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.
USAPA has recently realigned our pickleball regions, and the newly formed Mid-Atlantic Region will include South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Tennessee, Kentucky and Washington, DC.
This new region was formed by the continued growth of pickleball not only in our region, but along the whole east coast. South Carolina has formerly been part of the Atlantic South Region.
The new alignments will take effect on January 1st. Joe Borrelli (Raleigh, NC) will be our Mid-Atlantic Regional Director and Helen White (Washington, DC) will be our Assistant Regional Director.
The minutes of the December 2017 meeting have been posted. To read them, go to Formum/Leadership team on the main menu, or just click here.
All Odell Weeks players are encouraged to get a skill rating. These ratings are free, and are used to determine court distribution for court designation play.
To request a rating at the 1.0 - 3.5 levels, contact Ron Nelson. For ratings at the 4.0 - 5.0 levels, contact Tony Quick or Mo Garcia. These individuals may be contacted by clicking on the "Contact us" option on the main menu of this website.
The City Recreation & Parks has approved Grace Vance as a pickleball instructor at Odell Weeks. Many of you may already know Grace because during the last three years, Grace enjoyed working with Loretta teaching the beginner and intermediate pickleball clinics at Weeks.
Grace is a rated 4.0 player, and is available to give group clinics, drills, and private lessons to beginner, intermediate and advanced players.
Welcome aboard, Grace!
In the past, a week's available reserved court slots have been posted on the Friday 10 days prior to the beginning of the week. For example, the court slots for the week beginning on November 20th were posted on Sign-up Genius on Friday, November 10th. We have found that the 10-day advance was so far ahead of the playing date that too often schedules changed and individuals were making numerous updates or had to drop out, leaving a court improperly reserved or free only at the very last minute.
From now on, the available slots will be posted on the Thursday four days prior to the beginning of the week of reservations. For example, the reservation slots for the week beginning on December 11th will be posted to Sign-up Genius on Thursday, December 7th. We hope this change will provide a more current and accurate view for those attempting to sign up for reserved time.
We will test this for a period of time and revisit as necessary based on our experience with it and feedback from players.
Please e-mail Nancy or Jim if you have any questions.
Steve Miner has been named as the USAPA local ambassador to North Augusta. He will also promote pickleball in Edgefield County. Steve has been playing pickleball at Odell Weeks for over two years, so many of you know him. North Augusta and Edgefield County have good potential for new pickleball venues and players, so it is exciting that Steve plans to grow the sport in these areas.
Welcome aboard, Steve, and thank you for volunteering your time in making pickleball even more popular in our Midlands District!
It is with pleasure that we announce the appointment of Lisa Miner and Sally Fuller as the new directors for the Palmetto Indoor Pickleball Doubles Invitational Tournament 2018.
They are already hard at work. Mo Garcia and Keith Shaver will continue to mentor them through the process to assure a seamless transition. Nelson Spitnale will once again be the technical director responsible for operating the Pickleballtournaments.com software. Please join us in welcoming Lisa and Sally to this position, as we look forward to another successful tournament.