Al Seidel, co-director of Region V, provided Platform Tennis News with the following history of platform tennis in California, and, specifically in the town of Ross. His account also gives credit to those people who were instrumental in introducing the sport to the northern California area, and supporting its growth:
“The first court was built by Web and Dottie Otis in 1971 at their home, and they introduced the game to a small but enthusiastic group of friends. Within the next year, both Marilyn and Laurie Carr, and Tom and Marie Terry built courts on the same picturesque Skyland hill setting.
The Lagunitas Club followed suit in 1977 when two courts were erected.
In 1979, the town of Ross installed the first all-aluminum court, and Marcia and Paul Ginsburg built a court on what most people thought had been an impossible downgrade slope.
At present, there are seven tradit[...]
To recognize the top amateurs in the country in a time when professional events eclipsed the tournament landscape, the APTA (with original support from Hertz) had created the President’s Cup, a round robin that pitted the top five teams in each of six designated regions of the country. The top sixteen nationally ranked teams were exempt.
While the Men’s President’s Cup was founded in 1978, the Women’s President’s Cup began in 1983. The New Canaan Field Club was the venue, with final playoffs at New Canaan High School on an indoor court.
This event initially ran on a date separate from the National Championships, but as the professional era came to a close, the President’s Cup took its place the day before the APTA Nationals and remains an honored tradition to this day. Many President’s Cup teams have fond memories of playing hotly contested matches late into the even[...]
The Nationals came back to CT for the first time since 1935-36, when the Field Club in Greenwich had hosted some of the first Nationals.
Merrill Lynch was the sponsor and The New Canaan Sports Council, the host. Elimination matches were held throughout lower Fairfield County at area clubs, with final rounds of the men's and women's Nationals and President’s Cup playoffs held indoors at New Canaan High School on a court specially constructed by R.J. Reilly for the occasion.
Steve Baird and Rich Maier now had won four in a row, as had Doug Russell in the Singles. Not to be outdone Chuck Baird won his fifth straight 55+.
Source: Platform Tennis News, March 1983
Note 1: There is some controversy as to how many National Women's Singles were played after the APTA had sanctioned a Men's event beginning in 1980. Women were participating in men's singles events because they had[...]
Maier was not content with just playing and teaching the game. He was an innovator, with a US patent (US4379554) as proof.
Along with co-inventor Andreas D. Schuyler, they developed a new concept for the platform tennis paddle.
The patent, filed on August 24 1981 and issued on April 12, 1983, described an improved platform tennis paddle constructed “with two outer laminated ply structures and inner laminated ply structure there between. The inner laminated ply structure has a central aperture there through which, in the preferred embodiment, is filled with a resilient plug. The edge of the paddle is protected by a T-shaped molding fitted in to the perimeter of the paddle, and to safeguard against de-lamination, the handle is of pegged construction.”
The patent was assigned to Skymar Corporation, and Rich and Andreas built the racquet, Skymar Proflight, in a garage in Alle[...]
In May, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow hosted the 9th annual Eastern Hemisphere Platform Tennis Championships between U.S. Embassies Warsaw and Moscow. The competition began in 1975 and had become a fixture in the spring plans of both Embassies. The results of the previous eight meetings showed Moscow with seven wins against a lone victory by Embassy Warsaw in 1981.
During the summer, the APTA approved the addition of a new region to be called Region VI that consisted of Canada (lower Ontario) and western New York (Syracuse, Rochester).
Fritz Odenbach was named president for the region and had already announced the 11-event schedule for the 1983-'84 season.
Source: Platform Tennis News, November 1983
The club hosted the Men’s 45+ Nationals, chaired by Bob Brown, and awards were presented to 38 FMTC members who had won National Championships.
The fact that entries had to be 45 years old or over seemed to give the gallery more empathy for the players, especially in the tense finals, won by Dick Squires and Bill Mimnaugh after tiebreakers in each of the three sets. Although it was disappointing not to have Fox Meadow finalists, many spectators felt the match was one of the most exciting ones they'd ever watched.
As former APTA President Cecil J. (Mike) North, Jr. of Bedford Golf and Tennis Club wrote in the program for an earlier Nationals:
"As platform tennis attracts greater numbers of players, expands geographically, and becomes increasingly money-oriented, I think it is important to remember why people played it in the first place: because it is informal, because it is fu[...]
In less than three month's play during the 1983-84 season, 50 APTA tournaments were staged. Mixed, 45s, Bs, and men's and women's ranking events were all seeing larger draws and the return of post-play parties.
Gub Gerrish had served on the APTA Board in the mid-70s and had been the group’s official photographer for many years. A man of tremendous energy, enthusiasm and personal magnetism, Gub was an avid spectator, distinguished photographer and reporter at hundreds of paddle events.
He was a true gentleman who epitomized the spirit of paddle--competition, sportsmanship and camaraderie. A permanent trophy in honor of Gub has become part of the annual Rye tournament, with the trophy being presented to the winners of the senior event.
Source: Platform Tennis News, February 1984