When are Indoor Courts Available for Pickleball at Odell Weeks?
Aiken Parks and Recreation serves a large community of various sports and other enthusiasts which compete for gym resources. Some of these activities are seasonal like basketball, garden show and Christmas show. The city of Aiken publishes an activity schedule for the Odell Weeks and Smith-Hazel gyms monthly which includes time for pickleball.
Aiken Pickleball members allocate this time and publishes a monthly schedule of pickleball play times. Open Play Mixed Levels and Open Play Court Designation typically are scheduled on weekday mornings and group reservations start mid-day and extend into the afternoon. Seasonally, pickleball times may be available during the evenings and Saturdays based on availability. Sign Up Genius an internet-based scheduling tool, is used by Aiken Pickleball to provide a method for local pickleball players to reserve court times. The pickleball monthly calendar and access to Sign Up Genius are available at the Aiken Pickleball website, www.aikenpickleball.com.
Why is there Court Designation in the First Place?
When indoor pickleball started in Aiken many years ago indoor courts were drop-in play for everyone for all available hours. As the pickleball community grew and players improved their skills, players wanted to play more competitive games and the paddle queue process alone did not provide a solution to align players by skill level.
The solution was Drop-in Play-Court Designation, where players of similar skills would play together in a more competitive environment. To accomplish this fairly, a rating process, unique to Aiken Pickleball, was implemented to assign ratings to players for court assignment during Drop-in Play-Court Designation times. This required the addition of high and low designation within each of the standard USAPB ratings of 2.0-3.5. These local ratings are used to organize players by court to play with others of the same skill set.
The court times at Odell Weeks include a combination of Drop-in Play Mixed Levels and Drop-in Play Court Designation to accommodate times where everyone plays together, and times for competitive games by local rating.
Private group play, typically in the afternoons, is also available to accommodate those players who want to play together at a scheduled time. A complete documentation of the Odell Weeks Guidelines is located at http://www.aikenpickleball.com/guidelines
Who Plays on Court 1 During Court Designated Time?
New players are arriving every month as the popularity of pickleball in Aiken continues to grow. When new players are playing during court designated play, they have exclusive access to court 1 and queue their paddles next to court 1. When there are not enough beginners for a game on court 1, experienced players should join the beginners to help them learn and build confidence in their game. As play continues on court 1 for new players, other experienced players should rotate through relieving those playing with the new players.
Note: When lessons are held on court 1, usually Fridays court 2 is exclusively designated for new players when they are present and will queue in a beginner queue on court 3 near the exit doors.
During the one hour of Drop-in Mixed Levels, new players will queue with the experienced players, queueing near court 3.
Who Plays on Court 6 During Court Designation?
During Drop-in court designation, court 6 is exclusively designated for our most advanced players. Often there is an insufficient number of players rated 4.0+ available to play on court 6. In these situations, players rated 3.5H should join the 4.0+ players and queue their paddles near court 6. When no 4.0+ players are available during Drop-in court designation court 6 is available for 3.5H players and court 5 would be available for 3.5 and 3.5L players. When not enough 3.5H players are available for a game, courts 4, 5 and 6 are available for all 3.5 players.
When Gym 2 Switches from Open Play to Court Designation Does Play Stop and Players Shift to their Designated Court?
Players should not start a new game just prior to 10am when there are players waiting to take the court (beginners on court 1 and 4.0s on court 6). Play on courts 2-5 should finish their game. Players rated 3.5 may choose to play on courts 4-6 or stay and play on courts 1-3. Please use common sense when this situation arises.
When Drop-in Court Designation is Active and there are not enough 3.5 players to fill Courts 4-6 Can Players rated Below 3.5 Rated Courts Use Courts 4-6?
This takes a bit of judgement, but yes, if there are too few 3.5 players, they should use courts 5-6 and queue their paddles near court 6 for play. Court 4 would be used by the 2.5-3.0H players based on the paddle queue located near Court 3.