The Good News: We are now almost 80* members due to an influx of recent arrivals. Welcome and/or welcome back to everyone who has completed a membership application in the last week or two. (*We had over 200 members the last several years and will no doubt see similar numbers again beginning next season).
The Even Better News: Almost every club member has been actively enjoying the pickleball facilities and many are partaking in scheduled events. There were 19 players at Ladies’ Night last Monday. We had 12 teams (that’s 24 players) at the Mixed Doubles this past Tuesday and several more would have played if there had been a smaller crowd. Every Introduction to Pickleball class (held every other Saturday) has had attendees and, to my delight, they aren’t simply then allowing dust to settle on their paddles – they are getting together with other class members for games, signing up for round robins, and coming to the evening events. Club All Play continues to attract a daily crowd and the round robins are seeing growing numbers. It’s great to see.
Growth, however, is invariably accompanied by growing pains. Because our numbers were so impacted by the pandemic, things have been run quite loosely the past several months. Players just showed up without making a reservation or signing up on SignUpGenius for a scheduled activity. And it worked! But now, with our growing numbers, it is time to resume some but not all of our policies, as follows:
- Whenever Playing Pickleball – Please, please continue to use sound judgment and abide by the Club’s well-reasoned and well-articulated recommendations regarding Covid-19 safe practices. Those recommendations are spelled out on our website and on the laminated posters affixed to the fencing around the courts. Stay away if you aren’t feeling well. Maintain adequate distance from others while on or waiting for a court. Respect other’s safety concerns and practices without judgment.
- Club All Play – Will continue as is each morning. You do not have to reserve a court on SignUpGenius.
- Open Play – A reservation is not mandatory but understand you must yield to a group that has made a reservation on SignUpGenius. The safe bet is to make one, especially during prime time slots.
- Ladies’ Night – You need to sign-up on SignUpGenius to be guaranteed a spot. There is a limit of 18 (formerly 19) players. You will not be allowed to participate if there are already 18 players present and you aren’t on the sign-up list on SignUpGenius. Please remember that Ladies Night is supposed to be a fun event for all (see paragraph #7, below). Thank you.
- Mixed Doubles – We are adding a third session to this popular new event on Sunday evenings from 6:00–7:30 PM, effective January 10, 2021. Participation is limited to 10 teams. You must sign up on SignUpGenius ahead of time to assure your team of a spot. Only one team member needs to sign up. (Sign-up Genius has a space where you note your partner’s name). Please do not sign up in advance for more than two Mixed Doubles sessions per week. You may, however, sign up for a third session within two hours of the starting time if there is still an opening. Finally, remember that Mixed Doubles is also supposed to be a fun event for all (see paragraph #7, below).
- Round Robins – Two things:
(A) You need to sign-up on Sign-Up Genius to be guaranteed a spot. Again, there is a limit of 18 players. You will not be allowed to participate if there are already 18 players present and you aren’t on the sign-up list on SignUpGenius;
(B) You should only be participating in events scheduled for your skill level*. For several weeks, the 2.5 & 3.0 group has graciously been inviting 1.0 & 2.0 players to join them. The Club Executive has discussed this issue twice and has now decided that arrangement must come to an end, for two reasons. First, round robin play is the singular event (other than tournaments) that encourages participants to play their best at all times. The players on the other side of the net presumably have a similar skill set. If not, either they should move down a level or you should move up a level. Secondly, there are now enough 1.0 and 2.0 players in the Club to successfully conduct their own round robin events.
*There is no prohibition against having higher skilled players join a lower skilled group for round robin play provided (1) the higher skilled players are invited to join in, usually because another player or two is needed to fill out a court, and (2) the higher skilled player is willing to treat their participation as a fun event, i.e. to adjust their level of play to make it fun for all.
- Court Etiquette – For some, a fierce battle on the pickleball court is fun. For others, not so much. Round robin play is designed to be competitive. That is what those who sign up expect and in most instances desire. For others, pickleball is more of a social event. A fun way to get outside, to get some exercise, to play with friends and to make new friends. Club All Play, Ladies’ Night and Mixed Doubles are open to all members, regardless their age, strength, experience or level of talent. We want all participants to have fun. To that end, it is imperative that every participant at these events adjust their level of play according to the circumstances. There simply is no reason a younger, stronger or more talented player should ever blast a shot at someone who is incapable of reacting due to their age or ability. The thrill of victory will be short-lived. The hurt feelings will endure. There is an entire page on our website dedicated to court etiquette. It’s worth a review.
HAVE FUN, STAY SAFE, AND STAY BETWEEN THE LINES on the court and highway :-).
2020-21 Club President