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Hello MBPC

First off, I think I speak for everyone on the Board, WELCOME 2021!!!

2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, worldwide. With that in mind, we, as a club, have also had to deal with our own struggles internally because of the pandemic. This newsletter is intended to inform you of some of the changes in global pickleball as well as some of the things we are doing as a club to get ready for play once allowed in Monterey County.

As it currently stands, MBPC is still not holding organized play due to Monterey County orders on organized sports related to current COVID cases in the county. I have been in communication with the cities of Monterey and Pacific Grove, their intent is to open up as the county guidelines allow. MBPC has the equipment and facilities lined up for organized play as soon as it allowed by our county. We are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to get back on the courts with our MBPC family!

We have a couple of positions available on the board that were up for re-election, I have currently not received any outreach from members for interest, however, if anyone is interested in running for the positions of Vice President (currently Richard Quackenbush), Treasurer ( Bob Ogle) or Board Member (Barb Lang), please reach out to me by phone or email by March 1st. Otherwise the these members have committed to another 2 year term.

There have been a few changes to the rules of Pickleball this year that many of you may know. I will include a brief summary here but if you want to read about the 180+ changes you can find them on the USAPA website.


There are 2 main rule changes I will summarize here:

  • The first change is that a serve that hits the net and falls into the correct service area (previously replayed under the old rules) will be considered a live ball. This means that it must be played by the receiving team or it will result in a point for the serving team. A serve that hits the net and falls into the kitchen or bounces out of bounds will result in that players loss of serve (remains the same as the previous rules). The reason for this change was to ensure that play would not be affected by an errant “let” or lack of “let” call. This was also intended as a means to speed up the pace of play.

  • The second change was to allow a “drop” serve. This rule allows the server to “drop” the ball from a stationary hand and allow the ball to bounce before the ball is struck. The sticking points to this rule is that the ball must be dropped; not thrown down or tossed up before it strikes the ground. The benefits to this serve is that facilitates an easier way to learn the serve as well as giving options for those of us that have struggled to get serves in. There are a few videos posted on YouTube that show what is legal and illegal in regards to the drop serve. If you have any questions in regards to either of these new rules or about the game in general, please feel free to reach out to me and I will give you my best interpretation.

Lastly, we have received a few inquiries about our Club dues, what they are for and if we are refunding dues for last year due to the lack of club sponsored play. Keep in mind that MBPC was organized as a non-profit entity a few years back to enable us to accept donations from individuals and corporations for the betterment of pickleblall on the Monterey Peninsula. As such, we do not collect "dues" per se, however, we do suggest an annual membership contribution from those that want support the club and its mission. As a club, we are trying to provide a social atmosphere to play pickleball on the Monterey Peninsula. We have been working with various cities and organizations to secure places to play that would allow regular times for members to attend. We are also actively pursuing a permanent facility.


We use the suggested $20 annual tax-deductible contributions to help pay for our website, maintain our non-profit status, and provide equipment during the club sponsored play.


Many of you have signed up for payment through the website. There were two options when you signed up on our website:

  • Annual renewal would require you to resubmit payment every year

  • Auto-renewal would automatically collect your contribution once a year.

If you feel like we are not giving you the pickleball experience worthy of your donation or wish to discontinue club membership, please contact us via the club website and we will address the issues. We as a board are doing our best to try to provide our members with a fun positive experience. We can’t improve upon your experience without feedback.

Thank you for continuing your support of the Monterey Bay Pickleball Club. We look forward to the day when we can see all of our friends back on the court. In the mean time, stay safe, stay healthy and please reach out to us if you have any questions.

Mark Thomas President, MBPC

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It has now been more than 5 months since we last gathered to play pickleball at Via Paraiso (VP). On March 17, the Monterey Bay Pickleball Club (MBPC) made the decision to suspend organized play due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Even though VP is now open for singles play, our club remains on hiatus until the outbreak is under control. The Board of Directors has continued to meet periodically throughout the pandemic and we have received some questions from members on various topics. So, this Blog post is an update on what has been happening with the club, where we’ve been, and where we are going.


Pickleball Status on the Monterey Peninsula

While MBPC play will remain on hold until the pandemic is over, you are free to play on your own where permitted. The information below is provided in case you want to try to organize your own games. The club will remain in communication with the City of Monterey about their plans for reopening VP to our group, and we will continue to look for other venues and resume open play again as soon as the venue(s) dictate that it is safe to do so.


Via Paraiso, is currently limited to singles play only. Morris Dill courts in Pacific Grove is also limited to singles only. This limitation applies to both tennis and pickleball. Both facilities have posted specific policies for play. You are welcome to play in either location but please follow the rules. This is a good opportunity to drill! Failing to follow the rules could harm our relationship with these municipalities and be detrimental to pickleball play as we make our way back to normalcy. The parks and recreation departments of these two cities have been supportive of pickleball, and as we continue to pursue better facilities, it is important that we respect their decisions.


Forest Hill park in Carmel is open for doubles play over the tennis net. As such, Forest Hill has seen a significant increase in play of both tennis and pickleball. This park operates on a time limit, so, if others are playing when you arrive, you may opt to wait your turn. Play time limits are posted. Please respect the posted play times if others are waiting.


Doubles play is also allowed at Wheeler Courts in Seaside during posted times, however, there are no nets. You must bring your own net you want to play there.

Like PG and VP, Forest Hill and Wheeler are embedded in residential neighborhoods, so, please try to keep noise to a minimum to avoid a neighbor revolt like we have seen in the other two communities.

Correction: I'm told only singles play is allowed at Wheeler Courts. Please review the sign posed at the courts before you play. [8/31/2020 4:12PM]

Just to reiterate, any play at the above sites is at your own discretion and the club is not currently endorsing or facilitating play at any location. The above is for informational purposes only.


Additional Court Capacity

As most of you know, before the pandemic, play at Via Paraiso suffered from long wait times due to the large number of players. Sometimes we waited more than we played! The club has been seeking to add more courts for play for several years. Unfortunately, working with local governments can be a slow process, however, we have, and will, remain persistent in our efforts to add additional courts in the area.


About a year ago we received permission from the City of Monterey to repaint the pickleball lines at VP to increase from 4 to 6 courts. The stipulation was that we needed to pay for it ourselves. The cost was approximately $3,500. Thanks to donations from many of you as well fundraising efforts such as our first pickleball tournament (at Quail Lodge) we were able to raise the necessary funds. We hired a contractor and were ready to begin.


Unfortunately, when our contractor contacted the city to begin the process late last year, he was informed that the neighbors had submitted a petition to eliminate all pickleball play from Via Paraiso. As a result, representatives from MBPC met with their neighborhood organization and various City representatives including the Mayor to try to resolve the dispute. We also spoke at both the Parks and Recreation and City Council meetings. We even formed our own petition asking Monterey residents to support pickleball play at VP. In the end, the painting was put on hold but we preserved play at VP by agreeing to abandon Saturday play.


During that time, many of you asked what was happening with the painting and, unfortunately, the responses and overall communication from the Board was muted. We discovered that the well organized VP neighbors were reading our web site and using our own communication against us. Since our club is open to anyone, we didn’t know if they might have ‘spies’ registered on our website and therefore receiving our club announcements. Now that the issue is resolved and since everything is shut down due to Covid-19, we wanted to share the reasoning for our muted communication during that time.


New Venues

Perhaps the only positive outcome from that turmoil was an increased urgency for the City of Monterey to find a better home for pickleball. Some of you may recall that we have been working with the City of Monterey to develop a dedicated pickleball facility for several years.


Last year, we received a $4500 allocation from the city to identify a site capable of hosting a 6 court dedicated pickleball facility. This would include permanent, in ground nets and individually fenced courts (no more “Ball On!”). The cost of developing such a facility is about $250,000 and accounts for a significant portion of the City’s neighborhood improvement budget.


The City identified a site at Ryan Ranch and the project was tagged as one of the highest priority neighborhood projects for the upcoming year.


At nearly the same time, the Seaside City Council announced that they were acquiring a huge plot of Fort Ord land (almost 1/3 the current size of Seaside). Discussions during one of the council meetings indicated that various parks would be included in the master plan and, if we can get some or our Seaside members involved in the planning process, those parks might include pickleball courts.


Similarly, Monterey announced that they were acquiring the Old Capital site from the Pebble Beach Company. This is also a large plot of land (135 acres) with plans for parks and recreation facilities. Yet another option to lobby for pickleball courts.


Obviously, those were, and are, long term projects. To address the near term need, we had discussions with Monterey Peninsula College (MPC) regarding play on their their many tennis courts. They indicated that MPC is available to the community for play when there are no College classes or events. However, MPC does not provide any equipment (ie nets, balls, etc) and there is a fee for parking on weekdays. So, we made plans to play at MPC on weekends when parking is free and classes are not in session. We even purchased additional nets for use during club play at MPC.


Things couldn’t have been better! We had increased capacity for our busiest day of the week (Saturday), a medium term dedicated facility, and long term option for additional dedicated facilities.


And that's when Covid hit…..


Now the City of Monterey has significant financial hurdles to overcome and all money allocated to projects like our dedicated pickleball facility have been redirected to more important areas. The long term development opportunities on those new parcels in Monterey and Seaside are now even longer term.


Even our near term solution at MPC remains on hold as the campus courts continue to be closed due to the pandemic (please don't try to play there yet).


While this has been a crushing blow and it may seem that we have not accomplished anything, we thought it was important to show that a lot of work has been done by members of this club to advance picklball play on the peninsula. A big “Thank You!” goes out to all those people that attended council meetings, performed fund raising or contributed funds, worked to diffuse the situation with the neighbors, and to those that continue to support pickleball in our community in other ways.


Administrative Items

In dealing with the City of Monterey, we found that it would have been useful to know in which city each member resides. For example, when we prepared the petition in support of pickleball, we needed to contact all the Monterey residents. So, we’ve updated the web site to allow you to enter where you live – just the city, we do not need your full address. To provide this information, please login to your account on the web site (upper right corner), then, click on your name (also upper right corner) then select ‘My Account’ from the menu and fill out the ‘City’ field.


We have just passed our 1 year anniversary with the club web site. As such, some of you will soon receive your first renewal notice via email. Obviously, the club has not sponsored any activities in the last 5 months and we don’t know when it will again. So, while we appreciate your renewal donations (which are tax deductible 😊), we understand if you feel a contribution is not appropriate at this time. However, if you do decide to donate, please know that your money will go into our bank account to be used toward club expenses (the web site, nets, balls, etc) and improving our facilities. We currently have about $6000 in our account. For new court facilities, some sort of public/private partnership may help push pickleball facilities through the pipeline. As such, we plan to continue building up our bank balance, while also searching for development partners, so we can respond to an opportunity should one present itself.


Now, if someone out there has $250,000 they want to donate, don’t be shy! We have a beautiful new 6 court facility with your name on it!

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to us at any time via the website:

https://www.montereypickleball.com/contact

Regards,

Michael Lang for the MBPC Board of Directors

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Via Paraiso is now open ... for singles play only. The two 'permanent' nets remain out.

However, the club is not sponsoring play until we are given approval from the city for doubles play. We are in communication with the city of Monterey and will notify members when things change.

Please follow the new regulations posted at the court. It is very important that we follow these guidelines or the city will shut down the courts again.


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Monterey Bay Pickleball Club exists to promote and develop the sport of pickleball on the Monterey Peninsula.

© 2019 by Monterey Bay Pickkleball Club

Monterey, California

Monterey Bay Pickleball Club is an IRS-approved 501c Non-Profit organization.  All donations are tax deductible.