The History of Platform Tennis


Platform Tennis is an American racket sport enjoyed by thousands of people of all ages.  It is the only racket sport that players can enjoy outdoors in cold weather.  This unique appeal attracts people who desire fresh air, competition, andsocial engagement - all on chilly winter nights. 

The sport is played at private clubs, public facilities, and in backyards at both highly competitive and purely recreational levels.  Because it is easy to learn, it is enjoyed by players as young s eight and as old as old bones allow.  


The Court 

The game is played on an elevated aluminum deck 11/4 the size of a court is surrounded by 12' high superstructure with taut, 16-gauge "chicken wire" fencing which allows play off the walls, as in racquetball and squash. 

The base of a platform tennis court is usually enclosed, allowing for a heating system beneath the deck (propane, natural gas or kerosene). The heating system melts ice off the aggregate deck surface, allowing athletes to play outdoors in all weather conditions.  Most courts have lighting systems for Winter, the game can be enjoyed year-round.



Platform tennis paddles are made of a composite material with aerodynamic holes drilled in the head.  Paddles are approximately 18" long.  The spongy, rubber ball measures 2.5" in diameter.  A flocking material on its exterior keeps the ball from skidding.  


The Name

Players often refer to platform tennis as "paddle," as in "Are you playing paddle tonight?"  With the re-emergence of paddle tennis on the West Coast (basically, a down-sized game of tennis,) this has many people confused.  To further the problem there is paddle ball (an urban sport played against a single wall) and paddle (much like paddle tennis). At Edgewood Country Club, the technical game being played is "Platform Tennis" however it is referred to as "Paddle" by Membership. 

More Information 

In March, 2008, the American Platform Tennis Association (APTA) published a newsletter about the sport of Platform Tennis including information about how and where it's played, who plays, a comparison with tennis, and more.  Click this Link to open up that newsletter in a printable pdf format. 

This information is from the American Platform Tennis Association Website.  
Please visit the APTA website at www.platform