The courts overlooked New York University and Washington Square and was probably the best university platform tennis facility in the world, and certainly its most dynamic setting. Reilly erected the courts in two weeks in May and they sat 115 feet above ground, atop the Bobst Library. The total cost of the courts was $118,000.
The facility was open to students and faculty—173 students signed up for the first season—but not to the public. Mike Muzio, Chairman of Recreation and Intramural activities had plans for a series of clinics to teach the players and stimulate further interest. A keen supporter of the project was Professor Charles Bucher, Professor of Education. He had been an avid paddler for 25 years and had won the Senior Veterans Championship in 1976.
Source: Paddle Talk, Vol. 2 No. 3 (February)
Art Houlihan reported in the February edition of the APTA newsletter Paddle Talk:
The pied pipers of paddle have wandered to at least twelve countries outside of the U.S. Canada is, of course, the mainspring of non-U.S. activities with hundreds of players and a full spectrum of tournaments and activities centered around Toronto. Hopefully this year we will be able to provide a better opportunity for Canadian players to participate in U.S. events including our championships.
Ambassador Walter Stoessel brought paddle to Poland and Russia with courts at both embassies. The ever-present Reilly's sent courts to France, which are now in Switzerland. Without being able to give proper credit, there are also courts in Austria, Bahamas, Bermuda, Germany, Great Britain, Indonesia and Italy.
The courts in Japan atop the American Club deserve some special recognition for ingenuity. The club[...]
In the Men’s, Herb Fitz Gibbon and Hank Irvine won the first of their two titles over Gordon Gray and Doug Russell.
Hilary Hilton was back in the Women’s winners circle with a new partner Louise Gengler (her previous partner had returned to California), and with Doug Russell in the Mixed (the first of five titles).
In the Seniors, Baird and Lankenau won both the 45+ and 50+, and Dick Hebard won his final title in the 60+ with George Lowman.
The lucky one's have seats at the 1977 Nationals at FMTC. Rear: Martin Bowen, Vail Traina, Lois Hebard, Bette Otto, Mike North, Hank Otto. Middle: Molly Ware, Al Traina, Judy and Ron Durning (following man in cap), Bob Rau. Front: John Ware
The First Annual Hudson River Invitational, held in March, was an example of a new concept in club paddle competition, one that served as a model for other clubs interested in promoting tournament play.
The Sleepy Hollow Country Club hosted eight men's teams from each of eight neighboring clubs. Utilizing over 20 courts in the Hudson River Valley, the 64-team draw played main draw, consolation, consolation reprieve and championship reprieve matches. This enabled each team to play a minimum of three matches. Each team got a single point for each match won in any of the four tournaments.
The dinner dance that followed the tournament featured the Dixie-land music of APTA Board member Bob Kingsbury and his band.
The day's events were an enormous success and, according to Chairman Richard Lombard, helped a great deal to promote tournament play in the Hudson River Valley.
Forest Hills held the event on April 1-2 in heavy rain. Maintenance men brushed puddles off the decks between games. The Women’s Final was a soaking wet scene on Saturday, April 2nd. The winning team was Hilary Hilton and Louise Gengler (6-2, 7-6, 7-6), title-holders for every Tribuno event of the year. The women contestants had made headlines by playing three out of five sets in the semis and finals: "Equal prize money, equal play," stated the women.
The heavy rain necessitated postponement of the Men's Final until Sunday. Herb Fitz Gibbon and Hank Irvine ran through Doug Russell and Gordon Gray, after a tight first set, with the loss of only four more games, ending their season with four straight Tribuno victories.
Media Guide and Program Booklet
Source: Paddle Talk, Vol. 2 No 5 (July-August)
During one of the Tribuno Tour events, Hank Irvine hits a service volley while[...]
On May 10 and 11, the Manhattan Platform Tennis Club hosted the Doug Russell Invitational Singles Championships. Doug Russell and Linda Wolf captured the titles.
APTA Singles would not restart until 1980, but this event put singles back on the map for the first time since 1937.
See also: Singles grows up
Cecil J. North, in his closing speech as APTA President, pinpointed the principal theme for the coming season:
“The APTA must provide more service to member clubs and amateur player-members and by so doing, enlarge the broad base of APTA membership.”
He announced that the Board had already taken steps to separate the "commercial" game from the "amateur" one for the next year, and they anticipated an even more clear-cut separation to come.
Source: Paddle Talk, Vol. 2 No. 5 (July-August)
APTA President Mike North’s remarks:
“At the Annual Meeting last year, I said that I thought that one of the APTA's most important objectives should be to develop a program for the players who do not participate in major tournaments.
These may be players on the way up, on the way down, or people who love the game but do not have the ability to compete at the top level. We have not yet come up with the right name for this group. It is not ‘amateur’ because the distinction we are trying to make is not based on playing for money, but on the caliber of play. Neither is it truly ‘weekend players’ because many people play during the week. But the term ‘weekend player’ somehow comes closest to capturing the spirit that many of us want to retain.
The Western Platform Tennis Association (WPTA) under Dick Hornigold, George Black and, now, Dick Hall, has made great progre[...]
Eleven different cities hosted open tournaments in the 18 and 15 and under categories for boys and girls, including the Nationals. A sizeable increase in the number of teams over last year was evident in all age groups.
Source: Paddle Talk, Vol. 2 No. 5 (July-August)