Warm Greetings Silveridge Pickleballers!
It has been six months since my last President’s Letter, but COVID-19 continues to influence just about every aspect of our collective lives. I genuinely hope that you and your loved ones have been successfully coping with the physical, emotional and fiscal stressors the pandemic has wrought.
Our Plan for Safe Play
The Executive Committee has worked very hard to develop a plan for safe pickleball play. We have reviewed current Arizona and local regulations and adopted a number of USA and Canadian Pickleball Association recommendations. Our plan has been approved by and incorporates Silveridge RV Park’s current rules and practices. It is possible, likely even, that governmental and/or park rules will change during the next few months. No one should be surprised if play is temporarily suspended at some point. Whatever occurs, we will adapt. Silveridge Pickleball_COVID 19 Safe Pickleball Plan_October 15 2020. I strongly urge you to read the plan in its entirety. But here is a brief synopsis:
- Do not play if you are exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus, have recently been in contact with someone with COVID-19 or are especially vulnerable to its dangers;
- Maintain social distancing wherever possible, wash your hands frequently, and adhere to all other safety precautions established by the CDC, the Silveridge RV Park and the Pickleball Club;
- It is highly recommended you form a “bubble/trusted circle” of family and trusted acquaintances who are adhering to responsible social distancing and virus protection practices and only partner (i.e. pair with someone on your side of the net) with persons from your trusted circle. If you need help putting together a “trusted circle” please send the Club an email and we will do what we can to help;
- The Club will not be putting out pickleballs for your use.* Players must use their own pickleballs at all events and are urged to use their own personal pickleball whenever they are serving. (To personalize your ball, initial it with a permanent marker). It is recommended you avoid picking up another player’s pickleball and instead use your paddle to transfer the pickleball under the net to your opponent. *Notice: Every club member will be provided 2 new Franklin X-40 outdoor pickleballs when you turn in your completed membership form and pay the annual $10 club fee. Replacements may be purchased from the Club (2 for $5) as necessary;
- Refrain from sharing paddles, water bottles, other equipment or clothing. Avoid touching or using public water fountains. Do not arrive early or socialize around the pickleball courts;
- Reservations are now required - In order to play pickleball at Silveridge you must reserve a court. This rule applies to members and non-members of the Pickleball Club. Reservations are made on-line using the SignUpGenius program - click here for link. This temporary requirement will have a significant impact on our popular “Club All Play” sessions. Normally, players simply show up at the pickleball courts and place their paddles in a queue (Our Club has been using a paddle holder affixed to the fence on Court #3). When any court would open, it would be filled by the owners of the first four paddles in the queue. That system is presently frowned upon by most pickleball venues. Thus, for the foreseeable future, anyone who wishes to play during Club All Play or Open Play times must plan ahead. You will need to recruit other players in advance and reserve a court;
- A court can be reserved up to 14 days in advance. Members of the group cannot make back-to-back reservations (i.e. for two consecutive time slots) unless a court is still unreserved an hour prior to play;
- Every person who makes a reservation needs to keep a record of who they played with on that particular day in the event contact tracing is later necessary;
- Drop-in play is not permitted nor may outside groups come play pickleball at Silveridge per Park rule;
- Do not behave critically of others if their comfort level differs from yours. Every person’s health and safety concerns are different and should be respected; and
- Report to Silveridge Pickleball via email if you become ill with COVID-19 symptoms within 14 days of playing pickleball at the Silveridge RV Park pickleball courts.
Some of these changes will be cumbersome. For the time being your Executive Committee and/or resort management feel they are necessary. I pointed out in my March 2020 newsletter that pickleball provides exercise, fresh air and an outlet to relieve the stress we are all experiencing due to the coronavirus. Yet we cannot ignore the fact the sport routinely brings people into close contact. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 is obviously greater than if you remain at home. All those who choose to play need to take personal responsibility to help reduce that risk. The bottom line: Stay away from the courts if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, the flu or even the common cold. If you are healthy and choose to play, please adhere to our safe play plan, respect the level of social distancing being practiced by others, and use good judgment both on and away from the courts. Protect others as well as yourself.
Membership Form and Liability Waiver
This year, we’ve added reminders regarding the risks of COVID-19 to our membership form and included a self-explanatory liability waiver. Before participating in play this season, please read, complete and sign your membership form, place it in an envelope with your dues ($10) and follow the delivery instructions on the bottom of the form. Copies of the form will shortly be available in a literature box located next to the Club’s bulletin board or can be accessed on-line for printing - click here.
As I write, the Canadian border is still closed and many of our Canadian members and friends may not be able to spend much of the winter, if any, at Silveridge. How sad it is to type those words! That circumstance has made it particularly difficult for the Executive Committee to plan and prepare for the upcoming season. Further, all Executive Committee members except myself reside in Canada, as well as several of the individuals who head up our social and fundraising activities! The Executive Committee will continue to meet via Zoom as we have all summer and fall, but we desperately need some help to ensure things go smoothly at Silveridge this season. If you are willing to raise your hand for one of the following positions or to assist in any other way, please contact me or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Round Robin Captains - Are you willing to serve our Club as a Round Robin Captain? Captains organize and monitor play during round robin sessions. Responsibilities include watching for court safety issues, ensuring that proper etiquette is being followed, answering participant’s questions, and periodically helping assess whether any group members might be better served playing up or down a level. You should be familiar with the SignUpGenius program and, in general, be an ambassador for Silveridge Pickleball. Ideally, there will be two captains per skill level to better the odds at least one is present for each session.
All Play Court Hosts - We are also looking for Court Hosts whose duties include setting up for and monitoring play, answering questions, and ensuring our COVID-19 Plan and proper court etiquette are being followed during “Club All Play" sessions. If you believe you have good communication skills and are willing to be an ambassador for Silveridge Pickleball, we would much appreciate your help.
How to Volunteer - If willing to volunteer to serve as a Round Robin Captain, a Court Host, or both, please email email@example.com
Lights, Camera, Action!
That about wraps up this newsletter, but I’d like to close with the great news that the lights we’ve been lobbying for over several years are now installed on all four courts! All reviews are quite positive. As the schedule we’ve put together reflects, evening pickleball is now a reality!
There are lots of other new developments that you can read about at your leisure by visiting our Club’s updated website. Our amazing Communications Officer, Donna Stensrud, has been working hours per day putting these new policies and other information on our website, building a court reservation system and just plain making it easier for everyone to use the website and to stay informed. All the Executive Committee members deserve your appreciation for a job well done this summer as we’ve worked out the changes needed to insure safe play and thereby encourage broader participation, but Donna deserves special mention. Tell her ‘job well done’ next time you see her.
Stay safe and stay happy. Hopefully, I will see you soon.
2020-21 Club President