tennis Hall of Fame.
He adopted the rackets-based system of scoring where games consisted of 15 points (called 'aces'). None of these quirks survived the Marylebone Cricket Club's 1875 Rules of Lawn Tennis that have been official, with periodic slight modifications, ever since then.
Lawn tennis’s strange scoring system was clearly borrowed from court tennis. Although court tennis used a 15-point system, the scoring system was a little different from modern scoring. Each point in a game was worth 15 points (while modern tennis progresses 15-30-40-game, court tennis progressed 15-30-45-game).