Why does the tennis scoring system still remain as it is ? By that I mean the 0-15-30-40 progression. The obvious 1,2,3,4 progression makes more sense as it is simplistic and does not indicate additional rules for inbetween the 30-40 points. There is no real merit to it apart from confusing newcomers and make the game sound more excentric than it actually is. It confuses me how an obvious traditional approach to note points held up this long.

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    Could you provide some evidence from independent sources which shows this is actually a significant issue for recruiting new tennis players? – Philip Kendall Mar 19 at 15:08
  • The simplistic answer is for the same reason there is no attempt to change the scoring system of any other sport. – Chenmunka Mar 20 at 18:45

I don't know that there's an objective answer to this question. Most endeavors that require a lot of time and expertise have their own jargon and historical artifacts, not just in sports and certainly not just in tennis. (Insert anecdote about cricket fielding position names).

In recent years there have been many proposals and implementations at different levels that are modifications on traditional tennis scoring. None of the ones I'm aware of have attempted to recast the point advancement counts to just "1-2-3-game". Instead, they have mainly focused on the desire to speed up play and prevent matches from being too long. Examples being:

  • Increased use of tiebreaks
  • No-advantage scoring (removes deuce as a score)
  • Removal of let serve
  • 4-point sets

It would appear that any confusion around the traditional 15-30-40-game scoring has not been a priority for match directors and rule makers to address.

Finally, the current system does have one feature that could be considered beneficial: that the game score other than 0-0 cannot be confused for the the set score or match score.

  • "the game score other than 0-0 cannot be confused for the the set score or match score."... other than in exceptional circumstances (yes, I know Wimbledon has now changed the rules so we never get past 12-12) – Philip Kendall Mar 20 at 9:31

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