Court construction has come along way from that first deck built in 1928. New technology is being put to work to make them better all the time. PTM had the update.
Ideas, Aspirations and Actualities
Have you been on a court that seemed different recently? Did you just notice that some courts have different colors? Courts have been changing bit by bit over time, but major changes could be in the future. What does the court of the future look like?
What if it didn't have snowboards? Even in the snowy Northeast or the frigid Midwest? What if the courts weren't aluminum? What if the surface didn't have grit since it never got slippery from the snow? Can't you hear the knees and backs out there applauding? All the other elements of the court—lights, door locks, wires, net posts—could be or have been reconceived as well.
There are innovators out there thinking aboUt the court m[...]
Despite the postponement almost 100 teams converged on the Philadelphia area for the 2014 APTA Viking Junior Nationals. Across the board, a fantastic group of athletes and parents. Each age group has earned their special award. Nindy Pike covered the event for PTM.
Boys 10 & Under: Where The Wild Things Are
What you might see on the court when young boys are on the court: sunglasses, puffy coats, loud high-fives, hunter-safety hats, dance moves. What you will definitely see: topspin drives, low screens, and some fist pumps. The champions, Charles Brossy and Griffin Cramer, have won four junior tournaments this season. The finalists, James Lorenzetti and Trevor Ramirez, have won one gold together, and one gold each with partner Charlie Stuhr. A small but mighty foursome. (Heard in the hut: "They are so cute, I could eat them up!")
Girls 12 & Under: Your Smile's So Wid[...]
A Strong Proponent of the Game in the Midwest
A transplant from the East Coast, Steve Webster has now spent more time in the Midwest than where he grew up, in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. He has embraced the Midwest and embodies the spirit of it. He's not just a really nice guy. He is an important part of the Indianapolis platform tennis scene.
Webster started playing platform tennis for fun at the Glen Ridge Country Club in New Jersey at about age ten. It wasn't until he went to college at Lake Forest College, in Illinois, that he really started playing more. He joined the Chicago scene in its infancy, playing at the Onwentsia Club and was one of the masterminds with Rod Workman behind the growth of the game. In the 1980s, there was a "rule" that pros weren't allowed to play in the league. Webster and Workman started the movement to change that rule. The pros then started investing the[...]
Residence: Petaluma, CA; born in Tasmania, Australia
Occupation: Head of Racquets at Lagunitas Country Club, Ross, CA
Years of Service on the APTA Board: One
Years Playing: 7-8
How did you get started playing platform tennis? When I was teaching tennis in Greenwich, Connecticut. I was originally taught the game by Jim Kaufman and Bob Kleinart.
Contribution to the APTA Board: I am the Clinics and Exhibitions Chair and PPTA liaison. We held nine clinics this season, from New Jersey to Ohio to North Carolina.
Favorite tournament win: Lehigh PCQ/NRT with current partner Anthony Cosimano and winning the use of a private villa (thanks to tournament host Chip Morrow) in the Dominican Republic, which was an amazing trip.
Past/Future endeavors: I played juniors in Australia, making it to a top ten ranking in the 18 & Under division. After juniors, I started coa[...]
Ann Sheedy, the Executive Director of the APTA, was deeply involved in running the Nationals which were held in her home town, Pittsburgh.
She filed a report with PTM on the activities leading up to the event and some thoughts on when all was said and done.
Preparation (March 2013)
The 2014 APTA Nationals are only a year away! We have our Executive Committee and
we have asked the clubs for the use of their courts. We've made a list of potential sponsors and we have a sponsorship brochure. Looks like we are on our way.
Piece by piece we've added to our committee. We found a volunteer to be in charge of but food, then someone to recruit but monitors, then a housing chair and a hotel coordinator. We already had a draw guru on the Executive Committee so we are set there. We need a parking and shuttle committee head as well as someone to be in charge of selling merchandise. Prize[...]
PTM Covered this popular event.
The President's Cup kicked off the festivities at Nationals, with teams of men and women wearing matching outfits and vying for bragging rights for their region. For the women, Region V—the Chicago and Midwest crew—pulled out a victory over the always tough Region III—the Mid-Atlantic group from the Pennsylvania and Washington, DC, area. For the men, Region II held strong throughout the day and prevailed over the Region VIII team.
Region V Captain Lisa "Goldy" Goldberg said it best. "President's Cup is our day, and Nationals is gravy." This year's President's Cup, played on Thursday, March 6, filled the courts in Pittsburgh with the best men's players and most of the top women athletes. Walking from court to court—at Sewickley YMCA or Allegheny Country Club—where the women competed, or at the Fox Chapel Racquet Club and Pittsburgh Field Clu[...]
Ann Sheedy, Executive Director of the APTA, had her reflections on the President's Cup and the Men's and Women's Nationals in her A Nationals Diary printed in PTM.
Thursday - President's Cup (March 6, 2014)
The women are in Sewickley today playing the President's Cup and the men are in Fox Chapel. Not surprisingly, the Region II men took the title and the Region V women were the champs. Both regions were pretty darn loaded. Oops, we blew a breaker panel and the electrician has to come back and give us more power. As usual, the President's Cup ran late and I had to keep asking the Pittsburgh Field Club to hold off serving dinner as most of the players were still on court. During dinner I heard the news that two women's teams might have to drop out of the Nationals, due to injury and illness. Took a while to confirm the withdrawals but luckily we had some happy replacements[...]
Six-time National Champions Mary Doten and Susie Keane were inducted into the Platform Tennis Hall of Fame during the 2014 APTA Men's and Women's Nationals at the Fox Chapel Golf Club in Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania, on Friday, March 7. Hilary Hilton Marold, a member of the Hall of Fame and also a six-time National Champion, introduced both of the players.
Among an audience of long-time friends, family members, and the best platform tennis players in the nation, Doten and Keane were lauded for their dominance in women's paddle from 2003 to 2010. In their best season, 2008-2009, they won every tournament they entered.
The following are excerpts from Marold's introduction speeches and from the winners' acceptance speeches.
Mary Doten Introduction
In 1993, some tennis friends of Mary's convinced her to come out and try platform tennis and she became hooked on the sport. They had[...]
The video is a short history of the game from its start in 1928 through to 2014. It highlights the key events in the game's development, the leading players, the role of the APTA and the Foundation's efforts to document the story for the next generations of enthusiasts.
The video was produced by Camille Thoman who produced the indie documentary The Longest Game which was inspired by a group of octogenarians at Dorset Field Club, Dorset, NH who met regularly to play paddle and reminisce.
Click link to play: Platform Tennis: A celebration of the game, its camaraderie and those that made it happen
Family and friends gathered at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Tarrytown, New York, on March 14th, 2014, to celebrate Bob Callaway's induction into the Platform Tennis Hall of Fame. Steve Baird, Hall of Fame Nominating Committee Chair, presented the green jacket to Callaway, one of the first platform tennis professionals.
The following is excerpted from Steve Baird's introduction speech.
We are here tonight to honor a very special person, a trail blazer who dedicated almost his entire career to platform tennis. No one has ever done as much, on such a full-time scale, with such longevity as Bob Callaway. At his core, first and foremost, Bob was a teacher. It was not about him, it was about his students. He cared deeply about them and their progress.
Bob was arguably "the first paddle pro." He began in the late 1960s and retired in 2012 at age 78. Today, there are well over 20[...]