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Some of our news is on the Home page. Scroll down on that page to see several key articles.

The newsletters below contain the rest of our news.  Click a newsletter subject to open up that newsletter.

Our club also uses Facebook for unofficial and social inter-member communications. Sometimes, sudden play or clinic changes are also announced on Facebook. Only SAPC members are granted access to our closed group on Facebook.  Follow us on Facebook.

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  • 2021-02-13 10:48 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Proposed Pickleball Fees for 2021

    Summary

    After reviewing several reasons to increase and decrease our membership fee for 2021, your board proposes fees remain at $30 (plus GST), if paid before April 1, and $35 thereafter. More specifically, it was recommended the fees: 

    • go up $20 to build our capital reserve for future facilities,
    • go down $10 due to possibility of a shorter playing season or other Covid restrictions,
    • go down $10 due to shorter membership year, which will end December 31, 2021 to align with Pickleball Canada,
    • possibly go up $5 due to higher Pickleball Canada fees (effective Apr 1), and
    • explicitly show the GST added-on.

    Comments welcome.

    Details, Rationale and Your Input!

    Thanks again to each and every one of the 30 SAPC members who reviewed the club's proposed Capital Reserve Strategy called "Investing in our Future."  Twenty-eight of the 30 respondents agreed the club should be building a small reserve to become the down payment or seed money for possible future indoor and outdoor pickleball facilities.

    When we asked for your input to this strategy, we specifically asked if we should build a capital reserve by adding 15% to our future prices, or whether we should take a more aggressive approach, as some clubs in BC have done, to more quickly expand their indoor playing capacity. For example, one BC club  doubled their membership fee from $30 per year to $60 per year, and together with sponsorships and municipal funding, were able to put a $1 million structure over some outdoor courts, turning them into indoor courts.  The majority of the respondents to our informal poll favoured this more aggressive fund-raising approach.

    In keeping with this support, your board had initially considered a membership fee increase that would be moderate-- more than 15% but not as aggressive as some BC clubs. In particular, the Board considered recommending an annual fee of $50 for 2021, with the surplus funds for the year going to a capital reserve for future facilities.  However, there are  other factors which now cause us to rethink this approach. 

    • One factor is that COVID-based closures or play restrictions may inhibit some play or shorten our playing season in 2021. So for this reason, we thought we'd  recommend an annual fee of only $40.
    • Another factor is that we need to  change our membership year to be compliant with a new Pickleball Canada national standard pickleball membership year which will now go from Jan 1 to Dec 31, starting in 2022.  This means our 2021 membership year will only go from May 1 2021 to Dec 31 2021. So now your board recommends  our membership fee for 2021 be dropped back to $30 plus GST.

    Do you know that $10 of the $30 we collect has been relayed to Pickleball Alberta ($5) and to Pickleball Canada ($5), to secure your membership in those organizations?  This not only supports the national development of our sport, it buys you sports injury insurance while playing in club-organized events.

    This leads to a fourth factor affecting rates for 2021. Pickleball Canada needs to charge $10 per member.  Insurance costs are rising and their volunteers are well past any reasonable volunteer capacity (and we can vouch for all the hard work they are doing -- it is phenomenal.)  So they need to hire a part-time Executive Director this year. At $10 per member in Pickleball Canada, they will still run a deficit this year. Although not yet officially announced, Pickleball Canada's price increase is expected to be effective April 1, so if you buy or renew an SAPC membership between March 1 and March 31, you would see it still available at $30 plus GST. Consider it a sale price!

    When to Pay

    Membership fees for 2021 are due before May 1. If Covid keeps us shut down past May 1, some of you may wish to delay renewing your membership until play actually starts. We understand. Please also know that your club does have some on-going costs, like IT systems costs, that must be paid whether we collect revenues or not. Also, as your club is still 100% volunteer run, our costs are very low compared to all other organized sports. We encourage early payment, even if you are not yet playing -- consider it a donation to support your future fun, because you know we will be playing again eventually.

    Process will change likely in June

    And while we are talking fees and systems, please also note that we are working closely with Pickleball Alberta and Pickleball Canada to bring in a new national system for membership management. This will complicate our club's membership registration process when it goes live in Alberta, sometime after May 1, so you can save yourself a bit of trouble this year by renewing using our current process, on or before May 1.  Stay tuned for more on this new system in upcoming communications.

     ----------------------------------------

    If you have a comment, concern or suggestion regarding club, Pickleball Alberta and Pickleball Canada membership fees, please email your board c/o Ray Keroack at Treasurer@pickleballstalbert.ca


  • 2021-02-02 14:05 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Pickleball Canada National System (PCNS) Update to Clubs - 2021-02-01

    Summary for SAPC

    • PCNS will change how members register and renew, commencing this June (after the upcoming March 1 to May 1 membership renewal cycle).

    If you have questions about PCNS, please email Ray Keroack at Treasurer@pickleballstalbert.ca

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    image.png   

    This email was sent by Pickleball Alberta (PA) to Alberta clubs. It has been edited for SAPC members.

    This is our second update to all clubs regarding the Pickleball Canada National System. A lot has happened since our first announcement on January 13th (which has been posted to SAPC's news as an earlier newsletter). We’ve learned a lot more about PCNS and are working closely with Pickleball Canada (PCO) as the system evolves and gets closer to implementation.

    This communication is intended to summarize why, at this point in the evolution of our sport, an integrated national system is a priority. As well, this update highlights some actions clubs can start planning to do as we prepare to implement PCNS in Alberta.

    Why is a National System important at this time?

    ● An integrated system used by clubs, provincial associations and PCO will save thousands of hours of volunteer time and improve the integrity of membership data. This is true at the club, provincial and national levels. Further, a centralized membership management system will result in lower aggregate system fees spent by clubs, provinces and nationally. Pickleball has developed rapidly across Canada as a volunteer-based organization. Without streamlined more efficient membership management resources, given the current and anticipated increase in members, we are at risk of burning out volunteers.

    ● Pickleball Canada is working towards becoming a recognized national sports organization. Once this is achieved there will be long-term annual funding for Pickleball in Canada from Sport Canada. To promote the sport and qualify for grants and other funding programs, it is essential to have solid membership demographic information available at local, regional and national levels. Currently this is missing at the national level and hampers our discussions with Sport Canada and other potential partnership and funding organizations.

    ● A national system will provide members with ease of access to information about national programs and initiatives, as well as news and events across Canada. It will reinforce to members that they are part of a vibrant Canadian pickleball community.

    ● Over time, the system will evolve to support all aspects of the game including event management and skill rating.

    What are the benefits of a National System to Affiliated Clubs?

    ● An online membership system reduces club volunteer time spent maintaining member information and handling membership fees.

    ● The member is able to enter and keep their personal information up to date which improves the accuracy of information.

    ● Clubs have access to information for only their club members and can use PCNS to:

    • Prepare membership and financial reports
    • Send emails to all or a subset of members
    • Filter and search for members that meet certain criteria (e.g. skill level, age category, etc.)
    • Export membership data and update information such as club ratings
    • The club section of PCNS can be customized to provide local information and news on a webpage that members can readily access. A link to the club’s existing website, Facebook or other social media can be added to this page allowing seamless access to information. There is no additional fee for this basic webpage.

    ● Clubs can customize the questions to ask members when they join or renew (e.g., volunteer interests) and can add specific club policies such as waivers or code of conduct.

    ● Clubs will be able to set up their own online goods or product sales

    ● In future enhancements the club will be able to set up and manage events

    Other good reasons for Clubs to affiliate with PA and PCO

    ● By formally affiliating the club is lending their support to the vision and goals of Pickleball Alberta and Pickleball Canada and has a voice in the development of pickleball. In Alberta, we now have clubs in all provincial sports zones – this demonstrates that clubs and members support PA as a recognized governing body for pickleball Alberta and PCO as a governing body for Canada.

    ● Affiliate Clubs have access to the Pickleball Canada Insurance Program – Commercial General Liability Insurance, Directors and Officers insurance and members are covered for Sport Injury insurance.

    ● PA and PCO help clubs achieve their goals through event promotion, governance support, player development and officiating development. Affiliate Clubs will be kept abreast of important information as it relates to “best practices” related to pickleball.

    ● Your club’s connections to other affiliated clubs in the region and in the country can help your club in terms of working with municipal authorities to build and accommodate more pickleball facilities and securing related grants.

    ● Your club and members are helping to make pickleball an even better sport for all ages and abilities, by supporting the development of competitive play, coaching, refereeing, and thriving recreational play in your community. You are building a legacy.

    How can Clubs start getting ready for PCNS implementation in Alberta?

    ● Review and formalize affiliation with PA by signing the Club Affiliation Agreement. 

    ● Prepare for a change in membership year to January 1

    • Review club by-laws, if applicable, to determine how Membership Year is defined and what needs to be done to change it. Your club may need to put forward a resolution to a General Meeting or AGM to make this change. (Gary Marcellus is leading this review for SAPC.)
    • Prepare for a short year – May 1 to December 31, 2020. Decide on club fees for this shorter period. Note that the membership fee for PA will be $5.00 for this eight-month period. (The PCO fee will be $5 if purchased before April 1, and $10 thereafter.)
    • Start planning for the annual membership renewal to change to later in the year. While the renewal period for May 1 to December 31, 2021 will open in early March, the first renewal reminder email for January 1 to December 31, 2022 will be sent on December 1st.

    ● Identify the “key contact person” who will lead the PCNS implementation at your club level and be your club’s primary liaison with the PA PCNS implementation team. (This is done for SAPC. It is Ray Keroack.)

    ● Clubs should consider whether it’s appropriate to create a small implementation team involving members who handle memberships, finances or technology for the club. (Done for SAPC. Other team members are directors Tamas Virag and Carol Mah. Other SAPC volunteers are welcome - contact treasurer@pickleballstalbert.ca if interested.)

    ● Review PCNS and start thinking about how to set up your club for the initial implementation. You may change this over time. For example, to use PCNS to collect club fees you will need to have a club bank account. You can set the club fee to $0 initially and change it when you are ready.

    ● Start communicating the upcoming changes with your members and let them know why it’s important for our sport. (Hence this SAPC news posting!)

    What is the anticipated timing for PCNS implementation in Alberta?

    ● We will be working throughout February, March and April to get most Alberta clubs familiar with PCNS and to help them get set up. This would facilitate a “cut-over” to PCNS for membership registrations, as of sometime in June.

    ● This means we would continue to use our current membership system (the Pickleball Alberta Wild Apricot (PAWA) system and club processes) for the upcoming May 1 membership renewal period until we can plan to phase out PAWA.

    ● This timing will evolve and may be adjusted. PA is interested in hearing your thoughts on this proposed timing. It is essential that clubs are ready for the transition as well as PA so we want to hear from you.

    What are the PCNS Costs and options for Clubs?

    ● The primary cost is a processing fee for all transactions that is charged by Trackie, the company that is developing and will maintain PCNS. The processing fee is $0.50 plus 4.9% of the amount of the transaction. This covers the payment processing plus system maintenance. Clubs can decide if they want to have members pay this fee, in which case it’s added on to the invoice OR if they want to absorb the fee. If the club absorbs the fee then Trackie deducts the processing fee from club fees collected.

    ● If a club is using PCNS to invoice and collect payment for club fees, the club decides when it wants the fees to be transferred from the PCNS account to the club bank account. There is a transaction fee of $1.25 for each bank-to-bank transfer.

    ● PCO will charge an annual system fee that is earmarked for future system developments. For example, the development of an interface from a tournament management system to PCNS. There is no fee for small clubs. The fees for larger clubs will be from $100 to $200 per year. This fee is waived for 2021 for all clubs and will start in 2022. Note that there are no additional fees for the club website address, website and functionality that is built into PCNS.

    How will Clubs be kept informed?

    ● An important task of the PA PCNS implementation team is to communicate with and educate clubs in how to set up and use the membership pages in the national system. This will include written information and guides, video tutorials prepared by Trackie, occasional online meetings and so on. 

    ● The PA PCNS implementation team sits on the PCO National System team that is led by Kirk Jensen as part of his PCO Board member role. There is great interest and support from across Canada to make PCNS a system that will support pickleball in all jurisdictions. This work continues to be led and undertaken by many volunteers.

    ● If your club has a question – just ask and we will do our best to answer or obtain an answer if we don’t have one. There is a lot that the PA team is learning and compiling so that we can develop FAQs and admin guides for Alberta clubs to access.


  • 2021-01-30 13:46 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It’s Almost Here – The National System Coming to Alberta and its Clubs in 2021

    Summary for SAPC

    • As with other clubs in Alberta and across Canada, our membership year will have to be changed to run from January 1 to December 31, starting January 1, 2022. This also means the 2021 membership year will have to go from May 1 to Dec 31, 2021.
    • How we renew memberships will change for the 2022 year. The "how" will not change for our regular 2021 membership renewal.
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    This email was sent by Pickleball Alberta (PA) to Alberta clubs.

    As discussed at the (PA) AGM and in monthly updates throughout the year, Pickleball Canada’s (PCO) integrated National System is coming to our province and our clubs.  It handles membership management at the individual, club, province, and national levels.  In time the system will be developed to support competitive play, rankings, and other sports management functions.  This project was initiated in 2018; two representatives contributed as part of the specifications design team (Ray Keroack of St Albert Pickleball Club and Helen Thompson of Edmonton Pickleball Club).

    The primary goal of the initial roll out of the National System is to reduce volunteer time spent on handling our growing membership and to improve the integrity of membership data.  Currently, clubs and provinces use a variety of systems which require manual intervention to transfer required data from club to province, and province to national.

    Considerable work has been completed on the National System thanks to many volunteers.  It is being implemented in a staged process across the country, province by province.  A demonstration of the system capabilities has been made to provincial representatives and a demo “beta” site is available to review.  Refinements are still being made to the system and it is anticipated the system will continually be enhanced as we gain experience with it and club requirements evolve.

    Pickleball Alberta (PA) is currently reviewing the system functionality in depth and considering scenarios for transitioning from PAWA (Wild Apricot) to the National System.  From what we’ve seen, we believe the system will meet the membership management needs for most clubs and will significantly reduce volunteer time for membership management, so we are looking at how to transition to the National System in 2021.

    Development and implementation of the National System is being led by Kirk Jensen as VP Competitions and Sport Development for PCO.  The PA evaluation and implementation team is Beverley Walker, Past President; Brenda Feser, Membership Director; Blair Morton, Technology Director and Ray Keroack Treasurer St. Albert Pickleball Club.

    Overview of the National System

    • Meet Trackie– Trackie, is the company that is programming and will host the National System.  Trackie is a Canadian company based in New Brunswick.  They have developed and maintained systems for other provincial and national sports organizations such as Track and Field Canada and Taekwondo Canada.
    • Customized Club Home Page – The National System will host the Pickleball Canada website.  Each provincial association and club will have a ‘home page’ that is hosted in the National System.  This page can be readily customized to provide club information and used as a simple website.  Alternatively, a club can provide a link to an external website in order to provide members seamless access to club information.
    • Unique and Shared Emails – The National System is based on members entering and maintaining their own personal information.  While unique emails are recommended it is possible for a family to use one email address for more than one member.
    • Integrated Membership Fees – When a member joins or renews their membership with a club, their PA and PCO memberships are included.  The National System “splits” the membership fees so that the club, PA and PCO each receive their respective annual membership fees as long as the club has set up a bank account for the club.  Note that clubs can set the club fee to $0 and use the system to track their membership information and to collect PA and PCO fees.
    • Multi Club Memberships – The National System allows members to join more than one club and collect PA and PCO fees only once.
    • Unique Club Membership Fields – Common membership data (such as name, email, and select demographics) is viewable by the club, PA and PCO.  Clubs may ask members to provide additional information that is only viewable by the club (e.g., volunteer interests).
    • Unique Club Waivers – Waiver of Liability acceptance is built into the online application / renewal process.  Clubs and Provinces can customize this area to meet specific local or regional requirements.  For example, Code of Conduct acceptance can be included.
    • Mass Emails – In its initial phase the National System also includes emails and newsletters.  Mass emails may be sent from the system or data can be exported to other software such as MailChimp
    • Future Features – Functionality for event registration and a store feature are under development and expected in the near future.  These functions would be available at the club / PA and PCO levels.

    Change in Membership Year

    PCO, in consultation with Provinces, has recently determined to move to a January 1 to December 31 membership year.  PA will transition to the same year and we encourage clubs to do the same.  Aligning the membership year will significantly streamline membership management and simplify the integration of membership management at all levels.  While we need to determine the details, it is our plan to shorten the upcoming membership year to May 1 to December 31, 2021.  The 2022 membership year will run from January 1 to December 31, 2022.

    Costs

    In our current PAWA (Wild Apricot) membership system, PA pays a usage and development fee to Wild Apricot of approximately $6,000 per year or $1.50 per member in 2020.  Payment processing fees are based on the number of transactions and the amount of each transaction ($0.30 plus 2.9% of the dollar value).  These fees are almost entirely absorbed by the clubs who are using PAWA to collect and manage their memberships. 

    In the new National System, the usage and development fees are tied to the payment processing fees, and together these are 5% of the dollar value of each transaction. These fees are calculated separately for club, PA and PCO fees. Starting in 2022 PCO is looking to introduce a modest annual fee for provinces and large clubs to help fund future national system enhancements.


    Pickleball Alberta is excited about the possibilities of this system as it truly has the potential to dramatically reduce volunteer time spent managing membership applications, renewals and fee payments at the club, PA and PCO level.  Considering all three levels, thousands of volunteer hours could be saved each year.

    Further details on the system will be coming soon.  We are planning a system demonstration in the next few weeks and will advise details.  If someone from your club would like more information at this time or is keen to help out with this project at the provincial level please reply to me.

    Beverley Walker

    Past President, Pickleball Alberta

    -------------------------------------

    Keep your paddle up!


  • 2021-01-23 18:46 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Happy New Year!  Still Waiting for the OK

    We hope your mild winter holiday weeks were grand! St. Albert and the surrounding areas have a wonderful access to other activities if you’re so inclined. If you’re more into reclining, then we also hope you’ve discovered some rewarding pastimes.

    Some of us may be betting folks, but there’s low odds in successfully predicting a return to club play.  All we can do is guess, but the Board is ready and prepared to resume club play as soon as we get the “all clear.”  We are proceeding with club business and keeping the light shining for when we can all come back.

    In the meantime, perhaps some of you can relate to these new substitutes for our previously active PB lives.

    1.  Binging HGTV Mexico Life. (Did you see the house with its own PB court!)

    2.  Zooming with the grandkids just doesn’t cut it!

    3.  Cajoling any household member for play along in your DIY kitchen, tool room, or garage dink court...(ok, I confess to that one).

    4.  Not looking in the mirror unless you have to.

    5.  Life journaling for posterity..(because someone in the future has to remember this crazy epoch)

    6.  Adopting a pet, then maybe two more.

    7.  Ardently trying Spanish, again.

    8. Every day's joy is the Amazon delivery.

    9. You need three drawers now for your PJs and comfy clothes.

    ..and #10

    10.  A self-rewarding (have a swig!, have a bite!) point system for any sit-ups or stretches!

    Future Facilities

    Recently in November when we canvassed you all about a willingness to plan for funding future facilities, we received enthusiastic feedback and support for the idea. A special thank you to all the members who not only took the time to read at least part of the report but who also took the time to provide input. All this input was so positively supportive that we have adopted the plan. We will also continue to take direction from that feedback as we begin to implement it. 

    This plan considers both our immediate need for more courts and projects the future popularity of pickleball when even more play facilities will be required. It has lots of good stuff about what we need, what the possible opportunities are, and how we should be planning, now, to build up some of the initial funding needed for additional future facilities. As intended by this plan, our club strategy is to positively improve our revenue generation and capabilities to serve our members’ playing needs.

    We’ve also benefited from the good thoughts and contributions of our club’s Facilities Task Force. The Board apparently enjoys “over the holidays” assignments and has posted the full plan on our SAPC website.

    If you’d like a sampler of that plan here’s the table of contents (below). 

    ........................................

    SAPC Facility Reserve

    Investing in our Future

    January 14th 2021 Edition

    Contents

    Executive Summary. 3

    Where Are We At and What’s in Our Future?. 5

    Membership Projection. 5

    Indoor Facilities Needs. 5

    Establishing Ratios of Courts Needed Per Member. 6

    Projecting Indoor Court Needs. 6

    Outdoor Facility Needs. 7

    Establishing Ratios of Courts Needed Per Member. 7

    Projecting Outdoor Court Needs. 7

    Future Facility Options. 8

    Indoor Play Venue Options. 8

    Schools and Churches. 8

    Servus Place. 8

    Active Communities Alberta (ACA) Sport and Community Campus. 9

    Rental or Lease of Private Sector Warehouse Space. 10

    Rental of Private Sector Gymnasium Space. 10

    Facility Ownership by Club. 10

    Outdoor Play Options. 11

    The Ideal Facility. 11

    City-owned Courts: Alpine Courts Model 11

    Future St. Albert Sport Campus. 12

    City-Owned Courts Managed by SAPC. 12

    Courts Leased or Owned by SAPC. 12

    Priorities for Securing Facilities. 13

    Role of Grants. 13

    Role of a Facility Reserve. 14

    Growing a Reserve. 14

    Recommendation, Acceptance, and Implementation. 16

    Appendix A: Questions and Answers. 17

    Q1: Won’t the City provide needed indoor pickleball space without any contribution or involvement of a club like SAPC?. 17

    Q2: Will the “for profit” private sector step up and provide needed pickleball space, as appears to be happening with the Edmonton Volleyball and Pickleball Center (EVP)?. 17

    Q3: If SAPC were disbanded, what would happen to the capital reserve?. 

    .........................................................

    Whet your appetite for more? There's more. In detail! On the website, under Plans, Policies & Bylaws.

    Until we chat, serve, drive, dink, chip, lob (noo please!), again!

  • 2020-11-30 11:16 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We're just sharing an opinion comment published in the St. Albert Gazette regarding the City's vote against continuing with the Active Communities Facility project.

    https://www.stalberttoday.ca/opinion/letter-halting-the-st-albert-rec-facility-the-alternative-is-2903716?utm_source=Email_Share&utm_medium=Email_Share&utm_campaign=Email_Share


  • 2020-11-21 09:43 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear SAPC Members: In addition to setting up as many pickleball play opportunities as possible, you likely expect your board to be looking after the club's long-term needs. This year, the Board and the club's Facilities Task Force have looked at the club's immediate, intermediate and long term facility needs. 

    We have determined that to address these needs, there is one imperative. It is something that all successful sports organizations eventually do, and we've learned that the earlier we start on it, the better. That imperative is to build a capital reserve.

    Without some cash set aside for facilities (as a capital reserve fund), we have no hope of continuing to meet current demand, let alone the projected future demand.

    We've laid this out in a report. We invite you to read the whole report and provide thoughtful comments and input. Your email response, for example, could address these questions:

    i. Do you know of any other way other than building a capital reserve, to qualify for future grants, to seek matching donations and to have the financial capacity to address our needs for court space.

    If so, what is that way, and how would we go about it?

    ii. The report proposes a reserve be built slowly, over many, many years, by adding a 15% premium to all club prices.

    Should SAPC build a reserve more quickly than is proposed?

    Other clubs have done this more quickly. For example, the Kelowna club added an annual surcharge of $30 to their $60 membership fee. 

    iii.Do you know of any facility, grant or partnership opportunities that should be researched and documented in future versions of this strategy?

    If so please tell us all you know about such opportunities.

    iv. Do you have any other opinions or suggested positions regarding anything else in this report?

    If so, please provide a detailed rationale for taking an alternative position.

    Your detailed comments will be preserved, will be made accessible to all board members, and will be summarized for board discussion and decisions at its January meeting.

    If you just want to know a bit more about this proposed strategy but not provide comments, we invite you to read the two-page Executive Summary at the front of the report.

    You may find the confidential member-only report "SAPC Facility Reserve – Investing in our Future" on the Plans, Policies and Bylaws page under the Club Mgmt menu of our website, or click this link: 

    https://www.pickleballstalbert.ca/resources/Documents/Plans/SAPC%20Facility%20Reserve%20-Investing%20in%20our%20Future.pdf 


  • 2020-11-18 09:50 | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    In this issue:

    Cohort play update 

    Future use of schools


    Update on Cohort Play


    The Club had planned to implement Cohort-based play on November 22 nd, before receiving the changed guidelines from the Premier on Nov 12. We are aware there are many questions about cohorts and cohort based play. Please be patient as we continue to plan and we will try to answer as many questions as possible.

    In responding to the mandatory cohort form, members chose to be placed in a cohort based on:

    - Level,

    - Partner,

    - Specific play time;

    - Or placed in a formed cohort under a specific leader.

    Please note that some members asked to be placed in a men only or women only cohort . There were not  sufficient replies to make a men only or women only cohort possible.

    Those that asked to be with a specific leader, automatically have someone to help organize the group/cohort. The other cohorts (level, partner, time play) were created by the club and do not have a leader. Some members in these cohorts did volunteer to be captains, when they replied to the survey. Nicole Currie (Nikki) contacted these members asking if they indeed would help be a captain for the cohort they were placed in. This was in preparation for play at Red Willow. We want to thank all those members who have agreed to help out as captains/leaders. They will be contacted again closer to the restart date to finalize the process and answer specific questions on processes for the captain.

    Of course Pickleball play through the club is now put on hold and we are waiting to see if play will resume after the two week closure. Dependent on this news, you will receive notice of when and how play will resume at Red Willow. If you have been registered in a series play at Servus and BActive you will also receive notice about whether/ when these series will resume. More information will be sent regarding refunds but be patient as we have to wait and see what will happen and whether/ when pickleball will resume.

    In January there will  be a maintenance process put in place to accommodate cohort requests from new or existing members who had not previously asked to be put in a cohort. It will also accommodate changes within a cohort. In January whether/ when play resumes , new cohort-based play at Servus Place and other SAPC venues will be organised.

    I know you are asking “How will this cohort play work.” The Club will assign each play time to a particular cohort. The system will only allow you to SEE and register to play, IF you are a member of that cohort. So for example when play begins at Red Willow, a member will check the Red Willow calendar, and will only see the time(s) available to their cohort. That is the only time(s) they are able to register to play. This will be the same for all play venues beginning in January.

    As we've mentioned before play times will be allocated equitably to each cohort on a "per member" basis. This means that cohorts with more members will get more play times. Note that in larger cohorts, only a small portion of them can attend each session (e.g. only 10 out of 50), whereas in a small cohort a greater percentage of their members can attend each session (e.g. if only 10 in cohort, all 10 can attend a session.)

    You must log into the website in order to see cohort-based play opportunities. You will not see opportunities open to other cohorts. This prevents you from accidentally registering for play with the wrong cohort.

    The cohort you are in (example M03 or S05) is now indicated in your membership profile. You can also see a new cohort directory online -- so you can contact your cohort colleagues when you need to. To see who is in your cohort, do an advanced search specifying your cohort group (eg: SO5). All your cohort members will be listed.
    Here is the link to the cohort directory.


    Special thanks to Ray Keroack for all of this behind the scenes work which has taken so much time to create.

    Now for all of those questions you may have; on the website under the heading “Play”- cohort based play, you will find the explanation and the answers to the questions you may have. Many we have mentioned above. Here's a shortcut to that page.


    As we move forward, awaiting news about pickleball play reinstatement; please read the cohort play information on the website.

    Future School Use

    The districts have confirmed that there will be no Community Use of Schools through February 2021.

    Until then stay safe!



  • 2020-10-25 18:46 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In this issue:

    Changes Coming - Get Ready for Mandatory Cohort Registration

    Red Willow Play Changes


    Changes Coming - Get Ready for Mandatory Cohort Registration

    We are changing our play to make it more overtly compliant with new health guidelines and to keep our members safer and healthier.

    A mandatory cohort form is coming in the next two days. All members who want to play in future sessions this winter MUST reply to the mandatory form, thereby qualifying for this new play. A link to the form will be provided in an email to you.

    You have seen in our news that COVID cases are rising in the Edmonton zone. In response, new restrictions on gatherings have been released for the Edmonton area. In addition, this month, there is new Guidance for Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation.

    For the first time, pickleball is explicitly mentioned as a sport that must only be played in cohort groups. These rules also now clearly state:

    • no one should be part of more than one sports cohort,
    • sports cohort groups must have no more than 50 members, and
    • participants switching sports cohorts should not play for a two-week interval.

    In response, your board has passed a resolution that, for the foreseeable future, all our play will be more overtly and explicitly compliant with these rules. Your safety matters.

    To do this as quickly as possible, here’s some of what will happen.

    • A mandatory cohort form will be issued to all members by Oct 27.
      • Members will only have three days to respond.
      • The form will ask if you are in a well-functioning, cohesive cohort and want that cohort kept intact and assigned some play times in our calendars.
      • If you are not in a well-functioning, already-established cohort, you will have the opportunity for the club to place you in a new cohort. We will place you based on some high-level criteria. We DO NOT have the capacity to quickly plan this to meet everyone’s detailed criteria. We will do the best we can, using ONLY the criteria we have put into the survey.
    • A second form will be issued to the identified leaders or prime contacts of the previously established, well-functioning cohorts to identify and confirm their SAPC members, desired play times, etc.
    • Based on the results of these two forms, play times will be assigned to cohort groups.

    If you already have an SAPC play time reservation at Red Willow, B-Active or Servus Place, please keep your reservation and attend the session you have booked. In addition, another week or two of reservations at Red Willow may be booked using the current reservation practices. No one expects that we can convert to explicit cohort-based play overnight.

    Explicit cohort-based reservations will become available for some November times at Red Willow as soon as we can implement this.  The same will apply to January and subsequent play times at other venues.

    What can you do now to get ready?

    • If you are in a well-organized cohort, you need to quickly decide amongst the current members of that cohort if you want to belong to and play only in that cohort going forward. You also need to pick a leader or prime contact for that cohort, and each of you needs to identify that same leader on your responses to the mandatory cohort registration form. This will then be the SAPC cohort we assign you to.
    • Watch for the mandatory cohort form and complete it with the three-day period.
    • If you are a leader of an existing cohort:
      • pick a name for your cohort,
      • determine 1st and 2nd choices for play times (weekday mornings, weekday afternoons, weekday evenings, weekend days).  Note that weekday-day times are likely to remain more plentiful than evening and weekend times.
      • determine if your cohort wants some assigned reservation types like the following:
        • reservable series play, where members pay up front for 8 to 14 weeks of play, once a week, first come-first served within the cohort, no refunds or cancellations. Members find their own substitutes within their cohort for any sessions they need to miss.
        • sticker-pay, individually-booked events, first come first served within the cohort, self-cancellations allowed
        • reserved cohort-determined play. This is open only to well established cohorts. It is cohort-determined play, where you assign play times to cohort members according to your own methods not using SAPC systems, and where the cohort figures out how to pay. This means either (i) pay up-front online with no refunds or (ii) pay by means of stickers on a sign-in sheet, and guarantee to the club that your cohort will always have the minimum number of stickers needed. This option is not recommended unless you already have a proven method of fairly and equitably assigning play times to all your cohort members.

    Note that only SAPC members can be in SAPC cohorts. If someone wants to join our club now, they have only a day or two left to do so. Then we will likely suspend taking new memberships for at least a month and  until this new cohort-based play is well organized. This is only fair – we have new members joining every day and we usually welcome them. But we don’t want people inadvertently joining our club, paying their $30, then finding they can’t play with the club for two-plus months because they didn’t respond to the initial survey and because we’re not yet ready to start adding new members to existing cohort groups.

    Wish us luck. Your club volunteers have a lot of work to do in the next few weeks to make this happen.

    If you want to help us through future projects like this, or want to serve in any other volunteer capacity, please update your volunteer interests in your profile. You will find there are many options to choose from. Your profile can be found under the ‘head and shoulders’ icon (or arrow icon) in the top right corner of any page of your website.


    Red Willow Play Changes

    If you were to chat with fellow members about “how’s Red Willow play going for you??”…you’d possibly hear, “nice to be at it again inside away from the wind, my serves stay in!”, or-“Sit-play-sit s'more!!??”, or- “Not sure I’ll go anymore” ..etc..??

    In early October we launched Red Willow (our solitary venue at the time) and have since heard feedback and have also launched more and different venue play opportunities.

    Here’s what’s being done to address the play and financial stress of Red Willow play. (You probably didn’t know that Red Willow was teetering on a negative cost for the club).

    Starting November 1st, Red Willow Sessions will transition to the following:

    • 10 player limit (at each session) - so captain plus 9 registrants.
    • 2 stickers per player.

    This change is to help us enjoy more quality play (less sit time!), and helps with the financially sustainability needed for this venue.

    Keep your paddle up!

  • 2020-10-12 09:24 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Weekly Online Registration for Indoor: now at Thurs 12am.

    Just when some of us are now accustomed to the new digeetal youniverse and are ok with using the website scheduling tool, here's a curveball.

    Well not so much a curve, as an off-speed slider. You know those serves right?  

    Here's the changeup. 

    The Indoor Session Registration window time is changing. Here it is.

    Starting this week on Thursday Oct. 15th, and for each Thursday thereafter, the "registration window" opens at 12am, yep, the spooky zone.

    It's just the way the system will work best, meaning- no human has to interrupt their dinner and urgently manually manage the window.  Our website will do it for us!

    Only, it can't tell time, just the day. So, we have a 12am. start, Thursday Oct 15) to register for ALL indoor sessions for that following week's period (Sunday to Saturday)

    Ok, so the recap. This time with colour!

    Starting THIS week, and for all future weeks, the night owls and early birds can scoop their weekly session spots starting at 12am Thursday mornings (aka Wednesday midnight).

    Just getting the word out- real-time, to get-in-line, in-time!


  • 2020-10-05 09:18 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Reserved Group Play at Red Willow

    Your club is always trying to satisfy the diverse needs of our many members, and we're not afraid to experiment once in a while and adapt as circumstances change.

    Some of you have asked if your small cohort group of pickleball players could reserve Red Willow or a couple of courts elsewhere.  Well, we're still looking into the "elsewhere," but we also have an opportunity now to try this at Red Willow.

    This opportunity has arisen because we don't yet have enough individual members booking into the established sessions at Red Willow. (Yes, we know that is because most of you would rather keep playing outdoors while the weather holds, and we understand that.)  Anyway, we might as well make good use of any indoor facility we can, right?

    Here's the scoop on our trial group plays at Red Willow:
    • Two sessions are now set up, one for this Thursday Oct 8 and the second for Thursday Oct 15. You will see these in the Red Willow calendar, the Indoor calendar, the Reserved Play calendar and the All Play calendar.
    • One member may book the entire session on behalf of their cohort or other group of fellow players. All players must be SAPC members.
    • The sessions will be from 9 am to 11 am.
    • The one who reserves will also act as captain and must agree to learn and apply our club's rules for safe play at Red Willow. This includes adherence to the rule to sanitize and leave the facility by 10:55 pm.
    • The fee for the two hour session is $50 including GST, and this must be paid online by credit card upon reservation.
    • Of course, there can only be one reservation per session, and it will be first come, first served.
    • Registration for the Oct 8 session will be open at 12:00:01 am Tuesday Oct 6, and registration for the Oct 15 session will open at 12:00:01 on Thursday Oct 8. At that time you will begin to see a "Reserve" button on the event description page. (Sorry for the inconvenient time, but that's how our system's automated registration opening feature works. Will you wake up just before midnight to snag this spot? Maybe you can rotate this job within your group if we have more of these.)
    • Instructions for accessing the building will be provided to the captain upon reservation.
    • The captain will have all attendees fill out the regular sign-in sheet, but will not collect stickers. The captain may collect cash from each group member.
    • Each group may range from 8 to a maximum of 16 players. 
    • For this trial, if your group manages to snag the Oct 8 time, please let some other group grab the Oct 15 slot. (However, if no one has booked the Oct 15 slot by Oct 10, then go for it!)
    For this trial period, questions regarding these specific group reservations may be directed to Treasurer@pickleballstalbert.ca. After the trial, please direct reserved play questions to RegPlay@pickleballstalbert.ca.

    Questions from potential captains regarding the Red Willow venue may be directed to our Red Willow venue coordinator, Nicole Currie.

    Please see our website's home page or the Sep 28th news posting for Red Willow safety and play rules. 

    See the Reserved Play page under the Play menu for instructions on making and cancelling a reservation.

    Keep your paddle up!

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