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A lot of people have questions about the game of paddle tennis. To help bring clarity to the subject, we’ve brought in an expert on the topic, Dr. Paddle, to answer some of the most commonly asked questions.

Q: What’s the difference between platform tennis and paddle tennis?

DR. PADDLE: None. They are one and the same. (The game has something of an identity crisis.) “Platform tennis” is the official name, but no one who actually plays the game calls it that. We call it “paddle tennis,” or just “paddle,” because you hit the ball with a paddle, not a platform.

Q: Is paddle tennis the same as pickleball?

DR PADDLE: No. Both games involve hitting a ball over a shrunken tennis court net with a paddle, but there the similarity ends. And pickleball was named after a dog. That’s just silly.

Q: Why is paddle tennis played in the winter?

DR. PADDLE: Because paddle players are gluttons for punishment. Haha, just kidding. Sort of. A rousing game of paddle on a cold, winter night gets your blood moving, your synapses firing, your competitive juices flowing, and before you know it—you’re impervious to the cold. Dressing appropriately also helps.

Q: I’ve heard paddle is played with a hard ball that barely bounces.

DR PADDLE: You’re thinking of golf.

Q: Is paddle like ping pong?

DR PADDLE: Sure, if you were to wrap the table with chicken wire, and stand on it. Actually, you’d be surprised by how much ping pong skills translate to paddle.

Q: I’ve heard that beer, bourbon and cigars are part of the paddle post-match culture. Is that true?

DR PADDLE: Next question.

Q: How old do you have to be to play paddle?

DR PADDLE: Paddle is appropriate for any age. Just like a box full of puppies.

Q: Where can I see paddle being played?

DR PADDLE: Ah, I thought you’d never ask. The nice people at the Cleveland Platform Tennis Foundation have created this short video that explains the game, and shows a host of supermodel paddle players in action.

Watch the video.

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