- Why should I join the association?
One of the primary reasons people join is the multitude of open play sessions we offer. Our club has a member only section within our website that provides access to a variety of content available only to current members including our schedule listed on the Organized Play page. The club hosts 20+ 2-hour outdoor sessions weekly (weather permitting) where members can play doubles. The Organized Play page lists all these sessions along with the date, time, and location. We furnish the nets, balls and a first aid kit. A volunteer session coordinator works to set up, manage and take down the equipment with the assistance of the attending members. We communicate when the sessions must be cancelled or postponed due to weather or other circumstances. We also offer specific communications via both our website and a mobile application about our activities and news about Pickleball in our community.
We also offer separate events on occasion, such as tournaments, pickleball socials, clinics, and leagues. Leagues are additionally available from Howard Co. Recreation and Parks (HCRP), Columbia Association and other organizations, and we try to publish them as we hear about them. We are partnering with HCRP to offer instruction for beginners for a nominal fee for those who want to learn about the sport. We offer drill sessions as part of our organized play schedule to improve players skills. We also have a PB Tutor (ball machine) that can be rented for $20 a day for practice. Periodically, we obtain special discounts for pickleball products, and we have a "Member Deals" page that provides access to these discounts. In addition, we advocate for additional pickleball facilities with both government organizations as well as other private organizations. Our association has a lot of fun-loving people who welcome newcomers. All that for the nominal fee of $30 per person, $45 per couple or $60 per family. Overall, we think it's a good deal.
- Can non-members play during your open play sessions?
As an association we like to be hospitable to people who are not members in hopes that if they live in the area, they will become a member. We also get some friends or relatives of members from out of town who are looking for games or finding out more about the game and we try to extend the courtesy of letting them play with us. It is up to the volunteer session coordinators to determine whether they will accept non-members. Overall, we try to be welcoming to non-members as best we can.
- Where do you play?
We use various outdoor courts in Howard County. We try to play year-round including offering indoor opportunities in the winter but this depends on if we can locate a facility willing to rent us space for a reasonable price. If we do find an indoor facility, we typically charge a nominal fee per person to offset the rental fee.
- Will I be playing people with similar skills?
We designate open play sessions by skill levels: Novice 1, Novice 2, Intermediate, Intermediate/Advanced, Advanced and All Skills. Members self-rate themselves based on the guidelines we provide within the members only section of our website. This allows members the ability to play against others with similar skills or move up to the next level for more challenging play. We attempt to balance the skill set sessions to offer the various sessions, but this depends on volunteers willing to run these sessions.