About Platform Tennis

Platform or “Paddle” is a rapidly growing 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 winter long. Players frequently refer to platform tennis as “paddle,” as in “Are you playing paddle tonight?”

Learning the Game

Platform tennis is played as a doubles game and has an easy learning curve. Because it is easy to learn, it is enjoyed by players of all ages. The Glenview Park District offers a full program of instruction year round. To learn what is being offered for the current season, click on Lessons/Drills in the menu at left.   Or click here to sign up for our platform tennis emails with up-to-the-minute information on the Glenview Park District Platform Tennis Program.

Equipment

Platform tennis is played with special paddles that differ in size and shape from tennis racquets and are made of a composite material with aerodynamic holes drilled in the head. Paddles are approximately 18” long. The special balls used for platform tennis are made of spongy, rubber material and are approximately 2.5″ in diameter. A flocking material on its exterior keeps the ball from skidding. Platform tennis equipment is not usually available in general sporting goods outlets but may be purchased online or at platform tennis pro shops.

The Courts

The four-court complex Prairie Club is the latest addition to the Chicago area’s growing paddle community. Glenview’s platform tennis courts are an aluminum deck built on grade. Each court is about one quarter the size of a tennis court and is surrounded by a 12 foot high superstructure with taut, 16-gauge “chicken wire” fencing which allows for play off the walls, as in racquetball and squash.

The base of the platform tennis courts is enclosed, housing a heating system beneath the deck. The heating system melts ice off the aggregate deck surface, allowing paddle players to play outdoors in all weather conditions. The courts will have a lighting system for winter so the game can be enjoyed year-round.

Dress for Success

Paddle players enjoying this fast moving sport during the cold weather months dress in layers so that as the game speeds up, they can remove outer layers to remain comfortable for play.