December saw the publication of the first edition of Off The Wire.
President Robert Brown’s letter read, in part:
“As you can see, with this issue of the Newsletter there are a number of changes -- new title, new format, and, since the Annual Meeting, some new people on the APTA Board. The Board has been expanded to 13 Directors, and we are pleased to have wide geographic representation. Four of the Directors are from regions other than the New York Metropolitan area -- and we have a good balance of experienced and ‘new blood’. The Newsletter is our main communications medium with the membership. We're trying, under the guidance of our new editor Bill Ballard, to make it informative and interesting and to keep you posted on what's going on in the world of platform tennis.”
Ballard wanted Off The Wire to be more than just a compilation of draw sheets, minutes and offi[...]
Brendan Byrne had a calendar conflict, a speech to the New Jersey Education Association at their annual conference and a date to play in the National Senior Men’s 50+ at Englewood, NJ. He chose to play paddle, lost his first round match and advanced as far as the semis in the consolation.
A newspaper covering the event characterized his game as “a conservative style bent on returning the ball.”
Source: Off The Wire, Vol. 5, No. 3
Men's Doubles returned to FMTC and, with 127 teams entered, it was like old times.
Half the defending championship team of Kingsbury-Mangan belonged to Fox Meadow, and half the team that won, John Beck and Herb Fitz Gibbon, grew up there. Big John Beck played for the Bedford Golf Club, but around Fox Meadow, he was still Madge and Ted Beck's boy, a local kid who made good. The five-set final lasted more than two and a half hours before Beck and Fitz Gibbon overwhelmed Keith Jennings and Chauncey Steele. It was not a complete Fox Meadow victory, but it felt terrific regardless.
In the Senior events, Charles Baird and Ed Swanberg completed their hat-trick in the 50+ and Baird teamed with Roger Lankenau to win the 45+.
In the 60+, Walter Frese and Ken LaVine won their second title.
See APTA Newsletters listed as sources for drawsheets
The APTA newsletter, Off The Wire, reported on the APTA’s position on the tiebreak.
“The tiebreak is being used more and more in platform tennis tournaments. The APTA takes the following position on use of the tiebreak:
(1) For National Championships – The APTA will decide prior to each tournament whether the tiebreak will be used and, if so, for how many rounds.
(2) For all other Sanctioned Tournaments - The decision on whether to use the tiebreak or not is up to the tournament committee.
Where the tiebreak is used, the APTA recommended the nine-point tiebreak.”
Source: Off The Wire, Vol. 5 No. 2
The tiebreak was to be played at 6-all. The APTA newsletter, Off The Wire, carried the details:
“1. The nine-point tiebreak is played when games reach 6-all.
2. The player whose turn it is to serve the next regular game is the first server. This is always the same player who started serving the set.
3. The team that wins 5 points is the winner of the set. The set is scored 7-6.
4. Each player must serve from the same end of the court in the tiebreak that he or she has served from during the set. (Note that this alters the sequence of serving by the partners on the second serving team.)
For illustration, with the serving team designated as Players A and B, and their opponents as C and D, the service order is as follows:
Points 1 & 2 are served by player A. Player A is always the player who started serving the set.
TEAMS DO NOT CHANGE COURTS
Points 3 & 4[...]
The thriving growth of the game resulted in a rapidly rising management load for APTA officers. The scope of activity and responsibility of some of the key functions, such as Tournaments, Treasurers, Secretarial, Equipment, Public Relations and the President, had increased to the point, in some cases, of exceeding the limits of "volunteer" or “spare time” effort.
President Robert A Brown summarized the decision in the Mid-Summer issue of Off The Wire: “The Board has therefore decided that the APTA will hire an Executive Director. Provision will be made in the 1974-75 operating budget for a salary for the Executive Director and secretarial and other expenses in connection with the job. In our budgetary planning, a number of income-generating steps are being considered, including the tournament sponsorship item discussed below.
The duties and responsibilities of the Executive[...]
The APTA named Gloria Dillenbeck as the first full-time Executive Secretary. Raised in Montclair, NJ, Dillenbeck began playing platform tennis in 1966 and had been a star varsity tennis player at Swarthmore College.
With her partner, B.J. Debree, they were the first team to challenge the dynasty of Charlotte Lee and Peggy Stanton (National Champions 1967-1970) and won the Nationals in three successive years—1971, 1972, and 1973.
Gloria Dillenbeck Dodd was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007.
The APTA adopted a policy of receptiveness to proposals for commercial sponsorship of tournaments other than National Championships.
A committee studied the issue and developed a detailed policy statement that was approved by the Board. The policy broadly provided for an APTA review of a proposed sponsor's tournament format and, if approved, APTA assistance in locating a site, scheduling, tournament organization, and officiating.
The APTA would receive a fee from the sponsor, a portion of which would be passed on to the host organization, to assure that it remained in the black.
Source: Off The Wire, Mid-Summer 1974
The Board approved the recommendation of the Ranking Committee to expand the National Rankings to include all nine categories in which National Championships were played. Previously, rankings had been determined only for the Men's and Women's categories.
The Mid-Summer edition of Off The Wire provided the expanded list of rankings, and details on the ranking procedure used for the 1973-74 season.
Source: Off The Wire, Vol. 5, Mid-Summer 1974