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