In the summer of 2010 Wilmington Country Club built a new platform tennis facility. With four courts and a fantastic hut, the complex sets a high standard for any club that intends to build the “best” new facility. As WCC starts its second paddle season with the new facility, the number of paddle players has soared. This brief history may provide other clubs with a road map for going from “just okay” to great.
WCC was founded in 1901. It has always been a premier golf club in Delaware. The South Course (one of two 18-hole courses) was designed by Robert Trent Jones. It is consistently rated one of the top courses in the country. The tennis facility boats 17 tennis courts including the only grass courts in Delaware as well as three indoor courts. Year after year the squash program produces nationally ranked juniors and college players.
The sport of platform tennis experience[...]
In December, 2011, Hall of Famer Hank Irvine gave a two-day PPTA certification course at The Villages in Florida, a large 55-and-over retirement community. Their six ground-level asphalt courts were opened in March 2010. Since then, free lessons or clinics were held on Wednesdays and Fridays year-round by resident volunteer instructors who had played paddle before moving to Florida. The certified developmental coaches are now new members of the PPTA. They are now in the process of reviewing their teaching format based on what was learned from Hank Irvine's course, his suggestions and the PPTA manual.
This community is in its last expansion, growing from some 86,000 residents to reach about 110,000 by 2017. As more residents desire to learn to play paddle, the plan is for the new certified coaches to teach other residents to become volunteer coaches.
Hank's story is fascinating. He[...]
Tim was the 34th President of the American Platform Tennis Association (APTA) and served in that capacity from May 2009 through April 2012.
From an organizational perspective, Tim formally created a Committee structure for the Board to operate within, where a Committee Chair led every key APTA initiative and that Chairperson (and team of Board members/volunteers) was the champion of that initiative. This structure allowed every Board member to be an active member of the Board, lead an area of the sport in which they were interested and stay focused and organized on all projects in our sport. Committees ranged from ‘Grow the Game’, Rules, Platform Tennis Magazine, Branding, Seniors and more.
Tim focused his Presidency on 'Growing the Game' and the three primary Committee's committed to this cause were:
Grow the Game Committee: Chaired by Peter Lauer, the Board provided o[...]
Meet the APTA Junior Nationals finalist who plays with great integrity......
One serve. The wires. Playing lets. These are among the most commonly cited features that distinguish platform tennis from similar games. However, as anyone who has played our sport for even just a couple of seasons knows, there is another element that makes platform tennis special—something that is rarely found in many sports today, but is, oh, so essential. It's what I like to call the "Spirit of the Game."
Some say it's simply good sportsmanship. Yes, that's part of it. Others say it's nothing more than etiquette and good manners. Agreed, but there's still more to it than that. While platform tennis is a keenly competitive sport, by tradition, good sportsmanship, integrity, and respect for your partner and opponents are key elements of the sport.
At the 2013 Junior Nationals, New Jersey fifth-grade[...]
Zink and Prendergast Win Their Third Women's Open Team Title
Last year, Lauren Zink and Cindy Prendergast plowed through the APTA National Championships, in Chicago, without dropping a set. Concluding her victory speech in 2011,
Prendergast said, "Lauren and I look forward to next year and trying to repeat." And repeat they did.
On March 15th, 80 women's teams, from coast to coast, came out to compete in the 2012 APTA National Championships on Long Island. For the seventh time in the past eight seasons, Zink and Prendergast found themselves battling in the finals for the National Championship.
All of the 16 women's seeded teams reached the round-of-16. Seven of those top eight reached the quarterfinals; newcomers Ana Brzova and Viktoria Stoklasova took out the veteran eighth-seeds Bobo Delaney and Tonia Mangan. The ladies were playing with emotion as Bobo's mother (an[...]
Shorts and T-shirts were what they were wearing on the courts for the 2012 Junior Nationals. That's because unseasonable warm weather shot the mercury into the mid-50s by midday, but that warmth was short lived, giving way to the cold breezes whipping in from the waves of Franklin Lake. And by nightfall, the gas lamp's ignitions were crackling the flames into life for the spectators who preferred to watch outside of the Indian Trail Club.
What they were watching was the culmination of a long, hard-fought day of paddle through several age brackets. The younger ones finished up earlier in the day, leaving the Boys 18s finals to continue long into the evening.
The participants were Tyler Kratky and CJ Purse of Greenwich, CT, against William Brosnan of Garden City, NJ, and Scott Safford of Malvern, PA.
The match was about endurance, and height, as Brosnan/Safford towered over Kr[...]
Steve was introduced to platform tennis in 2003 by four friends in New Canaan, Connecticut and learned to play on the town's public courts in Waveny Park. Once beyond the frustration of getting only one serve, he learned to embrace the many unique characteristics of the game, most of all the wonderful camaraderie. That first winter, he became truly obsessed with the game and collected email addresses and telephone numbers of anyone with whom he could arrange a friendly game. This core group eventually grew into what is now the New Canaan Men Paddle League, Inc., a league he formed with a couple of friends in 2004 and today numbers over 250 current players.
Steve was fortunate to have benefited from early tutelage and inspiration from Dave and Marina Ohlmuller, David Kjeldsen, Marjorie Hodson, and especially Mike Gillespie, from whom he learned the joy of teaching this wonderful game. [...]
Family: Husband of 29 years, Mark, 2 children - Son, Taylor (age 24) and Daughter, Genie (22) both post-college.
Residence: Maplewood, NJ
Profession: I'm the owner and proprietor of Bliss-Full Gardening Services, a design, installation and maintenance firm with clients throughout Essex County, NJ. Timing is perfect for paddle players! Winters off!
Achievements in Tennis/Platform Tennis: I'm the former president of the New Jersey Women's State Platform Tennis League, a league of over 800 women. It's a 14-week season that plays from mid-October to mid-February. I spent 11 years on the NJWPTL board, holding various positions. I've also been the Tournament Chair of the Short Hills Club Platform Tennis Invitational and served on the Tournament Committee for over 10 years. I am nationally ranked #4 Husband/Wife 50+ for 2011.
Hobbies off the courts: Gardening, sewing[...]
Viking has recently announced plans to introduce a new ball which will extend the normal platform tennis playing season worldwide into a year-round sport. The new Viking Low Bounce platform tennis balls are set to arrive in March 2012, just as the platform season usually comes to an end.
Platform tennis is a sport played primarily in the northeastern and midwestern United States. Due to the solid rubber core construction of a normal platform ball, which produces a lively bounce during the cold winter months, this same ball becomes too fast and hard to control when the weather gets warm or in high-altitude conditions. Viking has just announced the introduction of a new formula that combines the current construction of the Extra Duty ball with the feel and performance athletes expect from a normal platform tennis ball.
Viking has been the Official Ball of all American Platform Tennis[...]
As a team, how did you find each other and was it an instant match?
Keri: Sue and I are both from Long Island and we played against, and with, each other often for practice before we decided to team up. I think we were a good match from the start because of our different playing styles. I tend to be more aggressive, and Sue has the ability to keep us in the points, set me up and also bring some offense when the opportunity presents itself.
Sue: Keri and I met through playing in the local women's platform league. She plays for Nassau Country Club, and I play out of the Garden City Community Park. We have mutual paddle playing friends and we played socially on many occasions. When her partner became injured, she called me to fill in as her partner in a tournament. We had moderate success and began to play a few more events together. Her partner never recovered and we decided to conti[...]