Palo Alto One Step Closer to Permanent Pickleball Courts

video:  https://abc7news.com/5277174/

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) — No pickles are needed to play the game of Pickleball. The sport is considered the fastest growing, across the U.S. All it takes is a paddle, whiffle ball and a net.

 

“They do say it’s tennis, badminton and ping pong,” Monica Engel Williams said.  Williams is the Palo Alto Pickleball Club President. On Monday, she showed what it takes to prepare for a match at Mitchell Park.

Blue lines across a dual-use court currently dictate where makeshift pickleball courts begin, and where permanent tennis courts stand.

“Right now, we have nets that we have to take out of the bag, put the nets up, take them down, put them away,” Williams described.

She explained these are tasks that can be a tall order for some seniors, and simply extra work for others.  “In two years, we figured we had lifted seven-tons of nets, because they’re like 23 pounds each,” Williams said.

Pickleball enthusiasts in Palo Alto have spent about 2.5-years pushing for permanent courts at the park. Tennis players have pushed back.

However, the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission recently backed a plan- a compromise to accommodate all athletes.  Palo Alto’s Director of Community Services, Kristen O’Kane told ABC7 News, “We scaled it back.” She said initially, there was talk about turning the dual use court into permanent Pickleball courts.

“We’re just converting the one tennis court to pickleball, and then building two new courts,” O’Kane said. 

If approved by Palo Alto City Council, the one tennis court should fit four designated pickleball courts, equipped with permanent nets and all.
The hope is to help build a better Bay Area for a population dominating the game.

“It fosters a sense of community, especially for the senior population,” O’Kane explained. “Some of whom may not have interaction with anyone else during the day.”

The move for permanent courts would mean less time prepping, and more time playing pickleball.

Councilmembers are expected to decide May 20th. If approved, construction should begin in August, with completion in October.

Thank You, Sherry and Robyn!

What could be more fun than getting 40 pickle ball players out on a sunny day for a team tournament?!!! We really enjoyed setting up the play. It started with a very competitive captain’s draft featuring Mike Walias, Mark Greg, Alex Shtarker, and Norm Krishna. Congratulations to Mike’s team (yellow) coming in 1st and Alex’s team coming in 2nd … good competitive games from everyone.

Special thanks to Frank Houghton, our A #1 court manager, and his crew who taped the courts for play. And, to Sandy Mausling who handled check-in. And, to Dennis Cullen, our master scorekeeper. And, to Robyn for a great job with the courtside refreshments. And, to David Cook who set up our registration and sent out countless emails. You are all the best!

Can I say that pickle ball players are the friendliest group? We enjoyed meeting new members and they felt warmly received by all. Can’t wait until the next tournament!

Sherry & Robyn

Welcome to the New Club Leadership

Larry Martinson was elected President of the Pickleball Club at the General Membership meeting held April 7, 2019 at 4:30pm in the Foothill Center.  The entire slate of officers and committee chairs are listed here.

Larry’s remarks to the Club:

As the new President of the Pickleball club for 2019-20, I thank you for being a member of such a fun club. We truly are more social than any other athletic club in the Villages as far as I am concerned and we want to keep it that way. To play pickleball is to have FUN. 
Thank you also for voting in my new board and appointed positions. With out all of you, our club would not be possible. Let’s have a fantastic year with hopes of having our own courts built by this time next year. See my goals for the club attached.
 
Larry Martinson
 

Pickleball Club Goals

2019-2020

  1. Maintain an active vibrant Club and grow the membership by 35 members. Ginny Spencer membership.  
  2. Achieve a successful community vote on the project to build new courts in 2020. Garry Grey
  3. Continue to raise funds via EVF to build the courts. Garry
  4. Have 2nd annual Pickle UP July 16-Aug. 1, 2019. Joe Spada
  5. Continue to support our Pickleball Web Site. David Cook
  6. Continue to have club fundraising projects. Anahid Gregg
  7. Have Pickleball Club articles in every edition of the Villager. Linda Eige
  8. Hold three fun and successful tournaments. Sheryl Ruth
  9. Have our 2nd annual Holiday Club members party in the Clubhouse. Robyn/Sheryl new Social Co-Chairs
  10. Maintain our borrowed 5 & 6 tennis courts. Frank Houghton

2019 Spring Team Tournament Results

First Place – Yellow Team

Sherry Benz             Fred Mathias            Greg Stewart

Mike Falarski            Richard McKee        Mike Walias*

Judi Falarski              Kelly Murphy

Dave Hathaway        Bob Shuck

Second Place – Blue Team

David Cook              Bob Iacopi                  Alex Shtarker*

Linda Eige                Bob Mandell             Wayne Weiler

Anahid Gregg          Ray Mausling

Anna Hewitt            Lon Olson

Third Place – Green Team

Tom Dyko                Joyce Kludt                 David Roberts

Bonnie Evans          Jim Koski                    Bruce Wallace

Frank Houghton    Norman Krishna*

Gail Keck                   Larry Martinson

Fourth Place – Red Team

Kay Gray                  Donald Kludt                 Kevin Prest

Garry Gray               Dan Murphy                 Robyn Siebenthall

Mark Gregg*           Trish O’Neill

Bill Johnston            John Pabst

* = Captain

 

“Undefeateds” – did not lose a match

Mark Gregg

Fred Mathis

Bob Shuck

Greg Stewart

Finding Pickleball Play Times

There is an additional resource on the website now for finding days and times to play – Joe Spada’s List.  Look under the “Play Times” menu  Play Times/Organized Play Dates/Times/Sponsors

Note that several groups are “Invitation Only” which means don’t show up and expect to get to play – Check with the group organizer in advance to find out if there are open slots – many of these are just small groups of friends and don’t intend to expand.

April will be Busy! Annual Meeting & Tournament

The Pickleball Club will be having a very busy weekend April 6th and 7th. Saturday, April 6th will be a team pickleball tournament. Each team will play men’s, women’s and mixed doubles. Thanks to the tennis club we will be using all tennis courts.

On Sunday, April 7th the club will have it’s annual meeting at the Foothill Center. We will begin with a potluck of heavy appetizers and desserts followed by the election of our new officers and short overview of this past year and the year to come. This event will begin at 4:30pm.

We hope to see all members at both events. More information will follow as we get closer to “Pickleball Weekend”. Don’t know much about pickleball? Interested? Come watch our FUN tournament and meet our friendly members. Check out our website villagespickleball.org   See you on the courts!

Pickleball Ambassadors Visit the Villages, Friday, Feb. 15th!

Michael and Princess Leong, USAPA Pickleball Ambassadors for San Jose and the East Bay, will be visiting the Villages Pickleball Courts at 1pm, on Friday, February 15th.  Everyone is welcome to come and meet them, get the latest local and national news on Pickleball, and perhaps play some games.

Ambassadors are volunteers who have pledged to promote the sport of pickleball and the USAPA in the local area they have applied to represent. They may be individuals or couples, or a group of ambassadors working together as a team. The main prerequisite is a love of the sport and the desire to share our game with others of all ages. Some full-time RV’ers are Ambassadors ‘at large’ who promote our sport during their travels.

For more information about USAPA and the ambassador program:  https://www.usapa.org/usapa-ambassadors/

Great Time at the 2019 Pickleball New Year’s Holiday Dinner

A great time was had by all!  Thank to Trish O’Neil and Robyn Siebenthall with assistance from David Cook, Sheryl Ruth, Ginny Spencer and Anahid Gregg.

Check out the photos in our Photo Gallery and Garry Gray’s Opening Remarks recounting the many Pickleball Club accomplishments in 2018!

Pickleball Shirts and Accessories!

Due to popular demand, The Villages Pickleball Club is taking another round of ordering for Pickleball Shirts – AND we’ve added some Club accessories!

Date Extended – All orders must be placed by March 18th!! After placing your order, you will receive a confirmation email with the items ordered and the amount due. 

Check it out!