THE XMAS CACTUS IS NOW IN BLOOM AND HERALDS THE XMAS SEASON AS WELL AS YEAR END
Isin’t it interesting that the Xmas Cactus plant with its lovely pink flowers blooms in November which puts it in a position to bring to our attention that the fun holiday season is upon us again when families gather and gifts are exchanged . It also lets us know that the end of year 2015 is upon us.
This is a good time to reflect on the year past and what may be in store for us next year in our WORLD OF PICKLEBALL.
First, many Xmas parties will take place over the next three weeks – so if you have one, please take a photo and submit it to Brian Kilpatrick ( ) and we will try to post as many as possible after Xmas. Vancouver will be having its first tournament on Dec 15 – a social , preceeded by many other Tournaments in the Province of BC – some sanctioned , using USA rules and some using BC rules – self ranking or round robin or drop Flyte methods . In general, the USA is focused on Tournaments, Canada on Recreational play . In the USA play is mainly outdoor, in Canada play is mainly indoor in multimillion dollar Rec centers. We are fortunate to have the support of these Recreation Centers who have welcomed Pickleball as an additional income stream for them. We must compete with all other sports that use these public facilities so , the number of times we are given, depends on our success and that of the other sports located in that facility. In General terms we have a template that states we would like to start with a Day Time, an Evening time and a weekend time . The daytime could be Senior, the evening time system.Value and the Weekend time Open. This gives the Rec center the option to stagger the prices they charge.
This past summer we had a major shift in emphasis caused in part by our success in many of ” Pods of Activity in the province ” See article on www.bcpickleball.com . Lineups of 1-2 hrs prior to play times in various areas of the province plus number ” caps ” in play areas, plus many members being turned away or forced to wait another hour before entering the play area meant we needed to seek other solutions to the overcrowding problem. Those with adjacent outdoor tennis facilities were the first logical outgrowth . Some 80 new courts have been added in 2015 to the outdoor landscape and signage saying ” This is a shared pickleball / tennis facility with designated times after which either of the two sports may use these courts” or facsimile of same.We have a template for these outdoor courts which include the following : 1- a practice board 2- lights 3-a hopper 4- a broom for debris 5- a squeegee 6- lock boxes 7-portable sets 8- a safety kit for scratches and scrapes 9- donated unloved paddles 10. Signage with rules of engagement , times and separate signage facing outward to the public which says simply ‘PICKLEBALL ‘ 11- A Bench . Of course not all of these ” must have’s ” will occur at once but over time – yes. They make the space welcoming to the public and if the seniors could provide unloved and unwanted paddles and balls ( maybe a 1.00 fee to play and pay for equipment ) we will have a workable outdoor system – dedicated and shared as we have done with badminton for ten years.
Well what is in store for next year ? 2016 appears to hold promise of perhaps several provincial Tournaments . ( Quebec has 3 per year ) I see more recreational tournaments as our playing group is largely, young retireds and older. I see a major impetus to recruit youth 19-55 with more after – work times for them to play. I see a greater effort in the elementary schools to teach our sport joining other sports that do the same. High schools average 12 P/ E teachers and would take a month to teach the whole school – so not practical for us at this time. With this group we need to work with school board co-ordinators and attend their EDUCATIONAL DAYS and do DEMO’s if possible.
I would be remiss if I did not comment on the happenings with one National group www.pickleballcanada.org that I started, ran, and funded for 1/12 years. Recently , with 20 or so members ( 10 of whom were board members ) in Abbotsford, a group from the Okanagan arrived with 600 proxy votes that asked for a removal of the board and reallocation of the executive and ambassadors. I believe the members have a right to an explanation. If it is that they have been too cozy with the USAPA and paid fees to a former head of same, while not growing , only taking advantage of what was already there in Canada – then we need to point this organization in the direction that I originally pointed it to – NORTH – GO CANADA ! We are already the largest public program in the world ………
At this point, I would like to thank all those who have helped make BC a leader in Pickleball in Canada in the past year . Also I would like to thank Marcel Lemieux – President of Pickleball Quebec for his reliable support and advice as well as Brooke Siver ( Manta Sports ) and Brent Johner ( www.racquetnetwork.com) two major Canadian racquet networks that sponsor and support our efforts in BC. I hope that 2016 will see more co-operation between the provinces, the Provincial Teams, the National Team to work in a cohesive manner.
My Best Wishes To You and Yours,
For a great holiday Season
Bc pickleball Assoc www.bcpickleball.com
ph – 604-536-9602