Submitted by Kevin Kowalik
Kansas City has been playing Platform Tennis since APTA Hall of Famer John Moses brought the game in 1963, building 3 wooden courts at the Kansas City Country Club. In almost 50 years, the city has transitioned and evolved to six premium courts, two each at KCCC, the Carriage Club and Homestead Country Club.
The 2012-13 adult winter league involves over 125 extremely passionate and competitive players of all ages and attracts former great players from NCAA tennis teams who have learned the game quickly. Much to the dismay of the “old” traditional player. Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, William Jewel, are represented to name a few.
The league’s session I team draft began October 16th where two captains counterpunched for players in an alternating draft in order to go head to head for 8 weeks of play. Over the course of the session, no two players can pair up on consecutive weeks, which made for unique and creative partnering by each captain. Points are awarded for sets won and, after the first 6 weeks of play. Team Herbie Hayob leads Team Grace 211-203. Those team names are another story!
For purposes of arranging competitive court assignments, the league uses a 30-year old on-line rating system that assigns a numerical rating for each player based on their win/loss record against each opponent played. The lower the number, the better the player.
Naturally, there have been heated disputes over players playing below their level of rating and sweeping the match resulting in on-court challenges, nasty name calling, and beer bribes. Placing the wrong player can be costly to either team! Any unresolved disputes are taken to our Commissioner, Andy Metzler, who wrestles with the tough decisions.
The 12th Annual Kansas City Open is this coming January 5th-6th is now PCQ sanctioned in Section VI and a NRT. A very strong turnout is expected this year! Top players such as Kevin Kowalik, Travis Helgeson, Pete Stroer, and Andy Metzler, will be taking on all comers.
Paddle is alive and thriving in the Heartland and Kansas City is very proud of their heritage. The League looks forward to continued growth of players and expansion of courts. If you’re passing through, you can surely find a game at any level for you.