Platform Tennis: A Unique Winter Racquet Sport

I. Introduction

platform tennis

A. Defining

Platform Tennis and Its Origins Platform tennis, also known as paddle tennis, is a unique racquet sport that originated in the United States in the 1920s. It combines elements of traditional tennis with aspects of squash and is played on a smaller court with distinct features.

B. The Allure of Platform

Tennis as a Winter Sport One of the main attractions of platform tennis is its popularity as a winter sport. With the ability to be played outdoors in cold weather, platform tennis offers a unique and active way to embrace the winter season.

II. The Basics of Platform Tennis

A. The Equipment and Playing Area

  1. Paddles: Platform tennis paddles are smaller and solid to withstand the winter elements. They have a rougher texture to enhance grip and control.
  2. Balls: Platform tennis balls are spongy and depressurized to reduce bounce and enable better control in cold temperatures.
  3. The Court and Its Unique Features: The platform tennis court is about one-third the size of a traditional tennis court and is surrounded by a screen. The court also has heating elements, which prevent snow and ice from accumulating during play.

B. The Rules and Scoring

  1. Serving and Receiving: Platform tennis follows a similar scoring system to tennis, with players taking turns serving and receiving. However, the serve must be an underhand shot and needs to bounce off the screen before reaching the designated service box.
  2. Gameplay and Strategy: The objective of platform tennis is to keep the ball in play and outmaneuver opponents. Players must utilize a combination of shot selection, court positioning, and teamwork to win points.

III. Why Platform Tennis Thrives in Winter

A. The Benefits of Playing Platform Tennis in Cold Weather

  1. Cold-Weather-Friendly Equipment: Platform tennis equipment, designed specifically for winter play, allows players to enjoy the sport comfortably in cold temperatures.
  2. Increased Traction on the Court: The texture of platform tennis paddles and the rubber-soled boots worn by players provide enhanced grip on the court, preventing slips and falls.

B. The Social Aspect of Winter Platform Tennis

  1. The Close-Knit Platform Tennis Community: It fosters a tight-knit and welcoming community of players who often share a love for winter sports.
  2. Fun Events and Tournaments: Winter platform tennis offers an array of events and tournaments, providing opportunities for players of all skill levels to engage in friendly competition.

IV. Platform Tennis Techniques and Tactics


It is a fast-paced and strategic sport that requires mastery of the fundamentals. In order to become a skilled platform tennis player, it is crucial to have a solid understanding of grip and strokes, as well as footwork and positioning.

A. Mastering the fundamentals

  1. Grip and strokes:

The grip in platform tennis is similar to that in tennis, with slight modifications due to the padded gloves that players wear. It is essential to find a grip that allows for a firm and controlled hold on the paddle while still maintaining flexibility for wrist movement.

There are various strokes in platform tennis, including the forehand, backhand, and overhead smash. Each stroke has its own technique and proper execution, and players should practice these strokes regularly to develop consistency and power.

  1. Footwork and positioning:

Good footwork is crucial in platform tennis, as it allows players to be in the right position to hit the ball and move efficiently around the court. Quick lateral movements and split steps are essential for anticipating and reacting to shots.

Positioning on the court is also crucial for success in platform tennis. Players should aim to maintain a balanced stance and be ready to move in any direction. Anticipating the opponent’s shot and adjusting positioning accordingly can give players a strategic advantage.

B. Strategies for success

  1. Utilizing the elevated screens on the court:

One unique aspect of platform tennis is the presence of elevated screens surrounding the court. These screens can be used as strategic tools to redirect shots and control the game. Players should learn how to use the screens to their advantage by hitting shots off of them to create unexpected angles and to keep opponents off-balance.

  1. Approaching the net and controlling the game:

It is often compared to a combination of tennis and squash. Due to the smaller court size, players have the opportunity to approach the net more frequently and control the game from there. Aggressive net play, including volleys and lobs, can disrupt opponents’ rhythm and put them under pressure.

V. Platform Tennis Safety and Etiquette

While platform tennis is a fun and exciting sport, it is important to prioritize safety on the court and adhere to proper etiquette. This section will discuss tips for staying safe on the court and behaving respectfully towards opponents and teammates.

A. Staying safe on the court

  1. Proper court attire for winter conditions:

It is typically played during the winter months, so it is essential to dress appropriately to stay warm and comfortable. Players should wear layers of clothing, including thermal wear, to insulate their body heat. It is also important to wear gloves, hats, and insulated socks to protect extremities and prevent frostbite.

  1. Warm-up and stretching routines:

Before stepping onto the court, players should engage in warm-up exercises and stretching routines to prevent injuries. This can include light jogging, jumping jacks, and dynamic stretches to warm up the muscles and increase flexibility.

B. Sportsmanship and etiquette in platform tennis

  1. Respecting opponents and teammates:

Platform tennis is a competitive sport, but it is important to maintain a respectful attitude towards opponents and teammates. Players should avoid taunting, gloating, or engaging in unsportsmanlike behavior. Instead, players should recognize and appreciate their opponents’ skills and efforts.

  1. Adhering to the rules of fair play:

Platform tennis has specific rules that players must adhere to. It is important to be familiar with these rules and play the game with integrity. Distracting opponents, intentionally hindering their ability to make a shot, or disputing calls can negatively impact the game and should be avoided.

In conclusion, it offers a combination of technique, strategy, and sportsmanship. By mastering the fundamentals, utilizing strategies for success, prioritizing safety and etiquette, and taking advantage of the growing popularity of the sport, players can fully immerse themselves in the exciting world of platform tennis.

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