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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.

  • 2020-09-01 11:20 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Indoor Play is Coming

    Sticker Sales Resumed

    Indoor Pickleballs for Sale

    Indoor Play is Coming!

    Thanks Eileen and Nicole for securing over 20 play-times per week at Red Willow, arranging for captains, and more. And thanks to Carol P for continuing on as our Registered Play coordinator. Carol will soon be setting up these reserved play times. Watch the upcoming news and the indoor calendar. The first indoor play time will likely be Oct. 4. 

    To help you get ready for this Covid prevention-oriented play, see the two articles below.

    Sticker Sales Resumed

    Need a new sticker card? Orders are now being taken online again. See the Store under the Members menu.

    Indoor Pickleballs for Sale

    To encourage and allow regular sanitation for health safety reasons, members are asked to provide their own balls for indoor play this year.  To facilitate this, our club is selling a limited number of indoor pickleballs.  These are only available through our online store under the Members menu. No cash sales.

    Total cost including GST will be $12 per set of 3 balls. These balls are suitable for play at Red Willow Community Church.  (If we secure other indoor venues this year, they will likely use orange balls.) 

    > Members may buy up to 3 sets each.

    > This round of sales will be ended when our order of 200 balls are sold or on Sep 23, whichever comes first. 

    > Balls must be picked up from Elsi on one of the following days:  

         > Parking lot, Alpine Courts:

              - Fri Sep 25     6 pm to 6:30 pm

              - Sat Sep 26  11 am to 11:30 am

         > Parking lot, Red Willow Community Church:

              - Mon Oct 5 10:45 am to 11:10 am 

    Please wear a mask to collect your balls.  Stay safe and keep our volunteers safe!

    Thanks Elsi for overseeing the pickup of these balls! 

  • 2020-07-27 16:50 | Anonymous member

    Porta Potty: No Go

    3.0 Shoot Out Openings

    Shootouts - How to Qualify and How Register, And Why I Don't See Shootout Events in My Calendar

    Rating Etiquette:  Note From The President

    Rating Questions: Who's a What?, I Can Play Which? Don’t Repeatedly Bruise My Opponents?

    July Play Data

    Smart Phone App for SAPC Members
     Youth Opportunities

    Porta Potty: No Go

    With all the legwork in discussing, consulting and arranging for this vital, yet basic means of dealing with our diuretic urgencies, you’d have thought we were planning a lunar landing. The considerations and approvals required for placing a Porta potty at Alpine seemed to approach that level of NASA detail.

    Unfortunately, it will not be in place this year. The club worked to get all our ducks in a row with the costs, supplies, insurance and cleaning assignments but alas, our plans were waylaid by that significant, now multi-seasonal x-factor we know as Covid.

    Here’s the City’s response to our request.


    Thank you for your request to place a portable toilet at Alpine Park at your association’s cost for the 2020 season.  The heath and safety of our community members and staff remain a top priority for the City of St. Albert.

     The City has an annual program where 35 portable toilets are placed throughout the City at local sports fields and high traffic parks.  However, the financial commitment for the program to adhere to the additional cleaning requirements due to COVID-19, resulted in the decision to not operate the portable toilets for 2020 in St. Albert.

     At this time, the City cannot approve your request; to maintain consistency and uphold the value of public safety, the City of St. Albert is not approving the addition of the portable toilet at Alpine park in 2020.


    Thank-you to Ed Dover (club member) of Live Easy | Home Service Experts who offered to pay for the rental cost of a porta potty.

     3.0 Shoot Out Openings

    And these “Shoot Outs” are a good thing?- that you want to attend?, be in front of?, and put your name in for??

    Why yes! In fact, some players find that our shootouts are the best play they have ever had because they are closely matched with players of their own skill level. These “tournament-similar” games are often close, have heart pumping action and help to improve your partner work and game focus. Seeing these same players each week also increases your social connections!

    Register by clicking the on the “3.0 Shoot Out Preregistration” banner on the Alpine Calendar.

    You will get a welcome email, then a weekly invite email that you must confirm, to be included in that week’s play.

    Shootouts - How to Qualify and How Register, And Why I Don't See Shootout Events in My Calendar

    Here’s More “How To” Instructions about Shoot Outs

     To be in the pool and be eligible to register, one must first PRE-register for the entire Shootout season. To be in the next week's event (a specific weekly shootout), you must then successfully register for that event.

    You PRE-register by clicking on the 3.0 or 3.5+ Pre-registration event in the Alpine calendar or the Reserved Play calendar.  If that pre-registration "event" is full, add your name to the waiting list.

    You register for a weekly event by either clicking "Register" in the weekly email you get OR by clicking on a particular weekly event in the calendar.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: You will only SEE these events in your calendar IF you are a member of the PRE-registered pool.  All other members, please note that these events are at 6 pm every Tuesday (3.0) and Wednesday (3.5+), but do not show up in your calendar.  Sorry, but this is the only practical way of limiting registrations to those who have pre-registered.

    Also, please note that weekly shootout event registrations open at 6 pm, six days before that weekly event.  Before this time, you will not see a "Register" button in the Calendar event.

    Questions? email Regplay@pickleballstalbert.ca or a shootout captain (Ken Dentzien - 3.5+; Mikki Melnyk or Roger Bradley - 3.0).

    Rating Etiquette:  Note From The President

    I have fielded many questions about rated play and extend an apology to members who have asked about playing down. I have been telling them they should not be attending 3.0 sessions. This year at Alpine we have only added + to the 3.5 play as it encompasses members at 4.0 Level as well.

    The reason 3.0 is in place, is that we have over 100 Players at this level and wanted to provide them with an opportunity to play without 3.5 rated players using all of the courts.

     Upon reflection and on review of the club’s expectations, members can play down. (See next article)



    Note: this "play down" option is excluded from Shoot Outs & Round Robins That means, no sandbagging at lower level Shoot Outs or Round Robins. ..and sorry, no esteem boosting domination allowed.

    Rating Questions: Who's A What?, I Can Play Which? Don’t Repeatedly Showboat My Stuff & Bruise My Opponents?

    Perhaps it’s a Spring thing, (mid June for St. Albert), but there have been many questions about rating levels, so we’ve revisited our club policies have the following refresher and revision on expectations of members.

    What Level Can I Play At?

    Members can play down a level or lower from their Rated ability for GENERAL play only. This allows for advanced Members to coach the lower level, and to be ENJOYED for your participation in their play, NOT to win every game and feel superior in your playing ability.

    Who Are YOU to Ask??

    Club sessions are wonderfully overseen by our volunteer captains. Captains are there to assist us all, in organizing the session play. In performing these session duties, you may be approached by a captain to confirm your rated level of play. Captains can ask a member about their rating level. This is simply something they may need to do. Please respond civilly.

    In the binder at the venue there is an up-to-date list of member ratings. If there is some apparent error with the manual binder, you may “go digital” to show the captain your club Membership Profile. If you have a freshly acquired and much celebrated updated rating (yay!), please bring your form to show, and remember to email our Membership Director to get your Member Profile updated. 

    Club Rules Regarding Ratings

    ● Do not tell another SAPC member that his or her rating is incorrect. If you believe someone’s rating is incorrect, please contact the Captain at the venue.

    ● Do not tell another SAPC member not to attend club-organized play for a particular rating level because you think he or she isn’t good enough to do so. If you believe someone is attending club-organized play that is inappropriate for his or her rating level, please contact the Captain at the venue.

    ● SAPC members are allowed to attend club-organized play for their  level or lower. For example, an SAPC member who is rated 3.5 can attend club-organized play for 3.5, 3.0, 2.5, etc., but cannot attend play for 4.0 or higher. This gives advanced players a chance to help mentor less-skilled players, who in turn have an opportunity to learn by playing with better players; it also allows players recovering from an injury to ease back into playing.

    ● Couples who want to play together must play at events intended for the lower of the two ratings. For example, if one person is rated 3.5 and the other is rated j.0, when playing together they must play at events for players rated 3.0. If an event includes play for both rating levels (such as “3.0+” in the previous example), they must each participate with the players at their own level—e.g. the 3.0 player should play with the other 3.0 players in attendance, and the 3.5 player should play with the other 3.5 players in attendance—unless the event mixes everyone together.

    ● Do not use the ratings system as an excuse to behave poorly toward other players. It’s all too easy to look down on players who have a lower rating than you, or to resent players who have a higher rating than you. Always respect your fellow club members, regardless of their rating.

    If there are any questions about any of these rules, please contact a Board member (their information is in the binder and on the club website).  If there are questions about Rating Clinics, email rating@pickleballstalbert.ca, or see more detail on our “Skills Levels & Ratings” club page.

    July Play Data

    We have all been participating in a grand outdoor July Alpine playpen, and for those of us still interested in a world where numbers are gathered, studied and evaluated- the lab coats n’ clipboards have thusly concluded: the SAPC consistently enjoy this sport in rain, wind, clouds, and even with fatigue, they come still.

    Here’s the session data from Alpine.

    • 3.0 play:.  6 sessions, average 23 people, Total 142 
    • 3.5  play:  11 sessions, average 25, Total  269
    • All play:  10 sessions, average 21, Total 209
    • 4.0 play NEW.  3 sessions. average 7, Total 21 
    • Round robin 3.0:  3 sessions average 16, Total 48 
    • Round robin 3.5:  3 sessions. Average 16, Total 50 
    • Round robin ALL:  I session,  5
    • Kings and Queens: 2 sessions, 15 and 3 

    Note: Shoot Out data hasn’t been included in the above, as it’s vast popularity has broken our abacus spools. Thanks to Ken’s sharpie & appealingly legible whiteboard & the Mikki/Roger dynamic duo (plus James "the wiz" Porter), we have we been manually interfacing- to conduct & adjust weekly events.

    Smart Phone App for SAPC Members

    Yes, you read that correctly. Now there's a tech-friendly way to securely access your Membership Directory to connect with friends for when you need a fourth on the courts?..want to invite folks to your patio party?.. or let Mark N. know he left his spiffy chapeau on the fence?

    Members can simply download "Wild Apricot for Members" from the Apple Play, or Google Play Store.

    Once you download this app and log in using your SAPC ID, you can:

    • See your event registrations (called "tickets" in the app)
    • See a list of upcoming club events (and register for each weekly 3.0 or 3.5+ shootout if you are in the pre-registration pool and therefore eligible to register)
    • See the member directory
    • See your profile (and prove your consolidated (club or tournament) rating to a captain if asked)

    Captains may also use the member directory to look up a player's consolidated rating. As mentioned in an article above, captains may need to check ratings now and then.  Members, if you have disabled the display of your rating in the member directory,  please consider changing it from "No Access (hidden) to "Members" (can view). 

    Being able to access our Membership Directory using this digital, real-time sync'd tool saves us from having to format, print and distribute member rating lists every time we have some rating changes. So, we're saving trees, some extra browser clicks, emissions, all that earth-friendly, sustainable future generations good stuff too. Look at us go!

    Youth Opportunities

    If you are interested in opportunities for youth pickleball at the Provincial level, you may email youth@pickleballalberta.org.  We are informed that at the moment they are merely gathering information for future correspondence, and you're invited to connect with them if you're a household that have youth interested in playing.

    If you are interested in SAPC club youth programs, you may email us at SAPC Info, and we'll keep you posted on any upcoming activities and/or opportunities to volunteer for sharing your ripened wisdom and pearls of play.

  • 2020-07-10 16:55 | Anonymous member

    Dear Member - click the newsletter title to read articles on:

    Personal Space & Sanitizing

    Session Arrival and Sign-In Procedure: NEW

    New Signs: Could Be Fines!

    Being Good Citizens At Alpine: 30 Minute Rule For Public Play

    Your Membership Record: Some Profile Details

    Have You Been Rated Elsewhere?

    Shootouts In The Calendar

    Calendaring Our Sessions

    Rain? What Rain?

    Captains Needed: 2.5, 3.0, All Play, 4.0

    Tools For Captains & Team Lists

    Accidents May Happen: Report Head Injuries

    Opportunities To Serve

    Personal Space & Sanitizing

    It is important for members to continue to practice social distancing within the walkway. This is the one area where congestion is NOT currently in compliance with social distancing.  The club is working with the city about the gate issue (as members who have sanitized their hands and pickleballs, then have to touch the handles of the gates to enter the courts!)

    By all means, bring your sanitizing sprays or gels into the courts if you’d like to re-sanitize often.  Your hands won’t shrink much and will recover.

    Let’s please be mindful of our wandering digits..our fingers, and what they grab, brush by, lean on etc. You’d probably be surprised how much of everything we touch in our surroundings. Let’s keep our hands to ourselves (always good advice), limit our touches to our stuff and thereby reduce our “fingerpainting footprint.”

    Session Arrival and Sign-In Procedure: NEW

    The purpose of the following new actions is to help captains manage everyone for Covid Safety. It is all very choreographed to enable Captains to clearly know who is playing in their session, and then to communicate the new protocols each time, with everyone.

    Please enjoy playing your part in this new orchestra of “in?, then back out, and return” movements for our sessions. Ready?

    1.       If you have arrived early (for a warm-up) before a scheduled session…
    Or you were already there playing and whether you intend on joining the new session or not…
    Or, if you are on the courts but at the end of your scheduled session…
    YOU MUST ALL LEAVE the courts via the EXIT when the captain rings a bell. (Yes, this may interrupt and will terminate a highlight-reel unfinished game)
    If you are starting or resuming play, make your way to the ENTRANCE. The captain of the new session will then lead all club players into the courts.
    2.       If you are arriving for a session, you must WAIT OUTSIDE THE COURTS until the captain leads you in.  Yes, you may sing as you stroll in together.
    3.       If you are confused or don’t notice the bell, please respect the efforts of the captain to tell you where to march, where to wait, when to re-enter etc.

    We recognize that waiting outside will mean some loong wandering lines and scattered (yet socially distancing) bunches.  Take courage. We can do this, unless you’d like to hold knotted ropes like in Kindergarten.

    Note that if there are public (non club) people freely playing on the non-club courts during these orderly session transitions, they will not need to participate in these “departure & arrival marches” since we are just being responsible for managing club members’ activities.

    As well and most importantly to many of us,  here's something that all members will need to do in helping efforts for safe play sessions: On each sign-up sheet you will notice the following:

    By signing this sign-in sheet you confirm that: to your knowledge you are COVID free; you have not spent more than 15 minutes within 6 ft of anyone testing COVID-19 positive in the past 14 days; you take reasonable steps not to be exposed to COVID-19; you take the sole responsibility for the risks of participating in Club activities; and you understand that the St Albert Pickleball Club reserves the right to remove you from the facilities or programs for any reason.

    New Signs: Could Be Fines!

    The City put up new signage about facility hours – 8 am – 9:30 pm daily. Please avoid the unfortunate sting of fines for playing before or after these posted hours. If you really must be there before 8am- enjoy a stretch. If you’re dueling at sunset, make peace before 9:30pm.

    Being Good Citizens At Alpine: 30 Minute Rule For Public Play

    Reminder for Alpine regarding Club time. We have been allocated plenty of time by the City for our programs (isn’t it fabulous!). We have also worked hard on behalf of our membership to appropriately schedule time for each level. That said, there are times when scheduled Club play does not require all the courts provided to us. When this occurs, the club will “give up” it’s unused courts to the general public.

    Club members not playing in a scheduled Club session can also certainly use the unused court(s), and when they do- please observe the City’s guidelines regarding “30 minute play” at Alpine.

    It can be intimidating for a family with young children or others new to the sport to ask to rotate in, so as stewards of the sport it’s up to all of us to be mindful of others that may be waiting. Afterall, the courts are for the enjoyment of all (not just a few focused foursomes).

    The City does not have staff resources to monitor Alpine, and the Club isn’t interested in extending ourselves to monitoring private play on its unused courts, so please let’s all be good neighbors and share the courts.

    Your Membership Record: Some Profile Details

    For those who have re-joined (after letting their membership lapse), here is some info about what you may need to do. Because our system does not automatically add you back to your rating group, please email info@pickleballstalbert.ca , requesting to get added back to your group and (we will do it manually..because even awesome computer programs still need humans now and then).

    Getting added to the right rating group means you will not miss out on targeted invitations about rating clinics or shootout registrations!

    As well, as some of you have discovered when re-joining, you must also request to rejoin the club Facebook group ( where we post social information and notices referring you to the SAPC website for official stuff).

    Lastly, if you have opted not to get most club emails (which is an option and your choice) may we say that you may miss out on targeted fun, useful and even important emails (such as our recent Covid post). For this reason, we suggest to not opt out, and to continue receiving club emails so that your life can be more fully inundated with all things PickleballJ.

    Have You Been Rated Elsewhere?

    Just a reminder that if you have received a rating elsewhere, other than from our club-arranged rating clinics (for example from in the States, or the one you may have bribed Julio for in Huatulco J),  you need to send that signed and dated form to Gerry Gartner's email to have it entered on your membership record.

    Shootouts In The Calendar

    If you are interested in joining this type of play, here is how to register.

    You will see weekly 3.5+ and, 3.0 Shootout Pool Preregistration “banner events” in the Alpine calendar. Click on that banner event and you will be directed to a page with details and a “REGISTER” button if there is room (and you will get an email to complete your registration), or a WAITLIST button if you’d like to be automatically moved in when there’s an opening for that week.

    When you are successfully registered, the event will show in your calendar (like magic). If you are not registered, that Shootout evening will look open on the calendar (but it’s actually not).  This is the way our new system works (and we just wanted you to know so you don't see an apparently empty spot in the Alpine calendar on some evenings of the week, and erroneously conclude that Alpine is wide open on that night).

    Calendaring Our Sessions

    Please note that the Alpine Calendar is fluid, as we are always trying to use the courts efficiently. It is important then that you check the Calendar daily. The data from every two weeks will be examined and changes made on an ongoing basis.

    For example, at the moment we have courts split between 2.5 and ALL play only. If the courts assigned to other levels are not consistently used, then the sessions for each levels  will also be split.

    Special thanks (and patience please), to those captains who could be managing two levels of play! They will let each group know where they need to place their paddles.  With two levels of play, there will need to be two placements of paddles outside the courts to avoid congestion within the walkway...(quite the feat!)

    Also, with many members belonging to some cohorts and other clubs with strict rules, and some members waiting to return at Stage 3, these ongoing Calendar changes are how we can achieve the best utilization of the courts assigned to the club. 

    Rain? What Rain?

    This may totally sound like a “liability” statement (ok, it is)… that when a captain makes the call and ends a session (due to whatever: dense pollen?, locusts? or rain etc.) players who remain- do so at their own risk.

    Captains Needed: 2.5, 3.0, All Play, 4.0

    Thanks to our current roster of volunteer Captains, we have been enjoying organized play sessions all thru the weeks. That mesmerizing multi-coloured Alpine Calendar fills us with both and anticipation and anxiety at how we need to find time to mow lawns, do groceries (and ahem- stop neglecting our Honey-Do lists) so we can play and play…and play!

    Help us continue our enjoyment by volunteering as a Captain for any of these sessions. Training is provided. Your service is greatly appreciated! 

    Tools For Captains & Team Lists

    The club is now making it easier for captains to contact each other to arrange for cover-off and for teams to get organized. In particular, we have started to publish captains lists and teams lists on our website. To view this Captains list, go to the SAPC Website and along the main banner see “ CLUB MGMT”, roll your cursor over that heading and see “CAPTAINS”, roll over that and see “Alpine Captains”, and take a look at that easy-view list!

    There is also a complete Volunteers list on this page, with all our Committees, Venues, Tournament, Social and Board members etc.

    Note: if you are a venue coordinator or team lead and would like your list published, please email Ray at Treasurer@pickleballstalbert.ca.  We will adjust the format of your list to whatever you need. The objective here is to have one list that meets all your team's needs (eliminating any separate lists anywhere else).  We can also publish other material your team may need and locate it on our SAPC website for easy access.

    We commit to maintaining these lists for you. If you spot a list that is out of date, please let one of the following people know:

    • for a Captains list, contact the Venue Coordinator listed on the top of the list or on the Teams and Committees page on our website,
    • for a Team list, contact the Team Lead.

    Team leads can choose to send list updates to Ray or can choose to maintain their list themselves in a club Google Drive. Changes made in that location are automatically reflected in our published web pages.

    We also hope that the publication of captains and team lists will attract more people to these teams. If you'd like to meet a few more people, have more fun, or help in any way, contact a team lead or venue coordinator.

    As with other club confidential materials, these lists can only be viewed online by members, and should not be distributed outside our club."

    Accidents May Happen: Report Head Injuries

    There’s probably a few of us nursing a tweak, an overuse injury or a gash (did you hear about Ron G’s “nasty one from the fence ties?) And sure, lots of us may just shake off those inconvenient reminders of age. However, when it’s a head bump, we always need to inform the Captain (for precaution’s sake). There’s also an ice pack and a First Aid kit at every session for your safety (so you don’t have to rely on hockey tape and KleenexJ).

    Opportunities To Serve

    Web Coordinator: we would like a tech- willing volunteer to serve on the team helping with coordinating our website. Have a look at the job description and send us a note!

    Facilities Task Force: this is not just some committee for meetings, planning and discussion. It’s a “task force!” (Sorry we can’t afford crested shirts) St. Albert has a big shiny vision for its Active Communities and we have a wondrous group of passionate players that will depend on this high-performance advance team to help position our City with more and better playing facilities. If you have some experience with big ideas (and sure, dreams count too) and capital projects perhaps, let us know!

  • 2020-07-07 16:55 | Anonymous member

    One of our members has tested positive for Covid 19.

    We truly hope our precautions and your own level of care provide some assurance during this possibly anxious news.

    Review your Playing days: June 27?..28?..29?

    We just received a call from Alberta Health Services, and we're relaying what we know. No names were shared.

    For your own information, here's what we understand.

    • The member played at the "3.5 Level" on Sat-Sun-Mon, June 27-28-29.
    • We don't know which sessions, or which times.
    • The Saturday & Sunday play was Unorganized.
    • Monday was Organized play.

    Members are advised to monitor themselves.

    If you wish to get a test, you can call 811, or go online to book an appointment to get tested.

    Covid Test Info

  • 2020-06-21 17:02 | Anonymous member

    Dear Member - click the newsletter title to read articles on:

     Organized Play: Coming Very Soon

     Red Willow: Hoping For Mid-July

     Play: Shoot Outs

    All Play: Mixed Recreational Play

     Harmonious High Road: Alpine Resident

     Facilities Task Force

    Report On The AGM

     Call For Volunteers

    Organized Play: Coming Very Soon

    The City is busy arranging for us (and many other sports) to resume league play.  St. Albert is indeed approaching this with an “abundance of caution.” In the meantime, many of us are safely enjoying spontaneous play, and are thankful to shed the “Covid cocoons” of Spring 2020!

    We anticipate the City announcing the go-ahead very soon in the coming days/weeks, and we want to be ready. 

    Members and Captains at Alpine will need to conform to some extra “duties of caution” in ensuring proper social distancing, registration and “clean play” (ball handling).  For this eventuality, could every member please put the following in their playbag: a pen (for signing in), your own ball, and sanitizer.

    By the way, to help manage health safety, all our outdoors play this season on club courts will be “Members Only.”  Only members get the email alerts on new news posting, so if you know some former member who hasn’t yet renewed their membership for 2020-21, let them know this is a good reason to renew. (Still a great value at $28.57 per year ($30 with GST).

    When organized play begins with sessions for each level of play, those members must have a rating of that level. Rating clinics will also be scheduled in the coming weeks to take care of those interested in this progress for their game.

    Red Willow: Hoping For Mid-July

    The club has requested Indoor play at Red Willow over the summer, and the venue is finalizing their protocols for safe play. The latest update is that we’re still a few weeks away (mid-July).  No doubt many of us will enjoy this future indoor play option to relieve our sunburns!

    Play: Shoot Outs

    When organized play is able to resume, our club coordinators will be using our website system to schedule and register members for these weekly play events! Stay tuned for instructions and invites to participate in Shoot Outs (according to play levels).

    All Play: Mixed Recreational Play

    We have had suggestions for more of the mixed, spontaneous play that some members recall from days of yore. This play is focuses on “just having fun” and less on winning. This is unrated play that mixes people of different skill levels. Well here it comes- we’re calling it “All Play” in our upcoming calendar.  For those that want to join in a relaxed game, or to even invite others that may have been shy, come be a part of this mixed, recreational fun!

    Harmonious High Road: Alpine Resident

    The Alpine facility is nestled within a community of residents, and there is actually one posted guideline for all players: to avoid play on Court #1 when possible, and use other courts if available). When we abide by this, we are helping maintain the peace with the residents, who acceptably tolerate a daily soundtrack of Pop n’ Thwack.

    Our advice to all members if approached by a resident complaining of any play, is to “Not engage, but Report” to the SAPC Board:  communications@pickleballstalbert.ca 

    This advice is to help avoid escalation and distractions with your enjoyment. The City is aware of the “noise” issue a few residents have about the courts, and are actively involved, having instructed residents to avoid interference with the playing public. 

    Let’s continue to be guided by principles of harmony and respect for this outdoor community venue, and project our values as congenial ambassadors of Pickleball in St. Albert.

    Facilities Task Force

    Come help us realize the vision of SAPC independence, with our own self-managed, four-season play venue. Imagine us all enjoying a full-time indoor facility where we can meet, play and celebrate our favorite pastime, all the time!  Other clubs have led the way, and there are opportunities to do the same.

    Come join this strategic committee and help create what our future can be for pickleball in St. Albert. Having some experience with capital projects and financial planning and stakeholder relations is welcomed.  If interested, please email: secretary@pickleballstalbert.ca.

    Report On The AGM

    We had dozens of members successfully participating in the recent online AGM. It would also be accurate to say that no other previous AGM has lended to the enhanced acquaintance of members like this online meeting, due to our shared views of homescapes, scenic backdrops and living room togethernesses!  Indeed, when could it ever be said, that being “all in each other faces” could be such an enjoyable pleasant time.

    The meeting was just under an hour, and included various reports, discussion and unanimous voting. Special thanks to the following: 

    James Porter -or arranging & training our Zoom platform where members were able to view, listen and participate smoothly during this virtual realm!

    Douwe Spriensma- our club Secretary for his inordinate patience with the voluminous task of organizing club information, and for choreographing the 30+ AGM items into a flowing, scripted experience.

    Ray Keroack- our club Treasurer, for his scrupulous attention and many monthly hours in managing club finances and compiling the financial statements for last years and the unanimously approved budget for our next year.

    Lawrence Taylor- our auditor, for professional hours contributed to advising and reviewing our finances. And thanks for agreeing to continue on as Auditor Lawrence.

    Claude Michaud- for years of service (retiring)as our Director-at-Large and club Equipment Coordinator, ensuring our steady supply all our play essentials for all venues.

    Mike Bowen- our Nominating Committee Chair  (retiring from service), helping recruit and prepare incoming club volunteers with sage advice and direction.

    Eileen McClean- our club President, for facilitating an orderly meeting (with barely an accent from her recent extended urgencies on the British Isles).  And thanks Eileen, for taking on the position of President for another two years!

    Nicole Synowec -guest attendee from St. Albert Parks & Recreation, in being a supportive City liaison with our club.

    Gary Marcellus – thanks for taking on another two years as Vice President Gary.

    Carol Mah – thanks for standing and winning the Director-at-Large position on our board.

    John Sandmoen, Scott Henderson and Gillis Hermanns- thanks for agreeing to serve as our Nominating Committee for the next year.  And thanks to retiring Nominating Committee members Candace Morgan and Mike Bowen.

    Melanie Malchuk- thanks for continuing on as our Ombudsperson.

    Call For Volunteers

    Equipment Coordinator: there’s a vacancy for this vital role, to help our indoor and outdoor venue coordinators with all the physical details that us members depend on for play.  Have a look at the things detailed in the Equipment Coordinate job description that you would be valued for in taking care of on behalf of your club!  Job Description

    Email your interest to: secretary@pickleballstalbert.ca

    Alpine Captains for 2.5, 3.0 and All Play: these organized play groups can only be included on the calendar if we have volunteers for Captains. Currently there are none for the 2.5 level, and too few for All Play and 3.0 levels. Consider being a Captain, to ensure your playing peers can enjoy a reserved slot for having fun together. To volunteer, email: venuemanager@pickleballstalbert.ca 

  • 2020-05-17 12:30 | Anonymous member

    Dear Member - click the newsletter title to read articles on:

     Re-Opening for Organized Play-when?
     Alpine Courts Noise Complaints
     Call for Captains At Alpine
     Facilities Task Force
     Membership Directory
     Website Coordinator: Position(s) Available
     Equipment Coordinator: Position Available
     Pre-AGM Registration Reminder
     St. Albert Community Recreation Newsletter- May 2020

    Re-opening For Organized Play- When?

    You likely know that the Province released some “Phase 1” guidelines effective May 14th for Outdoor Recreational Play (link to these rules).  In accordance with this Provincial Government direction, the City of St. Albert announced soon after that “spontaneous, public, unorganized, non-contact “play can resume at a “selection” of the Larose courts (St. Albert COVID updates).  No doubt, some of you are lining up your sunscreen and outdoor gear! Unfortunately for a little while longer, league play that includes round robins or paddle play continues to be banned.

    So, what’s happening for “organized club play?  Can we affect what the “Phase 2” rules for safe play will be?  We do know that St. Albert is indeed underway with considering how to re-open organized play at Alpine courts, and that the timelines and conditions for full re-opening are evolving.  While the City has asked for our input and we appreciate that, we also recognize that the City will has its own prerogative for deciding what will be allowed for subsequent Phases.  We are certainly very pleased to see that serious COVID cases are low enough for our hospitals to handle, and that pickleball play is beginning to open back up.

    Alpine Courts Noise Complaints

    We are pleased to announce some positive news about the Alpine Courts.  Those two courts that were closed off last year will now be opened and available (when more public play and league play resumes)!  We appreciate how the City was put in a position of conflict last year with some noise complaints.  During the year we have been monitoring the situation and last month on April 24th, the SAPC Board provided the City with this letter, stating our hopes and interest in having those courts opened.  The City responded with an invitation for a meeting that occurred on May 13th.  That’s when we heard directly from the City that courts 1 and 2 will not be closed this year.

    Call For Captains At Alpine

    With a positive view towards when organized play resumes, we have need of helpful folks to please step up for volunteering as Captains at Alpine.  Let our Alpine Courts Venue Coordinator know.

    Facilities Task Force

    To further our club goals for having more opportunities for members to play, we have created a mandate for a Facilities Task Force. If you have business experience with strategic planning and capital projects, or have other experience that could be useful on this Task Force, please consider serving on this ad hoc team.  Take a look at this mandate for more detail on the website.  We hope you will consider being a part of examining some exciting possibilities for future public and private sports facilities, and for helping our club be at the forefront of these new developments. If you are interested, please email the Secretary, at stalbertpickleball@gmail.com.

    Web Coordinator: Position(s) Available

    The club has need of some volunteers who can help with some aspects of our expanding internet / website world. Would you like to help us post info updates, suggest web page enhancements and other technical matters?  If you have an interest and some aptitude for learning and contributing to this role as part of a larger Communications team, please peruse the Web Coordinator job description for more detail and let us know! Interested persons are asked to email the Treasurer at  Treasurer@pickleballstalbert.ca. No web experience is necessary and lots of training and guidance can be offered.

    Equipment Coordinator: Position(s) Available

    This key role of coordinating and maintaining the availability of equipment is very appreciated by all members.  We have need of someone who will work with our Venue Manager to help keep operations running smoothly.  Please visit the Equipment Coordinator description on the website for more detail and email the Secretary at stalbertpickleball@gmail.com with your interest in volunteering!

    Membership Directory

    You may now enjoy searching the club website Member Directory for member players and discover it can help with a few things! You can you find players at your skill level to play with, team leads can connect with team members or recruit more team members, and you can now more easily connect socially with members.

    By default, we display member’s Names, Rating, Home Phone and “Interest in Volunteering” (to help with Venue coordination etc).  Individual members can override their defaults if you wish, but we hope most will continue to allow at least this information to be contained in the directory. 

    Also by default, member email addresses are NOT displayed, but members can nevertheless use the directory messaging capability to send messages to each other. Neat feature!  Note: the directory is only available to members. No member should use any posting information for any purpose other that club play or for individual social connections. 

    We hope this ability to find and connect with your club community increases your fun with pickleball play dates and social events!

    Pre-AGM: Registration Reminder

    Registration for this AGM “practice session” is now open.  If you are interested in testing your online “web conferencing” equipment and abilities, we will be conducting a Pre-AGM on May 26th.  Simply get your information registered (click the "REGISTER" black box)  so you can connect with us online! Registration for this pre-AGM closes May 24th.

    St. Albert Community Recreation Newsletter- May 2020

    The SAPC was featured in the recent St. Albert Community Recreation Newsletter, detailing our club’s efforts to connect members online during this period of social distancing.  We appreciate being contacted for the article (link here) and receiving local community attention to our club’s existence and organization for pickleball!

  • 2020-04-11 10:47 | Anonymous member

    Opportunity to contribute to our Club: please reply by April 30th

    ·         Do you take pride in being a member of the St. Albert Pickleball Club?

    ·         Do you have an eye for what it takes to make things happen?

    ·         Do you have ideas that would make our club thrive?

    ·         Do you enjoy seeing your ideas and efforts make a difference for other people?

    ·         Do you see possibilities rather than problems?

    ·         Do you want to be part of a team that has fun making our club the best it can be?

    ·         Do you seek opportunities to use and expand your skills?

    If you answer yes to these questions, then you are just the kind of person we are looking for!

    In preparation for the June 2020 SAPC AGM, the Nominating Committee is providing notice to our members of upcoming Board, and Committee opportunities. 

    Of the seven Board positions, four (4) are open for nominations in June:

            Position:   (Incumbent)

    • President    (Eileen McClean)
    • Vice-President   (Gary Marcellus)
    • Member-at-Large   (No Incumbent)
    • Communications Director   (Gary Spencer)  Gary was appointed this March to step into the role vacated by Alf Otto)

    Committee Positions: open for election

    Position:   (Incumbent)

    • Auditor   (Lawrence Taylor)
    • Nominating Committee Chair   (No Incumbent)
    • Nom. Committee members (2)     (one incumbent, John Sandmoen)

    Recognizing that incumbents may have their name stand for re-election in their current position or another open position, all positions are deemed "open" for election.  With this in mind, we encourage all interested members or members who know of potential candidates to step forward and make your interest known to Mike Bowen no later than April 30, 2020.

    Mike can be reached at:  bowenm@telusplanet.net

    Full job descriptions of each Board Member and the Nominating Committee can be found on the SAPC website at: https://www.pickleballstalbert.ca/Team-Mandates ,along with bylaws, strategic and annual plans, and policies – all of which helps to frame the Board’s responsibilities and governance structure.  

    All Board positions are charged with the effective governance in matters of policy, finance, programs, volunteers and advocacy.  The Board meets monthly and the time commitment is 3-4hrs per month, including pre-reading for the meeting.  There may be additional time requirements for other roles. 

    Overall Board Responsibilities:

    Following is a short list of responsibilities for each of the open positions to give our members a basic understanding of the commitment required to fill a position successfully. 

    All Board members:

    • Attend Board meetings, develop a working knowledge of governance; promote the values and mission of the SAPC
    • Assist the Board in making sound decisions, seeking out all relevant information before deciding, and supporting Board decisions that have been made
    • Monitor the effectiveness of bylaws, policies and manuals in achieving the objects of the SAPC and propose improvements
    • Contribute to the development and execution of the SAPC strategic plan
    • Assist with special events and promotion of SAPC, as required
    • Act as a signing officer, as required
    • Comply with the Board Code of Conduct

    In addition to Board member duties:

    • Provide oversight to ensure the Board adheres to relevant legislation and provide guidance to Board governance processes
    • Ensure bylaws are upheld, reviewed and changes brought before members for consideration and approval
    • Lead the Board in its’ strategic direction setting and in developing and completing annual plans
    • Represent and speak on behalf of the Board
    • Supervise the affairs of the Board
    • Call and preside at all meetings of the club and the Board
    • Ensure that committee chairpersons, managers and team leaders are appointed and have the needed resources and training
    • Serve as ex-officio member of committees and attend their meetings, as needed
    • Chair the SAPC Strategic Planning and Advocacy Committees
    • Prepare Board agendas with input from the secretary and Board members
    • Ensure that risk assessments are conducted and liabilities are adequately managed
    • Lead an annual process to evaluate the effectiveness of the Board and Board members


    In addition to Board member duties:

    • Assist the president in the performance of the president’s duties
    • Fulfill the duties and responsibilities of the president in his/her absence
    • Chair one or more committees to develop the skills to fulfill the duties of the president
    • Keep informed on key issues
    • Fill in for other executive positions or tasks when needed, or for skills development


    In addition to Board member duties:

    • Assist the Board as needed
    • Lead and/or assist with special assignments or projects that align with their skillset


    • Provide independent assurance to the members of the financial results of the Club and operational efficiencies of the Board.  (if a CPA, just one person; if non-CPA, two.)

    Nominating Committee:

    The Nominating Committee is a committee of the SAPC established to support the Club’s Membership and Board of Directors. They help to identify suitable candidates to serve as Officers and Directors of the Club.

    (The eligibility and composition of this Committee is up to 5 members, with 3 being the optimum number)

  • 2020-04-10 14:23 | Anonymous member

    Help the Board make our Club be the best it can be for you!

    The Board has an "open door" policy that invites members to bring suggestions or concerns forward; here are three ways.

    1. Contact a Board member directly (scroll to the bottom of the our Home Page for email addresses)
    2. Email the Secretary
    3. Arrange to attend a video-conference Board Meeting to present your ideas.
  • 2020-03-30 10:48 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear Member - click the newsletter title to read articles on:

     NOT Business As Usual  Welcome Gary Spencer
     AGM Online Solution  Membership Renewal
     Facebook Presence  More Leaders Training
     Non-Competitive Play  Closing Thoughts

    NOT Business as Usual

    These are definitely trying times.  We feel your pain, we share your anguish.  But we also know, and hope you know, that we can all get through this.  Our world, our communities, our families, and we as individuals can and will get through these trying times.  

    It is definitely NOT business as usual, in any part of our lives.  But knowing we will get through this, we carry on with our planning, with our caring, and our doing.  Perhaps, for some of us, "carrying on" is therapy -- a diversion. For others, it is confidence, or duty, or honour, or love for our fellow pickleball player and fellow inhabitant of this small planet.  Whatever the reason, we hope you know this newsletter and all our actions, are carried out with you, our members, in our hearts.

    Be well, stay safe and stay strong.

    Your caring board, Eileen, Gary, Douwe, Ray, Claude, and Gary

    Welcome Gary Spencer, Communications Director

    Yes, we now have two Gary's on our board. Please join us in welcoming Gary Spencer, our new Communications Director. Gary, a new and active club member, graciously and generously offered his time to serve on our board.

    We quickly jumped at the opportunity to take advantage of his expertise in communications, business management, and strategic planning, not to mention his information technology skills. As is our practice, Gary was informally interviewed by our Nominating Committee (thanks Mike Bowen) and at our March 28 online board meeting, he was unanimously voted in. 

    We are very much looking forward to working with Gary and spreading the workload out even more -- an objective the board has been successfully pursuing all year, as recommended by our Nominating Committee and by you, our members.

    Annual General Meeting (AGM) - Online Solution

    We are required to have one of these AGMs every year, and you deserve the annual opportunity to review the progress our club has made, provide input to the club's future directions, review our finances, elect new board directors, and (if you've let us know in advance) to raise any other matters you'd like the club to consider.

    Of course, we can't meet in person unless we get a big space to keep everyone separated and limit attendance, but that still has some health implications -- and your health and safety is too important to risk for this purpose. So we are looking to have this AGM online. That means you would use a computer and some software to connect in a video-conference call.  If you are familiar with Facetime on an iPad or iPhone, or Skype on other devices, you already know how to do this with those programs.  Other video-conferencing apps or programs operate similarly.  We would need to use a program suited to a larger number of participants than Facetime can handle.

    Before the June AGM, we would provide specific instructions on how to access and use the software you can help us pick.  There appear to be two fairly economical software products that might suit our needs: Google Hangouts Meet and Zoom.  We know there are at least a dozen other products out there as well, but we're focusing our research on these two for now, as our own experience with Google Hangout Meet is favourable and Zoom is definitely an industry leader in this area.  More specifically:

    • There is no additional cost for us to use Google Hangouts Meet, it works well for our online Board meetings, and meets all of our requirements except for an integrated online voting capability.
    • The cost to use Zoom on a one time basis is very small, and Zoom incorporates online voting (polling) capability.
    • Both of these products have base (non-corporate) version that can apparently accommodate up to 100 participants.  However the free version of Zoom only allows meetings of up to 40 minutes, so we'd have to purchase the next version up to have a longer online AGM.

    We have two questions for you:

    1. Are you okay with this video-conferencing approach for an AGM?  (We really have no other choice if we wish to have an AGM in June and stay in compliance with our bylaws, but we'd like your input on this question anyway.  If you are not okay, do you have an alternative we may have overlooked?)
    2. Should SAPC:
      1. go with the cheaper product, even though it means our AGM would have to be broken into two parts: a video-conference session followed by voting via separate communications, or
      2. spend a few bucks and test out Zoom?

    If you have an opinion on this, or have experience using the low-cost version of either of these products with audiences of 50 to 80 participants, please email Info@pickleballstalbert.ca and treasurer@pickleballstalbert.ca

    Together, we're smarter, stronger and better.

    Membership Renewals


    Our new membership management system is set up to issue reminders to any member who has not renewed:

    • 60 days and 10 days before the Apr 30 membership expiry, and
    • Apr 30, the day of membership expiry.

    We understand some of you may not want to renew until some form of organized play resumes. That is okay, for the most part. We just wanted to let you know though that we still plan to have an Annual General Meeting in June (it will likely be online as described in the above article), and you need to be a member to participate in this meeting.  So please do renew your membership by April 30 if you plan to be part of our AGM -- and we sure hope you do!

    By the way, the requirement to be a member to vote in our AGM is something our membership agreed as part of our bylaws, and this is a typical requirement for non-profit organizations like ours.

    For those who would still prefer to delay renewing their membership:

      • After April 30, you will no longer get emails notifying you of club news postings, but you will still be able to read those postings on our web-site.
      • For up to 12 more months, you will be able to log-in with your password to renew your membership, without having to recreate your profile.
      • Until you renew your membership, you will not be able to:
      • purchase sticker cards,
      • participate in indoor organized play at member (1-sticker) rates, or
      • participate in member-only sessions such as shoot-outs, ladders or other reserved play.

    However, you will be able to participate in indoor organized play at visitor (2-sticker) rates.

    We don't know how long it will be before we can resume organized play.  Hopefully, it will be in time to catch at least part of the outdoor season.  But if it is not, the indoor season will provide more than enough value to justify your annual membership. 

    Frankly, your board did consider lowering the annual fee for 20/21 and giving a partial credit to those who have already paid their annual membership.  But a sober second thought prevailed, because:

    • Our fee is already extremely low, compared to memberships in other pickleball clubs and in other sports.
    • There is even better value in our club as we offer more play times per year, on a per-member basis, than others.
    • $10 of each membership goes to Pickleball Alberta and Pickleball Canada, so there is limited room for reduction.
    • It is administratively burdensome to generate manual credits and refunds or to administer  multiple or mid-year changes to membership fees.
    • There is also a growing need to build the financial capacity to have even more play facilities in future. Reducing fees reduces our capacity to keep building for the future.
    So the membership fee will remain at $30 per year for 2020/21, and we hope you still consider that to be great value, even with a reduced play season.

    Facebook Presence Enhanced

    We love it when members and leaders come forward with ideas.  Tara Tchir, our Facebook Coordinator, took a seminar on social media and spotted a hole in our Facebook presence. Facebook is another portal for organizations to the outside world, and we were missing a piece of that -- a page that would direct the curious, including potential members in St. Albert, to our website and to our club. Tara has now filled that void by creating such a Facebook page for us.  

    Note that this new Facebook page is different than the private (closed) Facebook group we already had, and it serves a different purpose. Our new Facebook page extends our reach into the community and helps secure our position as THE pickleball club in St. Albert. You can invite anyone on Facebook to join this page that you think would be interested in the world of pickleball.  Posts on the page will be limited to admin only, as it is solely to promote our club and website. 

    Thanks Tara, both for your idea and for implementing it for our club.

    Our members-only Facebook Group continues to be a place where members can share (post) information with each other about any pickleball or club-related matters.  Members can use this site, for example, to set up play times with each other, set up other social connections, communicate (non-officially) about lost and found items, and entertain each other with pickleball related humour and news. The club may occasionally use the site to communicate some urgent play changes, but these communications are unofficial and are not consistently provided -- the website play calendars, our other website content, and our emails are the only official electronic means of club communications to members. 

    Just less than half our members have joined the Facebook group -- but all are connected to our website. As long as one follows the guidelines, any added member can post in our 'St. Albert Pickleball - members only' group. You must be a current member to join or remain in our closed Facebook group.  

    More Leaders Training to Use our Technology

    As you may gather from past rating clinic advertisements, our Rating Clinic Coordinators Gerry Gartner and Karen Cabot were handling (and will someday soon again be handling) rating clinic registrations using our new Wild Apricot membership system.

    Next, Faye Hood, Gerry Hood, Ron Parker and Carolyn Ross, leaders of our tournament teams, were shown how to use the new system to handle online tournament registrations.  Whenever our next tournament is held, these fine folks are ready to go with the use of our new system too.

    With the suspension of all play, including reserved play, we have given up our subscription to Sign Up Genius (SUG).  Does that mean shootout play and other reserved play is dead?  Not at all!  When we are ready to go again, reserved play will be handled through our new Wild Apricot (WA) website and membership management system. This was part of the business case for adopting the WA technology, and we're happy to trim some of our IT costs by giving up SUG, knowing that our WA software can handle it all.  And, you guessed it, our Registered Play Coordinator, Carol Peabody, is eager to learn our software so she can post and manage our reserved play using WA in future.

    And last but not least, Gary Spencer, our new Communications Director, has already begun learning to use WA. He will be editing and producing our next newsletter and email alert, and then we know he'll be eagerly seeking even more ways to help all of us serve you, our membership.

    Non-Competitive Play

    Our survey results are still being analyzed and formatted for publication, but your board has already considered one of the apparent conclusions of the survey: many members are not rated, would prefer to never be rated, and are really only seeking some fun, non-competitive play.

    Yes, we already knew that, and we hear you now.  To respond, we will offer more non-competitive play opportunities in the future.  These are called "All Play" sessions in our calendar.  Captains at these sessions are hereby encouraged to pass on the message to members at these sessions that the emphasis at these sessions is fun, not winning. (Cheering a good shot is always appropriate, of course, but comments on a missed shot are never appropriate -- even if directed at yourself -- but especially if directed at someone else.)

    Now this promise of more All Play is conditional. As with any organized play changes, we will start small. Play at any level must be well attended or we will seek to change that play to a form that draws more participation. You wouldn't want it any other way, would you? 

    Captains are always in demand. Without captain volunteers, there can be no play.  When play resumes, we will especially need captains for All Play and for the 2.0-2.5 level play.

    Stay tuned for more survey results and responses.

    Closing Thoughts

    This club is yours. The board and all of the club's team leaders, managers, coordinators, captains and other volunteers, are only its temporary stewards, acting on your behalf.

    What role are you going to play in our club next year?  To paraphrase a President, "Ask not what your club can do for you, but what you can do for your club!"

    Until the next time, "Keep your paddle up!"

  • 2020-03-15 11:51 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For the health and safety of members and the public, SAPC is suspending all club-organized activities until further notice.  This is effective immediately, as of March 15, and applies to captain-led play sessions, clinics, mentoring, beginner’s lessons, tournaments, and registered play.

    We will post notices and issue emails when play can resume. This may be eight weeks or more away, we suspect.

    Those who have already paid for the March 30 rating clinic will either have a credit on their account, which can be used against any future online club fee, or can get a refund by emailing Treasurer@pickleballstalbert.ca.  Please be patient as it may take three weeks or more to process the refunds.

    Stay healthy and keep that paddle up!


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