What is platform tennis?
Platform Tennis is an American racquet sport enjoyed by thousands of people of all ages. It is the only racquet sport that players can enjoy outdoors in cold weather. This unique appeal attracts people who desire fresh air, competition, and social engagement - all on a chilly winter's day or night.
The sport is played at private clubs, public facilities, and in backyards at both highly competitive and purely recreational levels. Because it is easy to learn, it is enjoyed by players as young as eight and as old as old bones allow.
The Name of the Game: Players often refer to platform tennis as "paddle," as in "Are you playing paddle tonight?" With the re-emergence of paddle tennis on the West Coast (basically, a down-sized game of tennis), this has many people confused.
The Court: The game is played on an aluminum deck about 1/3 the size of a tennis court and is surrounded by a 12' high superstructure with taut, 16-gauge "chicken wire" fencing which allows play off the walls, as in racquetball and squash.
Historically, the court has been elevated or on a platform. (When founders invented the sport in 1928 they erected the first court on the side of a hill. A platform was needed to keep the court level and was helpful with snow removal.)
The base of an elevated platform tennis court is usually enclosed, allowing for a heating system beneath the deck (propane, natural gas or kerosene.) The heating system melts ice off the aggregate deck surface, allowing athletes to play outdoors in all weather conditions. Most courts have lighting systems so the game can be enjoyed day or night.
The Equipment: Platform tennis paddles are made of a composite material with aerodynamic holes drilled in the head. Paddles are approximately 18" long. The spongy, rubber ball has a flocking material on its exterior to keep the ball from skidding.
More Information: Click this link to see the latest issue of Platform Tennis Magazine, the official publication of the American Platform Tennis Association, mailed five times a year during the season to all APTA members.