Paddle tennis Information

Paddle tennis is a game adapted from tennis and played for over a century. Compared to tennis, the court is smaller and has no doubles lanes, and the net is lower. Paddle tennis is played with a solid paddle as opposed to a strung racquet, and a depressurized tennis ball is used along with an underhand serve. The same court is used for both singles and doubles, with doubles being the dominant form of play. The smaller court size adds a strong emphasis and advantage to net play and creates a fast and reaction-based game.

Paddle tennis traces its roots back over a hundred years to its development by an Episcopal minister, Frank Peer Beal, in lower Manhattan. Wanting to create recreational activities for neighborhood children, he got the city’s parks and recreation department to lay courts in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village in 1915. The first tournament was held in 1922, and the United States Paddle Tennis Associated was formed the following year. By 1941, paddle tennis was being played in almost 500 American cities.

Although Frank Beal is known as the game's inventor, Murray Geller, a player in the 1940s and ‘50s, was instrumental in creating the modern game. Elected chairman of the USPTA rules committee, he wanted to make the game more appealing to adults and instituted features including an enlarged court and an underhanded serve.

Wikipedia, Paddle tennis, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paddle_tennis (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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