Oakland County Parks and Recreation will offer a free open house so the public can explore platform tennis, an outdoor winter activity.

Oakland County Parks and Recreation will offer a free open house so the public can explore platform tennis, an outdoor winter activity.

Photo provided by Oakland County Parks and Recreation

Oakland County parks and rec offers platform tennis open house

By: Brendan Losinski | C&G Newspapers | Published November 29, 2023


OAKLAND COUNTY — Oakland County Parks and Recreation is encouraging people to not sacrifice their health and wellness goals just because of the cold weather.

The parks and rec department announced a free open house from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10 to explore platform tennis, a high-energy racquet sport that can be played outside all season long. The open house will take place at Waterford Oaks County Park, 1702 Scott Lake Road in Waterford.

This open house is an opportunity to see platform tennis in action and learn about play, as well as plenty of helpful tips and tricks, from local residents and experienced players. Instruction will be provided by the Waterford Paddle Club, whose members are also available to answer any questions from those new to the sport.

“With ice, snow and other challenges winter weather brings, it can be more difficult to find ways to stay active outdoors,” Waterford Oaks Parks Supervisor Mike Boyd said in a press release. “The platform tennis open house is a wonderful way to meet others who also enjoy racquet sports. No experience is needed to attend and equipment will be available during the open house for first-time players or those who do not have their own paddles or paddle balls.”

Boyd described platform tennis as a family sport that is easy to learn. Lighted courts include heated platform surfaces that are designed to remove ice and snow. He added that it is the only racquet sport that players can enjoy outdoors in winter weather conditions because once any fresh snow is removed, the courts’ special floor heating units provide a dry playing surface.

The game is played on an elevated aluminum deck that is one-quarter the size of a regulation tennis court. Rules vary slightly from traditional tennis as a 12-foot high, taut 16-gauge “chicken wire” fence allows play off the walls, similar to racquetball or squash.

“The game is both physically and mentally challenging because you need to focus on teamwork and strategy,” Waterford Paddle Club Member Jay Reynolds said in a press release. ”This provides a workout for the body and the mind,” 

No preregistration is necessary to attend the open house, but participants should dress for the weather and wear tennis shoes.The platform tennis season runs from October-April and is split into two halves: October to mid-January and mid-January to April. Half-season trial memberships are available for those new to the sport.

Information on platform tennis memberships will also be available. An individual or family membership, which covers the cost of the lights, heaters and access to the warming building, is required to play. There is no additional charge for court time.

For more information, call the Oakland County Parks Department at (248) 858-0916.