Paddle Tennis

Platform tennis is an American racquet sport enjoyed by people of all ages. Because it is played primarily as a doubles game, platform tennis fosters social engagement and camaraderie that is unique to the sport. It can be played at highly competitive or purely recreational levels. Platform tennis can be a fast-paced game of speed, power and quick thinking; it can also be a game of finesse, patience and strategy.

The game is played on an elevated aluminum deck one-fourth the size of a tennis court. The court is surrounded by a twelve foot high superstructure with taut, 16-gauge wire, known as screens. The added dimension of the screens allows players to play the ball off the wires, as in squash and racquetball, resulting in long, creative and exciting points. As is the case with many courts, those at the Old Lyme Country Club are lighted to allow for evening play throughout the week. The base of a platform tennis court is usually enclosed, allowing for a heating system beneath the playing surface. The heating system melts snow and ice off the deck surface, allowing athletes to play outdoors in all weather conditions. The paddle tennis season generally runs from early October through late March, although the game can be played year-round.

There are many ways for our members to get involved in this exhilarating sport. Private instruction for individuals and small groups is available by appointment with our professional, Gregg Richardson. The Old Lyme Country Club's Platform Tennis Committee sponsors instructional clinics throughout the season, designed for beginners and players new to the sport as well as veteran players looking to improve their skills.

Adult and junior players can participate in competitive tournaments, monthly mixers and other social events sponsored by the Club. Among these are the popular East-West Competition and the Calcutta Tournament. In conjunction with the Essex Platform Tennis Club, the Old Lyme Country Club is the site used for several APTA-sanctioned tournaments.
The past year has seen significant growth in participation by junior players. The more accomplished juniors meet weekly for play and instruction. We also offer a number of social events for juniors throughout the season including a parent-child round robin.

Courts may be reserved using an online reservation system accessed through the club’s website. Courts may be reserved in 1½ hour increments beginning at 9:00 AM daily. The last available time slot of the evening is 7:30-9:00 PM. Guests are welcome when accompanied by a member. Please call or email the business office to register your guests. Guest fees are $10 per guest per visit.

Members get involved in this exhilarating sport in many ways – competitive tournaments, weekly mixers, social events, and private instruction for individuals and small groups by appointment . There are clinics for all levels and events in the brand new warming hut. Try this out.

Adult and junior players can participate in competitive tournaments, monthly mixers and other social events. Including an East-West competition and the Calcutta Auction/Tournament. The OLCC is also used for several APTA-sanctioned events.


Attire and Equipment

In general, athletic clothing you wear for walking, jogging, hiking, biking or cross country skiing is appropriate for platform tennis. In keeping with the club dress policy, jeans are not permitted on the courts. You'll want to wear what you can move around in without feeling constricted. Think clothing layers! As you generate body heat by playing, you will find yourself shedding a layer or possibly two or three! Tennis sneakers or footwear meant for cross training are best. Running and track shoes are NOT recommended for two reasons: they do not provide the lateral support necessary for your feet, and they tend to flare out on the sole, running the risk of catching that edge of the sole on the court and tripping the player.

As a service to Old Lyme Country Club members, Viking demo paddles are available in the business office. New paddles, balls and a variety of accessory items may be purchased through the office.


The Equipment: Platform tennis paddles are made of a variety of composite materials with aerodynamic holes drilled in the head. Paddles are approximately 18" long. The spongy, rubber ball measures 2.5 inches in diameter. There are three major manufacturers of paddle tennis equipment: Viking Athletics, Wilson Sporting Goods and The Paddle Company. They all provide paddles, clothing, shoes and a variety of accessory items. As a service to Old Lyme Country Club members, Viking demo paddles are available in the club office. New paddles may be ordered through the club office. Paddle tennis balls and a variety of accessory items also are available for sale in the club office.

The American Platform Tennis Association: The American Platform Tennis Association is the governing body of the sport. As such, it establishes official rules of the game and assures uniformity in specifications of courts and equipment. On its website, you will find information pertaining to the history and rules of the game, the annual schedule of regional and national tournaments, instructional videos and information, and contacts for the business trade side of the sport. The APTA sanctions and promotes over 100 platform tennis tournaments each year, for juniors, men, women, and mixed doubles of various age and levels. Annual membership in the APTA includes five issues of Platform Tennis Magazine.