Updated 6/5/19: The Flats Platform Tennis Center is a volunteer-led project that hopes to bring four new platform tennis courts and a warming hut to the Flats West Bank (near Merwin’s Wharf and Cleveland Rowing Foundation). Led by the charismatic Huntington Bank Regional President, Sean Richardson, these would be the first platform tennis courts west of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, alleviating the need for west-siders to have to drive 30+ minutes every time they want a match. Since Cleveland has about five months of winter, we wholeheartedly support any initiative that gets people outside when the snow flies, participating in a fun, healthy, social activity (P.S. Those warming tents do double duty for adult beverages and nibbles, so often these matches turn into a happy hour when the play is over.) And crew teams from Western Reserve Rowing should love the new sport as we are sure they look for other ways to get their adrenaline going when the river gets too cold for the sculls.
Written By Guest Blogger, Karen Nejedlik, President, Cleveland Paddle Tennis Association
What’s paddle? It’s the nickname for platform tennis, an outdoor sport developed in New York in 1928 as a winter alternative for tennis players who refused to give up their sport even though snow was falling.
Today paddle tennis is played year round on specially constructed courts with heaters underneath to melt the snow. Players use solid paddles instead of stringed racquets and a dense, rubberized ball.The court is smaller, has no double lanes and the net is lower…all of which create a fast paced game! The court is surrounded by taut screens. The bounce of the ball off the courts and screens allow for a a combination of tennis and racquetball skills to create a game based more on strategy and finesse than power.
There are roughly 35 courts located at many of Cleveland’s east side’s most beautiful country clubs and racquet clubs and one in the Akron area. Here are a few locations:
- Cleveland Racquet Club, Pepper Pike
- Wembley Club, Chagrin Falls
- Mayfield/Sandridge Club, South Euclid
- Chagrin Valley Hunt Club, Gates Mills
- Cleveland Skating Club, Cleveland’s Shaker Square neighborhood
- Shaker Heights Country Club, Shaker Heights
- Chagrin Valley Country Club, Moreland Hills
- Canterbury Golf Club, Shaker Heights
- Chagrin Valley Athletic Club, Chagrin Falls
- The Country Club, Pepper Pike
- Kirtland Country Club, Kirtland
- Portage Country Club, Akron
The Greater Cleveland Platform Tennis Association oversees the organizing of men’s and women’s winter leagues, a thriving mixed Summer Paddle League, as well as several tournaments each year. Their website also shares info on where to play, instructional videos, rules of the game, league information and much more!