Platform Tennis: Rules, Equipment And Everything You Need To Know

Platform Tennis: Rules, Equipment And Everything You Need To Know

Ever played platform tennis? Or you may have heard about it? It is racquet sports which is also a type of tennis.


This game was invented in New York by James Cogswell and Fessenden Blanchard in the 1920s. The objective of inventing this game was to have an alternative to tennis to play during the winters. To solve the problem of snow, this game is played on a raised platform with lights. This allows the keeping of heaters under the tennis court. The raised platform with heaters and lights make this game playable all year round. 


The main difference between tennis and platform tennis is that, unlike tennis, it doesn’t have singles and doubles. It is a doubles only game. In the article, we will also explain other aspects of platform tennis, which will help you understand the game better. 


Association For It

This version of tennis was invented way back in the 1920s, but still, there is no international organization for it. However, there are various national organizations for this game, as the American Platform Tennis Association


Objective Of Platform Tennis

A platform tennis match is made up of three sets. The objective of the game is to win against the opponent pair by winning two out of the three sets. 


One thing which makes this tennis different is that the court is comparatively smaller in size than the regular tennis courts. As this game is a doubles game, it needs a great deal of cooperation and understanding between the pairing players. The court in this version is also an enclosed one, unlike the open courts in the regular tennis version.


Another essential thing for the game is a high level of fitness. This is vital as the ball may hit off the enclosure, and thus, players need to be quick to react. 


Equipment & Court

The equipment and the players in platform tennis are different from regular tennis. These are:


Tennis Courts

  • The platform tennis court measures 44 feet in length and 20 feet in breadth. 
  • Marking on the court is the same as the regular tennis court.
  • There is a net in the middle of the court like the normal tennis courts. This net has a height of 34”.
  • The court in this version is surrounded by a galvanized fence that is 12 feet tall. This fence in the platform tennis is there to protect the players from falling off the raised court. However, sometimes the ball also bounces off after hitting the fence. 



  • Players use a paddle instead of a racquet in this version. The paddle has a length of 18” and is made from titanium and graphite. 
  • Instead of the strings like a regular racquet, the paddles in the platform tennis have holes. The holes help the players maneuver the paddle. 
  • The holes in the paddle face also help in adding a bite when hitting the platform tennis ball.
  • The platform tennis ball is similar to the regular tennis balls and is made generally by the Wilson or Vikings.
  • Other than these, one more important piece of equipment is the platform tennis shoes. 
  • The platform tennis shoes are vital as they need to have rubber soles to provide a good grip on the court. 
  • Platform tennis shoes also play a vital part as they facilitate the players in the movement.


Scoring In Platform Tennis

The scoring rules for platform tennis are the same as the regular tennis games. The team in this game loses a point when the ball is in play:

  • If the ball bounces twice in the courtside of the receiving team.
  • When the player returns, hit the ball and the platform tennis ball hits any object or net. 
  • If the ball lands outside of the sidelines or baselines.
  • A player deliberately catches or handles a ball.
  • If a player hits the ball in a way that it goes out of the play and bounce back after hitting an object. After hitting the object, the ball rebounds again inside the court.
  • While the ball is in play if a player touches the net.
  • If a player hits the ball by throwing their paddle at the ball. 


When the points in platform tennis are won, they go upward in the form: 15, 30, 40, and game. If, in any case, the game is tied due to a 40-40 score, then a deuce is played. The first team which scored two points in this deuce is declared a winner of the game. 



Winning in this version depends on the understanding and cooperation of the players. 

  •  Players need to win as many games as they can to be the winner of the game.
  • If a team wins six games in a set, they are the winner of a set. 
  • When any team wins two sets, that team is the winner of the match as there are three sets in total. 


Rules of Platform Tennis

  • Before the game commences, a paddle toss is done. This paddle spin is like a toss. 
  • The team which wins the spoon can decide which end they want of the court. They can also decide whether they want to serve or receive. 
  • Once this is decided, the two teams take their positions on the tennis courts on opposite sides. On one side, there is a server which is a part of the team of two.
  • The server has to serve one way that they are between the sidelines. They also need to be behind the baseline while at the center mark of the court. This is done so that the server is diagonally positioned to the receiver.
  • There is no fixed position for the receiver, and they can stand wherever they like on the court. Other members of the serving team can also stand wherever they want on the platform tennis court.
  • Serves must alternate behind the deuce court first and then behind the ad court.
  • Serves must pass over the net to be counted, and before the receiver can return them, they must bounce.
  • A return volley on the server is not allowed.
  • A server can only serve once. If they fail, the serving team loses a point.
  • The ball stays in play once the server serves it until a let is called, there is a foul or a point.
  • Scoring in the match is 15, 30, 40, and game. If the game ties at 40-40, then a deuce is played.
  • A match consists of 3 sets. When a team wins the six games, it wins the set.
  • The first team which wins two out of three sets is the winner of the match. 


These are some of the rules and other aspects of platform tennis. 


Final Words

Platform tennis is a form of tennis that is played on a raised platform that has heaters and lights.


This dynamic game was invented so that people can enjoy tennis even in the winters. The rules of platform tennis are different from regular tennis, and its equipment is also different. 


Jatin Choudhary

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