New Sign-up Tool - We are moving to the SignupGenius application for our pre-registration for open play sessions. It's fairly easy to use. You will find the link to the HCPA sign-up page on the Organized Play page. I created a tutorial which can be found under the Members menu item as well as the link below. It provides a brief demonstration of how to use our SignupGenius page as well as how to delete your entries. Once you display the HCPA SignupGenius page, you can bookmark it within your browser to go back to it, which should make it easier to access. The application also works on your phone and ipad. The following link provides access to the tutorial I put together demonstrating it's use. The tutorial is also listed under the Members menu item. If you have any issues or questions, please let me know via email - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chapelgate Gym Update - I spoke with fellow member Jim McKee, the executive pastor from Chapelgate regarding the use of the Chapelgate gym for indoor pickleball on Monday nights. Unfortunately, Chapelgate has once again shutdown their use of the gym for indoor activities, other than school functions, due to the spike in COVID-19 infections. Jim informs me that the Church won't consider indoor activities until the infection rate goes below 5%. So our hope to have access to the gym for indoor pickleball is once again put on hold due to the pandemic.
Looking for another distraction opportunity - check out Julie Issac's forum post within the Members Discussion Forum.
2021 Pickleball Rule Changes - Fellow member Peggy Gaegler sent me an article that explains some of the upcoming rule changes for 2021. I have posted a link to this article under the menu item "PB News". You can also access this article via the link below. I recommend you review these rule changes since this may impact your game.
Indoor Pickleball - Unfortunately, there are not many options for our association to play indoors in a cost effective manor. Previous alternatives have been eliminated due to policy changes. We lost access to the Howard County Community College due to increased insurance requirements. We lost access to the Howard County Public School System's facilities due to a change in fee policy where we had to pay room fees for each room used. Add in the COVID-19 pandemic and we end up with limited indoor options. One alternative open to the public is the Howard County Recreation and Parks Open Play where you can register to play at the Meadowbrook Athletic Center. Another alternative if you are a member of Columbia Association is to rent a lined tennis court at their indoor facility in Long Reach. Finally, periodically the 40 West Tennis Club offers indoor play on Friday nights. This Friday night will be the last one of 2020 and they will start again on January 15, 2021. For more information on 40 West, contact Sharon Tiahrt (email@example.com). If you are aware of any other indoor alternative that you would like to share with our members please add a topic to our Member Discussion Forum. When you log onto our website you will see a list of recent topics posted to the forum.
New sign-up tool - Due to limitations with the Doodle application, I will be utilizing a new sign-up tool for pre-registration for our Pickleball open play sessions. We will be trying out the free version of the SignupGenius application so we will have to put up with the advertisements on the page. You will still be accessing this tool via the Organized Play page which will contain one link for all sessions. However, you should be able to bookmark the link so that you can then access it without going to the Organized Play page. At present, I intend to continue to update this weekly on Sunday mornings and will also update the published date on the home page once I've added the new sessions. However, this may change in the future as I learn to use the tool better.
The tool allows each person to access the web page without establishing a SignupGenius account. You can access this application via your computer, phone or pad. Once you sign-up for one or more pickleball sessions, you will receive an email confirmation. Be sure to save this email because this is the avenue to deleting your sign-up entry if you are unable to play. However, if for some reason you are unable to locate that email, the application provides a means to receive another email with the appropriate link to delete your entry. As with any change, there will be a learning curve to deal with, however, I believe the application is fairly easy to use so please be patient. I intend to create a tutorial on the use of this tool for our purpose and will post this under the menu item "Assoc. News" as well as send out an announcement once it's published. We will be switching to this new tool this weekend although with the weather as it is, there may not be as many play opportunities.
Impact of cold weather coming - In checking with the session coordinators regarding the upcoming cold front coming in, most have decided to cancel their sessions. It appears that as a general rule, if the weather temperatures are less than 40 degrees then the sessions will be cancelled. We will be taking this on a week by week basis for now adjusting to the weather.
Adjusting the Organized Play Schedule - As we move into winter and colder weather we will be adjusting our schedule and losing some open play sessions. At the request of the coordinator for the Late Sat. Intermediate/Advanced session, we are cancelling this session due to reduced sign-ups. The Saturday Advanced session will be moved up to it's time slot. Come January, we will be losing our coordinator for Tuesday and Friday sessions due to snowbirds flying south. If other members feel the need for the continuation of these sessions, they are welcome to volunteer and weather permitting we can continue to offer these sessions. If you would like to volunteer as a session coordinator, please contact Earl via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Training Opportunities - Sonny Tannan, a fellow association member and Pickleball Coach, shared the following information on two indoor pickleball training camps.
3 hour Intermediate Pickleball Camp Flyer - 121120
3 hour Advanced Pickleball Camp Flyer - 121820
Missing HCPA Balls - Our association is currently supplying balls for the PB sessions. Periodically, some of these balls walk away in pockets or bags of our members by accident. Please check to make sure you are taking your own balls rather than the association's balls. If you do have one of our balls, please bring it back and give it to our session coordinators. These balls will have the initials HCPA marked on two sides.
Our Association has a Facebook page that I use to share pickleball news of all kinds from many sources. I also use the page to pass on information about improving your game. Check it out at www.facebook.com/howardcountypickleball Duane St. Clair
Found - A star wars cap was found at Locust Park. See Lost & Found forum for details.
Black Friday Play Session for Advanced Players - Ji-Hon has volunteered to run an advanced session on Friday Nov. 27th at 1 pm for advanced players. As usual we are limiting this to the first 24 players who sign up. Please maintain social distancing and wear a mask when not playing. Use the following link to access the sign-up doodle.
Association notifications - Just wanted to remind our members that if you need to access a previous notification received via email, you can go to the Members / Announcements menu item and then scroll through the announcements section. The majority of email notifications are posted to this web page.
Rule change on let serves - Beginning in 2021, there will be no such thing as a let serve that calls for a replay of the serve. If the served ball clips the top of the net and otherwise lands within the correct Service Court, it is a legal serve and the ball is in play. This change was made because sometimes it is hard to determine if a ball lightly touched the net. Submitted by Duane StClair.
Turkey Tournament - There are two remaining slots for the fun intermediate Turkey Pickler Tournament to be held on Sunday 1 pm at Locust Park. If you would like to sign up use the following link.