ONS is the lead sponsor for the 2010 American Platform Tennis Association (APTA) junior championship, which takes place on January 30 at the New Canaan Field Club in New Canaan. The APTA Junior Nationals is the last of thirteen APTA Junior Tour events. Tournament director Mike Gillespie said the host committee was very pleased to have such strong community support for the championship event. “We depend heavily on the generosity of volunteers and sponsors to present this championship tournament. 200 to 250 kids will come from Massachusetts to Philadelphia to compete and we encourage anyone interested to come watch, and to learn about paddle. It’s an exciting sport and there will be some excellent players competing,” he said.
Nestle Waters North America (Poland Springs) of Greenwich is also a sponsor. Other area sponsors are Comina, New Canaan Racquet Club, Tennis General Store and William Raevis of New Canaan, the Center for Advanced Pediatrics in Norwalk, Bebands Water ID Bracelets of Fairfield, Switch Beverage Company of Darien and the Fairfield County Platform Tennis League (FCPTL). The Wilson platform ball will be the official ball of the tournament. The tournament is also sponsored by the APTA.
Matches will take place at eleven clubs within a 10-mile radius of New Canaan. Players must be APTA members and will be grouped for competition by age; 10 and under, 12 and under, 14 and under and 18 and under. A welcoming party will take place Friday evening, January 29 at 7 p.m. at New Canaan Field Club. Tournament play begins Saturday morning at 11 a.m. and will continue until evening.
Platform tennis (or paddle) 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. It may be played at private clubs, public facilities, and in backyards at both highly competitive and purely recreational levels. The platform tennis court is almost a quarter the size of a tennis court and is surrounded by tightly strung, heavy-gauge wire screens that lets players keep the ball in play after the ball hits off the court and then the screens. As the name suggests, platform tennis generally takes place on a raised platform, allowing for heaters underneath the deck that can melt off the winter elements of snow and ice. The surface of the court is gritted to prevent participants from slipping in wet weather.
Platform tennis is a doubles sport, with two players on each side of the 34” high net. The small court size encourages sociability and camaraderie. For children, it is easier to learn than tennis, and they quickly come to realize that teamwork and strategy are important to the game. The sport can be a fast-paced game of speed, power and quick thinking. It can also be a game of finesse, patience and strategy.
The American Platform Tennis Association is a non-profit organization that governs the sport for its 9,200 members, which includes individuals, municipalities, clubs and leagues. The APTA sanctions more than 180 annual tournaments, including 24 National Championship events. The organization regulates standards for equipment and the courts and publishes Platform Tennis Magazine. For more information on Platform Tennis, visit www.platformtennis.org.