In the October 13, 2003 issue of Business Week, platform tennis got another plug. Staff writer Marilyn Harris wrote about the wintertime enjoyment that we look forward to in her article entitled, "Paddle, Anyone?"
The night air was beyond bitter, the wind cut like a buzz saw. Light flooded a metal platform enclosed by chicken wire, on which four figures, bundled in fleece, chased a yellow ball and smashed it across the net. A car screeched up, and out jumped a man. "She has been crying since you left!" he shouted. His wife dropped her graphite paddle with a clang, raced into the car, and as soon as she could peel away the layers, was nursing her infant daughter. A short while later, play resumed.
What would make a mom run out on her newborn? "Neither rain, nor snow, nor crying babies keep me away from platform tennis," says the athletic mother of three. Male or female, old or young[...]
Hall of Fame member Walt Peckinpaugh, Jr. filed the story with PTM:
Platform tennis made its debut in Cleveland shortly after World War II when the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club built the first courts. Even the arrival of Witherbee Black, the 1940 National Champion from Rye, New York, could not stir the interest in "paddle." The facility faltered from neglect until 1968 when two new courts were built and the "modern era' of platform tennis began. Members of the Hunt Club then arranged a paddle exhibition and clinic featuring four top ranked players from the East: Roger Lankenau, Don Miller, Oliver Kimberly, and Dick Squires. Members of all east side clubs attended the, exhibition and from cooperative relationships, paddle began to gain momentum in Cleveland.
A most important contribution to the growth of Cleveland paddle was the decision by John Bernet, Carrington Clark, David Dickenson[...]
PTM: Dave, you've been with Viking for two years now and know the operations well. Can you tell me how long a paddle should last?
DO: That question comes up all the time. The rule of thumb is a new paddle every year if you're playing two or more times a week, and a paddle every other year if you're playing competitive paddle once a week.
PTM: No offense, but are you saying that to encourage players to purchase more paddles?
DO: The fact is the high-tech cores that are in paddles today breakdown over time and with extended play. It doesn't matter whose paddle you are talking about. Don't forget today's paddles offer greater control, more power, and far, far more shock absorption than the wooden paddles of the past. Unfortunately, in platform the luxury of restringing doesn't exist. And, in paddle the average points last far longer than those in tennis. That translates to many, ma[...]
David Kjeldsen, CEO, of Viking Athletics, announced that the recently completed 2003 Viking Cup will be the last for the Child/Adult Tournament. Asked why such a well respected tournament is being stopped, Kjeldsen responded:
"The Viking Cup was started eight years ago in an attempt to get more young people on the courts. At the time, there were few outlets for kids to play platform tennis. We felt that if we could get the adults involved, we could get the kids on the courts. We've more than accomplished that goal. More kids are playing than ever before. We'd like to put our emphasis now on kids playing with kids. The Viking Junior Tour is gaining momentum and we'd like to increase our support in that area. In addition, we are exploring with a number of platform tennis communities around the country starting a Viking Junior Platform Tennis League, with much the same format as the adu[...]
John Noble filed the report on the event with PTM:
The 31st year of the Chicago Charities seemed to be an event enjoyed by all. With a slightly smaller draw, due to the Halloween holiday, the pressure on the volunteer staff to run the four tournaments within the event was not as much of a drain as it has been in previous years. The Northwestern Cancer Research program was the beneficiary.
The Women's Open was witness to a pleasant number of upsets. Only one of the top four seeds made it to the semifinals. In the finals, Cindy Prendergast and Lauren Zink won a hard-fought three-setter against Hilary Debbs and Patty Hogan, the second seed (6-1, 2-6, 6-2). The Men's Open was marred by rain in the last set and a half. Last year's Champions David Ohlmuller and Chris Gambino had to work a little harder on their way to this year's final, as they were taken to three sets in the quarters by[...]
Dick Squires (a.k.a. Mr. Platform Tennis) passed away on November 12, 2003 after a long battle with emphysema.
The following is an excerpt from the article Dick Squires... Gone, but not Forgotten that appeared in Platform Tennis Magazine, Vol. 5 Issue 3
A National Champion in tennis and squash, Dick tried his luck in platform tennis. Squires brought flair and color to the game. He wore pink sweaters, a paddle glove and hit shots from behind his back in the fifth set of tournament finals matches.
He is also familiar to more than two generations of paddle enthusiasts as the author of "How to Play Platform Tennis," the definitive book on our sport. Another bestseller to his credit is "The Other Racquet Sports," covering every racquet and paddle sport from court tennis to pickle-ball.
His writing was not limited to sports, however. "One Moment At A Time, A Love Story," dedicat[...]
The PPTA had a very busy fall certifying teaching professionals from all around the "paddle" world. Hank Irvine and Bob Callaway had the opportunity to go to Rich Maier's world on the north side of Chicago and join him in a two-day certification marathon. Fifteen pros were tested thanks to Scott Bondurant, who recruited many prominent pros from the north shore area. Among the pros who went through the certification process were former national champion Scott Mansager and the current women's national champions, Mary Doten and Susie Keane.
While Hank and Bob were in Chicago, Gerri Viant, Patty Hogan and Paul Quinn went to Philadelphia and conducted certification exams for nine pros from the Middle States area.
Source: Platform Tennis Magazine, Vol. 5, Issue 3, January 2004
After eight years of great service to the APTA as Executive Director, Carolyn Tierney announced her retirement. During her tenure, Carolyn kept the organization running and was the number one goodwill ambassador. Carolyn's retirement was effective December 31, 2003.
Marjorie Hodson, a member of the APTA Board of Directors, was to serve as the interim Executive Director until a permanent replacement was found.
Source: Platform Tennis Magazine, Vol. 5, Issue 3, January 2004
The names Safford and Hissey may ring a bell for some of you because they are second and third generation paddle players out of the Philadelphia area. Scott's parents, Tom and Leila, are accomplished players, as is Ryan's mom, Laurie. Ryan's uncle and grandmother are former national champs. Scotty and Ryan are following in their family's footsteps by trying to make a name for themselves in the paddle world!
Between football, baseball and golf, it's little wonder Scott and Ryan have any time to play paddle, but finding time and competing at a high level is something these two boys have been able to do quite well. They were the runners-up in the Junior National Championships in the 10- and-under age group last January. They also had success winning the Philadelphia Open 12s in 2001 and 2002, and in the Viking Cup lOs and 12s regional play.
Both boys follow the Phillies, Eagles and Si[...]
PTM carried an article by Tom Dow on how to sell the idea of building more public courts and facilities. The article was written to provide the basis of a presentation that could be made by those wanting to expand the game in their area to potential supporters such as their local municipality, YMCA, foundation, and/or local "paddle angel." The article was supported by various case studies of successful programs.
[please enlarge images to read the full report]
Source: Platform Tennis Magazine, Vol. 5, Issue 3, January, 2004