Platform Tennis is an American racquet sport enjoyed by thousands of people of all ages. It is the only racquet sport that players can enjoy outdoors in cold weather. This unique appeal attracts people who desire fresh air, competition, and social engagement - all on a chilly winter's night.
The game is played on an elevated aluminum deck 1/4 the size of a court is surrounded by a 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.
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).
The American Platform Tennis Association is a non-profit organization that governs the sport for its 12,000 members, which includes individuals, municipalities, clubs and leagues. With an annual operating budget of $350,000, the APTA sanctions more than 180 annual tournaments, including 26 National Championship events. The organization provides national rankings of its members; maintains the official rules and etiquette of the sport; administers the Platform Tennis Hall of Fame; regulates standards for balls, paddles and courts; manages its web site and pays for the production of Platform Tennis Magazine.