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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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  • 2022-01-16 12:02 | Anonymous

    In this issue:

     Evaluators for Member Ratings   School Play Returns 

    Evaluators for Member Ratings

    Some Members have notified the Board that they have concerns with the Member rating process currently used to rate players within the Club.  A Member motion will be presented at the February AGM in this regard, but in advance of that meeting and Member vote, the Board believes it would be useful to see if additional qualified raters are available and interested to evaluate our players.

    Qualified evaluators must have the following credentials and meet the following expectations in terms of the rating process employed:

    • Minimum competency requirement is that Rating Evaluators have proof of having been trained by IPTPA (or equivalent) to perform player skill evaluations.
    • Raters must use evaluation sheets based on IPTPA or USAPA rating sheets.
    • The evaluation sheet must provide a numerical score on each of the skills that are being evaluated for a given rating level and the score sheet must state the total sum of the numerical scores achieved by the participant as compared to the total points required to attain the desired rating level. 
    • The completed score sheet is provided to the person that has been evaluated to provide feedback regarding the level of skill that they have demonstrated during the rating session.  
    Note:  There is no expectation on the evaluator to provide coaching feedback (or any verbal or other feedback beyond what is contained on the formal rating sheet).

    If any member has interest in being considered to be an SAPC Member rating evaluator or knows someone who has the aforementioned credentials and is willing to conduct their evaluations to meet the above standard, they are asked to submit a proposal/application to the Board.  Your application should be sent to communications@pickleballstalbert.ca  and include:

    •  Name

    •  Credentials (must provide supporting documentation)
    •  Proposal Details – Length of rating session, Evaluation Form and   process used, Number of evaluators/participants per rating  session, cost per Member, etc.
    •  Description of Availability

    It should be noted that the Board and, we believe, the vast majority of Club members are very satisfied with Sean and Leslie who have been performing almost all of the Club evaluations for the last few years; we are simply inquiring as to whether their services could be supplemented by others which would potentially provide the Club and its members with more options in this regard. 

    Furthermore, our research and inquiries of other Alberta pickleball clubs indicates that other clubs in Alberta struggle with the issue of ratings and that we are fortunate to have one of the best club member rating processes in the province - a process that is being performed by experienced professionals.

    School Play Returns

    The City has let us know that school venues will be open again for community use.  Pickleball will start tomorrow on Monday, January 17th at Joseph Demko at 7:00 for 3.5+ rated players.  You should note that this time has been changed back to a 7:00 pm start due to school activities.  Please remember that we enter through the front door at Joseph Demko.   Don't forget to fill your water bottles at home as we are expected to stay in the school gym for the entire session.

    As always check the online calendar as dates given by the schools can vary!

    Special  thanks to all of our captains at the school venues and at Red Willow  Church  -  you are such an integral part of our volunteer team! 

    Until next time, keep your paddle up!

  • 2022-01-12 15:24 | Anonymous

    In this issue:

     Vaccination Requirement  Positive Covid Test Results
     Mentoring Session  Rating Clinic Openings

    Vaccination Requirement for Club Play

    Given the current COVID environment and prevalence of the highly contagious Omicron variant in our community, the Board will be implementing a new policy regarding vaccination requirements for Member play at our venues.  Effective Monday, January 17, 2022, and until further notice, ALL Members must show proof that they are fully vaccinated (QR code) in order to play at SAPC venues.  Evidence of negative Covid tests of any variety will no longer be considered acceptable nor permitted for play by our captains.  Both members and captains have expressed the desire for this policy change in the interests of simplicity, efficiency and, most importantly, public health and their own personal safety.  We would like to thank all members in advance for their understanding and cooperation in this regard.

    Positive Covid Test Results

    Members are reminded that should they test positive for Covid (even a rapid test), and they attended an SAPC pickleball session in the 3 previous days, they are asked to immediately contact:

    Nicole Currie at nicolecurrie@live.com for any registered play they attended at Red Willow Church, and

    Eileen McClean at  venuemanager@pickleballstalbert.ca  for play at any of the School venues during those 3 days.

    Nicole or Eileen will then send out an e-mail to all participants at that session so that they are aware and can follow the AHS guidelines related to contact with a Covid-positive individual.  The name of the member who tested positive will not be disclosed in these e-mails for privacy purposes.  Following these measures will prevent or slow the spread of the virus and help to keep your fellow members and our community safe and healthy.


    Please be advised that Members may now sign up for the mentoring session on the 21st of January. They can do this by sending an email to training@pickleballstalbert.ca .

    The mentoring session is scheduled to take place at Bertha Kennedy School starting at 6 pm.  You cannot just drop in, you must register in advance by sending a request to participate to the above noted e-mail address.

    Members should note that mentoring is an excellent way to get some useful training and tips before your next rating clinic.  Feel free to ask your mentor about specific skills that you feel you need to work on in order to achieve your next rating; remember that these skills do not come naturally to all of us, but rather must be practiced in order to be used effectively and become a natural part of your pickleball game.

    Next Rating Session

    Speaking of rating clinics, just a reminder that there are only two spots left for the 3.0 Rating Clinic to be held on January 29th at 11:30am which will be held at Bertha Kennedy School.   Interested Members may register online on the SAPC website. 

    Until next time, keep your paddle up!

  • 2021-12-23 15:00 | Anonymous

    In this issue:

     President's Message  Membership Renewals for 2022

    President's Message

    Indoor Play

    While the calendar year is coming to close it is important to understand that we are in the middle of the indoor play schedule.  I receive many questions asking why we don’t get many more dates, but members should know that this is a very fluid situation. 

    When the city assigns us the schedule, they give us the dates that the schools release their gyms.  New schools can be added and dates/times can change which is why it is so important to check the calendar.   While it is relatively rare to see the City/schools make changes to their schedules mid-season, it can happen. 

    While we are so fortunate to have the schools we have so far, we will wait until January to hear from Sturgeon school.  We do hope Sturgeon school will open in January and then we will be offering a 3.0+ session, an ALL session and a 4.0 session.  Northpointe Church is still not accepting clients to come into their gym.

    Thank you again to the captains who continue to take care of us at the schools. 

    Thanks also to Nicki Currie, Venue Coordinator for Red Willow, and Carol Mah who ensures registration is open for members - and that is 16 sessions!!!

    Thanks also to the mentoring team; while we have limited mentoring sessions, we know that the mentoring team give up an evening of play to help others.

    Due to the limited space at the venues we do not have playing down except at sessions with the plus.  For example at 3.5+, we can have the 3.5 rated players and the 4.0 rated players.

    At the ALL sessions any level can come and play!

    Vaccinations Status / Covid Tests / Verification

    We will continue to require verification of your Covid QR code OR a negative test  taken within 72 hours of play along with the receipt for the test as the AHS test results by themselves are not acceptable.   You should note that we are following the provincial government regulations in this regard.

    Any Covid testing documentation provided must indicate the type of test administered, the name and location of the company providing the test, the date and time of the test and, of course, a negative test result.

    The associated receipt must state the cost, the company providing the test and the date and the time of payment which must be within three hours of the time indicated for the test results.

    The person providing this documentation must allow the captain to take pictures of both documents for Club records to support our compliance with the provincial regulations and venue protocols.

    While these processes may be considered onerous, we must comply with the regulations and maintain a safe atmosphere for our members while providing clear guidance that allows our venue captains to complete this verification process as quickly as possible.  We ask that all members  exhibit patience and show respect to these captains who have generously volunteered their time.

    Rating Clinics

    Don’t forget to check the rating calendar as there are 3 spots left in the 3.0 and 3.5 rating clinics scheduled for January 29th.  Thanks to Gerry Gartner and Karen Cabot for getting these organized.

    Annual General Meeting / Board Positions / Nominations

    Please keep involved in the club by planning to attend the AGM by zoom on February 16th.   This will be your chance to elect members to the SAPC Board.  A zoom link will be sent to Members within a week of the meeting.

    Thanks to the nominating team for their work behind the scenes in securing a slate of members willing to step forward for various open positions.

    Special thanks to the Board members who diligently work behind the scenes in so many capacities.

    Also, a very special thanks to Gary Marcellus who has stepped down from his role as Vice President creating an opening for that position in addition to those referred to in our last Newsletter.  Thanks Gary for the work you have performed on behalf of the Club for these past many years!  The Board and all members wish you the best in your future endeavours and hope to see you on the courts in the future.

    Stay safe everyone!

    Merry Christmas all the best for 2022! 

    Live, laugh, love, play pickleball
    Eileen McClean
    President of SAPC

    Membership Renewals

    As noted previously, you can now renew your membership for 2022.  

    The SAPC membership fee for 2022 has been set at $40.  

    You will recall that you must join or renew with Pickleball Canada and Pickleball Alberta separately, before joining or renewing with SAPC.  They have a combined charge of $15 for 2022. Further details on how to renew and pay for your membership are available by clicking here.

    Until next time, keep your paddle up!

  • 2021-11-30 11:00 | Anonymous

    In this issue:

     Ratings Clinics  Board Nominations/Recruiting
     Indoor Play   

    Ratings Clinics

    We wish to extend our thanks to the 2.5 and 3.0 groups on Saturdays at Bertha Kennedy whose sessions were bumped for rating clinics and apologize for the inconvenience (our options were limited).

    Please note that we will not be offering any rating clinics in December; they could commence in January, 2022 depending on the demand.

    Congratulations to all participants of the rating clinics held since July including those just conducted last weekend.  Also, many thanks to our raters Sean and Leslie.

    Board Nominations/Recruiting

    As members may or may not be aware, the SAPC Annual General Meeting is scheduled to take place in just over 2 months on February 16, 2022.  Some of what takes place at the AGM is the election of Board members and other key positions.  The Board currently consists of the following individuals (incumbents): 

    President - Eileen McClean, St. Albert Resident

    Vice President - Gary Marcellus, Edmonton Resident

    Secretary - Douwe Spriensma, St. Albert Resident

    Treasurer - Ray Keroack, St. Albert Resident

    Director at Large, Web Manager - Tamas Virag, Edmonton Resident

    Director of Membership and Volunteers - Carol Mah, St. Albert Resident

    Director of Communications - Roger Hutlet, St. Albert Resident

    Due to the considerable workload ahead of us, the Board has decided to add a new/second Member at Large Board position in order to take on some of these tasks and responsibilities.   As well, a number of the Board positions are up for re-election so interested individuals may apply for these positions as follows:

    President, Vice President, Director of Membership (please note that all 3 current incumbents as noted above are letting their names stand for re-election to these positions).

    Roger Hutlet must also have his appointment to the Communications Director role confirmed at the AGM.

    Non-Board roles that must also be elected at the AGM are:


    Auditor (If the auditor is a certified CPA, only one is needed, otherwise we need two)

    Nominating Committee (4 persons)

    If a member is interested in any of these positions, they should first read the Job Descriptions available on the SAPC website which can be accessed from this link.  

    On the following web page you will find the Ombudsperson job description:  https://www.pickleballstalbert.ca/resources/Documents/Policies-Rules/Operational%20-%20Ombudsperson.pdf

    Please note that the Board is recommending to the AGM Nominating Committee that one of the qualifications for the President and Vice President Board positions be that they are residents of St Albert.  This will significantly strengthen our Club's negotiation position with the City of St. Albert when arranging for current and future facilities agreements.

    The Nominating Committee encourages all interested members to make their interest known to Scott Henderson at shenderson2@shaw.ca no later than December 24, 2021. Please supply a brief resume and cover letter stating why you would like the position and why you feel you are a good  candidate for the role.

    A Nominating Committee report covering the candidates will be sent out to all members with the notice of the AGM in January 2022.

    Other Nominating Committee members currently include:

    Kevin McClean at kmcclean@telus.net , and

    Gerry Gartner at gerrygartner@shaw.ca

    Indoor Play

    Joseph Demko

    Effective immediately, the entrance and exit to Joseph Demko will be through the main door.  You can park along the front of the school, but you MUST BE ON TIME.  You need to be on time as the bell cannot be heard in the gym and we do not want to be bothering the caretaking team.   If you arrive late please go to the back gym door.   This applies to all sessions - for clarity:

    On Monday be at the school at 6:30 pm

    On Saturday be at the school at 10:30 am


    Just a reminder about the school bells.  With the new COVID regulations and security at the school, all schools have added a new bell; the bell is connected to a microphone so that when you press it the school office answers and then grants you access to the school.  DO NOT PRESS THIS BELL as no one can hear it after hours.

    The "regular bell" is usually close by the new bell button.  Each school bell is a different color so pay close attention to ensure that you are ringing the correct bell.  The  captain or designate will wait at the door for the first 10-15 minutes before play is scheduled to begin.  We ask that members be on time to avoid members who are playing having to leave the gym to answer the door.  Please note that if members arrive early/on time, there will be no need to ring the bell for access.

    Stay safe and don’t forget to bring your QR code, club ID and of course indoor shoes!

    Until next time, keep your paddle up!

  • 2021-11-28 10:51 | Anonymous

    We wish to extend our thanks to the 2.5 and 3.0 groups on Saturdays at Bertha Kennedy whose sessions were bumped for rating clinics and apologize for the inconvenience (our options were limited).

    Please note that we will not be offering any rating clinics in December; they could commence in January, 2022 depending on the demand.

    Congratulations to all participants of the rating clinics held since July including those just conducted yesterday.  Also, many thanks to our raters Sean and Leslie.

    Best regards,

    Karen and Gerry
    Ratings Co-coordinators

  • 2021-11-17 10:52 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Pickleball is one of the sports played in Alberta's 55 Plus Games.

    Would you like to compete in or watch the pickleball play in Alberta 55 Plus Winter Games or Summer Games? Then check out this poster.

    By the way, the "Zone 5" referenced in the poster refers to the Alberta Sport Zone 5 -- the Black Gold / Yellowhead zone. This zone excludes Edmonton but includes St. Albert, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Sherwood Park. A zone map is here.

  • 2021-11-10 15:22 | Anonymous

    In this issue:

     Mentoring  School Venues
     Vaccinations  Indoor Play 
     Facility Strategy - Feedback More Thank Yous


    Mentoring is happening once a month on Friday evenings at Bertha Kennedy School.  Members can request a place at mentoring by sending an email to training@pickleballstalbert.ca to make their request; when doing so, the Member should state the level that they wish to attend (for example, if you have a 3.0 rating you may state that you want to be mentored for a 3.5 level).  The evening will be divided into two sessions and the levels being mentored at each session will depend upon those who are registered (based upon "demand").  The cost for such mentoring is one sticker.  There are a few spaces left for the November 19th session.  Registration for mentoring each month will start at the beginning of that month.  The mentoring coaches cannot do any booking as this is all organized through the training coordinator (Nicki); she will contact each member registered stating the time that they can attend and any other information they need to know. 

    School Venues

    Be on time! 

    Members are asked to be on time for the venues.  We give a window of 15 minutes, however if this is a new venue for you to attend, it is imperative that you be on time to verify your identity, vaccination status, etc.  If you arrive early at any venue wait outside until you see the captain access the building.

    Joseph Demko

    Most venues are accessed through the front door, but Joseph Demko is accessed through the gym door at the back.  If you park in the parking lot you will see the basketball court and the double gym door is visible from there.  DO NOT go banging on other doors of the school as this has created an incident at the Joseph Demko school.  The way to the gym door is very dark with minimal lighting, especially now with the time change so please be careful!

    Important:  We cannot access Joseph Demko 3.5+ until 6:50.  Please do not arrive earlier than this.  The access is through the gym door so the captain will watch for the caretaker to open the door. 

    Sister Alphonse

    Sister Alphonse 3.5+ has a new time; future sessions will take place from 6:15 - 9:00 pm on Wednesday evenings.

    Be Respectful

    We are so lucky to have the venues and by treating the venue and staff respectfully, we have been able to have a great relationship with the schools.   Any abusive behaviour or disrespect to the staff will not be accepted and could lead to the member not being granted future access to that venue (or all venues depending on the severity/nature of the incident or encounter). 


    We will be changing our process for checking members' vaccination records.  As are many other organizations, we will be following the new provincial rules.  We believe that this will be a more secure and standardized process for everyone involved.  The QR code is effective November 15th provincially; therefore, starting on November 16th, members should bring be prepared to display their Alberta Vaccination QR codes at all SAPC venues.  Thank you for your help and cooperation as we make the transition to the new process.

    Indoor Play - Other

    Playing up

    This is a reminder that there is no “playing up “ at this time. In the summer when members had registered for a rating clinic we accommodated them “playing up” as we had 10 courts.  However with indoor venues having only 2 to 4 courts we cannot accommodate players playing up. 

    Red Willow - Captains 

    With snowbirds travelling south we need captains for Red Willow for 3.0. Please email nicolecurrie@live.com if you are interested and available to captain these sessions.

    Facility Strategy - Input Strongly Desired

    As noted in our last Newsletter, we have now posted a draft of our new Facilities Strategy - our 5 to 10 year vision for more pickleball facilities in St. Albert.  Please note that this document is a work in progress - some blanks need to be filled in and member input is needed to make this strategy even stronger.

    Please read the draft strategy, which is now posted on our Plans and Policies web page, or jump straight to the report here.

    Have a look and ask yourself - do you share this vision?  Is this how we should go about pursuing these new facilities? 

    After reviewing the draft Facility Strategy document, if you are so inclined, you are strongly encouraged to send an email to the Facilities Task Force c/o Treasurer@pickleballstalbert.ca with the subject line: Facilities Strategy - Member Comment.  In your email, please identify one or more of the following questions by number and provide a response to each question you have identified:

    1. Do you agree there is or will be a need for more pickleball facilities in St. Albert in the years to come?
    2. Do you agree with the three priority objectives laid out?
    3. How would you strengthen or alter the rationale for one of the priorities?
    4. What else needs to be added to the plan for one of the priorities?
    5. Do you have some information on other pickleball facilities that can fill in the blanks in an appendix or add to the strength of the research we have provided?
    6. Do you have suggestions regarding an advocacy approach with the City of St. Albert?
    7. Would you like to join our Facilities Task Force and add some more muscle to help us realize a future as glorious as these golden days of pickleball in St. Albert?  This is the legacy we will leave to our children and grandchildren.  We'd love to have you join our team!

    We look forward to receiving all of your feedback whether it be general or detailed, positive or negative.  The best plans are generally made by considering all view points and ideas, including many that we may not have even thought of - remember this is YOUR Club!

    More Thank Yous

    In addition to the many thank yous in our last Newsletter, the Club would also like to extend its thanks to Nicole Currie who manages Red Willow and organizes the lessons and mentoring sessions.  She gives readily of her time again and again - thank you Nicki!

    Thanks also goes out to the entire training team which currently consists of the following dedicated and talented members:

    Ken Dentzien
    Dan Stoker
    John Sandmoen
    Bill Moyes
    Jeanine Au
    Art Au
    Annette Campbell
    Casey Campbell 
    Brad Hurshowy
    James Porter
    Shelley Porter
    Rick Storfield
    Blair Bashaw
    Nicole Currie

    In response to our request for additional personal thank yous from members, a special thank you also goes out to an "unsung hero" - Judy Murray.   According to a number of members, Judy deserves a thumbs up "For all the work she does before most members even set foot on the court.   She’s always there early making sure the courts are cleaned up before play (Alpine this summer).  Plus she is a true ambassador for the club anytime she sees a new face, not to mention the time and patience she spends assisting new players.  Judy does all this behind the scenes and most members don’t even know everything she does for the club."

    Until next time, keep your paddle up!

  • 2021-10-28 15:58 | Anonymous

    In this issue:

     Facility Strategy Takes Shape  Thanks to Volunteers
     Website References for FAQ's  Member Ratings - Other Clubs
     Indoor Play  Red Willow Registration/Cancellations
     New Communications Director  

    Facility Strategy Takes Shape

    Your Facilities Task Force wants your input!  Help shape our future or just see what is going on.

    We have now posted a draft of our new Facilities Strategy - our 5 to 10 year vision for more pickleball facilities in St. Albert.  Please note that this document is a work in progress - some blanks need to be filled in and member input is needed to make this strategy even stronger.

    Please read the draft strategy, which is now posted on our Plans and Policies web page, or jump straight to the report here.

    Have a look and ask yourself - do you share this vision?  Is this how we should go about pursuing these new facilities? 

    After reviewing the draft Facility Strategy document, if you are so inclined, you are encouraged to send an email to the Facilities Task Force c/o Treasurer@pickleballstalbert.ca with the subject line: Facilities Strategy - Member Comment.  In your email, please identify one or more of the following questions by number and provide a response to each question you have identified:

    1. Do you agree there is or will be a need for more pickleball facilities in St. Albert in the years to come?
    2. Do you agree with the three priority objectives laid out?
    3. How would you strengthen or alter the rationale for one of the priorities?
    4. What else needs to be added to the plan for one of the priorities?
    5. Do you have some information on other pickleball facilities that can fill in the blanks in an appendix or add to the strength of the research we have provided?
    6. Do you have suggestions regarding an advocacy approach with the City of St. Albert?
    7. Would you like to join our Facilities Task Force and add some more muscle to help us realize a future as glorious as these golden days of pickleball in St. Albert?  This is the legacy we will leave to our children and grandchildren.  We'd love to have you join our team!

    Note that this is the second piece of our overall facilities strategy. The first piece was our SAPC Facility Reserve--Investing in our Future.  Over 30 members commented on that paper, validated this approach, and strengthened our financial resolve.  If you missed that paper you can review it on the same webpage referenced above.

    Thanks to Volunteers

    Thanks to all the captains who led and organized our summer play and who signed up to captain our indoor play.  We know COVID safety has made your jobs just a bit more of a challenge, but you have risen to that challenge and are keeping us safe.  Kudos to all of you!

    Thanks to Eileen, not only for your tireless work as our President, but also for your separate work as Venue Manager.  You and your team of Venue Coordinators have again secured a great roster of indoor play venues (the envy of all other clubs in the region), you have liaised with venue contacts, organized captains and play times and met with and supported our captains.  It is an inspiration to see you go -- you make us dizzy at the start of each season!

    Thanks to Mark Nadeau, our very capable Equipment Coordinator, who along with his helpful partner Arlene, have done an absolutely fantastic job organizing and inventorying our equipment, buying new nets and balls and much, more more - and always with a smile!  Here's hoping we can continue seeing your "around the post" play in person this indoor season, and not just via videos (great acting though - we've nominated you for the Academy Awards for that!).  Thank you for organizing volunteers to do the sad, but necessary, equipment take down to end our outdoor season at Alpine Courts.

    Thanks to Nela Alfonso, our Binder Minder, who stocked and organized all our captain's venue binders, helping to make us ready for indoor play and thanks to Douwe for having those sign-in sheets printed.

    Thanks to Marion Spriensma for pumping out and mailing all those sticker cards our members are ordering as we ramp up for indoor play.

    Thanks to our Rating Coordinators Gerry Gartner and Karen Cabot who organized all of our rating clinics and even attended the ones on that very chilly day in September.

    Thanks to Carol Peabody, our Registered Play coordinator, for setting up our summer shootout events in our calendars and for setting up all the reserved play for our indoor season.

    Thanks again to Ken Dentzien and all the people who ran SAPC's biggest tournament ever this last September.   We are now set up to run even bigger tournaments in the future!   (thanks to James Porter and his team for working hard through the technical issues with the tournament software).  It is worth noting that such tournament events are very important for our club; not only did 20% of our members participate and have FUN, such events can significantly raise SAPC's profile in St. Albert.   We would like to hold more tournaments in the future.  Multi-day tournaments, for example, have economic development spinoff benefits for St. Albert hotels, restaurants and other businesses and they can be used to generate publicity further raising our profile with the City of St. Albert and attracting more members.  All of that helps as we begin to collaborate with the City to build more pickleball facilities as noted in the first article of this Newsletter.

    Speaking of that first article, many thanks to Ray for his hard work and many hours spent working on this first draft of our Facility Strategy.

    There are many, many more volunteers we have to thank -- sorry we didn't get to everyone this issue. To all of you, thank you for your interest, your caring and your time. All our members and our entire community benefits from your spirit.

    Do you have one or more volunteers in our Club that you would like to thank in particular?  Send your name(s), your "one-liners" of thanks or your stories to communications@pickleballstalbert.ca -- or post it directly to our facebook page!   We would love to pass those along.

    Website References for Frequently Asked Questions

    "You've got questions?  We got answers!"

    We'll bet that several of you would like to be reminded of the answers to one or more of the following questions.  Well, you're in luck!  Here's how and where to find answers - click on the links provided below to direct you to the correct webpage:

    1. How do I reserve a play spot at Red Willow?  See the Reserved Play webpage.

    2. What are the rules for indoor play these days?  See the Guide to Indoor Play Fall 2021 article on our Home page.

    3. How do I use a club credit?  See the Finance and Technology FAQ webpage.  Please use your club credit when you renew your membership for 2022 - you can only do that by following the steps provided.   Use it or lose it!

    4. How do I renew my membership for 2022?  See the summary information here.  To learn more about the new process, see this new SAPC FAQ page on Pickleball Canada memberships  (Note: If you are using a club credit to pay for part of your membership please alter this procedure based on the process referenced in the question #3 above).

    5. How do I add my picture to my membership card?  How do I print or save my membership card to show captains?  These questions are also answered on our Finance and Technology FAQ page.

    As you will have noted from this short list, the SAPC website is a treasure trove of good information with answers to many if not all of your questions - be an archeologist this Halloween season and do a little diggin'... it will be fun!

    Member Ratings - Other Clubs

    With more and more members playing in multiple jurisdictions including down south, the question often comes up as to whether a SAPC member can use another club's rating for purposes of organized SAPC play.  The answer is yes, under the following conditions:

    • The other club must have a formal club rating system using certified or experienced raters and a database of members' ratings.
    • Proof of rating must be provided to an SAPC Rating Coordinator and must contain:
    1. Name of club, email or web address of club, and either a mailing address or phone number of the of the letter or certificate writer;
    2. Rating date within the previous 24 months;
    3. An attestation that the club has a formal rating club rating system and uses certified or experienced raters; and
    4. The rating level of the player and the type of rating (club or sanctioned tournament).
    Note that if the proof is a letter or email, the originator must be a current or past club president, rating manager or other position responsible for ratings and must state the writer's position.

    The following will be accepted as partial proof of rating, but must be accompanied by any other information needed as described above:

    • A member's rating evaluation form containing the evaluator's name and contact information, date of evaluation, evaluation result and the successful rating level achieved.
    • A membership card with a club rating on it.
    • A screen-shot (image capture) of a member's profile with a club or tournament rating on it. 
    All of the above can be referenced by clicking on this link to our website.

    Note - VERY IMPORTANT:   It is the SAPC Member's responsibility to comply with this rating policy and for the Member to provide the information requested as noted above; the Club will NOT seek out this information on your behalf nor contact anyone on your behalf to obtain same.

    Indoor Play

    Just a reminder to members that for those beginning to come indoors to play that all the information about playing indoors can be found in the previous, September 30 Newsletter.

    Red Willow Registration & Cancellations

    When you register at Red Willow and the session is full you can decide to add your name on the waiting list.  If you do this, it is very important that you check your e-mails right up until the start of the event because a member can cancel at any time (try to avoid late cancellations as noted below).  If a member cancels, you will automatically receive an e-mail that you are now registered.  Therefore, if you don’t check your e-mails, you won’t realize that you are in the system and expected to play at Red Willow for that session.

    If you need to cancel from a registered session please do so as early as possible to allow time for the above process to take place and another interested Member to register for the session.

    By the way, once your name is on the wait list you cannot remove it by yourself should you change your mind.  The only way to remove a name from the wait list is within the program by the site manager; to have them do so, please send an e-mail to regplay@pickleballstalbert.ca.

    New Communications Director

    The Club is pleased to announce that we have a new Communications Director.  Roger Hutlet has agreed to take on this role and to join the SAPC Board - welcome aboard!  Roger says that he is looking forward to working with the SAPC Team including all volunteers.  This is his first Newsletter so please be patient with his sense of humor, misspellings, etc.

    Until next time, keep your paddle up!

  • 2021-09-30 10:04 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In this issue:

     Indoor Play Starting  Indoor Play - Key Details
     Red Willow Details  Indoor Play Reminders
     School Play  How to Reserve Your Spot
     Save or Print Your Membership Card  Club Historian: Reta

    Indoor Play Starting

    Are you hoping to play indoors soon? Then this is the issue for you!  The first thing to know is that reservations for our first sessions, which are at Red Willow, can be made starting at about 4:30 pm Friday Oct 1.  Read on for more information about playing safe and about making reservations.

    Indoor Play - Key Details

    As we prepare for indoor play we wanted to review the rules. To make it easy, there are four things you MUST have to come to indoor play!

    1. Proof of vaccination.
    2. Mask
    3. Membership card
    4. Stickers.

    We suggest you also have hand sanitizer for your use between games. 

    1.  PROOF OF VACCINATION  can be on your phone or printed out. If you are just going to receive your second vaccination you will not be permitted to play indoors until two weeks after your second shot. The captains will check your proof of vaccination, noting the date of the second shot. The rules regarding proof of vaccination in the Sep 16 newsletter are still applicable.

    2.  You will remain MASKED  anytime you are not playing on the courts. The easiest way to do this is keep a mask in your pocket so as you leave the court you can wear it immediately after play.

    3.  You MUST  have your MEMBERSHIP CARD with you. We have new members and new captains. On your membership card it states your level of play and as the captains do not know everyone, this is the easiest way to check level of play.  Also confirms proof of ID when checking the vaccination card. It can be printed out or on your phone. Instructions on how to access and download or print your membership card are included at the end of this newsletter.

    4.  STICKERS. It is the members responsibility to have stickers to play. If you have not ordered them, do so now. The captains or members WILL NO LONGER be selling stickers. If you are waiting for stickers to arrive, do not register to play until you have received them. The past practice of accommodating requests for stickers has caused problems for captains and members, so we're ending this practice now. Please allow three weeks for the processing and mail delivery of sticker cards.

    These rules (and those below) are also posted in a more abbreviated form on the home page of our website. That home page article will continue to be updated as circumstances change -- and we're certainly getting used to change, aren't we?

    Red Willow Details

    We can not enter Red Willow until 10 minutes prior to our first session.   Most  days begin at 9:00 so do not come earlier than 10 to the hour . In the past we were entering the building earlier and earlier and we have assured Red Willow that this will not happen. For each session following the 9-11:00 session you will not be able to access the gym until approximately five after the hour.  

    TWO STICKERS  are needed for session of play at Red Willow!

    It has been agreed that members will not be gaining access to the foyer as social distancing cannot be adhered to. Just remain in your vehicles or you can stand outside if this is your wish.

    The previous captain will have the session finished at 5 to the hour which gives the next captain time to allow everyone to leave .The captain will then spray the door handles and the washing room taps. When this is done the  captain will allow the next group to enter.

    You can leave outdoor shoes in the foyer but bring everything else into the gym where it will be placed on a chair that you choose. The walls have been marked with a taped X so social distancing is observed. We will not be disinfecting the chairs after each session. However if you wish to clean the chair prior to sitting bring your own wipes. Red Willow is leaving a spray bottle but this spray leaves the chair wet and does not have to be wiped off. The captain  at the end of the last session of the day will ask those in attendance to spray their chair and stack them in the back foyer( where we used  to get the chairs prior to covid) not the front entrance.

    There are 16 X's placed on the walls as on  the third and fourth Sundays  there is a free session for up to 16 people. This session can include members  of the public as this session of play is free, a gift from Red Willow to give back to the community. This session is not registered so the first 16 will gain entrance to play. All the rules for this free session are as above . When  Red Willow informs their members about this, they will all receive the information about requiring proof of vaccination, ID  and masks. 

    When we last used Red Willow there were specific rules about only one person in the washroom. This rule is no longer in place.

    Members may choose to spray the ball prior to play.  If so, they will need to bring their own disinfectant as the one provided at Red Willow is a heavy wet spray.

    Indoor Play Reminders

    These indoor play reminders apply to Red Willow, all school venues and other indoor venues. 


    Members must bring indoor shoes! You cannot wear outdoor shoes into the gym unless there is a blazing fire in there and children need rescuing, okay? We know what weather we are expecting , so clean dry indoor shoes must be brought to be worn in the gyms.


    Only water is allowed in the gyms. No juices or other drinks are allowed due to the damage they can cause to the gym floors. Also no food.


    It continues to be important to check the calendar in case any of the venues are closed suddenly. If this happens with short notice it will usually be posted on our Facebook page.


    Some of the play sessions will be identified with a on the calendar.  At these sessions, and ONLY at these sessions, can members play down. If you and your partner wish to play together but are both rated at different levels, you are able to attend ALL sessions. 

    Why are these limitations in effect? Well, we expect the demand for indoor play to significantly exceed venue availability, and this helps balance play opportunities for all members.  In particular:

    • Covid may again restrict the number of venues we have.
    • Each venue has limited courts. (Red Willow has two, most schools have three and Vital Grandin has four courts. JJ Nearing has only two full courts as climbing equipment restricts full access to the third play court.)  
    • Sessions have been allocated to our venues in proportion to the number of members at each level (subject to captain availability). 
    Each member can only reserve one play session per day, unless there is a vacancy in a reserved play session within an hour of start time. 


    As we have limited courts and want to play as safe as practical, no visitors or spectators (non-players) are permitted.

    School Play

    The City has cancelled all community use of school bookings up until at least October 11th.  We hope to have more news on the availability of schools within a few days.

    Assuming there is play at schools:

    • Each school has a different start and end time so ensure you check the calendar before heading out.
    • There will not be disinfecting spray at the schools.
    • Play at some schools may start in as drop-in, then convert to reserved play for Covid-safety, when attendance begins to regularly exceed about 150% of court capacity.
    • Play at schools will cost one sticker.

    How to Reserve Your Spot

    1. Log in to our website.
    2. Click on the event in the indoor calendar or in a venue calendar.
    3. Next screen - if the registration is open there is a black button on the left side that says “Register”.  Click on “Register”. (If the session is full, you can also sign up to be put on the waitlist.) .
    4. Next screen - states the event and the registrant's email - there is a bottom right button that says “Next”. Click on “Next”.
    5. Next screen - states the event and the registrants name, email, and phone number. ***Make sure the box is checked to include your name in list of event registrants. This box must be checked as the captains need to know who is registered for the event. There is a bottom right button that says “Next”. Click on “Next”.
    6. Next screen - confirms all information. There is a bottom right button that says “Confirm”. Click on “Confirm”.
    7. Next screen - thanks you for your successful registration. You will  receive an email confirming your registration.

    Do you need to cancel a reservation or have other questions on reservations? See our Reserved Play webpage.

    Save or Print Your Membership Card

    To print it:

    1. Log in on a device connected to a printer
    2. Select "View profile" from the menu you see when you hover over or click on the "head and shoulders" icon in the top right corner. (On some devices you may have to first tap the three-bar menu icon  to see the "View profile" option).
    3. Below the picture of your membership card, click "Printable PDF." A file should automatically download to your device.
    4. Open the downloaded file, called "MembershipCard.png" and follow the instructions in the file.

    To access it and/or save it using an iPhone:

    1. Log in to our website from your iPhone.
    2. Tap the three-bar (menu) icon in the top left corner.
    3. Tap the head and shoulders icon in the top right corner.
    4. Select "View Profile".
    5. Show the membership card to your captain. (Note that steps 1 to 5 only work if connected to the internet via wifi or cellular. If you won't be connected at the venue, you can do steps 1-4 from home, then continue as follows.) 
    6. Below the picture of your membership card, click "Image optimized for smartphones".
    7. When asked "Do you want to download "MembershipCard.png?" click "Download."
    8. Go to your Files app, browse to your "Recent" or "Downloads" folder, and open the downloaded file.
    9. Save it or send it to a location (folder, email, message, etc.) that you find convenient for later retrieval (and for showing to a captain).
    Similar steps can be used to access your card from an Android smartphone or other device.

    Club Historian: Reta

    Thanks Reta T for stepping forward and volunteering to be our Club Historian!  Members: if you have (or want to draft) any of the following, please email Reta at herbgirlrt@outlook.com:

    • photos (digital or prints)
    • stories
    • memorabilia

    Were you on our club's first board? At the club's first tournament or at a recent tournament? Do you recall your first (or most recent) laugh as a club member?  What characters stick in your mind? What milestones do you recall?  Are you possibly the club's youngest or "more advanced" member, or do you know who that is? Do you have our club's first newsletter? Reta can put all your submissions together and you can have a spot as a contributor to the legacy we are all building and want to leave to our successors in this fun, wondrous and crazy world.

    Until next time, keep your paddle up!

  • 2021-09-16 13:44 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In this issue:

     What a Tournament!  Playing Indoors Safely
     Other Indoor Play News  Facility Advocate Opening
     Beginner Training  2022 Memberships
     Membership Renewals: Use Your Credit  Injured?

    What a Tournament!

    What records did we break at our September 11 FUN tournament?

    • Largest SAPC tournament ever, with 200 matches and 104 players.
    • Longest SAPC tournament ever (but we learned how to use Pickleball Brackets so we are primed for even bigger and better in future).
    • Record setting number of sponsors and prizes (thanks to the volunteers for their many contacts)
    • Every game refereed (thanks to all the referees from Parkland Pickleheads and to our own SAPC volunteer referees!)

    Congrats to the medal winners (shown below) and all other participants.

    See our club Facebook group for many pictures of members having fun! (We are also planning on putting some of these onto our website soon – stay tuned for that.)

    THANKS to the organizers, sponsors, many other volunteers, and particularly to Ken Dentzien, Tournament Director and James Porter, his right hand on the computer.  Other volunteers, a list of sponsors, and other tournament highlights are identified in this tournament report. Hope we didn’t miss anyone!

    Playing Indoors Safely

    Thank you for all the thoughtful, informed and respectful input members have provided to our board on this topic. Your input matters.

    Much of this input was along the lines that our government has now taken.  In case you didn’t hear our Premier and Health Minister speak on cbc.ca at 6 pm September 15, we have summarized the comments below, in so far as indoor pickleball play is concerned.  This information is also available at a government webpage cited below.

    Covid hospitalizations and ICU cases have again reached record highs in Alberta. To increase our safety, to control spread, and to further incent immunizations, the Government of Alberta has declared a state of public health emergency and has again brought in temporary measures, some of which basically translate into a vaccine passport system. The bottom line, for pickleball and all other indoor adult sports, is that we are either shutdown completely or we adopt a Restrictions Exemption Program, which is a fancy name for a vaccine passport system. 

    So, in order to try to offer any indoor play at all, SAPC has no choice but to adopt a Restrictions Exemption Program. Consequently, at a board meeting the evening of Sep 15, your board passed this resolution: “SAPC hereby adopts the Restrictions Exemption Program for indoor club play, in compliance and in accordance with Government of Alberta requirements streamed online at cbc.ca and as announced and posted at https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-public-health-actions.aspx on Sept 15.  This means that any member coming out to play indoors will bring proof of double vaccination or recent negative covid test and will show this proof whenever asked.

    Now indoor play could start in early October. You have a couple of weeks to gather some form of vaccination evidence for BOTH vaccinations. For the time being, the government and SAPC will accept any of the following:

    • vaccination forms provided by the pharmacy or health centre where your vaccinations were done,
    • printout or screen shot of an immunization report from your online MyHealth account,
    • immunization card (soon printable or downloadable) from your MyHealth account,
    • documentation of a medical exemption, or
    • proof of a privately-paid negative PCR or rapid test within 72 hours of playing (tests from AHS or Alberta Precision Laboratories not allowed).

    Please pack this evidence with your mask and bring it to every indoor play session you attend.

    Note that this vaccine passport rule also applies to beginner’s lessons and any other indoor sessions.

    Other Indoor Play News

    Are the above measures enough to actually get us some indoor play venues?  Well stay tuned. Nothing is assured until it actually happens.

    Just prior to the Premier’s announcement, we had made venue arrangements with one church, the Sturgeon Heights school, and several other city schools. We are now in the process of assuring these venues that we are adopting a Restrictions Exemption Program, and hope that is sufficient to avoid a complete shutdown to adult sports by these venues. Basically, our venues must also adopt a Restrictions Exemption program for their gymnasiums or they must shut down indoor adult sports play.

    We will pass on more news on this in the next two weeks.  If and when indoor play is confirmed, it will also be posted on our indoor play calendars. Always check the calendars for times and details before heading out to play.

    Assuming some indoor play proceeds, here’s some additional news related to that play.

    For reserved indoor play, you can make reservations starting on Friday, for all sessions from Monday to Sunday of the following week. The exact time of reservation opening will vary slightly. Here’s why:

    • We were going to have these sessions open automatically (and very consistently) at 12:00:01 am (real early) Saturday morning, but some asked that have the reservations open up while most people are awake.

    • So we are going with manual openings. This is more work each week for Carol, our registered play coordinator (and her backups), but we will give it a try.  Doing it manually means that the registration opening time could vary somewhat each week, as it takes time to manually open each of our dozens of events, and sometimes we actually put something else in our life ahead of pickleball (though this is rare, of course!)  Anyway, the target time is to have all reserved play events open by 4:30 pm on Friday, but some weeks it could be a couple minutes after that for a few events, and other weeks it could even be a couple of hours before that!
    • In summary, reservations open by approximately 4:30 pm on Friday, for all sessions from Monday to Sunday of the following week (and if we have any complaints about this we can quickly convert back to automated openings at midnight.)

    No spectators at any indoor event – only participants.

    Please, please also read the Guide to Indoor Play – Fall 2021 article on our home page.  This article supersedes the news in our Sept 4 newsletter. This home page article will also be continually updated as our reserved play protocol and Covid safety rules change.

    Facility Advocate Opening

    Using a 5 to 10-year perspective, your Facilities Task Force has identified and will soon recommend (to the board and membership) certain priorities for additional pickleball facilities in St. Albert. We are also nearing the stage when we need to plan how to advocate for these additional facilities, building on our great relationship with the City of St. Albert.

    • Do you have an interest in planning for more facilities with the City?
    • Can you spot opportunities to further develop our connections to the City or to raise pickleball awareness in St. Albert?
    • Would you like to be involved in meetings with the City?
    • Do you know some city officials or council members?
    • Do you have experience in making presentations or in having meaningful discussions with decision-makers?
    We’re not looking for someone with ALL these interests. We know a job like this takes a team of individuals, each having something to contribute. If you are interested in joining our task force or if  you’d like to share some advocacy advice with us, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line at Treasurer@pickleballstalbert.ca.

    Beginner Training

    This training is again underway – thanks to Nicole and her cadre of volunteer trainers.  If you know someone outside our club who may be interested in taking a free beginner lesson, refer them to our Beginner’s Lesson webpage.

    Note that anyone attending an indoor beginner's lesson must also adhere to the indoor play provisions described in the newsletter articles above  and any provisions posted to the home page of our website.

    2022 Memberships

    Starting Oct 1, you can renew your membership for 2022. Non-members can also purchase new memberships on that date that are effective from the date of purchase to Dec 31 2022.

    Didn’t we just buy memberships in March or April for 2021? Yes, but recall that was for a short membership year that expires December 31, 2021. Why? Well to comply with the standardized pickleball membership year now in effect for all clubs affiliated with Pickleball Canada.

    The SAPC membership fee for 2022 has just been set. It is $40.  The additional proceeds will be used to start building a capital reserve toward future pickleball facilities in St. Albert. This was an action endorsed by our board and members in 2021, but we delayed the fee increase due to the short membership year and Covid play restrictions.

    Please also recall that you must join or renew with Pickleball Canada and Pickleball Alberta separately, before joining or renewing with SAPC.  They have a combined charge of $15 for 2022. Further details are here.

    Membership Renewals: USE YOUR CREDIT

    Do you have a credit with SAPC?  If so, PLEASE use up your credit when you renew your membership!  Only YOU can do that for yourself, and you can save on the membership fee by doing so.  How do you use your credit? It’s a bit tricky.  See the instructions on this page. If you need help, ask Treasurer@pickleballstalbert.ca before you hit that payment button.

    How do you know if you have a credit? It will show up in the Balance in the top right corner of your profile on the SAPC website.


    If you are injured even slightly during organized play, please report it to the captain so a medical incident report can be completed.  This helps us keep play sessions as safe as possible and it helps us support you should you need to make a claim to use the sport injury insurance you have through your Pickleball Canada membership. It also helps us keep in touch with you regarding your injury – because we care!

    Until next time, keep your paddle up!

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