Normally, my first letter as President would contain the usual banter “another great pickleball season is winding down” and “we have some exciting changes in store for next year.” But nothing is normal at the present. As I write, yet another White House press conference is on the television and tonight’s newscast will no doubt generate even more anxiety about the coronavirus and its assault on humankind. Writing about pickleball seems trivial at the moment. But I do have a few pieces of information to share as well as some recommendations for those of you who are still here at Silveridge and considering or still playing pickleball.
- Court Access - Management has no plans to close down the Silveridge pickleball courts at this time. Notices will be posted court side should that change.
- Risks of Continued Play - Some medical experts have expressed concern about playing pickleball for several reasons. Obviously, the sport routinely brings people into close contact. You can also catch the virus if you handle a ball that was recently touched by an infected person, especially if they are sweating or covered their mouth with their hand while coughing. Your greatest risk of exposure may occur while simply waiting to play if you or others are not adhering to the recommendation to remain six feet apart at all times. On the other hand, pickleball provides exercise, fresh air and an outlet to relieve the stress we are all experiencing. The respite from the dour daily news may be brief, but any activity that gets your blood flowing or helps clear your mind is beneficial.
Here is what the Canadian Pickleball Organization says on their website:
“Everyone will be making their own decisions on attendance at pickleball sessions. Certainly, the gym/court environment, handling pickleballs, and sitting in close quarters could contribute to the spread of the virus. We all need to take personal responsibility to help reduce this risk. Each of us needs to do a personal symptom check-up daily. If you have any symptoms of the COVID-19, the flu or even the common cold, please cancel your attendance at pickleball sessions until your symptoms pass.
If you are exhibiting the symptoms of COVID-19 or you come into close contact with anyone you suspect could have COVID-19 or that you know is being quarantined or under self-isolation, the guidance received from Telehealth includes the following:
- Self-isolate and monitor yourself for symptoms of the COVID-19 for 14 days
- If not getting well, visit your family doctor who will advise on the next step
- Call ahead prior to visiting any health care provider and let them know about travel history and symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, difficulty breathing) so that they can make special arrangements to see you quickly, provide testing, and ensure that you use proper infection control measures.”
TO SUMMARIZE: Stay away from the courts if you aren’t feeling well. If you do decide to play, use good judgment and respect the “social distancing” being practiced by others.
- All Play – Will continue as currently scheduled and throughout the day on court’s 3 and 4 if they are not being used for round robin play.
- Round Robins – Will continue through the end of March. Leave courts 3 and 4 open if your group doesn’t require more than two courts. Note: Sign Up Genius is still operational but if the numbers don’t justify it, we’ll be discontinuing that program for the season and members may show up for round robins without signing up in advance.
- Our Plan – My wife, Jann, and I plan to stay at Silveridge until mid-April (assuming the government doesn’t ‘invite’ us to stay a little longer). It’s our current intent to skip all-play for the time being and either practice on our own or arrange a game now and then. If we have another couple join us, we’ll likely play spouses versus spouses for the duration of the contest. We also plan to bring along a rag sprayed with antiseptic and wipe down the pickleballs we’ll use, both before and after we play. And, of course, we’ll stay away from the courts if either of us isn’t feeling well. By no means should one feel obligated to follow our plan. Do what works for you. I just wanted to point a out a few of the compromises one can make to mitigate the risk of catching or passing on the virus while continuing to enjoy the physical and social benefits of pickleball.
- Member Survey – Lastly, I’d like to mention that some of you will soon be receiving a short survey in the mail. To save mailing costs and compilation time, we are only sending out 50 surveys. If one arrives in your mail would you kindly complete it and return it in a timely fashion. If you don’t receive one but would like to fill out a survey, you will find a copy on this “News” page. Print, complete and return to me at Lot #425, via email or in the mail to lot #425.
Further news and updates will be posted to our website. Please check it periodically throughout the summer months to stay informed. That’s it for now. I sincerely hope to see each of you again this coming fall. Stay safe. Please follow the medical practices being broadcast by reputable sources and available on the internet. The medical experts’ recommendations are continually be updated as they learn more about the virus, so stay informed and up to date.
Wishing each of you the very best during these trying times,
Mike Savre, President
Silveridge Pickleball Club