Maier was still not through with innovating (he had founded Skymar in 1983) and started Advanced Recreational Design (ARD) in 1993, along with Gary Whalen, a friend from Rich's college days in Jacksonville, FL.
ARD produced three new paddles and introduced a new ball that lasted much longer (six sets was not unusual) than the balls being sold at the time, primarily by Vittert. The ball had been developed with the aid of a manufacturer in Taiwan.
Source: Private communication with Rich Maier
In the latest attempt to encourage “average league players” to become APTA members, the Board of Directors approved an agreement with the Long Island Platform Tennis Association, as a one year experiment, to provide all of its members with full APTA membership at a reduced rate.
The experiment brought in 700 family members, and other areas expressed interest in the program.
Despite a century-long period during which the inconsistent rules pertaining to let cord situations (serve or during play of point) had been perpetuated, the recently formed committee came out strongly in favor of consistent treatment - i.e., play should be continuous on all let cords which, after striking the net, land fairly in the opponent's court, whether it be on service or during play after the service.
The committee's rationale for this recommendation were:
1. The rules with regard to the play of all lets should be consistent.
2. The recommended change would speed up the game.
3. There would be no further disputes over whether a let on service was indeed a let (heard by one, but not by others).
4. One less official (the let cord judge) would be required in matches that are officiated.
5. Playing the let on service will add interest to the game.
6. Over the lon[...]
Over the years, the President's Cup event had developed from the proverbial backyard barbecue into an all-out regional holy war.
Participants had come from some of the strongest teams in each Region, as opposed to the more “club-oriented” atmosphere that once existed.
Each year as well, the APTA discussed how to steer the PC more firmly down its original path, which is explained in the accompanying material from an article written in 1978.
To that end, the new restrictions included the members of the top eight ranked women's teams from 1992-93, and the members of the top 16 ranked men's teams. These teams were now ineligible for President's Cup consideration.
Also, any player who had reached the quarterfinals of either of the two previous APTA National Championships (Long Island or Cleveland) was ineligible.
In order to earn PC points for a region, a player must b[...]
Top platform tennis players from across the nation vied for a piece of the $35,000 in prize money at stake in the six separate tournaments that comprised the 1993-94 Lineal Group Grand Prix of paddle events.
The Detroit Invitational kicked off the season in mid-October, with the Chicago Charities and Greenwich Invitational following in November. The Rye Invitational scheduled in January and Short Hills in February help lead up to the grand finale at Brookside Racquet & Swim Club in Allendale, NJ, at the end of the season.
The previous year’s successful format was used again, with a few new twists and turns to spice things up. Each tournament hosted a clinic/exhibition on the Friday evening before the event, with participants, players, and fans all welcome. Pros put their skills on display, offered tips and advice, and played with anyone wishing to test their mettle. In a move des[...]
Reflecting the nature of the game of platform itself, the 1994 National Championships were a study in contrasts, a series of highs and lows that left everyone with vivid memories of on- and off-court occurrences. While all the champions deservedly celebrated their winning efforts, a shadow was cast over the entire event by the untimely death, during the warm-up for the first round match, of one of the Men’s participants, longtime paddle player and former National Champion Mike Wachob.
In a reversal of fortunes, last year's men's finalists, Peter Gruenberg and Art Williams, shook off the memories of their three-set defeat in Cleveland to knock off Ron Erskine and Mike Gillespie in the finals. On the other hand, the dominant women's team and defending champions, Robin Fulton and Diane Tucker, stumbled in the semis and opened the door for new champions Sue Aery and Gerri Viant to[...]
The Exmoor Country Club on the North Shore of Chicago was the site of the tenth renewal of the battle for the Manhold Cup, representing supremacy among the six APTA regions in Senior platform tennis.
Region V was the winner, with each member receiving a trophy.
Jerry Manhold, “The Legend,” was also presented with an award in appreciation of his efforts for Senior platform tennis.
This special event is played as a prelude to the 50+ and 60+ National Championships. Each region sends a team of ten players: four representing the 50+ group, and another representing the 55+ category, with the other two in the 60+ category.
In 1993, court builder Dick Reilly (Hall of Fame 1974) moved west to Montana, put up a court, and ran a small tournament. Moving to another Montana location, the town of Eureka, Reilly erected two courts and brought out professional Hank Irvine (Hall of Fame 1995) to run a paddle camp each fall. Partly because there was little else for campers to do in their off hours in Eureka, Reilly moved the camp to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where it continues. Initially, three courts were erected on a tennis court on a dude ranch to house the camp. After a year, the camp was moved to its present location on courts at the Snow King Resort.
At one of the camps, Reilly, Irvine, and Gary Horvath talked about the need to re-institute an organization for teaching professionals. The trio produced the conceptual foundation for establishing the USA Professional Platform Tennis Association (PPTA).
The big winners at the season-ending Lineal Group Grand Prix tournament at the Brookside Racquet & Swim Club in Allendale, NJ, turned out to be men’s champs Scott Staniar and Jim Kaufman, women's titleists Robin Fulton and Diane Tucker, and most of all, the Special Olympics of North Bergen County, NJ.
In a departure from previous practices at the grand finale, where 32 of the country's top platform tennis teams battled for a piece of the $10,000 in prize money, a raffle was conducted that featured almost $4,000 in furniture and athletic equipment donated by Lineal and Hedstrom Corp. All proceeds went to the Special Olympics.
Source: Platform Tennis News, Spring 1994