In her attempt to bring diversity to sports, Mrs. Linklater is asking you to tell your minority friends about Platform Tennis, also known as Paddle tennis -- not to be confused with West Coast Paddle or East Coast Paddle, which are two are entirely different games altogether.
Platform tennis is an American racquet sport enjoyed by thousands of people of all ages. [CLARIFICATION: Platform tennis is a country club sport enjoyed by thousands of WHITE people of all ages as long as they can fork out the fees and pass the ethnicity qualifications for membership]
It is the only racquet sport that players can enjoy outdoors in cold weather. [Because so many country club members complained that you can't play golf in the snow and they wanted something to do when they weren't traveling in France or Switzerland.]
This unique appeal attracts people who desire fresh air, competition, and social engagement - all on a chilly winter's night. [Remember these are people who only hug on holidays, so COLD suits them very well.]
The sport is played at private clubs [minorities are welcome to WORK there], public facilities [as long as your local park district can afford the $50,000 to $100,000 it costs to build just ONE court], and in backyards [of huge estates] at both highly competitive and purely recreational levels. Because it is easy to learn, it is enjoyed by players as young as eight and as old as old bones [and expensive orthopods] allow.
The Court: The game is played on an elevated aluminum deck [NOTE: Do NOT fall on this deck, the surface is like metallic sandpaper] that is 1/4 the size of a regulation tennis court (a 60' x 30' deck with a 44' x 20' in-bounds area.) The court is surrounded by a 12' high superstructure with taut, 16-gauge "chicken wire" fencing which allows play off the walls, as in racquetball and squash. [Everyone who thinks squash is a vegetable take one step backwards].
The base of a platform tennis court is usually enclosed, allowing for a heating system beneath the deck (propane, natural gas or kerosene.) The heating system melts ice off the aggregate deck surface, allowing athletes to play outdoors in all weather conditions. Most courts have lighting systems for nighttime play. While the official platform tennis season runs from Fall through Winter, the game can be enjoyed year-round. [But they haven't invented a SUMMER ball yet. The WINTER ball is for VERY COLD weather and bounces like FLUBBER in warm weather]
The Rules: Platform tennis is a doubles sport with two players on each side of a 34" high net. Rules of the game are identical to tennis with a few exceptions: only one serve, serves that touch the net are played, and what many consider the best thing about platform tennis - the ball can be played off the screened walls. [ZOOWWIIEEE!!!]
The Equipment: Platform tennis paddles are made of a composite material with aerodynamic holes drilled in the head. Paddles are approximately 18" long. [Think ping pong paddle, only bigger, thicker and WAY heavier].
The spongy, rubber ball measures 2.5" in diameter. A flocking material on its exterior keeps the ball from skidding. [For some reason there is a rule that you cannot wear clothes that match the color of the ball -- greenish yellow. WTF? Nevermind that for years regular tennis was played with white balls and people were REQUIRED to wear matching white clothing.]
NOTE: There is an important tournament going on this weekend at country clubs in Mrs. Linklater's part of Chicago. She will attend the championship matches and report on how many white people she counted in her next entry.