At the time of his election, Princeton graduate John E. Packard, III, of Rockville, Maryland, had been an APTA Director for five years and was serving as commissioner of the men's championship tour. As such, he was the face of the APTA, on the scene for all the major men's events, coordinating, expediting, and resolving issues when necessary. In 1978, he teamed with Gordon Gray to win the National 45s, and he won it again in 1980 with John Brownlow. At the time of his term as President, Packard was Vice-President and sales manager of Adams-Burch, Inc., a restaurant supply business.
Source: Platform Tennis, September 1980
From 1980 to 1991, the APTA Board stopped appointing the Honor Award Committee. In 1992, under the leadership of then APTA President Charles Vasoll, and with the urging of Bob Brown, the Board re-activated the program.
Historical Factoid: It is a matter of conjecture as to why the APTA suspended the Honor Award which had been a successful program.
Governor Brendan T. Byrne, a stalwart supporter and player of platform tennis, signed a proclamation on February 28 designating March as “Platform Tennis Month in New Jersey.” Present at the ceremony, which took place at the State House in Trenton, were APTA president Robert Kingsbury and executive director Gloria Dillenbeck. Below is the text of the proclamation.
WHEREAS, the sport of platform tennis is gaining marked popularity as a source
of intense competition, fast action and excitement; and . .
WHEREAS, several thousand New Jerseyans are among the thousands across the
country being drawn to this new exciting game; and
WHEREAS, New Jersey has been selected for the first time as the site of the American Platform Tennis National Men's and Women's Platform Tennis Championships, the 1980 Passport event, to be held at the Montclair Golf Club in West Orange[...]
Men’s and Women’s singles championships had been held from 1935-1937 but were discontinued in 1938 due to lack of interest.
In the mid 1970s when paddle was expanding rapidly singles made a comeback.Doug Russell, then the head paddle professional at the Manhattan Platform Tennis Club was looking for ways to increase participation by players and fans and began experimenting with experimenting with singles play, including varying certain rules to see how they might impact the game. It was concluded that allowing just one serve was too much of an advantage to the receiver, so two serves were allowed. In addition, no-add scoring was adopted.
Manhattan Platform Tennis Club began hosting singles tournaments in 1977 and Apple Platform Tennis Club, also in Manhattan followed suit.
Doug Russell finally persuaded the APTA Board to reactivate singles and they authorized a National Me[...]
The team of Hilary Hilton, of Glen Ellyn, IL, and Yvonne Hackenberg, of Kalamazoo, MI, defeated Kit Knight, of Oyster Bay, NY, and Mimi Raney, of New York City, by scores of 6-2, 7-5, to win the Third Annual Manufacturers Hanover Platform Tennis Invitational.
The event, organized by Iris Langdon of Promotion Plus Sports and held February 9-10, took place at the Apple Platform Tennis Club in New York City. It offered a $6,000 purse, with Hilton and Hackenberg splitting the $2,000 first-place share.
Source: Platform Tennis, March 1980
The regional championship circuit and its prestigious playoff, the President’s Cup, had a new sponsor. It was Carte Blanche, the international credit card for sportsmen, sportswomen, and all people committed to staying fit.
For the third year, the top regional players competed within their respective regions for the chance to vie for the President’s Cup. A regional player, by APTA definition, was any player not ranked nationally after the previous season.
Source: Platform Tennis, January 1980
The first indoor event was the 64-team New Canaan Men's Invitational on February 2-3.
For the first time in APTA history, from the quarterfinals on, the rounds were played indoors, in the New Canaan High School gymnasium.
The R.J. Reilly Company installed a temporary Reillx-surfaced court with an aluminum superstructure.
The Nationals moved to the Montclair Golf Club for 1980, 1981 and 1982. This was only the fourth time in the event’s history that the Men’s Nationals had not been held at Fox Meadow. It was the first return to New Jersey since the Englewood Club held the 1939 tournament.
New Jersey created a carnival atmosphere and the largest crowd in APTA history ignored a day of horrible weather to turn the Nationals into a classic event. For the second year, Passport Scotch was the event’s sponsor, providing a total of $20,000 in prize money.
In the women's final, the top-seeded pair of Yvonne Hackenberg and Hilary Hilton steadied and strengthened their game to turn back the #2 seeds, Linda Wolf and Robin Rich, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Following that match, Steve Baird and Rich Maier, seeded second, upset the #1 pair, Herb Fitz Gibbon and Hank Irvine, the 1977 and 1978 champions in five [...]
Calls for help on broadening the game’s acceptance prompted the APTA to develop a “How to” manual. The Rowayton, CT experience in selling platform tennis was converted into an official APTA publication.
The November 1979 issue, of Platform Tennis had described Rowayton's serve-and-volley approach to the problem of declining participation. Players in the Connecticut community had come to realize that, for a variety of reasons, no one could afford to be complacent any longer about the sport's ability to sell itself. Rather, it had to be aggressively and intelligently promoted.
Source: Platform Tennis, November 1979 & January 1980