After doing three inverted keg stands at the Connecticut State Mixed tournament, I got to talking to Patricio about the importance of having a column for his website on the Westchester Platform Tennis League.  Considering the sport was born on the hallowed grounds of Fox Meadow inScarsdale, which is right in the middle of WestchesterCounty, I felt it only just that this league be covered in a website devoted to the sport.  Patricio agreed, and here we are with the inaugural column.

The wild, wild Westchester league, as it is known among some, is famous for a number of reasons. First, in my opinion, it is the best league in the country. Now, I may get some flack from paddlers in Chicago, but the WPTL is home to several top ranked players, including the current national champ, Mark Parsons, who plays for Manursing. Second, the league is infamous for bringing in ringers from all over the country, when things get close come end of season. So, many of those Chicago paddlers may have actually played in this league at one point or another. Finally, and most importantly, the after match shenanigans that go on are legendary, and if one is not there to witness them live, they can read about them on the notorious paddle pro message boards the next day. The bottom line is that the only rule of the WPTL, is there are no rules.

The WPTL is divided into 8 divisions of 8 teams each. Each team has 5 spots, with the top team playing 1 and onward down to 5. At least that is the way it is supposed to be, which brings up another infamous aspect to the WPTL, namely Stacking. One distinct difference the WPTL has from our Fairfield County brethren is that promotions and demotions take place each semester, with top point getters going up and bottom point getters going down, not just at the end of the year. In addition, only one team from each division gets upgraded/downgraded, not two. For more inside baseball stats on the league click here.

PaddleTimes will provide weekly coverage of the Tuesday night matches in the WPTL, which are the top four divisions. Keeping in line with the wild, wild theme, the commentary may be a little more edgy than some of the other leagues, so parental discretion is advised.

Week 1 of the second semester was devoted to working off the holiday pounds and getting the touch back.

Division 1
D1 is the only division that has a playoff in the WPTL. The top four point getters qualify for a playoff then battle it out in one night to determine the champion. Last years playoff champ was New York Athletic Club.  The regular season championship was shared by Westchester Country Club and Greenburgh. NYAC opened Tuesday night with a 4-1 victory over an always tough Greenburgh team. This match featured a marathon at the 1 spot, where grizzled veteran Mike Cochrane, with the help of Jared Palmer, fought off young guns Sebastian Bredberg and George Wilkinson, 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-4. In other action, Flint Park beat Bronxville Village 3-2 with another long 3 setter at the 1 spot, and  Manursing, boasting 3 players in the top ten rankings nationally, beat the homeless Westchester Country Club 3-2. The final d1 match featured newly promoted Fox Meadow against Orienta Beach Club. For 100 years now, Fox Meadow and Larchmont Yacht Club have been going back and forth from D1 to D2 every semester. True to form, the first semester ended with Larchmont going down, though barely, and Fox Meadow going up, also barely. Orienta beat the Fox 3-2 Tuesday night.

Division 2
The team that Fox Meadow barely beat to get promoted to d1 in the fall, Bronxville Village 3, played cross town rival Bronxville Village 2. There is no love lost between these two teams and that starts right at the top with the captains. Well, the match was certainly intense by the sounds of the yelling from the Bronx River Parkway, but it turned out to be an old fashioned beat down with BV3 sweeping BV2 5-0. Newly demoted Larchmont Yacht Club lost 3-2 to Scarsdale Golf Club, and Pelham Country Club, after narrowly escaping demotion to D3 last fall, swept Sleepy Hollow Village 5-0. In the last D2 match of the night, Wykagyl beat Scarsdale Village, newly promoted from D3, 3-2.

Division 3
Newly formed, and newly promoted from D4, Shenorock got off to a fast start with a 4-1 win against Orienta Beach Club 2. Elsewhere, newly demoted from D2, Siwanoy Country Club, got the win 3-2, against Century Country Club. Also on the winning side of the ledger was Pelham Country Club 2 with a 3-2 win over Larchmont Yacht Club 2. Finally, it appears that New York Athletic Club 2 and Greenburgh 2 did the reciprocal of their D1 teams with Greenburgh 2 winning 4-1 over NYAC 2. For all you home gamers, reciprocal, is basically the inverse.

Division 4

Bronxville Village 4 (how many teams can this village have?) got off to a good start with a 3-2 win over Bronxville Field Club. White Plains1, which just missed being promoted to D3 last fall, also got off to a good start with a 3-2 win over Beach Point Club. Larchmont Shore Club joined the 3-2 party with a 3-2 win of their own over Ardsley Country Club, and newly promoted from D5, New York Athletic Club 3, lost 3-2 to Wykagyl 2.

Season Predictions 

D1 Regular Season Champ – Greenburgh

D1 Playoff Champ – NYAC

D1 Demotion – Fox Meadox

D2 Promotion – BV3 (I may be biased here)

D2 Demotion – BV2

D3 Promotion – Shenorock

D3 Demotion – Pelham CC2

D4 Promotion – White Plains 1

D4 Demotion – NYAC3

Step up or step down
The line has been set

Sean Dockery