I am new to this group and have been playing pickleball for 6 months.
We are looking at a townhouse off Bestgate that does not have amenities so we would be playing at Bestgate Park. It’s a little daunting to think that we might be turned away from playing.
Does APC pay the county to reserve courts? What hours are they reserved? We would probably try to play outside of the APC times at Bestgate.
People join APC in order to play pickeball. Rarely do they scour the website to figure out where they are allowed to play. If they live near Bestgate (no matter their skill level), they will approach the courts hoping for a warm welcome, or at least hoping that they will find friendly people willing to play with them. This isn't the first time people have been deterred from playing there - and not just people who are new to the club.
If the club wants ALL members to know that courts have "suggested" skill based play, then that information should be prominently stated on the Home Page. Sometimes I think that the Beginners Group is one of the best kept secrets of the Annapolis Pickleball Club. You have to be willing to spend the time to dig around the website to find information about the Beginner Program, and about the suggestions for where people should play.
The Home Page hasn't been updated in quite some time. It's summer, so is the prominent display of the Indoor Play schedule (which is iffy information at best) really the best use of that space?
Disappointed to hear someone may have had an unsatisfactory experience testing the waters at Bestgate. We absorb new players over there all the time, and I'm there pretty much every day, so I don't think it's a common occurrence. One way or the other, this complaint is being addressed.
The club recommends that Bestgate be reserved for 3.5 play in the mornings. To me, this means you can keep the ball in play against advanced opponents. This yields longer rallies, more fun for everyone on the court.
Anyone who is contemplating giving it a shot, feel free to contact me and I'll usher you through your first game. 502-553-6733
These problems are easily avoided if the club protocols are observed. https://annapolispickleballclub.wildapricot.org/Open-Play-Protocol
Advanced players usually are willing to help out beginners. When courts are crowded, however, and wait times are long, that may not be a good time for a beginner to mix in with three players waiting a long time to play a competitive match.
The club protocols state:
How do I use the sign-up board?
To sign-up to play, please write your name in a block and mark an A, B, or C in the top corner of the block and circle it. This indicates your skill level so that people of similar skill levels can play together.
If you are a new member to the club, please put “new” beside your name so our members can introduce themselves to you and help you get acquainted.
Hope this helps everyone!
I was president of APC several years ago when the board decided to implement play by level at the different venues. It was tricky to do. Reminders of what venues offer play by level are always important, to ensure all are aware, and welcome. There may be times when players arrive at a venue where inconsistencies about level of play exist. With many new members, this issue can occur.
That being said, there should be no time, ever, where someone, especially a newer member should feel unwelcome, or disrespected, at Bestgate, or any other venue. In fact, unfortunately, at times, even known and existing members, whose skills are appropriate, receive unwelcome signals from a very few malcontents at Bestgate.
I am confident that the Teamreach leaders at Bestgate are fair when it comes to welcoming players there. But only a few can ruin an experience and that has to be fixed, with problem and repeat offending members suspended if need be.
I am assuming there is no such rule
Yesterday, I spoke with two new members, and both experienced what I consider rude behavior at Bestgate from the skilled players who play there in the mornings. When they independently tried to play at Bestgate, they received the following:
1. All play stopped as they approached;
2. Unwelcoming looks;
3. A greeting of "Bestgate is for players who are 3.5 and higher. Are you 3.5?"
Both of the new members eventually found their way to Truxtun, where they found the atmosphere and play more enjoyable. I am left wondering how many other members received the same treatment at Bestgate and have similar stories to tell. I also wonder how many of them turned away from the sport as a result of our perceived rudeness.
Copyright Annapolis Pickleball Club, January 1, 2022
Annapolis Pickleball Club is a 501(c)7 non-profit organization located at 1011 Bay Ridge Ave. #118, Annapolis, MD 21403