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Pickleball: A New Way To Play

By July 4, 2019 No Comments

As many of you know we embarked on a new type of playing model for organized play outdoors late last year and starting in May of this year. We have received feedback about the changes. It is fair to say that the feedback is mixed at best. While it is common to hear mostly negative feedback (happy people tend not to comment), we do feel the balance of opinion is that people would like to see a change.

What we hear the most is that people want to go back to the round robin format with captains to lead the process. Sadly, that can’t happen. Last year we did not have enough volunteers to be captains on a regular basis. As a result, the relatively small number of volunteer captains got burned out doing this job all of the time. Most did not want to volunteer again. When we reached out for more volunteers there was a deafening silence. So, we tried to develop a new way of doing things that didn’t need captains to help guide the process. Well, we hear that many of you don’t like that either.

So, we have put our collective heads together to develop another alternative. This will affect all organized play and challenge courts. We encourage everyone who plays at the courts to read the attached materials to understand where we are headed.

Effective July 15th, we are eliminating organized play and challenge courts and changing 12 courts (4 are for the public) to drop-in play only. No captains are needed since there is no organized play. Drop-in play will run from 7:30 am to 1:30 pm, Monday through Friday. For those of you who play on the challenge courts, you will find many similarities with drop-in play. Courts will be dedicated to specific skill levels or groups of skill levels (e.g., 3.0/3.5 or 3.5/4.0). You will be able to “drop-in” to play on those courts any time you want five days a week, 6 hours a day. No signups are needed, play as much as you want.

For those of you used to the structure of round robin play, you are probably a little uncomfortable with the idea of this change. However, it has been very popular in many clubs and we ask you give it a chance before you render judgement. You will be playing with people at the same skill level as you normally do. If you come to play pickleball on the same days and at approximately the same time as you have in the past, you will most likely find many other players at your skill level ready to play. It is possible that popular times will be crowded. However, you can come a little earlier or later or on a different day and will probably find courts available. Please try it out. You may find it quite liberating to have few restrictions as to when you can play and/or leave.

As noted above, we are starting this on Monday, July 15th. There will be no organized play CourtReserve sign ups for July 15 or after. Our plan is to try this out for a couple of weeks and see what adjustments need to be made. We hope to have people at the courts to answer questions about the new playing model. That will need volunteers and our track record hasn’t been too good on that front, but we will try nonetheless. You will see a separate sign up request to help with explaining drop-in play to members.

Thank you in advance for your time to review the attachments HERE.