What is Platform Tennis? Courts, Rules, Dress Code, Facts & Comparison

Platform tennis is a sport that is played outdoors. Usually, this sport is played in cold weather. It is also a racket game but the players are surrounded by wired walls.

It is a sport derived from tennis and it is often called “paddle”. Furthermore, it is a very common sport in some regions around the world. It is a globally played sport in about 57 countries in the world.

This game requires patience, speed, power, and strategy. It is a very social sport. You can play platform tennis at any age. There is no limit to age or skill level. It is a perfect sport for families to enjoy together.

What is Platform Tennis?

What is Platform Tennis?

The quick answer is:

Platform Tennis is a type of tennis that is played on a specially designed court with two platforms as the bases. The object of play in this sport is to hit a tennis ball onto an opponent’s platform. It’s an outdoor sport that is generally played in cold weather on a court surrounded by a fence and with heaters installed under the surface.

Now, let’s go into details.

Platform tennis is a social sport derived from tennis and it is an outdoor game.

In addition, the area for the platform tennis is smaller than the normal tennis court. The players have to stay inside the tightly strung wire.

This fence is 12 feet high. It keeps the ball inside the playing area. The scenario of the game is almost the same as tennis.

Moreover, the only difference that you will see is in the equipment. The scoring system is also the same as lawn tennis.

Origin and History

Cogswell and Blanchard were willing to develop a sport that everyone can play outdoors in winter. In earlier times, the court was 48 ft long and 20 ft wide.

These dimensions were too small for volleyball and badminton. They could only play deck tennis in this area.

Later on, Cogswell found the paddle tennis equipment in the tennis equipment shop. He brought this equipment for playing on the platform tennis court.

In addition, they started playing with this equipment by lowering the height of the net.
In 1932, to bound the game in a specific area and keep it in play they added a fence of about 8 to 12 feet high.

Moreover, they also expanded the size of the court in 1932 which was equal to one-third of the traditional tennis size. This is how platform tennis started and became famous.

Facts About Platform Tennis

Let’s now look at some interesting facts.

  • The scoring system is the same as tennis. The score of the platform tennis goes like love, 15, 30, and 40.
  • As you know, in tennis the winner of the first two sets is the winner of the match. So is the case in platform tennis.
  • You can play the sport in singles or doubles.
  • The court of platform tennis is 44 ft long and 22 ft wide which is the ⅓ of the traditional tennis area.
  • A chicken wire fence surrounds the court. It acts as a wall to keep the game inside it. It is 12 ft high.
  • In platform tennis, the net size is 34 inches above the ground and there is no area of no volley zone.
  • No matter if the area is small, they still play forehand just the way they do in tennis. It is a surprising fact since it is a unique thing we see on a small.
  • This sport is played in cold weather even in the freezing cold. They use propane heaters underneath the surface to melt the frozen ice.

Platform Tennis Courts

Platform Tennis Courts
4 side by side Platform Tennis Courts

Platform tennis or paddle is the most fun outdoor game for winter. It is played widely all around the world and in 57 countries. There are numerous platform tennis courts in the world. Here are the top 7 famous ones.

1. Meadow Creek Tennis & Fitness Club

This tennis club is located at 6305 West 6th Avenue, Lakewood, Colorado. It has 7 heated indoor, 3 outdoor, and 2 Platform tennis courts with heaters. Additionally, they provide all of the facilities to the club members such as lockers.

2. North Boulder Recreation Center

The North Boulder recreation center is located at 3170 Broadway, United States. They provide a welcoming environment to their customers. It is the best place for playing platform tennis.

3. Guilford Racket & Swim Club

This club provides all of its services to its members or clients. It has 6 indoor and 2 paddle courts. It is located at 420 Church St. Guilford, United States. It has summer pools and six outdoors.

4. Italian Center of Stamford

It is located at 1620 Newfield Ave, Stanford, CT 06905, United States. This is a famous club and consists of indoor and outdoor clubs and platform courts. It is one of the best clubs providing so many other programs.

5. Windward lake Club

The Windward Lake Club is the most famous club which is located at 2001 Lake Windward, Alpharetta, GA 30005, United States.

6. Pine Valley Swim & Tennis Club

This club is located at 4638 Marsh Road Rosedale, United States. This club has indoor and outdoor areas. Additionally, they provide outdoor paddle courts for matches.

7. O1ld Farm Swim and Paddle Club

This club offers 2 lighted paddle courts with additional services such as summer pools etc. It is located in Rockville, United States. Moreover, the matches here start at 5:30 am.

5. Brookline Platform Tennis Club

This tennis club mostly promotes platform tennis matches in the Boston area. They provide proper schedules for the paddle matches. In addition, athletes experience a friendly environment here.

6. The Gilfoy Platform Tennis Club

The Gilfoy platform tennis club offers some great paddle tennis clubs that provide a lot of services. It is located at Billerica MA 01821 Dunham Rd. They provide a welcoming atmosphere.

7. Smoke Rise Paddle Tennis Club

The smoke rise club has amazing paddle tennis courts that are available for you. They offer great services and equipment. In addition, they arrange proper schedules for the players to be a part of paddle tennis.

Platform Tennis Attire

Platform Tennis Attire

There is no specific dress code for platform tennis. However, since the weather is cold therefore the players take important measures for their attire.

In addition to it, they wear multiple layers to keep themselves warm. They can wear anything they feel easy playing in.

It is important to be comfortable in whatever you are playing as you have to make frequent moves. Moreover, you have to wear proper court shoes such as tennis sneakers are the best footwear for training.

Platform Tennis Rules

Platform Tennis Rules

Every sport has some regulations that help to make a fair game. Following the regulations and etiquette of a game is a significant part of any sport. Let’s see for the platform tennis.

Rule 1: Dimensions and Terminologies

The paddle court is 44 ft long and 22 ft wide with a net at the center which is 34 inches. There are a 12 ft high fence around the boundary that acts as a wall.

The lines at the boundary that are parallel to the net are called the baselines. Additionally, the lines at the sides and perpendicular to it are called sidelines.

Furthermore, the lines parallel to the sidelines are alley lines. The lines 12 feet away from the net and parallel to the alley lines on either side are service lines.

The segments of the alley lines and the service lines are service sidelines while the area between the net and the service line is called the center service line.

Additionally, the center mark is 4 inches long into the right angles and touches the baseline. Also, the region between the baseline and service line is called the backcourt.

All of the line markings are equal and are 2 inches wide. There is a space of 8 inches between the baseline and the back screen. Moreover, these spaces also count in the playing regions.

Rule 2: Court Fixtures

These are the posts including the net, hand crank, and the cord that holds the net in one place. In addition, the snowboards, screens, corner support beams, doors, the lighting poles are all called court fixtures.

Rule 3: The Ball and the Paddle

The ball is made with rubber and has specific measurements according to the APTA standards. Its length is 18 inches and is perforated with 87 holes of ⅜ inches. Moreover, the balls and paddles must be according to the standards and approved by APTA.

Rule 4: Equipment

You can take more than one platform tennis paddle and balls for the game. In addition, they can switch their hands to hold the paddle during the match. You can also use both hands to hold the paddle. Further, we can use the balls until they are in the right condition.

Rule 5. The Game

This game is basically for doubles play but you can play singles matches with a slight difference from these rules.

Rule 6. Court

The service and courtside decision depend on the toss. They use the spinning of the paddle as a way of tossing.

Furthermore, the toss winner decides the side of the play. If you win the toss you can decide who will serve first. By winning the toss you can have the following privileges:

  • The right to choose the serving first. The competitors can decide which side they want to receive it.
  • Your competitors can decide if they want to make the first choice.
  • The right to choose the side of the court

Rule 7: Service

The team that chooses to serve first will elect a player as a server. Then he/she has to stand behind the baseline to serve.

Furthermore, the receiving team elects a receiver and he can stand on and off-court or anywhere he wants to. Likewise, the receiving team can stand.

Rule 8: Delivery of the Service

The server starts serving with an initial position and stands behind the baseline. He can project in any direction and hit it with the paddle.

Rule 9: Only One Service

Unlike lawn tennis rules, the platform allows only one serving and if the player loses to deliver it in the right region he loses the point. He can’t get another chance to serve in doubles matches.

Rule 10: Fault or Out

In paddle tennis, the service is at fault if you do not take the right position according to the officials, or if the footwork works incorrectly, your serve hits one of your teammates. In addition, if the ball touches the court fixtures such as the post, hand crank, band, or center strap.

Rule 11: Foot Fault

The footwork is a crucial part of the game. The position of your feet matters a lot. Furthermore, if you move your foot or run while delivering the service is considered a foot fault. They are not allowed to touch the region behind the baseline with either of their feet.

Rule 12: Receiving Team Must Be Ready

The server team must wait for the receiving team to get ready for receiving. In addition, when the receiver hits back, it is deemed that the receiving team is ready.

Furthermore, if the server serves and the other team is not ready yet, then they serve again. In case, the receiver team misses out on the ball they can’t claim a fault on the serving team.

Rule 13: A let

When a let is called the point is played again. In the case of serving, if the ball is being served while the receiving team is not ready, the shot is called a let.

Rule 14: Service Touching Receiving Ream

If the server touches the receiver’s partner or anything they are wearing or carrying before hitting the deck the receiver gets a point. Additionally, this rule applies to both on-court and off-court positions of the team.

Rule 15: When the Receiver Becomes the Server

The serving person changes after the end of the first game of a set. In addition, the team decides who is going to serve first and for the rest of the sets, the arrangement remains the same.

Rule 16: Serving or Receiving Out of the Turn

If by mistake you serve your turn then the points you make are considerable. Furthermore, if the receiving team is standing on the wrong side of the court then the team will continue on the same side until the next game starts.

Rule 17: The Ball Remains in Play

Once a player serves the ball it remains in play until a let or fault is called. He may not be able to catch it if it goes out of bounds. Furthermore, if he catches it and calls out “out” loud before it is actually a fault will lose a point.

Rule 18: Loss of Point

A team loses the point if the receiving team does not hit before it hits the ground a second time. In addition, you must make sure that the ball hits the deck on the other side.

The ball must go on the targeted region away from the sidelines and baseline. Moreover, it must not touch any court fixtures.

Rule 19: Ball Touching and Court Fixtures

When the ball is in play and it touches the deck while remaining within the boundaries, it should be returned before it touches the deck a second time.

Rule 20: Good Return

A good return is when you hit the ball and it touches the net, post, cord, band, or strap.

Furthermore, when it is served it hits the deck and is within the bounds. It must not touch the opponent or his equipment.

You should return it outside the post, either above or below the level of the net. Moreover, your paddle must pass over it after it is returned.

Rule 21: Interference

If you face any difficulty or are hindered while making a shot, you will replay the point. You can have another chance of making a point in such a case.

Rule 22: Scoring

The paddle tennis rules for scoring are also like traditional tennis. The scoring for paddle tennis goes like 15, 30, and 40. In addition, “zero” means love. Moreover, it is customary to announce the score of the first serve during the game.

Rule 23: When Teams Change Ends

The teams change the ends on each odd-numbered game in each set. When the game ends on a total of 6-3 the teams change the ends.

Furthermore, this happens only at the end of the game. When a set ends on 6-4, the teams “stay for one” and then they change their ends.

Rule 24: Continuous Play

The play should be continuous from the first serve of the game. For the rest of the games, it can be according to the permission of the club’s officials.

In addition, when changing the sides, they have one minute to wipe off the sweat using a towel, change, or catch their breath.

During the service, you are permitted 20 seconds to gather yourself and serve.

Moreover, the game should not be delayed or suspended in any case. If a person uses abusive language or stays offended, the umpire can disqualify him.

Rule 25: Only Hit

Only one player can hit the ball at one time. They can’t hit it simultaneously. In case it happens, the player will simply lose a point.

Rule 26: Balls Off Screens

A ball after hitting must not touch both of the screens and then land on the opponent’s side. In addition, it must go straight to the opponent without bouncing a second time and touching any other object in the playing area.

Rule 27: Singles

Singles are almost the same as doubles. However, there are some exceptions to it. In singles matches, we conduct the game on the singles standard court.

Furthermore, only two services are allowed and no-ad scoring is applied. The no-ad scoring is served to the receiver’s choice of serving. This is decided by the receiving team.

Rule 28: A Player

Sportsmanship is the key element for becoming a professional player. The APTA officials expect the participants to stick to sportsmanship.

They have the full authority to charge penalties to the athletes for any unsportsmanship behavior. These penalties include a warning, loss of game, loss of points, loss of match, etc.

In addition, the APTA board makes out a conclusion after noticing the unsportsmanship behavior of the player and charged penalties.

Platform Tennis vs Traditional Tennis

Platform Tennis vs Traditional Tennis

Traditional Tennis  Platform Tennis 
Tennis is played for both singles and doubles. Platform tennis is basically for doubles.
For tennis, the main equipment is a racket and a ball. You need a paddle and a rubber ball.
Tennis is mostly played in clubs and you become a part of the club or league. It is played on the courts for fun and with more people.
Tennis is a perfect sport for both summers and winters. Platform tennis is for cold weather or winters.
It is an indoor and outdoor game. It is an outdoor game.
A big standard-sized court is required for playing tennis. A small space can work for playing platform tennis.
You can have complete body exercise by playing tennis since the court is larger. The court is smaller and provides easy storage of the equipment beneath the platform.
The scoring method of tennis is 15, 30, and 40. Platform tennis has the same scoring system as tennis.
A hard and hollow ball is used for playing tennis. The ball is soft, sponge-like made with rubber.

Paddle Tennis vs Platform Tennis

Paddle Tennis vs Platform Tennis

Paddle tennis is another name for platform tennis. Some people call it paddle tennis.

However, both the games are the same with two different names. You can play this game outdoors, usually in cold weather.

The name paddle represents the main equipment that you require. Therefore, it is also known as paddle tennis.

Moreover, the court size of platform paddle tennis is smaller than that of standard tennis.

Platform Tennis vs Pickleball

Platform Tennis  Pickleball 
Platform tennis is played in a cage made with tightly strung wire. It is not played in a cage.
The scoring system starts with 15, 30, and 40. Love means zero in paddle tennis. Points are scored on the service only.
There is only one overhand shot in paddle tennis and no let. A serve in pickleball is for placing the ball in play. It is not an offensive shot.
The court is 4 feet longer than that of the pickleball. Its court is smaller compared to paddle tennis.
Platform tennis has a 2 feet higher net at the center. Pickleball has a shorter one.
It allows the participants to come to the net. It does not allow the players to come close to it. We call it a no-volley zone.
The ball is soft and is made with spongy rubber. The ball is made of a plastic Wiffle ball having small holes in it.
Platform paddles are made with composite material and are round in shape. The Pickleball paddle is made with graphite material and has varying shapes such as the oval, rectangle, blade, etc.
The paddle is 18 inches long. The paddle is 17 inches long and not more than that.
The paddles have a bottle opener at the butt. Pickleball paddles do not have that.
It is a game that people play in cold weather and outdoors with heaters. It is played in warm weather without any heaters under the surface.
For platform tennis, the shoes are specifically designed to withstand rough surfaces. For pickleball, the shoes can be the usual tennis shoes.

Platform Tennis or Traditional Tennis. Which one should you play?

If you are also fond of playing sports that include a racket and ball then you should definitely think about platform tennis or traditional tennis.

Both of the games are unique having minor differences but the scoring rules are the same. Furthermore, traditional tennis is the most common sport worldwide.

However, there are many other ways you can enjoy tennis but with a little difference in the rules. In addition, platform tennis is a sport like traditional tennis which is similar and different at the same time. It is also very common in many countries around the world.

Its rules are simpler than tennis. The court for platform tennis is also smaller. This is why you need equipment that is smaller in size. It is easy to hold the platform tennis equipment. The ball you use in platform tennis is made with rubber and is soft, unlike traditional tennis balls.

Moreover, the paddle tennis ball has holes in it which makes it easier to hit the harder one and the serving is mostly perfect.

Therefore, seeing the above statements about the platform and traditional tennis, now it’s up to you which one suits you better.

How to Play Platform Tennis?

To play platform tennis you just need a paddle and a ball. Hit the court and start playing platform tennis.

Furthermore, platform tennis is easy and has simple rules. You have to start the game with a serve.

There is no second serve in platform tennis if the first serve goes wrong.

Moreover, by following the above-stated rules you can play platform tennis. The best privilege with the sport you can have is that you can enjoy this game with your family. It is usually a doubles game.

Summary: Final Thoughts on Platform Tennis

Platform tennis is a sport that is similar to traditional tennis. However, its rules differ from lawn tennis. Both sports have equal value and are fun. In addition, platform tennis is a game for playing in cold weather. The equipment and the court are smaller as compared to traditional tennis.

Let’s know what new things you have learned about platform tennis from this article in the comments section below. Do you think platform tennis should have leagues and international tournaments?

Frequently Asked Questions

Q) Is platform tennis the same as pickleball?

No, these two sports are not the same. Platform tennis is a racket sport that uses a large ball and high net to hit shots over an opponent’s head with the feet off the ground. Pickleball is a three-person team sport, using a paddle and ball to hit shots over the net with the feet on the ground.

Q) Is platform tennis the same as paddle tennis?

Platform tennis is a variant of paddle tennis and has many similarities to the original, but with some differences as well. Generally, they are the same.

Q) What is the difference between tennis and platform tennis?

The difference between tennis and platform tennis is that in the former, a player hits a ball back over their head with one hand while standing on the ground. In platform tennis, players stand on platforms and hit a ball back over their heads with one hand.

Q) Is platform tennis a good workout?

Platform tennis is a good workout because it uses small, quick movements that are ideal for fat loss and toning. It also provides great cardiovascular fitness without putting too much stress on joints.

Q) What are platform tennis balls?

Platform tennis balls are used for platform competitions. They are either made of rubber or a combination of hard and soft materials that help to create the desired bounce.

Q) What is the cost of a platform tennis court?

The cost of a platform tennis court varies depending on the size, location, and complexity. The average price range is $3-$8 per square foot for small courts to $18-30 per square foot for high-end courts.

Q) What is the size of a platform tennis court?

A platform tennis court has a maximum size of 44 feet in length and 22 feet in width, which makes it smaller than a regular tennis court.

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