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Paddle Tennis Perfect for Racquet Sports Beginners

Platform tennis or as it’s affectionately known, paddle, was first played in 1928 in Scarsdale, NY. James (Jimmy) Cogswell and Fessenden (Fess) Blanchard wanted an outdoor sport that would give them something fun to do during the long New York winters.

Many people often confuse paddle tennis and pickleball, as the courts look very similar. “I would describe paddle tennis as a cross between tennis and racquetball. You play with a partner on an elevated court. You play on a court that is approximately half the size of a tennis court and enclosed with 20-foot high screens. The ball can be played off of the screens, which allow for much longer points than most other racquet sports,” said Greg Simakas, president of the North Park Paddle Tennis Association. The screens create a whole new element not seen in pickleball. Lisa Bechtold, captain of a division four women’s league in North Park, added that the sport is more similar to tennis, and the two biggest differences besides the screens are that the ball is harder than in tennis, and you only get one serve, which moves the game along much faster. Unlike tennis, singles play is very rare in paddle. Matches are almost always played as doubles.