Horseshoe Valley Pickleball

Horseshoe Valley Pickleball

Horseshoe Valley, Oro-Medonte, Ontario

September

Horseshoe Valley Pickleball

Newsletter Edition 2 - Sept 22/23

Well, the days are getting shorter, temperatures are getting cooler and the kids have gone back to school but don’t let the end of summer get you down, there is still a lot more pickleball being played in Horseshoe Valley these days. In fact, 2023 saw a record number of players come out to the courts with all four courts frequently in use. It is with that in mind, that the Horseshoe Valley Pickleball Board has been working diligently to secure court time and equipment to ensure an even more fun, engaging and socially satisfying year in 2024.

OUR MISSION STATEMENT

To promote fitness, camaraderie and a sense of community within the Horseshoe Valley Pickleball club. Our goal is to facilitate fun, inclusive and engaging games of pickleball at Memorial Park.

INFRASTRUCTURE

A good game of pickleball requires three things, a facility (courts), equipment (balls, paddles and a net) and people (players) and although they are all integral components to a successful game, it is the people that provide the fuel for the other two components to grow. It is an honour for the Board to represent the people. So it was with humility, determination and focus on “Best in Class Organizations” that the Horseshoe Valley Pickleball Board considered how best to create an infrastructure that would support the continued growth and development of Pickleball in Horseshoe Valley. It was decided that a formal Club, with a defined list of members and supported financially by membership fees, that was linked to the larger Pickleball communities of Ontario (PBO) and Canada (PBC), could best represent Horseshoe Valley Pickleball (HVPB) to the Township and our local Community and could create greater consistency, security and opportunities for it’s membership.

There are a multitude of benefits to becoming a formal Club as described above which include but are not limited to:

  • A list of members and a way of identifying members versus the public
  • Contact information and emergency contact information for members
  • An exact number of Horseshoe Valley Pickleball members (supported by a list of members with contact details). This becomes important when negotiating with the Township for “Club” versus “Public” court time and equipment as the Township will wish to appease the largest group vying for their courts.
  • Designated court time for Horseshoe Valley Pickleball members at the Township’s multi use Memorial Park facility **See information noted under THE CLUB for details**
  • As part of Horseshoe Valley Pickleball Club time, designated court time for tournaments, ladders, advanced players to play others at their own level, learning players to become stronger and to allow non competitive players to play others in a non competitive environment
  • A predictable budget for equipment and supplies for the club
  • Regular purchases of new nets, balls and other equipment for the Club
  • Consistency within the club with such matters as:
    • Code of Conduct
    • Managing of events
    • Club guest policy
    • Assessment of players’ ability and determination of skill rating
  • Skills development opportunities
  • Injury and liability insurance
  • Pickleball Canada Newsletters
  • The opportunity to play in Pickleball Canada sanctioned tournaments
  • Advance notice of Canada wide tournaments and training opportunities
  • A free Horseshoe Valley Pickleball website (previously paid for by donations to the Horseshoe Valley Pickleball Club) linked with Pickleball Ontario and Pickleball Canada.
  • An all inclusive software package (with a multitude of features) including registration, membership lists, mailing lists, links to other pertinent sites, tournament opportunities and other information, surveys etc included with the website noted above
  • Membership in Pickleball Ontario and Pickleball Canada which is a requirement for many indoor/winter facilities

FORMAL LAUNCH OF HORSESHOE VALLEY PICKLEBALL CLUB

Many new players who have been enjoying the fun, camaraderie and engaging games of Pickleball at the Horseshoe Valley courts in the last few weeks have wanted to contribute financially to our club as many of the older members of Horseshoe Valley Pickleball have done in the past. Some of the new players asked the older members how they could contribute while others searched the web for a donation link. What they were told was that the club was in transition and to hold off for now and what they found on our web site was a notice indicating that it was under construction. Well, we are proud to say that the “construction” is nearing an end.

On October 1st, 2023, Horseshoe Valley Pickleball, in cooperation with Pickleball Ontario and Pickleball Canada, will launch its 2024 season.

However, before we launch the 2024 season, we would like to thank all of the people who donated to the Horseshoe Valley Pickleball Club in the past as well as thank those new players who recognized that there were costs associated with our Club and wanted to offset those costs with a donation. Thank you. In 2024, in a move towards financial equity, Horseshoe Valley Pickleball will transition from a private donation system to a membership fee system.

THE CLUB

Pickleball in Horseshoe Valley, supported by a private donation system, became known by the people who played at the Horseshoe Valley courts, and by the community at large, as the Horseshoe Valley Pickleball Club. There was also a website to promote the concept of a defined Club. This system worked but posed a number of complications.

When negotiating with the Township for designated court time on the Township’s multi use facility, no exact number or membership list for the pickleball players could be provided. This made it difficult for the Township to justify supporting pickleball activities over other activities like basketball.

The Township allowed pickleball equipment purchased from private donations to be stored in the shed by the pickleball courts, but that equipment could be accessed and used by anyone who had access to the shed. This added wear and tear to the equipment and made it the possible object of theft.

Any member of the public could attend the courts at any time and expect to be invited to play pickleball with the group. This was rarely a problem but in the event of a tournament or group competitive play, members of the public might not be immediately welcome at that time but would still have reason to believe that they should be allowed to participate.

Lack of records minimized responsibility, decreased accountability and created liability issues.

These complications will be eliminated with the change to a “membership, fee based” system.

The Horseshoe Valley Pickleball club will have a “MEMBERSHIP” supported by names and contact information. The number of individuals involved will not be an estimate but a finite number. This should assist the Township in allocating time equitably at their multi use facility, satisfying their greatest number of constituents rather than those with the loudest voices.

Horseshoe Valley Pickleball has addressed with the Township the issue of the community at large having access to equipment that was purchased by the Club. Recognizing that the Township has provided limited equipment itself for use at the Horseshoe Valley pickleball courts and that Horseshoe Valley Pickleball members make up the majority of the players, the Township has granted Horseshoe Valley Pickleball the use of the shed to secure its equipment. The code to the shed will be changed for next season and only Horseshoe Valley Pickleball members will be advised of the code. The public will have access to the metal box on the north side of the shed for pickleball equipment provided by the Township. That code will remain PICK as it is for the storage containers at other courts in the Township such as Warminster and Shanty Bay.

Horseshoe Valley Pickleball has submitted a proposal to the Township of a designated court time schedule for the Horseshoe Valley Pickleball club. This proposal will be sent “up the ladder” for review/approval. The proposal included morning play as we have had this last season as well as two afternoon sessions a week and three evening sessions a week. We do not expect a prompt response, given how slow the wheels of government often turn, but will forward that information out to the membership as soon as we get it. Members are advised that in addition to designated Horseshoe Valley Pickleball club time, they are permitted to play pickleball at the Horseshoe Valley courts on a non scheduled basis during public time as well.

Horseshoe Valley Pickleball members will be issued a shoe tag so that they can be easily identified while on the courts. Non-members will be welcomed as a guest for up to 2 times in a season after which they will be expected to sign up as a member if they wish to continue playing pickleball during Horseshoe Valley Pickleball club times. Exceptions will be made for household guests of HVPB members who are visiting for a finite period of time. (Example - a household guest staying with a HVPB member for a week during the Pickleball season could accompany the member every day).

All guests playing pickleball during designated Horseshoe Valley Pickleball club times will be required to sign a guest waiver.

Strict adherence to the Horseshoe Valley Pickleball membership and guest policies are required for the Club to remain in good standing with Pickleball Ontario and Pickleball Canada and to be covered by PCO’s insurance. Note: Guests playing pickleball at the Horseshoe Valley courts, whether during Club time or public time, are not covered by PCO’s insurance.

Membership in Horseshoe Valley Pickleball, in conjunction with Pickleball Ontario and Pickleball Canada, will promote growth and development within the Pickleball community and consistency on the courts. As a member of Horseshoe Valley Pickleball, you will be an ambassador for Pickleball, the Club, the courts and the Township and will become part of an ever growing family. Thank you for considering becoming a member of Horseshoe Valley Pickleball.

MEMBERSHIP FEES FOR 2024

FEES FOR THE 2024 SEASON CANNOT BE PROCESSED BEFORE OCTOBER 1ST, 2023.

All parties choosing to become members of Horseshoe Valley Pickleball will also be required to join Pickleball Ontario and Pickleball Canada if they are not already members.

The membership fees for Horseshoe Valley Pickleball, Pickleball Ontario (PBO) and Pickleball Canada (PBC) for 2024 are as follows:

Horseshoe Valley Pickleball - $40.

***SEE BELOW FOR EARLY BIRD SPECIAL***

Pickleball Ontario (PBO) - $10

Pickleball Canada (PBC) - $10

Non PBO and PCO members joining between October 1st, 2023 and December 31st, 2023 for the 2024 season will have their PBO/PBC memberships start immediately upon joining, affording them a potential 15 months of membership for the price of 12. Also, please be advised that in 2024, PBO/PBC fees are subject to change.

Note: PBO and PBC will not refund any fees paid to them, whether in 2023 or 2024, for the 2024 season. For PBO there will also be a system processing fee when you check out calculated at 4.9% + $.50 per registration. This fee is the payment gateway charge and a development charge and is subject to HST. Subject to any increase in the 2024 PBO and PBC fees, this amount is $1.12.

**EARLY BIRD SPECIAL**

For all parties purchasing their 2024 Horseshoe Valley Pickleball membership between October 1st and November 30th, 2023, there is an EARLY BIRD SPECIAL fee of $30. In addition, the names of those members will be entered into a draw to receive a FREE membership, which will come in the form of a refund for the dues paid or for a membership for a lucky friend or family member.

NOTE: Non members of PBO/PBC will be required to join PBO/PBC when they sign up for their 2024 Horseshoe Valley Pickleball membership. Existing members of PBO/PBC should sign in to their account and then select Horseshoe Valley Pickleball as their club affiliate to register for Horseshoe Valley Pickleball, to get the EARLY BIRD SPECIAL pricing and have their names entered in the draw for the FREE membership.

THE BOARD

Nanda Mohamed has chosen to take a step back from the Board at this time. We wish Nanda well and thank her for her work while with the Board. Nanda’s passion for Pickleball has always been clearly evident. Although the Board will miss her energy and enthusiasm, Horseshoe Valley Pickleball is fortunate to continue to benefit from her ability to “Get things done” by means of her WhatsApp chats. Thanks Nanda.

The Board has elected to divvy up the workload of the seventh Board member position to the remaining six members and continue as a six member Board until the end of 2024 barring any unforeseen complications.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

The Board wishes to enlist volunteers for various subcommittees to make 2024 a better season of Pickleball than ever before. We need eager people to help set up tournaments, competitive ladders, social nights and more. We also need people to help organize, maintain and repair equipment. The success of Horseshoe Valley Pickleball and our season ahead is dependent upon its membership and the energy, enthusiasm, commitment and work that we are willing to put into it. We are only limited by our vision. Let’s shoot for the stars! If you are willing to help in any capacity, please let us know by emailing horseshoevalleypb@gmail.com - Attention: Subcommittees

FURTHER INFORMATION FROM THE BOARD

The Board has been continuing to work with the Township to improve the condition of the Horseshoe Valley courts and the equipment storage situation (shed) at the courts. As a result, the Township is continuing their repair work of the divots on the courts. This work is ongoing. The Township has also placed a metal box for extra storage on the north side of the shed and has supplied a new Pickleball net for public use. In turn, as a gesture of cooperation with the Township, Horseshoe Valley Pickleball has donated 30 older, used balls, to both the Warminster and the Horseshoe Valley courts.

The Board has addressed the need for winter/poor weather Pickleball court facilities with the Township. The Township has advised that it is pursuing several avenues to address this need. In the short term, the Township has secured gym time at W.R. Best Public School at 2221 Old Barrie Rd. West for weekly drop-in pickleball. This commences on Wednesday September 27th, with two time slots, 6pm to 7:15pm and 7:15pm to 8:30pm and will run for 11 weeks. Reservations are required. The fee is $4.00 per week per time slot. See the Oro Medonte Recreation Guide - Fall 2023 for details on this and other programming. In the long term, the Township is pursuing having pickleball courts as part of the facilities at the new recreation centre that will be built off of the 4th Line, putting pickleball courts in the Oro Medonte Community Arena and purchasing property for the purpose of building dedicated pickleball courts.

In the meantime, should you be getting stressed about the thought of not playing pickleball over the winter, other current options include ODAS at 4500 Fairgrounds Rd, Severn and the Orillia Recreation Centre at 255 West Street South, Orillia.

This Newsletter is sent on behalf of your Pickleball Board to keep you informed and involved in the development of Pickleball in Horseshoe Valley. Should you have any questions or wish to comment on this Newsletter, please email us at horseshoevalleypb@gmail.com

Thank you from your Horseshoe Valley Pickleball Board. Dave Viney, Wendy Simms, Rick Meyers, Christine Patterson, Ken Apple, Susie Fassbender

Keep watch for an email on October 1st for detailed instructions on how to register for the 2024 season of Horseshoe Valley Pickleball