Secret Vote Leads To Heated Pickleball Talks – One Pickleball Club’s Plight

North Carolina Pickleball

Around The Nation – Green Valley AZ

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The GVR Board of Directors approved a nearly $1.2 million contract to build eight pickleball courts in an 11-1 vote Wednesday, but the approval came in a secret ballot that drew open dissent from the crowd.Board president Charles Sieck’s motion to vote on whether the contract should be decided by secret ballot was met with jeers and outbursts of “No!” from many of the 65 people in attendance. The vote to use a secret ballot was approved, 9-3. After the meeting, Sieck said he made the motion after four directors privately asked the vote be done by secret ballot. Sieck, who was elected in 2018 on a platform that called for more transparency and open governance, conceded a secret ballot may have sent the wrong message.

But Sieck said potential blowback from those in the Pickleball Club was a legitimate reason to call for a secret ballot and it was not a move toward secrecy.

“It’s very rare that we would ever do something like that,” Sieck said. “But because of the constituency of the Pickleball Club, they are very vocal and they attack anything that appears to be non-pro pickleball. For this particular circumstance, yep, it flies in the face of transparency.”

Sieck asked the audience and those in the Pickleball Club not to send streams of emails to directors as well, which was met with laughs and jeers. While Sieck is not opposed to GVR members communicating with board members, what Sieck called a coordinated effort by the Pickleball Club resulted in dozens of emails to directors, he said. Sieck did note that 99 percent of the emails were civil.

“If somebody really wants to have an impact and get the board’s attention, set up a meeting with the board,” he said. “Invite us and we’ll come listen. That means a lot as opposed to clogging up my inbox.”

The secret ballot and calls to stop coordinated email campaigns weren’t the only items to cause the audience to become cantankerous at times.

Extra money?

A $100,000 donation from Freeport-McMoRan was accepted to be used, in part, to build restrooms for the pickleball center on land near Canoa Preserve Park. Since GVR now has the Freeport funds, the audience asked directors why they’re not going to use money that frees up to build additional courts.

The board did not offer a clear reason why more money would not be redirected to the pickleball center during the meeting, upsetting several people in the audience. After the meeting, Sieck said that while the Freeport donation frees up GVR funds, it does not necessarily mean the money must be redirected to the Pickleball Club.

“I’m not exaggerating, there’s 800 people in the Pickleball Club, 24,000 members in GVR, so 3 percent,” Sieck said. “And we’re spending over a million dollars on them. So, from a proportion standpoint, we’re spending more on the Pickleball Club. On a per-member basis, it’s about two or three times what we have (on) anybody else.”

A presentation by WSM Architects prior to the vote said more courts could be added at the estimated bid rate if a decision is made by Sept. 1. Four more courts would run $85,000; eight more would be an additional $166,000.

The pickleball contract was awarded to Tucson-based Division II Construction Co. Inc. General Contractors and Denver-based court sub-contractor, Renner.

The new pickleball center should break ground in mid-July and courts are expected to be ready in January.Despite the tension surrounding the construction of the pickleball center over the years, it is not the outbursts, emails or conflicts that have bothered Sieck the most, he said. “The most embarrassing thing … is that it took four years to do it,” Sieck said. “The Pickleball Club, on one side, I can see why they’re raising hell. I would, too. They’ve been waiting four years for this. They had it coming. But somewhere along the line you have to be fair to the other 95 percent as well.”   Source – Green Valley News

Naples Florida – US OPEN FACILITY EXPANSION ANNOUNCED Today

North Carolina Pickleball

Special Atlantic South News – Naples, Florida

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New Total of 64 Courts and a New Championship Stadium

East Naples Community Park is set to receive $23.4 million in upgrades, including more pickleball courts, a welcome center and a 3,500-seat championship stadium.

The park, which has become a pickleball mecca in recent years, has hosted the U.S. Open Pickleball Championships since 2016 and its existing 54 courts are frequented by daily players.

The project’s first phase, which will cost approximately $1.8 million, will upgrade electrical, water and wireless access and add 10 pickleball courts by April 2020, according to a master plan county commissioners approved this week.

East Naples Community Park is set to receive $23.4 million in upgrades, including more pickleball courts, a welcome center and a 3,500-seat championship stadium.

The park, which has become a pickleball mecca in recent years, has hosted the U.S. Open Pickleball Championships since 2016 and its existing 54 courts are frequented by daily players.

The project’s first phase, which will cost approximately $1.8 million, will upgrade electrical, water and wireless access and add 10 pickleball courts by April 2020, according to a master plan county commissioners approved this week.

East Naples Community Park is set to receive $23.4 million in upgrades, including more pickleball courts, a welcome center and a 3,500-seat championship stadium.

The park, which has become a pickleball mecca in recent years, has hosted the U.S. Open Pickleball Championships since 2016 and its existing 54 courts are frequented by daily players.

The project’s first phase, which will cost approximately $1.8 million, will upgrade electrical, water and wireless access and add 10 pickleball courts by April 2020, according to a master plan county commissioners approved this week.

Source – Naples Daily News

Tennis/Pickleball – Comparing Applies and Oranges

North Carolina Pickleball

Special Coastal Breeze News – Naples Florida

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The sports of tennis and pickleball are somewhat unique in comparison to most other sports and while there are distinct differences in each of the two games, they share a lot in common.

Let’s consider a few of the similarities and differences between the games of tennis and pickleball.

Both sports take place on the same dimensionally shaped court, but the courts are different in size.

Both courts have baselines, sidelines and service lines, but the location of the service boxes are reversed.

Tennis has an overhead service motion and pickleball has an underhanded service motion.

Tennis has two serves and pickleball only has one.

Both sports have their own unusual/unique, but different scoring formats.

So we are in agreement, that even though there are some differences, such as the size of the court, the scoring format and the execution of the strokes, the two sports actually have a lot in common.

Both can be played as singles or doubles.

There is a net dividing the two sides of the court.

We are required to make contact with a ball using a racquet or a paddle and even though the rules vary, we are allowed to strike the ball either on the bounce or in the air.

And with all of the strategies that we can learn to apply in both of these games, (as I tell my kids in my juniors programs), keep it simple, just be the last one to hit the ball over the net and inside the lines and you will win!

So why has pickleball become such a popular and trendy sport over tennis?

As a self-proclaimed lifelong player of both sports, (for what it’s worth), here are some of my beliefs as to why pickleball is such a popular game.

First and foremost, a large part of the popularity of the sport of pickleball has to do with the social aspect of the way the game is played.

Unless you are playing in some sort of organized event, tennis basically consists of four players on a single court, competing together for a couple of hours.

However, in pickleball you are rotating courts,  as well as partners and opponents, on a continual basis and even if you are waiting for a court to open up you are socializing with your fellow players on the sidelines. This whole process creates somewhat of a meet and greet atmosphere for the players.

Secondly, the learning curve of conquering the fundamentals required to compete in the sport of pickleball (for rookie athlete players) is much easier to achieve than in the sport of tennis.

In addition to that, many lifelong, high-level tennis players have expressed to me that they are taking up pickleball because of the mobility they have on the smaller court. This mobility now permits/allows someone who has been a 4.0 to a 4.5 level tennis player to be able to compete on the same aggressive level of play which they/we/I could in our younger years.

This is a fact that I personally and wholly agree with!

As we age, the size of the tennis court, along with the speed of the ball, and the length and weight of swinging the racquet, simply becomes too much in regards to space and time.

The slower bouncing ball and the lighter weight paddle, along with the smaller court space in pickleball, creates an environment which simply does not require the radical/extreme physical punishment on our bodies we experience when playing high-level competitive tennis. This results in less impact on the joints and muscles, which leads to less physical recovery time between playing, and allows players to go out and compete on a daily basis in pickleball.

It is my personal opinion that unfortunately, it’s probably already “too little too late,” but the USTA needs to officially endorse some type of senior tennis ball, just as they have done with 10-and-under youth tennis to slow the game down for senior players and somehow try to retain aging tennis players from wholly converting to the sport of pickleball.

At any rate, the sport of pickleball continues to grow in popularity for all types of athletes in all generations. It’s a great way to get your competitive mojo going, get in a good workout and make some new friends!

Wayne Clark is a professional tennis instructor with over 25 years experience coaching players on all levels of the game. Wayne is also qualified in pickleball  instruction and is on staff as an instructor with The Pickleball Academy of Southwest Florida at East Naples Community Park. Contact Coach Wayne by email at coachwayneclark@aol.com, or by phone or text at 239-450-6161

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National Senior Games Promoting Health, Fitness and Fun

North Carolina Pickleball

2019 Senior Games – A Fitness Promoter

This year, 13,712 amateur athletes age 50 and older from the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico will compete in 20 sports ranging from track and field to badminton, pickleball, table tennis and horseshoes. The number of participants is up 30 percent from two years ago, when the biennial event — the world’s largest Olympic-style multi-sport competition for people 50 and up — took place in Birmingham, Ala.

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Stanley Moulton, 85, will be representing New Hampshire this week in the 16th National Senior Games in Albuquerque, N.M. A lifelong runner, Moulton has qualified to compete in two road races, three track events and two power walks.

A main reason for the surge of interest is not what you’d expect, said Del Moon, media and communications director for the National Senior Games: More than to other venues, athletes around the country are eager to head to Albuquerque, a vacation-like destination that has gone all out to attract pickleball visitors.

Pickleball

Another big draw is pickleball — a sport spawned in 1965 from tennis, badminton and ping pong — which pulls participants of all ages, including from senior centers. “More people make new friends just by coming to play pickleball,” said Jim Edinger, a coach and former New Hampshire Senior Games director, who has watched its popularity grow.

‘If you rest, you rust’

Athletic competition for middle-aged and older adults has gained steam since the late 1960s. That’s when “Aerobics,” a book by Dr. Kenneth Cooper, an Air Force physician, introduced adults interested in health and longevity to a range of heart-pumping options, and the lasting benefits of exercise — including preserving brain function.

“Before then, in the 1950s and early 1960s, when you were out running, they probably thought you escaped some mental institution,” Moulton said. “Older people didn’t run very often.”

A sport for everyone’: City of Aiken expands pickleball offerings

North Carolina Pickleball

Special South Carolina Edition

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When Michael and Loretta Beckner moved to Aiken from Virginia in 2010, they were surprised that no one in the community had ever played, or even heard of, pickleball.

“When we learned that not only was there no pickleball in Aiken, but that no one had ever heard of it, Loretta announced that we obviously could not stay here and would have to move,” Michael said. “I agreed but suggested that before we packed up again, we approach the (City of Aiken) Parks, Recreation and Tourism (Department) to ask if they would consider starting a program.”

The department set up a public demonstration for the Beckners at the H. Odell Weeks Activities Center. Over 90 people showed up to watch them practice pickleball. The Aiken Pickledillys were formed not long after, and they play competitively with other pickleball teams from throughout the CSRA.

The Beckners first became “hooked” on pickleball when Loretta, a tennis player, had to undergo shoulder surgery. The Beckners found pickleball to be a competitive sport that was easy on the body.

“Pickleball is a sport for everyone,” Michael said. “It has proven to be of tremendous value to those people who were either not very strong in other sports or who thought they were no longer competitive, to be introduced to pickleball. The number of people who have credited pickleball with getting them off their couches and out having fun again is almost overwhelming.”

Pickleball clinics have increased in number over the past 10 years. The sport is especially popular with seniors, although it can be played competitively by all age groups.

The sport was first invented in 1965 by the Pritchard, Bell and McCallum families on Bainbridge Island in Washington, according to the U.S. Pickleball Association. One theory about the sport’s name is that it came from the McCallum’s dog, Pickles, who would always try to run away with the ball.

In 2013, with the City of Aiken’s support, the Pickledillys held their first tournament in Aiken. Around 180 players from 10 states participated.

Pickleball has grown exponentially in Aiken since then. There are now around 250 regular players in Aiken and eight pickleball courts at Virginia Acres Park and Eustis Park. Pickleball lines have also been drawn on local tennis courts, and regular games are held on indoor courts at Odell Weeks. Annual tournaments are still held at Odell Weeks every September.

The City of Aiken is launching two new pickleball offerings this summer. A youth pickleball program will be held for ages 10-16 starting June 18. This program will run Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon at Eustis Park, 1001 Edgefield Ave. N.W. The cost is $5 for city residents and $8 for non-city residents. This program is ideal for beginner-level players.

A pickleball dance workout program for ages 18 and older will also be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Eustis Park. The cost is $10 for city residents and $12 for non-city residents.

These will be the first pickleball classes held at Eustis Park.

For more information about the city’s pickleball programs, call 803-643-2181. For more information about the Aiken Pickledillys, visit aikenpickleball.com.

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