Intramural sports

Tennis: Starting on March 16, intramural tennis will be held on Mondays from 9 p.m.-10 p.m. at the Chippewa Tennis Club on Golfside Drive. Students can register through March 13 at noon in the Club Sports office on the first floor of the Student Center.

Flag football: On March 18, WCC kicks off the spring flag football season. Students can register in the Club Sports office.

Same paddle, different game: Let us explain

Same paddle, different game: Let us explain

Matt Thompson

Sports Writer

Platform tennis court at Washtenaw Community College


That new court behind the Health and Fitness Center is for platform tennis. Do not refer to it as paddle tennis. Apparently, there’s a difference. Who knew? Turns out, the people who play platform tennis knew, and they didn’t hesitate to inform us after our Page One story in the Oct. 12 issue about the new $55,000 court. So in the interest of fairness and clarification, we offer up the differences (and some distinct similarities) of the two games. Platform Tennis: The sport, which began in the 1930’s, brings together racquetball and tennis. It is the only outdoor racquet sport meant to be played in the winter. The platform court is raised off the ground with a heating element beneath it to make it playable throughout the year. The court is smaller than regular tennis at 44-feet by 20-feet, about a third the size of tennis court. The biggest difference that separates the sport is the fencing surrounding the court. A 12-foot wire fence around the court allows players to legally play the ball off the wall. The ball itself has a sponge, flock exterior (to avoid skidding) rubber ball. Serves can be overhand or underhand. A paddle is used instead of the conventional tennis racquet. It is made of graphite and titanium and instead of having strings in it, it has holes. Paddles run from $75-$150. The sport, typically played in country clubs, is meant to be played in doubles with the same scoring system as regular tennis. Paddle Tennis: Mostly played in the West Coast, paddle tennis originated at Albion in 1898. There is no fencing surrounding the court, which is 50-feet by 20-feet. And the net height is 31 inches, three inches lower than platform tennis. Paddle tennis players use the same paddle. All serves are underhand. There is a difference between the West and East Coast versions of the sport. The West Coast has a serve box on the court, while the East Coast courts do not. The ball is a pressured tennis ball. Paddle tennis is meant as a singles or doubles sport, although there are no double lines on the court. The same tennis scoring applies: best of three sets. Unlike platform tennis, paddle tennis is a dying sport. Sources: bellracquetsports.com, paddlepro.com, platformtennis.org and aaplatformtennis.com