Here you will find answers to some common questions regarding Hinsdale Paddle and Hinsdale Platform Tennis Association, and Platform Tennis in general. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out and we will do our best to answer it.
What is paddle/platform tennis?
Paddle Tennis is an outdoor racquet sport generally played in cool or cold weather. It combines the best elements of tennis, racquet ball, and ping pong. However, it is a doubles-only sport that requires good teamwork
Courts are generally on a raised platform, allowing heaters under the deck to keep the playing surface playable no matter what Mother Nature throws at you. Paddle players are legendary for playing matches in snowstorms, deep freezes, and yes, beautiful sunny days. And always outdoors!!
The court is smaller than a tennis court and is surrounded by tightly strung wire fencing that allows players to keep the ball in play after the ball hits off the court and bounces off the screens.
Paddle is a game of finesse, patience and strategy. It can require speed, power, and quick thinking. It can be highly competitive or just plain social.
Paddle tennis is a very social sport, known for camaraderie and good sportsmanship. And its a great sport to play with your spouse or significant other.
Paddle Tennis is an easy sport for players of all ages and skill levels to learn and enjoy and is an excellent sport for families to play together.
Who/what is Hinsdale Paddle and the HPTA
Hinsdale Platform Tennis Association (HPTA) is the non-profit, volunteer organization that manages Hinsdale Park District’s Platform Tennis Program. The HPTA manages the platform tennis facilities at Katherine Legge Memorial Park and Burns Field as well as all paddle tennis programming for men/women/junior leagues and activities.
Can all members participate in the various leagues in the area ?
Yes – Hinsdale Paddle members are guaranteed spots on a team commensurate with your abilities. For 2019-2020, Hinsdale Paddle will be sponsoring 17 men’s league teams and 6 women’s league teams. High intermediate to advanced beginner players will generally participate in the Southwest League, which has all of its matches at various clubs in the southwest suburbs. Expert/Advanced players will typically play in Chicago Platform Tennis League, which encompasses teams and clubs from throughout the metropolitan region, with a high concentration of clubs in suburban North shore locations.
What if I can't play during the week - is there a league available for weekend play?
Absolutely. Hinsdale Paddle members are eligible to play in the Weekend Warriors Leagues, specifically targeted for players who can’t play during the week, and for others who want to play competitive league matches more than once a week. Matches are played primarily at KLM and other clubs in and around the Hinsdale area. Players are placed on squads commensurate with their ability, with men’s matches held on Saturday afternoons in the fall winter and early spring. Preparations are underway for a similar women’s league that would play on Sunday’s in the fall and spring.
I'm new to paddle, and want to learn more without committing to a membership just yet. What are my options?
Mary Doten and Bill O’Brien have introduced the sport to scores of players throughout the Western Suburbs. Please see the other parts of the website for information on the opportunities for beginner training available to potential new members of the club. In addition, for beginner men’s players, starting in late September Bill O’Brien and other volunteers will introduce the sport on Sunday evenings to potential new members who have expressed an interest in playing in one of the men’s travel leagues, or who want to familiarize themselves with the sport in a low-key setting.
I'm new to the Western suburbs. Is this a good way to meet people?
Absolutely. Most paddle players will tell you the number one reason they play paddle is the camaderie they experience and the friendships they form with people from throughout the western suburbs. and they’re able to do it at a time of year when they typically would be inside with nothing else to do. For many paddle players, winter is their favorite time of year!
What programs are available for women? Are there opportunities to play during weekdays?
Hinsdale Paddle operates the largest women’s program in the western suburbs. It is specially designed to give women of all skill levels an opportunity to improve their skills and play with other women of similar skill level. Beginner lessons are available from Mary Doten and her staff in both the fall and spring. Are there other women in your social circle who would like to learn at the same time? Great! – Mary can provide group lessons that allow you and your circle of friends to learn together at a pace that you are all comfortable with.
I see where there are family memberships available. Are there programs specifically designed for my children? And are there mixed couple events where I could play with my spouse?
Yes and Yes. During the course of the year, Mary Doten and her staff provide “Junior Pizza and Paddle” sessions where children can learn the game in a fun environment. Hinsdale Paddle sponsors mixed doubles events periodically during the season, as will other clubs in the area who make their events open to Hinsdale Paddle members.
What does a Hinsdale Paddle membership include?
Becoming a Hinsdale Paddle Member provides you the ability to reserve courts, access to the paddle hut at KLM and enjoy unlimited play on the KLM and Burns courts. Members are guaranteed spots to play on the appropriate HPTA sponsored travel league team, and can rent the KLM Paddle Hut for social events (both subject to additional fees) Memberships are valid September 1, 2019 through August 30, 2020.
I've joined Hinsdale Paddle. What's the best way to begin playing?
New and existing members receive a unique 5 or 6 digit entry code for access to the Paddle Hut and the KLM courts. If you feel you are ready to play in one the leagues, you should immediately reach out to Rick Larsen (men’s) or Mary Doten (women’s), and they will begin the process of placing you on the appropriate league teams. If you would like to receive new player training, please see the links elsewhere on this website. Please note that new male members can also participate in Bill O’Brien’s free Sunday evening introductory lessons that are provided thoughout the fall at 8:30pm at KLM.