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Paul Fowler Invitational
FCPTL Invitational

Fairfield County, CT
The Fairfield County Platform Tennis League concluded its season with a seven-division tournament named for league stalwart Paul Fowler. It is a day that represents all that our great sport has to offer, compressed into a single day of play and fun, along with good food and beverage. The tournament also included the season's award presentations to clubs winning their divisions during league play.

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The largest one day platform tennis tournament in the nation was played on February 5, 2011 in Fairfield County, Connecticut.  One hundred and twelve teams of two competed in seven divisions to determine bragging rights in the area.  The seven divisions in the tournament mirror the seven divisions that make up the Fairfield County Platform Tennis League.  The Invitational - named after Paul Fowler, a stalwart of the League for many years - is a day that represents all that our great sport has to offer. 

The FCPTL is an organization that coordinates a competitive program with over 1,200 players organized on 84 teams, representing 26 area clubs.  Matches are held on Saturday and Sunday mornings.   The 7 divisions are arranged to ensure that teams are competitively matched, and the top two divisions include both Club professionals and nationally ranked players.  The winning club from each division at the end of the season receives a banner to be displayed in the Club.   Every year, the top two finishers in each division move up to the  division above, and the bottom two finishers move down to the division below. New teams joining the league enter in the lowest division, and work their way up. The FCPTL season has just wrapped up, and the tournament is the grand finale event.

This year the tournament was held on a day on which Mother Nature supplied a sampling of everything she had delivered to the east coast throughout the winter.  We saw snow, sleet, freezing rain, fog and finally plain rain.  Fortunately, it was minor compared to recent storms, and added little to the three feet of snow that already surrounded the courts.

During Tournament play, each team plays at least three matches, with half the teams playing in the finals of one of the draws.  Lunch and season award presentations were held at the Woodway County Club in Darien, and  the finals for the top four divisions in the tournament were held at the New Canaan Country Club in the afternoon.  Everyone in the tournament, including family and friends, were invited to the keg party there, and enjoyed watching the finals.  The paddle hut and the expansive deck served as the viewing area for several hundred viewers enjoying refreshments and some terrific matches.  The event was covered by local television, which served to promote the sport, league and event. 

Winners of the Tournament finals were:
    Division #1 – Max LePivert / Ken Dardis representing Stanwich Club.
    Division #2 – Junius Clark / Mark Warnken representing Darien Town.
    Division #3 – Jack Dowdle / Jon Speare representing Lake Club.
    Division #4 – Christian Toft-Nielsen / Jared King representing New Canaan Town.
    Division #5 – Kurt Schneider / Nick Stevenson representing the Wilton Riding Club.
    Division #6 – Scott Gioffre / Stephan Ramirez representing the Redding Country Club.
    Division #7 – Ben Adams / Brad Mahaney representing Darien Town.

Interest in paddle is high in the Fairfield County area and the league has a waiting list of teams seeking to enter.  Although there is a lot more paddle to play this year, with upcoming club tournaments and other events, our members are already looking forward to more of the organized competition that next season will bring.



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