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By Mike Beckner
Our Pickledilly Donate Day last week was an unqualified success thanks wholly to your great generosity and unfailing enthusiasm. Yesterday morning I accompanied our leaders Nancy and Jim to transfer your donations to ACTS. Ms. Karen Perry, Operations Manager for ACTS, was very gracious in expressing her gratitude for your efforts on their behalf. The four heaping grocery carts (photos below) will go a long way in feeding local families who desperately need the support.
Thank you all again for your kindness, both on and off the court. You guys are the greatest! Hopefully this is just the beginning of a long tradition of the Pickledillys giving back to our community!
We are sorry to hear of the passing of one of our players, Charles "Gil" Mullins. An obituary can be found in the April 15 edition of the Aiken Standard. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Just a reminder that we list upcoming tournaments on the "Tournaments" page of this site, which is accessible via the main menu. If you know of an upcoming tournament, let us know and we will be glad to list it.
We welcome all winter visitors. If you have been rated in another state or locale, and you plan to be in Aiken for only a few months, please contact one of the player representatives for that level. (Contact information for the representatives cn be found on the "Contacft us" page of this website.) A representative will play a few games with you to determine if your rating is in line with our local levels.
Congratulations to Bill, Al, Bobbi, Dick, and Ray, our honored guests at Friday night's social. These five players are all 80+ years old. We are so proud of them and hope that we are all playing pickleball at 80. We wish you many more happy, healthy years.
We have been told by the city that some nets are not getting taken down after last play each day. It is imperative that ALL nets be taken down each day.
Please check the calendar to see if you are the last session for that day and if there is anyone playing on the court after you. If you are the last one in the gym and a net is still up that you did not use you MUST take it down. In addition, we have been advised that there have been days when we did not stop playing at the end of our provided time. We must stop on schedule and take nets down promptly.
Thanks to everyone for doing their part so we all can enjoy the gym.
Rasheka Gaines was recently named as the Recreation Program Supervisor at Odell Weeks, replacing Chrissey Miller. Rasheka has been employed at Odell Weeks by the City of Aiken Parks & Recreation for many years, so her face is familiar to many of us! Our pickleball players and our program will surely benefit under Rasheka's supervision. Congratulations, Rasheka!
To all Pickledillys and pickleballers at Odell Weeks Center in Aiken:
Happy New Year. We'd like to pass on a few reminders as we work to keep the maximum number of courts operating smoothly for our large number of players, especially during the winter months.
1. Reserved Courts/Sign-Up Genius: As we provided in a broadcast message to all players in November (see http://www.aikenpickleball.com/CRPSchedule), we are experimenting with a process for court reservation that allows us all to reserve courts beginning on the Thursday prior to the week when courts will be used. In fairness to all, don't hold a court until you have agreement from four players to play on that particular day and time. Please note also that opening the courts through sign-up genius is a manual process - on each Thursday we must sit down at a computer and make them available to all. It is always done on a Thursday (fortunately so far no unforeseen circumstances to prevent that), but the exact time does change depending on availability of the volunteer scheduler. Thank you for your understanding.
2. Court Designation: As you know we are attempting to get all our players rated so we can best distribute courts during "designated court" playing times. The more players at a certain level who actually come to play on a regular basis, the more courts that will be assigned to that playing level during designated court time. If you are not shown on our website as a rated player (see http://www.aikenpickleball.com/player-list-public), please schedule a time to be rated or re-rated through our rating process. The upcoming rating schedule is posted on our website (see http://www.aikenpickleball.com/January2018Ratings). Currently, it happens to be every Wednesday (in addition to one Friday) in January. Contact Ron Nelson to get scheduled and/or to ask questions. If you are not rated, you are assigned to play on the 2.5 court(s) until you are rated. Anyone with a temporary rating that has expired must get re-rated. Note that you may be available for an "express" rating that can be used for previously rated players. Above all, please be courteous of all players - we ask that you don't put them in the uncomfortable position of asking you to leave one court to move to another. If you are uncertain, please refer to the website under "Guidelines" (see http://www.aikenpickleball.com/guidelines) or to the charts that are posted on the pickleball bulletin board in the Gym 2 lobby.
3. Command of the court: We have some excellent players who seldom lose depending on their opponents on a particular day. Please remember if there are players waiting, you can stay on the court for only two games and then you must get back in the queue. Thanks for your understanding.
4. "I just want to play.": We know, and have heard from several of you, that you wish there were no guidelines so you could just walk in at any time to play with anyone on any court. We try to get close to this by providing the first hour of most every available day for open play and by setting aside reserved courts most days. But we also know this doesn't work for everyone. We strive to find an optimal solution for sub-optimal conditions - there are too few courts and there are just too many of us that like to play pickleball!
5. "How can I get things changed?": Please know there is a pickleball leadership team that meets monthly to address difficult issues (see 1 thru 4 above) and to make the pickelball experience in Odell Weeks and greater Aiken the best it can be for all of us. We likely don't think of all possible solutions. Here's where you come in. Please provide your skill-level representative (see chart at.http://www.aikenpickleball.com#OrganizationalChart) your thoughts on how we can make it better. We will listen.
Until we have unlimited courts and times to meet every situation and schedule, we hope you will understand we have one of the best pickleball situations for a community of our size of anywhere around. Imagine if we were relegated to only outdoor courts during this current cold spell. Until it's perfect, we thank you for your understanding and perseverance.