I hope this email finds everyone in good health during this COVID-19 induced Pandemic! It has been a few months now since the imposed shelter-in-place order. As a result, that has left many of us without the ability to play and socialize with each other. There are quite a few changes that have happened in the last few months and all of them will have an impact on our club and play! The Monterey Bay Pickleball Club Board has been in contact with the various agencies that allow us to use their facilities for Pickleball. We are making plans to resume play as soon as feasible, within the guidelines allowed. I will break down the plan at Via Paraiso in 3 steps:
BEFORE PLAY: We will temporarily discontinue the use of the whiteboard as a queue for play and return to using the older method of placing paddles on the fence at the desired court of play. We will go back to assigning courts based of level of play ie. Court 1 is easy play, Courts 2 and 3 are intermediate play, and Court 4 is advanced play. Marks will be placed along the fence to remind players of the proper distancing needed. While the nature of playing pickleball on the court encourages social distancing, we will encourage the use masks either while waiting and or while playing. MBPC will have liquid soap available to facilitate washing hands after play as well as washing the ball before play. If you choose to use your personal ball, it will need to be disinfected prior to being put in play.
DURING PLAY: A single ball on each court and social distancing will be maintained when possible. A current practice in the pickleball community has been wearing a glove on the non-paddled hand as this prevents community exposure to the ball during play. We will encourage this practice when club play resumes.
AFTER PLAY: Paddle tapping is not discouraged as a show of sportsmanship as long as social distancing is maintained. Please be aware of others as you place your paddles on the fence on the desired court of play as this will allow the oncoming foursome to retrieve their paddles prior to you placing your paddle on the fence. Game balls will be placed in the bucket so the following group will be able to disinfect it prior to their game. After placing the paddles in the fence and replacing the ball, please find a spot along the fence line and maintain social distancing while waiting for your next game. Again, wearing a mask while waiting is encouraged if you choose to do so.
By following these guidelines, this will allow the maximum number of players on the court without limiting our numbers.
Prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the MBPC was well on the way to securing a permanent home for the club. Members of the club had submitted a plan for funding of a permanent pickleball complex at Ryan Ranch through the city of Monterey. We had strong support from the Parks and Recreation Department, Parks and Recreation Commission as well as the City Managers office. Unfortunately, COVID-19 caused Monterey to have to pull funds from the Neighborhood and Community Improvement Program (NCIP). This has caused a set back of at least one year. The NCIP was responsible for funding our current layout at Via Paraiso and resurfacing the courts after Jay Zwagerman submitted the project.
I had a meeting with the City Manager in early March and came to a compromise on court usage at Via Paraiso. As you know, Pickleball on the peninsula has become more and more popular. Saturday has traditionally been our busiest day and we only have priority times the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month. As a compromise to the neighborhood around Via Paraiso, MBPC offered to stop play on Saturdays to help appease those neighbors resistant to pickleball.
An alternative site for weekend play has been established at MPC . Everything is fluid in this new world of COVID-19, however, it is promising to have this facility available to us.
As for the other sites for play on the central coast (Pacific Grove, Carmel, and Seaside), these courts will be opened based on the regulations of each city. The MBPC will let you know once the decision is made to open these courts up for play. The assumption is that they will follow the lead of the Monterey County Health Director.
The MBPC board misses everyone and we look forward to the time when we can once again resume play…hopefully sooner than later! In the mean time, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me personally and I will try to answer your inquiries to the best of my ability!
See you on the courts,