Monday, 17 Jun 2024

Platform Tennis: A Unique Racquet Sport

Platform Tennis, a captivating racquet sport derived from tennis, was invented in the 1920s by Fessenden Blanchard and James Cogswell in New York. Seeking a winter alternative to tennis, they created a game played on a raised platform that allows for heating equipment to be placed underneath, enabling year-round outdoor play. Unlike traditional tennis, platform tennis is exclusively a doubles game, fostering cooperation and understanding among players.

Object of the Game

The objective of platform tennis is for one pair to defeat their opponents by winning two out of the three sets that make up a match. The game poses unique challenges due to the smaller court size and the ability to hit balls off the sides, reminiscent of squash. This requires players to possess good levels of fitness to compete effectively.

Players & Equipment

Platform Tennis is played in pairs on a court measuring 44 feet long by 20 feet wide, with markings identical to a regular tennis court. The net is set at 34 inches in height, and a 12-foot-tall galvanized fence surrounds the court. Instead of traditional tennis rackets, players employ paddles made of graphite and titanium, measuring 18 inches in length. These paddles have holes in the face to aid maneuverability and add bite to every shot. The balls used in platform tennis closely resemble tennis balls and are typically manufactured by Viking or Wilson. Players are also advised to wear a good pair of tennis shoes for optimal performance.

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Scoring and Winning

Scoring in platform tennis follows the same format as regular tennis. Points are earned as 15, 30, 40, and then game. If the score reaches a tie at 40-40, known as deuce, the first team to score two consecutive points wins. To win a game, players must work as a team to secure six games, thereby winning the set. Winning two sets ensures victory in the match.

Rules of Platform Tennis

Before the game begins, a spin of the paddle is performed, with the winner deciding whether to serve first, receive first, or choose their preferred end. Once the positions are established, the server must serve the ball from a position behind the baseline and between the sideline and center mark, diagonally across from the receiver. The receiver is free to stand anywhere, as are the other members of both teams. Serves alternate from the deuce court to the ad court. The ball must pass over the net and bounce before the receiver can return it, disallowing a return volley. Only one service attempt is permitted, resulting in a point loss if the server faults. Once in play, the ball remains active until a point is decided, a fault occurs, or a let is called. Game scores progress as 15, 30, 40, and then game. In the event of a 40-40 tie, additional points are played until one team wins two points consecutively. The first team to win six games secures the set, while the first team to win two sets becomes the match victor.

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Q: How is platform tennis different from traditional tennis?
A: Unlike traditional tennis, platform tennis is played as a doubles game on a smaller court, with the ability to hit balls off the sides.

Q: What equipment is used in platform tennis?
A: Platform tennis players use paddles made of graphite and titanium, along with balls similar to those used in tennis. Good tennis shoes are also recommended.

Q: How is scoring done in platform tennis?
A: Scoring in platform tennis follows the same format as tennis, with points earned as 15, 30, 40, and then game. Deuce is called at 40-40, and the first team to score two consecutive points wins.


Platform tennis offers a unique and thrilling racquet sport experience. With its origins in the 1920s, this winter alternative to tennis is played on a raised platform, allowing for year-round outdoor play. As a doubles game, platform tennis fosters teamwork and cooperation, and its smaller court size presents distinct challenges. By adapting the rules and equipment of traditional tennis, platform tennis delivers excitement and enjoyment for players of all skill levels. Embrace the exhilarating world of platform tennis and discover the thrill of this dynamic sport firsthand. Visit our website,, to learn more and get started today.