Grand Opening of Platform Tennis Courts

To commemorate the completion of what is now the largest racquet sports complex in Worcester County, Ocean Pines Association celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at the Manklin Meadows Racquet Sports Complex.

“This addition enhances the claim that Ocean Pines is leading the way in community-based racquet sports on the Eastern Shore and so doing we continue to build a reputation for being a great place to visit, to live and to absolutely to play,” said Ocean Pines General Manager John Bailey.

More than 100 people were on site to view the state-of-the-art facility at the ribbon cutting event.

The Maryland General Assembly issued an official citation offering congratulations to Manklin Meadows Racquet Sports Complex in recognition of its two new platform tennis courts in Ocean Pines. The citation was signed by Maryland State Senator Jim Mathias, of Legislative District 38. Local dignitaries State Delegate Mary Beth Carozza and Worcester County Commissioner Chip Bertino were also in attendance. 

“Ocean Pines is responding to the demand for high-quality racquet sports facilities by providing an unprecedented number of platform tennis, pickleball and tennis courts to its residents and guests,” said Denise Sawyer, marketing and public relations director for the Ocean Pines Association. “We would like for local dignitaries, residents and visitors to become ambassadors for our racquet sports complex and share all that we have to offer.”

The expanded sports complex now includes ten tennis courts, six platform tennis courts, eight dedicated pickleball courts, a full-service pro shop, a basketball court, a newly installed playground, community gardens and ball fields with bleachers.

The Ocean Pines Public Works Department, with direction from Facilities Manager Kevin Layfield, worked closely with Total Platform Tennis, an Ohio-based platform tennis court construction company, to complete the $93,800 platform tennis expansion project.

“It’s a team effort,” said Layfield. “Public Works, Terra Firma of Delmarva and Total Platform Tennis all worked efficiently to construct the two new courts that will serve as a sports hub for the Ocean Pines community.”

The ribbon cutting ceremony was broadcasted live on local radio, The Vault 103.5 FM. Door prizes, food and platform tennis lessons were made available to attendees.

Remarks were given by several community leaders, including Ocean Pines Association General Manager John Bailey, Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ginger Fleming, Ocean Pines Director of Aquatics and Recreation Colby Phillips, Ocean Pines Director of Marketing and Public Relations Denise Sawyer, former Ocean Pines Board Director Dave Stevens and members of the Ocean Pines Platform Tennis Association.

The expansion project, which Board Director Tom Herrick rallied behind for years, was approved by the Ocean Pines Board of Directors at a July 28 Regular Board meeting. Board Director Doug Parks moved to accept the recommendation of Total Platform Tennis.

“Ocean Pines is a community on the rise, sculpting a national reputation as Maryland’s ultimate racquet sports destination,” said Sawyer. “So get out there and take a swing at platform tennis.”

Platform tennis is an American racquet sport enjoyed by thousands of people of all ages. It is a racquet sport that players can enjoy outdoors in cold weather. The game, which combines elements of tennis and racquetball, is played on a court about one-third the size of a tennis court surrounded by 12-foot fencing that allows play off the screens.

Another benefit of a platform tennis membership in Ocean Pines is the option of playing timeless tennis. Those who are no longer comfortable playing on a regular-size tennis court are invited to try the sport, which is new to Ocean Pines and has already attracted a number of players. The game is played on the racquet complex’s platform tennis courts using tennis racquets and low-compression balls. The screens surrounding each of the courts help keep the balls within reach.

For more information, contact Denise Sawyer, director of marketing and public relations for the Ocean Pines Association, at (410) 641-7717 ext. 3006 or dsawyer@oceanpines.org.

(Photo caption of the ribbon cutting photo: (L-R) Ocean Pines Recreation and Parks Manager Debbie Donahue, Ocean Pines Marketing and PR Director Denise Sawyer, Worcester County Commissioner Chip Bertino, Ocean Pines Board Director Tom Herrick, Maryland State Delegate Mary Beth Carozza, Ocean Pines Board Vice President Cheryl Jacobs, Dave Smith, Jim Freeman, General Manager John Bailey, former Ocean Pines Board Director Dave Stevens, Ocean Pines Recreation & Aquatics Director Colby Phillips, Maryland State Senator Jim Mathias, Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ginger Fleming and Ocean Pines Platform Tennis Members.)

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