January 23rd Leadership Committee Meeting
1. Guests were welcomed by Joyce and it was stated that Aiken Pickleball would not exist without all of our community and support from volunteers. Guests and their comments are always welcomed. Guests and committee members present were: George Carr, Joyce Noland, Jerry Porter, Cheryl Breidenbach, Christina Thompson, Lori King, Brian Eberhard, John McCowan, Leslie McCowan, Cindy Ogden, Bob Fogle, Linda Blake, Jean Villa, Marian Garcia, Mo Garcia, Jody Madden, Faith Loeb, Nancy Fenstermacher, Debbie Rossetti, Heidi Abele, Jay Wilson, Judy DeGregorio, Stephen Donnelly, and Marjon Van Eyk.
2. When to do feedback from player representatives-Joyce. When AP first instigated the use of player reps, their comments were heard at the end of the meetings. This was changed because when there were longer meetings, the player reps never said anything probably because they just wanted the meeting to be over! Since AP thinks player reps are the ears to the players, which is the most important aspect of AP, their comments were moved to be at the beginning of the meetings. Joyce wondered if all wanted the player reps comments to remain at the beginning of the meetings and all agreed that that would be fine.
Comments from Representatives:
*Marian said that Funday Monday was very crowded today and was wondering if we could use Gym 1 for extra courts. Currently during Funday, the method is four players on, and then four off. The score is to 9. It has been suggested to do rally scoring, where every serve gets a point. It was stated that most do not like that type of scoring and it would cause more confusion. So the method will remain the same. It was suggested that maybe the rating sessions and other activities could be moved from Mondays to other days when the courts aren’t so crowded. Joyce stated that come the first of March we get Wednesdays and Saturdays back at GP. OW will have much more time given toward PB playing too. This is due to the basketball season ending. The problem of lack of courts will be eliminated as it always is come March. Jean Villa thinks using Gym 1 is still a grand idea. Mo will check with the city to see if Gym 1 is vacant on Mondays during February. Players can also check with Debra, at front desk, if this gym doesn’t seem to be used during Funday. Perhaps she can open the gym for additional courts.
*Jay stated that some people were confused on timing for Funday Monday. George had already corrected this error.
*Brian stated that the clock at GP is fixed and measuring sticks have been added to all bags. He also stated that there has been complaints about slippery floors. Nancy claimed that a couple of people even fell due to the slippery floor on Friday night play. Brian will talk to Maintenance Department at GP to get the floors cleaned.
*A new Food Harvest Box will be made for GP. The Food box is still present at OW. Mike Howard was again thanked for his instigation of this project and Jean Villa was thanked for the wonderful decor for the OW box.
3. Becoming a formal organization-Joyce. Recently the pros are out-weighing the cons on becoming a legal entity. Jerry Porter has been instrumental in helping with AP proceeding on becoming a legal organization. AP currently has an EIN and Jerry will proceed in getting a bank acct and 501c3.
4. Calendar Schedule Update-John and Brian. All is well. OW doing great job. GP is starting to do better. Smith Hazel is easy since we don’t use that gym much. February calendars are all set. Mo wanted to know if there was any value to state that outdoor courts are available for open play. Joyce said that “open play is available at outside facilities” is stated on the online website.
* It was suggested that AP needs a Virginia Acres representative so we can know what is wrong with the outdoor courts and notify OW Maintenance Department.
* George stated we should put positive comments in the OW comment box because they are getting lots of complaints , in general….probably not from AP players, but it is always good to hear positive comments since everyone tends to just comment when something is wrong. Since AP is happy with OW and how the PB courts are handled we should let them know.
* Jody stated that outdoor play has been packed. Jody wanted some organized play outside. Joyce stated that we are not allowed to do that currently. Perhaps in future we can approach the city again to get organized play. Mo stated that we will work on getting Eustis Park play too.
* Leslie and Steven will keep eye on the outdoor courts since they play there a lot and contact OW if something is needed. There are no rules for outside play, as far as time limits, reservations, designated play….only to be courteous and respectful to one another.
* Steven volunteered to be the player rep for Virginia Acres.
5. Gregg Park Round Robins-Joyce
The Summer Smash will be held on June 24 at GP. If there are other suggestions for the name of this Round Robin, please email Joyce or George with suggestions.
There will be 6 courts and 6 divisions. It was suggested that 2.5 and 4.0 divisions have Mixed Doubles and the 3.0 and 3.5 divisions have Men’s and Women’s doubles. Nancy, a new player, stated that she likes to sign up as a single because she doesn’t know enough other people to to partner up with. Other new players echoed her sentiment. Joyce explained why a scramble may be difficult because of the number of court limitations. Mo stated perhaps we can change venues. Joyce said the arrangements have already been made with GP and it would not be fair to back out of those said plans. This suggestion will be kept in mind for future tournaments though. It was stated that welcoming and ensuring new players get established in AP are one of our biggest concerns. If we had a scramble, it would be open for the first paid 8 players. Cindy stated calling 2.5s “Novice”. All thought this was appropriate.
*Volunteers. We will need volunteers for this RR but it is not necessary to decide on those today.
*Cost to play. We use PickleballBrackets.com. Cost jumped from $2 to $5. Plus there is a $1.50 Stripe fee. To play in the tournament last year, the cost $25. Joyce suggested increasing the cost to $30. Cheryl suggested $35. Majority thought $35 would be OK. Mo asked if Venmo could be an option for payments. Joyce stated that Venmo wasn’t part of Pickleball brackets.
6. Drop-In Play-George
A. Rally scoring. Already discussed and it’s a no go.
B. How many courts available in the mornings at OW are limited in the winter months, as they always have been due to the BB schedule. When March comes, there will be more than enough in-door court availability.
C. Enforcing court designation. At 10AM courts 5/6 are 3.5/4.0. Ct. 1 is the New Player Court. George suggested that an experienced player needs to help the new players. Experience players please contact George via email if interested helping out. A set time of 12:30-2PM on Tuesdays, will be used for the mixture of new players and experienced ones.
7. Reservations. Should we limit the number of sessions/day that a player may sign up for? Some players are reserving three/four back to back sessions. The question arose whether we should limit the number to two courts. George/Joyce will come up with a plan and present it. Joyce stated that in March this won’t be a problem because we will have more court time. (Again…..no BB). Cindy is going to try to get another 1/2 hour at Smith Hazel. That would allow two reservation times of 9-11 and 11-12:30. There is currently just one 9-12 which is a long time of play for most players.
8. March Madness Open on Saturday, March 11. First 24 players to sign up would play with no charge. The only requirement would be to just bring a ball. The sign up will be posted 2 weeks prior to March 11.
9.New Player Clinics and Practices. Next one will be Feb. 3 at OW. GP will have one in March. Clinics will not be held in February since we have no courts available on Saturdays.
10. Skill Rating sessions. Please encourage players to take advantage of this free offering. Most other PB clubs/organizations require a fee to be rated.
- Linda stated that “looking for games” on the AP website has 75 listed players. This list needs to be cleaned up because it is a very old listing. Joyce/George/Linda will look at this and get it updated.
-Linda also said that the drop in play did not work for beginners because they do not feel they are good enough and are not comfortable just dropping in. She has an idea to put a “Beginners-Contact-Games” sign up on the website. This is an easy fix and will be added.
11. Palmetto tournament-Bob Fogel. The date of this tourney has been moved from September to August 4,5,6. Beat the Heat will be held third weekend in August so our tournament will be a nice warm up for that tourney.
12. Next Social-Faith. Faith has volunteered to take the third spot vacancy of the Leadership Team; therefore, we will need another person to step in to help with Socials. AP has socials 3/4 times per year. Last October social’s was highly successful. Faith has suggested having another one in March on a Friday evening. Potluck style. Jean Villa will gladly help.
13.Financial Report-Jerry. He will open up a checking acct and get the AP money from Harve.
14.Ambassador Report-Mo. We still need Ambassador for Aiken Co. Anyone interested please contact Mo and he can explain the particulars. USAP is organizing league play. AP used to have 140 players for league prior to Covid. We continue to expand places to play such as Eustis Park and Hillview Church. S Aiken Presbyterian may have court availability too. Millbrook is talking about building a gym. Barnwell will build four courts with cushioned acrylic surfaces. They may also repurpose four other courts. Blackville is looking at repurposing courts too. PB continues to grow. Charter schools have leagues established. Next Friday there is a middle school tourney. 50 kids. 4-7pm. Please come and support. Augusta Middle School League will play February 3. Mo will check with city to verify that we can tape the middle tennis courts at Virginia Acres. Nets can be checked out at front desk at OW.
15. Final Comments. Player rep positions are vacant. Email George/Joyce if interested in filling these positions. AP is open to all new ideas. Thank you to all guests who attended. Good suggestions were presented by them.
Next Meeting will be March 6, 5:30
Respectively submitted by Cheryl Breidenbach