Log in

Log in

News / Newsletters

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.

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

    Reserved Group Play at Red Willow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Keep your paddle up!

  • 2020-10-03 19:08 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We're pleased to bring you more play opportunities, and your board and the Facilities Task Force is busy looking at warehouses and other facilities to try to address some of the expected shortfall this indoor season, but we also gather from the low sign-ups so far for Red Willow play next week, that many of you are not yet ready to move indoors.

    That's okay -- we understand.  But we want you know that the reservations made for Red Willow play next week are very low.  So low, that the club may lose out, economically-speaking, on each and every session.  Now, we are prepared to lose a bit on several sessions at the beginning and ending of each season, but we have to draw the line somewhere. We hope you understand that if we don't get all of next week's sessions at least 60 or 70% filled by say sometime Sunday Oct 4, then we will start cancelling some of these sessions.

    Don't worry, we will bring them back in subsequent weeks when the weather turns colder.

    All indoor sessions are reserved play and we have several other provisions in place to limit contact between people.  Making a reservation is easy, and you can't play indoors without one.

    For more information see:

    - the article on your website's home page,

    - the newsletter posting of September 28th, and

    - the updated webpage on Reserved Play found under your website's Play menu.

    By the way, if we do cancel a session that you've already reserved, you will get an email telling you that your reservation is cancelled.

    Keep your paddle up!

  • 2020-09-28 09:14 | Anonymous

    More Indoor Venues Please

    Red Willow Indoor Play: How To

    Getting “Carded!?”

    The Search Continues

    More Indoor Venues Please

    St. Albert is a vibrant, growing bundle of award-winning communities that…uh-oh, s’cuse me- sorry, this isn’t the Mayor talking or a Tourism Alberta brochure. Ok- back to our newsletter.. Our club did however get a well-crafted plea in front of the Mayor and council this week though, asking for more PB play venues. And it’s exactly because St. Albert is filled with, and here’s the key word, “Active” communities, we registered the interests and passion of our members with the civic purse-strings in hopes of them tabling future plans for more indoor PB courts! Have a read at the letter that was well-received (and kindly responded to!) by the Mayor.

    This initiative is part of our club vision to grow our venues and facilitate more facilities, until we can all enjoy courts within walking distance, preferably along covered & heated civic corridors, or at least maybe have those moving escalators like in airport terminals. Ah well, a club can dream can’t we?

    In stride with this dream and more rooted in a “near term” feasibility, we are looking at possible warehouse bay options and evaluating the physical and financial requirements for that kind of supplemental venue.

    Red Willow Indoor Play: How To

    There’s a few (6!) things to both prepare for, remember and do when attending Red Willow this Fall season, ok- PLUS another eight COVID codes for indoor, a brainfull of things to know and do for Oct 4th and our new beyond.

    This list of essential play protocols is also on our club website. These protocols are absolutely the “law’ of proper entry-play-exit actions that in fact enable us to use these facilities.

    Just because it’s soo important, we need to emphasize the MASK protocol. No Masks- No enter, No exceptions. It’s just the way it has to be to satisfy the conditions of using this facility.

    Please study & review this list, and follow whatever helpful direction the Captains may have to give you to steer you along while coming to and being at Red Willow.

    FYI, we’re starting with just 2 sessions a day for the first week Oct 4-10th.

    After this first “adjustment week” we’ll fill out the calendar with our planned play for the rest of the month.

    Red Willow Specific Rules: Online Registration starts on Oct 1st.

    1.     15 reservable spots and one held for captain for a total of 16 players per session.

    2.     One sticker for now - may change in January or if we reduce the number of players per session.

    3.     There are no hangers or chairs in the lobby. Hang your coats on the back of your chair.

    4.     No backpacks please. Bring only a small bag, water bottle and indoor shoes.

    5.     Captains will be sanitizing chairs. (The church is providing a cloth and sanitizing cleaner for them to use)

    6.     Only one person in the washroom at a time and only use the middle stall and middle sink.  Members must bring wipes and sanitize each contact point in the washroom after each use.

    To manage the risks of COVID-19 infections, here is the new way we’ll conduct Indoor Play sessions. 

    1. Play is by reservation only.  Click on a session in the indoor calendar to reserve a spot.

    • Cancel your reservation ASAP if you can no longer attend that session. 
    • All reservations for the following week of Sunday to Saturday will open at 12:00:01 am on the Thursday before that week.
    • If you are successful in your reservation or if you are automatically moved from the wait list to the registered list, you will receive a registration confirmation email.
    • When you register, please allow your name to be displayed as a registrant. This allows captains to verify attendees if needed.
    • Members may only book one session per day unless there is an opening in a session less than 24 hours before the start of that session.

    2. Chairs will each be spaced 6 feet apart in the gym and are not to be moved or shared. Each player must use the same chair throughout the event. (Captains will sanitize the chair at the end the session.) 

    3. To enable the socialize we know will happen, masks must be worn at all times except when playing. Masks may also optionally be worn while playing.

    • Note that by signing in you will also be declaring that you have no COVID-like symptoms, have not been recently exposed, accept the risks of play, etc.

    4. Court players can either agree to each serve with their own ball or to share a ball.  Players provide their own balls and should sanitize any used ball after each game.

    5.  Session starts and ends:

    • Arrive on time as outer doors will be locked during play. 
    • The previous session will end at 5 minutes to the hour and the next session will start 10 minutes later.
    • Wait in your vehicle until all players from the previous session have left and you are signaled by the captain to begin entering.
    • No one may enter more than 15 minutes before the first session of the day.

    6. No touching of others' paddles. Do the "Covid wave" after each game. 

    7. We have promised our venue owners that we will touch and use nothing else in their facilities other than what is referenced in this article. Please help us keep these facilities safe for all.

    8. As indoor play opportunities are limited during this pandemic, please limit your reservations to "All Play" sessions or sessions rated at your specific rating level.

    Give a cheer that we can at least have some fun (and relatively safe) play this winter!

    Getting “Carded?!”

    Ah, those early “pre-legal” days..of sprucing up or having some jawline stubble to help advance our age at the tavern entrance. Well, being asked to produce your club ID may take your mind back to those anxious times, ahem- that is, if you ever tried that, not saying anyone did. Not to worry, this is not being asked of all of you.

    Although, as we’re moving to a digital wonderland of cloud-accessible membership info, captains at play venues that are simply doing their duty may need to check “who’s who” from time to time. If you’re “opting out” of having your name and rating displayed on the membership directory (as is your preference), our much appreciated volunteer captains- who can now check a paperless directory online, won’t “see” you, and thereby be put in the onerous position of declaring you unwelcome to whatever specific rated session it may be (thus preserving precious, limited play spots for paid, registered & appropriately rated members).

    So, please enjoy the new feature of printing out your membership card IF you’re a ghost and we can’t see you in the directory. This is your new obligation to help maintain our club “members only” play privileges.

    The Search Continues

    No, not for the Ark, Spock or an ever-flowing Fountain of Youth. We search for something far more plausible- some assistance with club duties!

    These current postings for a Web Coordinator and an Assistant Treasurer, are opportunities to learn and contribute to the goings-on of our year-round club business and development projects! There’s training and support from all of us current Board and Committee members, so if you’d like to pitch in and help shape the future of our SAPC, take a look at the duties and send us a note. (Note that the Assistant Treasurer duties are not specifically posted, and will be developed in collaboration with anyone who steps forward. The duties could range from some basic bookkeeping to advanced financial management. They will be a subset of the duties of the Treasurer which are listed in the Board Members Job Description document.)

  • 2020-09-28 08:51 | Anonymous

    (we've removed the fancy headers, Councillor email addresses and dozen or so "cc's" from the original, official's the content only)


    Re: Urgent need for indoor pickleball playing facilities for St Albert 

    Esteemed Mayor and Councillors,

    Greetings from the board of the St Albert Pickleball Club. We hope that this letter finds you all well in these “interesting” times. We would like to commend all of Council for the vision you have to make St Albert a healthy, active community and promote our City as the preferred place to live, raise a family and retire.

    As the St Albert Pickleball Club we are very thankful for your leadership in developing the Alpine Courts to be a first rate pickleball facility, and for making the St Albert City schools available for indoor play to the extent possible. We also treasure the relationship we have with the City Recreation and Parks department.

    As you know, there has been a phenomenal growth in the sport of pickleball in North America. St. Albert has seen the same growth in interest, as the sport of pickleball is health-building activity, conducive to developing friendship, serving a social need for connections to people and community.  This sport can be played by those of all ages and is particularly well-suited to growing numbers of seniors who want to stay active.  St. Albert’s interest in playing pickleball has barely diminished during the pandemic, and we expect the trend of rapid growth to resume unabated, as proper facilities become available. We had over 640 members in April 2020, and wouldn’t be surprised if our numbers quadrupled within four years, given sufficient play venues.

    The interests of St. Albert residents have been hampered by not having sufficient indoor pickleball facilities. As well, the longer our city goes without having a central indoor pickleball facility, the more we will see opportunities to play pickleball and host tournaments slip away. Facilities in Edmonton and other surrounding communities are starting to pull players and tournaments away from St Albert, resulting in lost opportunity to contribute to the economic sustainment of St. Albert businesses and services.

    The lack of adequate indoor spaces limits the growth of this sport in St Albert and the positive impact on the community that it can bring. 

    We also want to be clear that the model of play currently provided by Servus Place is not conducive to fully developing pickleball play for the majority of players. As a club we look forward to being a part of a facility with 12 or more courts and where we can structure some play, providing opportunities for players to develop their play with those at a similar skill level, and providing additional fun through participation in round robins, paddle play, ladder play, shootouts, fun tournaments, family play, and all (mixed) play.  We also look forward, as our club grows, to being able to nurture youth play, build champions and feed competitive players into regional, national and international competitions. These are not possible without a strong local presence and a strong supportive club made up of many volunteers.

    Our vision to be the preferred club for St Albert and the region, both for recreational and competition play is in danger of slipping away as the window of opportunity closes and other communities provide better play opportunities. 

    So, we are in urgent need of an indoor facility to call home in order to remain the preferred option for pickleball play in St Albert, and to maximize the social and health benefits that pickleball provides to the seniors and families of St. Albert.

    As part of our strategic planning, we recently met with Matt Bachewich, President, Active Communities Alberta and part of the ACA board to sustain our ongoing dialogue with ACA, and to discuss progress on their plans for a facility in the City of St Albert. 

    It was great to again hear their vision and their passion to provide facilities that will help our community to be more active in multiple sports, and we look forward to further develop arrangements with Active Communities Alberta for using the facility, should their plans become a reality. At this point it looks like we would be an excellent fit together, and we see a clear path forward to make this facility our home base.

    We hope that you as our City leaders will support Active Communities Alberta in realizing their plans and thereby help us to provide the best pickleball experience possible in St Albert. 

    Thank you for the opportunity to provide our point of view.

    On behalf of the St Albert Pickleball Club (SAPC) board,

    Eileen McClean, President SAPC

  • 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

    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 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, 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  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

    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 , 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  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

    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

    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: 

    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:

    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:

    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: 

  • 2020-05-17 12:30 | Anonymous

    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

    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 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 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!


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software