The thought of going outdoors during winter is understandably dreadful but, then again, staying indoors all day long to avoid the frigid and snowy conditions outside may be detrimental to your health in one way or another.
Your body is designed to be active, so when you spend many hours of your day doing nothing, it may stop functioning properly.
Thankfully, there’s something you can do to give your body a much-needed dose of exercise on cold winter days or nights – playing platform tennis.
Platform tennis is a racquet sport that is typically played during the winter season, but can also be played throughout the year.
Why the Name and Why Winter?
The court on which platform tennis has been played since its invention in 1928 has always been elevated.
In fact, the first ever court was constructed on the side of a hill to help keep the court’s surface level and allow for efficient removal of snow and ice.
Nowadays, a heating system is installed beneath the deck of the elevated court to thaw snow and ice and enhance comfort in chilly weather. This explains why the game is popular as a winter sport.
Platform Tennis Court Dimensions and Construction
The sport is played on a court that is about one-third the size of a normal tennis court.
For a regulation-sized platform tennis court, the area of play on the court’s aluminum floor is 50 feet long by 20 feet wide, but with a 12-foot high screen or “chicken wire” fence surrounding the entire court, the active playing area almost becomes twice as much.
Initially, the taut fencing was meant to stop loss of playing balls in deep snow, but later on, players realized that the fence could also be used as part of the playing area by playing balls off the wall.
Now back to the court.
A net is placed right down the middle across the court, with its ends tautly attached to posts erected outside the court. A vertical center strap is used to adjust the net for height. The official height of the net should be 31”.
The end lines of the court, which run parallel to the net, and are known as baselines. The lines in front of the baselines are called the service lines. They are usually 3 feet away from the baselines.
It is the service lines that define the backcourt and forecourt areas. The area between the service line and the baseline is the backcourt, while the forecourt is the area between the net and the service line.
8 feet of space must be maintained between each baseline and the back wall. But what for? The space is meant to provide players with enough space for serving and volleying balls that bounce off the walls.
As you can imagine, players usually need to move back and forth a lot during playtime.
5 feet of space must also be maintained between each sideline and the side wall. The space is referred to as the alley.
Because the risk of slipping and falling on the court is high in snowy and icy weather, the aluminum floor or deck has a rough grit on it to improve the anti-slip properties of the court. The rough surface also helps to prevent the ball from skidding when it comes in contact with the aluminum floor.
To ensure the dark of the night does not stop the fun, modern platform tennis courts normally come with lights to allow for night games.
Platform Tennis Instructions
Keep these basic instructions in mind when starting out in the game of platform tennis:
- The rules of play are similar to those of conventional tennis in most aspects, so you may have a head start over others if you’re already familiar with tennis.
- Learn the rules of the game and stick to them. Otherwise, you will lose points.
- Since it is played on a much smaller court, platform tennis demands quicker reflexes than when playing traditional tennis.
- Unlike regular tennis, platform tennis isn’t a game of power. Accurate placement is key to scoring maximum points and winning the game.
- Like squash and racquetball, shots can be fired when the balls bounce off of the screens or walls.
- The game does not require swell athletic prowess, so people of virtually all ages can compete against each other without physical strength getting in the way of the fun.
Want Your Very Own Platform Tennis Court?
Playing platform tennis is a great way to get out of the couch and be active. The smaller size of the court used to play this sport provides the perfect social setting to interact with family and friends during wintertime.
If are looking for a platform tennis court for sale, you should contact the sales representatives working at a local tennis court construction company and ask for a quote.