To say Ann Sheedy is passionate about platform tennis would be an understatement. By her own admission, Sheedy says her love for the sport is an outright addiction.
Exposed to paddle as a child, playing on her uncle's court in Connecticut, Sheedy's addiction remained dormant until she was invited to a beginner's clinic 20 years ago.
"I said 'yes,' and it was love at first hit," Sheedy said. "I've played in a league since that first year and I would say that my best friends have all come through paddle."
In the early summer of this year, Marjorie Hodson exited the role as APTA Executive Director. Her successor, George Douaire of Chicago, was chosen from a pool of resumes. Douaire resigned in September but is helping the APTA on a volunteer level with long-term strategic planning. [enlarge image to read full report]
The Annual Meeting took place at the Fox Chapel Golf Club, Pittsburgh, PA on May 4-5, 2007.Highlights were:
Financial Report by Sally Cottingham.
• $65,651.00 Income $9,000 over budget
• In 2003, APTA had $85,000 in working capital. $220,000 now.
• Need to put money in marketing.
• No restriction on the amount of reserve for 501 (C)(3)- we are provisional until 2009.
Regional Presidents Reports
Region 1: Mike Cochrane- Events well attended but not from outside the region. Nationals held at NYAC Pelham ran well with a few issues.
Region 2- Won Men's President's Cup
Region 3- Fred Gumbinner/Tim McAvoy. Participation up in all tournaments. Big prize money tourney! Well-attended, well-run- 45, 55, 65, 8145s.
Region 4- Martin Sturgess - Healthy region - more courts coming- Cincinnati is booming - new courts and a waiting list for the Midwesterns tournament. Rochester hos[...]
Bullet and Jacki Brown, owners of BulletWorks Platform Tennis, are pleased to announce the formation of Advantage Paddle Courts. The new entity was created to market ground level courts in Regions VI and VII. The first official Advantage court was installed this spring in Napa Valley, California.
"We see tremendous growth potential for the sport in the Southeast and West," says Bullet Brown. "There are tens of thousands of active seniors in these areas who have never heard of platform tennis. We plan to introduce targeted groups to the sport and position our product as a smart recreational amenity for their home or community."
BulletWorks, Inc. operates out of a 5,000 square foot manufacturing space in Rutland, Vermont. Currently, in response to limited market demand for new courts from the existing platform tennis community, BulletWorks manufactures 10-20 courts a year. "We could[...]
With the lone exception of the National Championships, no other tournament packs the talent like the Chicago Charities. With few exceptions, the best of the best showed up for the 35th annual tournament benefiting the Northwestern Healthcare Kellogg Cancer Care Centers.
Women's: On November 2nd, 52 Women's teams kicked off the 2007 Chicago Charities. Six of the top eight teams from the 2006-07 season competed. Absent was the nation's top team - Lauren Zink/Cindy Prendergast and the nation's #6 team - Bobo Delaney and Tonia Mangan.
Last season's #2 team of Sally Cottingham and Chris Sheldon took the #1 seed spot, while Delmonico/Main, Doten/Keane, Dardis/Shay, Prop/Schneebeck, Ohlmuller/Takach, Flynn/Tarzian and Henke/Lemieux rounded out the 2-8 seed spots. Tournament Director John Noble's draw sheet ran as expected with all seeded teams reaching their anticipated finish with on[...]
Laura Berendt-Parsons was born in Barrington, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, 30 years ago. Laura competed heavily in junior tennis.
Among others, Laura played against Annica Cooper in 10-and-under competition.
During childhood, Laura moved to Florida where she was ranked #1 in the state in 18- and-under tennis competition. She had a national ranking of #16.
Laura earned a tennis scholarship to the University of Texas. In her sophomore year, she reached the prestigious status of All-American.
After college, Laura hit the pro tour for two years. "I didn't like being on the tour. I always felt alone," she said.
"I started playing platform tennis a few years ago. Nate (Parsons) needed a tennis/platform tennis assistant at theGlenview Club in Chicago," Laura said. She added, "I love the
social aspect of platform tennis much more than tennis '
Laura had only played in four tour[...]
0n October 6th & 7th Chicago not only hosted the Chicago Marathon and the Chicago Cubs, but the 3rd Annual Premier Cup made it's way to the Saddle & Cycle Club in downtown Chicago.
After two successful years in Cincinnati at Four Bridges Country Club, Scott Mansager and Bill Fiedler offered to help run and organize this year's Chicago event... and they put on one heck of a show for all to see.
The Premier Cup, the brainchild of Jason Gray and David Dodge, was started as a way to promote interest in platform tennis. This year's event again brought eight of the top-ranked teams from the 2006-07 season together to compete for $5,000 in prize money put up by court builder Premier Platform Tennis.
This year's event saw a different and unique format as all 8 teams played a single set round robin format throughout the day on Saturday to establish the top 4 teams. Those teams competed f[...]
Gloria Dillenbeck Dodd was the first Executive Director of the APTA and served from 1975 to 1981, setting a bar for her successors that continues to challenge them to this day. Dodd took the sport on the road, showcasing it in locations from Hilton Head to New Canaan. She was instrumental in the creation of the President's Cup and recruited people of influence such as New Jersey Governor Brendan Byrne to play in competition. Despite all of the back-end support she gave the APTA, Dodd was also an accomplished player, competing in five consecutive finals between 1969-74, and winning three titles in a row from 1971-73 with her partner, B.J. DeBree. Dodd also played the finals of the 1974 and 1975 Mixed Nationals with John Mangan.
John Mangan was honored not only for his exemplary court performance but his duty on the APTA Board. He won the Men's Nationals with Bob Kingsbury in 1972 and 1[...]
Richard K. Hebard passed away on October 22, 2007, at the ago of 93. He was survived by his wife Lois, three sons, Richard, Douglas, and Donald, his daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren.
Dick Hebard was a member of Fox Meadow Tennis CLub, in Scarsdale, New York, where he excelled in both tennis and platform tennis.
During his playing era, he won more Platform Tennis National Championships than any other man at that time. He won eight National Men's Championships, and was a finalist twice.
Hebard also won five National Mixed Doubles Championships, and was a finalist twice. He continued to play competitively into his senior years, winning the 50-and-over Men's Nationals four times and the 60-and-over Nationals once. In all, Hebard won 18 National Platform Tennis Championships. He also served as President of Fox Meadow Tennis Club and the American Platform Tennis Association.[...]
The Viking Junior Tour began in November at Fox Meadow Tennis Club, kicking off our season at the birthplace of platform tennis. Almost 80 juniors came out for an afternoon of fierce competition and outstanding sportsmanshipThe Viking Junior Tour began in November at Fox Meadow Tennis Club, kicking off our season at the birthplace of platform tennis. Almost 80 juniors came out for an afternoon of fierce competition and outstanding sportsmanship.
10 & Under: William Cannon/Alex Slobin
12 & Under Girls: Kaitlin Ball/Tess Tregellas
12 & Under Boys: Will Burger/Gardner Tregellas
14 & Under Girls: Katey Hopper/Maddie More
14 & Under Boys: Tyler Kratky/CJ Purse
18 & Under Girls: Margaret Souther/Rachel Whitney
18 & Under Boys: Reid Coopersmith/Evan Zimmer
Christopher Salisbury/Ethan Shire, Dylan Neville/Jack Stiuso, Hannah Kratky/Phoebe Wilks, Jack[...]
Although there were some incredible new paddle technologies being released, 2007 may very well be membered as "The Year of the Ball"
A problem for our sport from the manufacturer's standpoint - the ball has always been a loser. Not economical from any standpoint, the situation has come to a head in the last couple of years as the APTA asked, "What are our alternatives to the conventional platform tennis ball?"
Our ball has to endure up to 100-degree variations in heat, increasing amounts of grit applied to paddles, and the ability to be seen at night under the lights. Is it time we ask ourselves "Are we asking too much from this yellow piece of rubber?"
The volume of balls manufactured yearly (less than 200,000) is minuscule compared to balls for other sports.
The health concerns alone for the workers who apply the flocking to the ball are enough to make your hair stand on en[...]