Passport Scotch continued its support in the 1979-1980 season. The sponsorship provided $20,000 for prizes as sole sponsor of the APTA men's and women's National Championships. At the same time, Passport underwrote the publication of the new member newsletter, Platform Tennis News.
PASSPORT SCOTCH TO AWARD JACKETS TO TOP TEAMS
This February, look for a new crop of colorful Passport Scotch warm-up jackets on the backs of the top national and regional players. The ten top national men's teams will receive jackets during that month. So will the first ten teams in each of the five APTA regions. The awards will be made on the basis of standings reported to the APTA by January 30, 1980. Another set of Passport Scotch jackets will be given out in April, based on March 31 standings. The president of each region will decide how to allocate this second batch of windbreakers, to avoid dupl[...]
The first formal tournament with a no-ad, two-serve format was held October 20-21 at the six-court Apple Club in New York City, where Doug Russell was the pro. This was a non-ranking Men's Doubles Open that reflected a direct APTA response to requests from many for a trial of two new dimensions.
For some time players had wanted to see how tournament play would be affected by giving the server two tries rather than the traditional one. They were also intrigued with the implications of having the first point after deuce determine who won the game.
Some of the participants liked one or another of the options and several quickly saw that the changes could heighten interest in the sport for the new player, the spectator, and even potential sponsors. The two-serve proposal proved more popular than the no-ad format, but on balance, there was not enough enthusiasm to warrant any changes of[...]
Eldredge L. (Wooley) Bermingham and his wife, Pam, had been enthusiastic players while living in Westchester County, NY, but moved to Sewickley, PA, in 1958 where they found just one primitive court on which to play.
Wooley went to work to change this and finally, over considerable opposition, was able to convince the Edgeworth Club to build a court as a way to keep the club active in winter. That was the start of building considerable interest in the game in the region.
Bermingham also founded the Western Pennsylvania Platform Tennis Association, which became the first region of the APTA, and served as the regional vice president. He also served on the Board of the APTA from 1973-1975. (Edgeworth Club, Sewickley, PA).
Margaret G. (Peggy) Stanton won four straight National Women’s with Charlotte Lee from 1967-1970, and the Women’s 50+ in 1974 and 1977.
She was active i[...]
Among its bizarre ways, Team Tennis allowed the carry, or the catching or letting the ball come to rest on the racquet. This led to confusion on this point.
But Team Tennis died, while the more enduring racquet sports continued and still disallowed this bobble-hit.
Source: Platform Tennis News (October & December)
The APTA's freedom to set standards for platform tennis equipment could have been in trouble as a result of a regulation, proposed by the Federal Trade Commission, that would have affected all sports associations in the country. The FTC argued that having sports associations set standards was a violation of the anti-trust laws. The Chamber of Commerce discussed the issue in their Washington Report ("Does Arnold Palmer Need Golf Lessons from the FTC")
The U.S. Golf Association objected strenuously, even on national TV, with Arnold Palmer as their spokesman and the APTA Board planned to join the protest. The proposal generated so much opposition that it was dropped.
Source: Platform Tennis News (October), APTA Executive Committee Minutes August 22 and 23, 1979
For the last several years, the draw for this event has been below 64 teams and, to break even financially, this tournament had to have at least 90 teams participating. APTA Directors John Packard and Bradley Drowne volunteered to study the issue and recommended a change that they felt would get at least 96 teams participating. Their suggestion was to allow those who had reached the third round of an APTA-sanctioned tournament to be eligible to play.
Mr. Drowne, a five-year veteran of the men's tournament committee, wrote a carefully considered explanation of the circumstances involved in this issue.
“The APTA introduced qualifying criteria for entering the Men's Nationals in 1976 and prior to that the Men’s Nationals had always drawn 128 teams. There were three reasons why this was so:
• In the 1950's and 1960's, the Men’s Nationals were "virtually the only tournament ope[...]
Hank Irvine and three associates responded actively to the needs of the Junior Development program. Irvine, the pro at the Short Hills Club, Short Hills, NJ, went on the road with Steve Nycum, Mark Allen, and Tom Smith, and put on exhibitions and clinics at the municipal center in Princeton; the Pleasant Valley Paddle Club, West Orange, NJ; Wilson Park, Summit, NJ; and the Brookside Racquet Club in Allendale, NJ.
The chairman of the APTA's junior program, William Dodd commented:
"Hank deserves an awful lot of credit. He took the ball and organized the whole thing. He really wants to give something back to the game, and he knows that the juniors are its future. This way, they're going to be getting ready for intercollegiate play later on."
Produced as an aid to promoting the game, the slide show “Platform Tennis 50 Years and On” was produced by Rich Lombard’s company, Cal Industries, with financial support from the Fessenden S. Blanchard Memorial Fund, the APTA, and John and Molly Ware (Blanchard’s daughter and son-in-law).
The March 27, 1979 Minutes of the APTA BOD Meeting covered the background:
"Mr. Brown reported on a meeting held in New York City with John Ware, Mr. Kingsbury, Mrs. Dillenbeck and himself at which the suggestion was made to produce a slide show depicting the fifty years of platform tennis. Mr. Ware was asked to oversee the production, Vicky Cosstick would script it, and Thornton Gerrish would film.
The total cost of production is estimated at $2,500. and Mr. Brown announced that the Blanchard Memorial Fund would contribute $1,000 of this total. The APTA would have to make up the differe[...]
The Christian Science Monitor covered the annual platform tennis battle between Moscow and Warsaw Embassies first started by Ambassador Walter J. Stoessel, Jr.
The US Ambassador to Moscow, Malcolm Toon, was looking to sweep the Warsaw contingent but had to settle for a 13-2 win, much to his disgust.
To read the complete article Click Here
Source: Christian Science Monitor, July 3, 1979