The Inter-Club question………..

Folks,  You might like to see the response we received after sending a statement to the lady who asked our collective opinion on whether the inter-club program should be under the aegis of the USAPA, with the suggestion of a strictly competitive format, ratings, necessary USAPA memberships and fees, etc. First, the statement we sent, and then the response received yesterday.

Our Statement: “We think that much of the value of the inter-club events, that you’ve so well facilitated, would be lost by converting it into a tightly-structured series of regulated events, focused on recorded competitions versus friendly games. When we first held an inter-club at Indian Ridge a couple of years ago, we started to keep and compile the scores of each match. Then we realized that it did not fit the round-robin format we were using 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. In most events since, we have either borrowed or loaned players to fill short rosters or gender gaps, which would lead to frustration and a default in measured competitions. Also, in order to help smaller clubs with limited numbers of available players, we put together a couple of three-clubs-combined  events that went very well and allowed these smaller clubs to participate (something we should try to facilitate in the future). We also 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.

Having just canvased our member-pickleballers for their opinion on this issue, I can report unanimous thinking that inter-club events are “for fun and camaraderie,” as one member put it, and “the round-robin style makes it much more friendly and social,” as another put it. It’s not that our members shy away from competition. We’ve joined in the inaugural 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. Then too, a number of our members are competing in local USAPA-sanctioned tournaments and round-robin competitions. 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. Perhaps we can discuss all this further at the planning meeting in November.
Hope this helps,”

The Response: “Thank you Rodney. I agree with you all the way along. I love your idea of having a three club participation also. There is a possibility I might have tow different inter club participations. One structured and one not. i will keep you posted.
Once again, thank you for your great information.”

While the response seems to agree with the current inter-club approach, there’s the ambiguity of the “I might have tow (sic) different inter club participations…” We’ll wait and see, of course, but we’d have little trouble doing our own inter-club program, as we do virtually all of the arrangements now, have the contacts, etc. Stay tuned.