Last weekend was Tournament Central at the West Courts. Saturday there were 21 Intermediate teams competing, Sunday 10 Advanced teams competing – and Sunday turned out to be a longer day! We want to extend a HUGE thank you to Diane Newcomb and Terri Cagala who organized the events and put a lot of work into making both successful and fun. Thanks to the volunteers that kept score, kept everyone hydrated and served as line judges for the medal rounds. Also thanks to the many members and family that came to cheer on the players – both in the cold on Saturday and in the sun on Sunday. With feedback and a few tweaks, we will have a plan in place for future tournaments.
Pictures are posted in the Photo Gallery. 2022 Tournament Pictures Please be kind, our expert photographer (Lou Rhodes) played on Saturday so there are many more on Sunday. Hint: when you click on one photo it opens to full size and from there you can scroll forward and backward. If you have any pictures to share, please upload them at the bottom of the Contact Us Form Contact Us
Congratulations to the winners!!
1st Gold - Jim Chase & Chris Korjenek
2nd Silver - Alan Albright & Lori Coates
3rd Bronze - Lou Rhodes & Pat Bradley
1st Gold - Mark Ohlhaver & Tammy Sherrill
2nd Silver - Dan Mehlhorn & Gloria Smith
3rd Bronze - Vito Berlingeri & Michelle Webb
We also marked another milestone this week completing the second of three installments to repay the donors for the Court Expansion loans. Many of you, new members mostly, may not be aware that the new courts, 5 & 6 on West side, were funded by 16 members who generously provided non-interest loans to the club. You can see who these folks are by visiting the paver area in front of those courts. We also thank those of you who purchased the surrounding pavers that provided additional necessary funds to complete the project. More on pavers soon!
Terri and Jan attended the town’s 2022 Activities & Volunteer EXPO. There is a lot of interest in Pickleball here in Fountain Hills! Thanks to the members who stopped by to say Hi!!
The February schedule reflects several extended Intermediate and Beginner slots. There will also be 2 orientation sessions, Saturday Feb 12th and 26th on the west courts starting at 10:00 am. We encourage you to put together groups to play in the Member Open slots on the schedule, especially on the East courts, which continue to be under -utilized. Theses groups could be 4 to 16 people and you just take turns on the courts if others are there. And while we are seasonally busy, please feel welcome to play in your skill level slots, but since there is play every day be considerate of other’s time and do not play continuously in all skill slots on the same day. Please try to spread out play and decrease wait times by coming to the courts a bit later in the morning or organize a group and go to the east courts if they are assigned to your skill level.
There will be March-April Intermediate and Beginner Clinics, stay tuned for details and registration next week.
A couple of reminders:
Parking in front of the West courts is available only when school is closed and after 3:30 when school is in session. The red fire lane curb is specific to school hours.
The Guest policy that went into effect last month is being used – and that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, everyone is not aware and there has been some confusion. This is copied from the January Newsletter: We are also implementing a policy for members to host guests. It is a requirement that the guest is accompanied by a member and the member is responsible for the guest’s behavior at the courts. A specific waiver is required for EVERY guest visit. We are going to continue to monitor activity and have an update regularly.
And lastly! Spring Fling is right around the corner. The event will be much the same format as in previous years with a few tweaks. We will also have a short program to formally thank our Court Expansion donors and the recent Hall of Fame inductees. Expect food, fun, music and of course the 50-50! We do have a restriction on attendees so if you are member couples, that counts as your guest. The Evite will be sent shortly.
Have a great February – below are the birthdays!
See you at the Courts!
The Board of Directors
Trish Maland 2
Cheryl Bleier 4
Geriann Engle 4
Darlene Mauermann 4
Lloyd TeBrink 4
Amanda Triezenberg 4
Jane Connealy 5
Marcia Sahag 6
Walt Conway 7
Teri Bernhard 8
Ron Boninger 8
Patrick Sullivan 8
Jeff Griswold 9
Debra Short 9
Emily Hemphill 10
Anne Seward 10
Michael Pragle 11
Ruth Rohde 11
Cliff McClure 13
Deb Harrison 14
Sally Kelly 14
Cheryl Gollon 15
Jim Kropf 15
DeeAnn Smith 16
Cathy Zillgitt 16
DiAnne Fikkert 17
Lynda Johnson 18
Harvey Kohn 19
Cheryl Bredehoeft 20
Bill Pohle 20
Penny Springer 20
Jennifer Kriwer 21
Ash Khan 22
Tom Sigrist 22
Margie Kendall 24
Tim O'Rourke 24
Jane Heenan 26
Dave Long 27
Jean Hosler 28
Jittra Lynde 28
In addition to welcoming new members, we wanted to send a few updates before the regular monthly newsletter for February.
Gate Usage: Please be gentle with the gates! Slamming them shut has a potential to damage or make them harder to close. When entering the courts, gently close the door behind you. When exiting the court lift the lever UP rather than down or jiggling.
The new member-only, guest and gate code policy has been in effect for two weeks. Reminder that the gate code is not to be shared with non-members. While we plan to enforce all the new policies, please be mindful that prospective members might show up at the courts without knowing the new policy. Without turning them away, please ask their intentions. If drop-in, politely tell them that’s no longer an option and explain where to find membership info online. If they are coming to see about joining the club and want to play, offer to host them as a guest with all the required paperwork. In any case, remember you are representing the Club and courtesy goes a long way.
Next Saturday and Sunday are the Intermediate and Advanced Tournaments. Everyone wanting to observe is welcome, but please be aware there is limited bench seating. You may bring your own chairs although all may not fit on the courts as we cannot encroach on the games. We will accommodate as best we can. Play begins at 9:30, medal rounds will be around noon give or take. Reminder there will also be sticker pick up.
There is a new accident form with the first aid supplies on the west and east courts that should be filled out if there is first aid provided to anyone at the courts.
Due to very long wait list, we have added a second orientation for February 26, it will be the last of the season, so if anyone knows someone who is interested, have them check the website for registration.
There is an unusually high number of balls disappearing from the club, not accounted for in the number of broken balls left in the baskets at the courts. Reminder that the balls are not for members to take away from our courts for play elsewhere.
Round Robins have started for all 3 skill levels. Please be at the courts 15 minutes before your group’s scheduled start time to sign in for that day.
You may have already noticed that the bus lane in front of the West court has been painted red and notates Fire Lane. This has no impact on our member parking rules, it was done to reinforce the times already in place for No Parking.
We want to take a minute to reflect back and address the current environment surrounding Covid in our FHPC community.
On March 24, 2020, when we closed the courts, the future was an unknown. On May 1, we had the approval to reopen within the guidelines as of May 4. Without a mechanism in place to accommodate those guidelines, we worked very hard and fast (another nod to Jack Franz for his invaluable assistance) to put a scheduling system in place. This allowed us to operate safely to ensure no shutdown. Every member that played did so within the rules at that time; masked and socially distant when off court, personally sanitizing after games. We asked people to stay home if sick. Not a requirement, but if they let us know we would anonymously advise groups of infections. Thankfully, at the time, there was only one and it was not a serious case. Most important everyone was respectful of each other.
On June 1, the Town updated the guidelines. We expanded to 20 per court (West) 16 (East) without a scheduling system. Given it was summer, we were able to maintain those levels again without a shutdown. Mid-summer the outdoor numbers increased to 50 and through the end of the year we operated business as usual.
The 2 new courts were completed during this time, which helped us increase participation.
Then came January 2021, it was cooler, and cases were increasing. We did NOT take any restrictive measures, but asked members to consider masking and social distance while waiting to rotate in.
We did cancel/reschedule events during this whole time and were happy to be able to reinstate these for the 2021-2022 season.
Fast forward to December 2021. While the Club was able to fend off infection much of the year, Omicron has hit Maricopa pretty hard and fast. Our FHPC community is a vulnerable one. We’ve had many members report in with infection, again most mild and quick recoveries. While there is NO intention to restrict play, we want to ask once again - if you are sick, please stay home. Before you come back to play, please be sure you are no longer infectious. And consider masking and social distance while off court.
And most of all, please be respectful of your fellow members.
Thanks – everyone stay safe and well.
The Board of Directors