Philadelphia Inter-Club Lawn Tennis Association had its
first match in 1899. It is believed to be the oldest
tournament of its type in America. The matches are
played three days in June each year on grass courts at
the host clubs of Germantown Cricket Club, Merion
Cricket Club and Philadelphia Cricket Club.
1910 until 1991, Division I was comprised of the host
clubs Germantown, Merion, and Philadelphia Cricket plus
the Cynwyd Club. In 1992, Waynesborough Country Club
replaced the Cynwyd Club. The Division I format is four
singles and two doubles matches, round robin, held at
one of the host clubs.
II is made up of the Germantown, Merion and Philadelphia
Cricket "B" teams plus Idle Hour Tennis Club,
Aronimink, and Philadelphia Country Club, Cynwyd Club
and Martins Dam. The Division II format is three singles
and two doubles matches, single elimination, at the
remaining two host grass court clubs,
J. Clothier Sr., Vic Seixas, Bill Tilden, and Richard
Norris Williams are members of the International Hall of
Fame who have played in the PILTA matches, In addition,
many players who have won National Championships have
played or still play in PILTA matches, These players
include Straight Clark, Newt Meade, Dick Sorlien, Jerry
Laroque, Fritz Klein, John Benn, William J. Clothier
Sr., and Jr., Diehl Mateer Sr., and Jr., Ralph Howe,
Carl Fischer Sr., and Charlie Oliver.
nearly a century, local athletes have competed to
capture PILTA's silver bowl. Cynwyd, Philadelphia
Cricket Club, Germantown Cricket Club, and Merion
Cricket Club have each captured the coveted cup. Belmont
Country Club won the PILTA matches in the first year,
1899, and again in 1900, 1904 and 1905.
Country Club no longer exists. Huntingdon Valley Country
Club won in 1908. Since then, Cynwyd,
Philadelphia Cricket, Germantown Cricket, and Merion
Cricket have won the event.
level of play has been extraordinary. After winning,
Wimbledon in 1953, and the U.S. Open in 1954, Vic
Seixas, playing for Cynwyd, lost to Straight Clark in
the 1955 PILTA tournament. Clark, playing for Merion
Cricket Club, defeated the Wimbledon champion 6-4, 6-4.
memorable match took place in 1966 when Sam Howe,
playing for Merion Cricket Club, defeated former Davis
Cup player, Mike Green, in an exciting match at 15- 13
though every player and team wants to win, PILTA tries
to emphasize fair play, sportsmanship, fellowship, and
the love of the game. On the final night of the matches,
a cocktail party and awards dinner is held for all the
players and their friends.
1990, Bill Clothier and Straight Clark were made
Honorary Members of PILTA for their outstanding
sportsmanship and contributions to the game of tennis.
look forward to our 100th anniversary in 1999.
Interclub Merion Cricket team: top row Bill Kraft,
Howard McMorris, Bill White, (pro); Foster Hammonds,
Howard York, Eddie Mellor, bottom row Larry Brown, Tom
Ridgway, Buddy Mann, Cliff Sutter, Sam Gilpin