We just received the email below from the lady who has organized the inter-club “league” that we’ve played in these last two years. She’s looking for reactions and guidance from the dozen or so participating clubs, having been contacted by pickleball’s national governing body, the USAPA, about their assuming control of the inter-club league. We have some definite ideas expressed below about the current functioning, control and value of this rather informal league. Please read her plea, then the response we’ve drafted below that. Then let us have your agreement or other thinking, before we finally respond, by using the email link at the very bottom.
“I need some input for 2019 season. There are several people putting together a pay for play league next season. Also the USAPA has contacted me to take my intra club* under their umbrella. What that means is I would have to follow their guidelines, charge a fee, keep records, show winners and losers, take results and spend many many hours working their system. I cannot spend that much time without compensation and maybe help from the outside.
Do you think your players would pay a fee to continue with the intra club play in 2019? Do you think they want to know how they did in each match? Do you think they want to join the USAPA which they would have to do if I go with them. My intra club wasn’t a serious event but it will become more serious if I take the next step. By next year will payers be more serious and want to take the next step with me.
Please call, text or email me with suggestions. I need your help.”
“We think that much, if not all, of the value of the inter-club events that you’ve so well facilitated through the “league” would be lost by converting it to a tightly-structured, quasi-commercial, series of regulated events focused on recorded competition versus friendly games. When we first held an inter-club at Indian Ridge, we started to keep and compile the scores of each match. Then we realized that it did not fit the format we were using: a round-robin on each court to maximize the mixing of players at similar skill levels. It was really a get-to-know-you format that provided the experience of playing with and against different styles and tactics. Also, we started having a social hour after playing that has been well-received, expanding personal acquaintances, and further “humanizing” the event with another club’s members.
We now have the Desert Pickleball Men’s and Women’s Doubles Leagues that provide the opportunity for the structured competition, and it’s planned to add a mixed doubles league next year, as well. So, we at Indian Ridge encourage you to continue to lead the inter-club program in its current form. As we proposed before, we’d be happy to support
your efforts in this regard, and look forward to the 2019 season.”