As with many sports, the turn of the calendar to a new century produced a new generation of platform tennis players who infused the game with a heightened level of athleticism and rapidly changing skill sets. Elbow-bending slices turned routine overheads into unplayable winners. Vicious spin serves caromed off two and even three screens to make aces part of the game. Two-fisted backhand blasts became the norm rather than the exception. An influx of converts from the tennis community was at the forefront of the new emphasis on physical play and new-honed skills.
Source: Christina Kelly, Passing Shots: A Pictorial History of Platform Tennis, 2010
Marc Duvin covered the Men's and Women's Nationals for PTM:
In the middle of the second set of his National Championship semi-final match, Scott Mansager shot a perplexed look at his partner. Flip Goodspeed. For the second time in three successive points Goodspeed had dumped a ball into the backhand of opponent Mike Stulac, who promptly did what he usually does when he gets a good look at a backhand - ripped a winner. Up a set, but down a break, Goodspeed and Mansager were within shouting distance of a fifth consecutive National Championship Final, a feat never before accomplished in the sport. But Stulac, with his backhand and stunning quickness at the net, was beginning to take over the match.
"That ball can't go there. Flip. You know better than that," Mansager chided his partner. "Be smart."
As if the disgusted look on his face wasn't telling enough, Goodspeed's play dur[...]
Bob Callaway had these observations:
I've often been asked, ‘how do today's players compare with the top players from the 60's and 70's?’ Back then, platform tennis was booming. Court time was at a premium. Fox Meadow closed the gates at the Nationals due to overcrowding as a reported 4,000-5,000 people packed the stands at Forest Hills. My answer is, however, today's top players are better. The following is evidence to support my point.
When I was researching material for my book, Platform Tennis (published in 1972), I charted matches at men's and women's national ranking tournaments, state tournaments, and club tournaments in order to get more information on how points were being won and lost. One finding was that, depending on the level of the players' games, 60-80% of points were determined with the serve, return, and first volley. I did the same charting this past season a[...]
PTM: How did you become an APTA president?
JHH: I had been on the Board for two years as president of Region III when then APTA President Charley Stevens asked me if I would like to be vice-president along with Nancy Mangan. I had brought up several new ideas before the Board during that time, including the APTA Visa card, the Board teleconference, and the website. I had also been working closely with Charley trying to secure national sponsors for the APTA.
PTM: How long is your term?
JHH: Charley Stevens passed the torch to me after the meeting in 1997. The term of office of President, as with all Board positions, is one year. I have been re-elected the past two years.
PTM: How long have you been into platform tennis?
JHH: My stepfather introduced me to the game in the mid 70's. I began helping him (and my mother) run the Maryland State Men's tournament in the early 80's.[...]
Horine's column in PTM, From the APTA..., had this update:
“The Board of the APTA has had a busy summer getting ready for this season. Beginning with the magazine you hold in your hands, there are many subtle and not so subtle changes.
With constructive criticism from you, our members, the layout, typeface and printer have changed. The mailing will be timelier and we have added a new department, sports psychology. All will hopefully make for a first class magazine.
The web site has also changed. Visit us at www.platformtennis.org. We have added several more categories. Check out the "National Champions." How many times have Scott and Flip won? Or how many National titles do Bill and Dave Childs have?
Look up the "Hall of Fame" to see who has been awarded the highest honor in our game.
This year each Region will have its own page under "Regions" to post local news, pr[...]
The Wired 12/4 paddle is an exceptionally lightweight paddle with an average weight of 12.4 ounces. Its components consist of an aerospace-derived biaxially-woven, graphite-reinforced foam core; a highly textured two-ply cross-matched fiberglass skin; and a high-tempered aluminum full metal jacket. While designed for the two-handed backhand player, it remains a central-weighted, center-balanced paddle.
The Wired 13/6 has an average weight of 13.6 ounces and is slightly head weighted. Two years in the making, the Wired paddles have been tournament tested by some of the game's premier players. "Get Wired...Play Platform!"
Source: From the APTA, Platform Tennis Magazine Vol.2 Issue 1, September, 2000
Have you ever seen a platform tennis court installed? Have you ever even thought about it? The design of the aluminum court calls for all the actual manufacturing to take place in the factory. In theory, the subsequent on-site installation is a simple process of putting the parts together like a giant erector set. In reality, working with augers (the drill to help dig footings) concrete piers, manually carrying and precisely placing 500 pound deck panels, tightly lacing steel screen sections by hand with square comers and a perfectly flat plane, working with steep changes in grade, snow storms, torrential downpours, and sweltering heat, R. J. Reilly’s installation crews might take issue with the idea that platform tennis court installations are, in fact, simple. They will, however, categorically convey that when they are through, the court will be picture-perfect and ready for the best[...]
On the Friday prior to the Short Hills national ranking tournament, the PPTA Board of Officers met to finalize their testing and certification process. The effort to start the organization for teaching professionals began 18 months ago and has included a series of meetings and feedback from the country's top teaching professionals in each APTA region.
As part of the recent meeting at Beacon Hill the PPTA completed certification for its initial group of members (Gary Horvath, Hank Irvine, Patty Hogan, Gerri Viant, and Rich Maier). The PPTA tentatively plans to hold an open meeting for prospective members at the APTA Nationals in Rochester and may conduct an initial offering of the test in the Tri-State area at the end of the season.
The mission of the PPTA is to improve the standards of the teaching profession and help increase awareness in the sport. PPTA President Gary Horvath sai[...]
April 1, 2000 - Wilson Racquet Sports announced the sale of its platform tennis ball business to Viking Athletics (Lindenhurst, NY), the market leader in platform tennis balls, effective immediately. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"Viking owner David Kjeldsen came to us with an offer we felt was fair and reasonable for us to exit this aspect of the business," said John Embree, Vice President/General Manager, Wilson Racquet Sports. "Because the market is so small, it probably makes sense to only have one supplier of balls. Therefore, we came to a mutually beneficial understanding.”
While Wilson Racquet Sports was no longer in the platform tennis ball business, it continued to market its platform tennis paddles and accessories.
Source: Platform Tennis Magazine, Issue 5, May, 2000
Note: Wilson had decided to exit the ball business in 1999. The purchase and sale agreeme[...]