News & Announcements

  
 
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Posted Sept. 17, 2017 - STPC Test Your Skills Event On Sept. 30, 2017

Posted Sept. 15, 2017 -  STPC Equipment Discounts for All Local Players

The St. Thomas Pickleball Club final equipment order of the year is going in shortly.

Of Courts in London has agreed to offer discounts on some new to the market Head paddles and
a beginner level Wilson paddle. These discounts of 15-25% apply to group orders of 12 or more
paddles placed by the STPC.  Please note that the STPC is providing this pricing as a service to
players with no money going to the club. 

All players including non-club players can take advantage of this pricing.

HOW DO I ORDER:  Email us at stthomaspickleball@yahoo.ca specifying your order & we will
arrange for payment. Deadline is Sept. 30.


Here are your choices. All prices include HST.

1. 
Wilson Profile. Good beginner paddle. Retails for $79. Club price = $60 (24% discount).

      Check it out at: https://ofcourts.com/store/ Wilson-Profile-Pickleball- Paddle-p90526776

2.  Head Paddles. Check ‘em out at: https://ofcourts.com/store/ HEAD-c24335358

New on the market. Great graphics, nicely balanced, feel good weight, feel good grip.

a)    Head Radical Elite. Retails for $79. Club price = $65 (15% discount). 

b)    Head Xtreme Elite. Retails for $89.27. Club price = $75 (15% discount).

c)    Head Radical Pro L. Retails for $111.87. Club price = $85 (25% discount).


d)    Head Xtreme Pro L. Retails for $112. Club price = $95 (15% discount).

SHOES:  Of Courts is the best place to buy outdoor & indoor court shoes as they have a large selection & offer a discounted price.
BALLS:  Onix outdoor balls can still be ordered from the club at our cost of $3 each, tax included.

Posted Sept. 11, 2017 - Pickleball Golf Tournament A Good Time
   
The 40 or so golfers who participated in the 2nd Annual STPC Golf Tournament at The Bluffs on Sept. 9 had a 
great time. It was a weather perfect day & the operative word 
was fun as everyone enjoyed the best 
ball scramble with some pickleball elements thrown in for good measure. A tasty meal was served up by
the Bluff's staff and this was followed by a draw for door prizes with a pickleball putting contest closing out the day.
 
The Champion's Trophy was won by the team of David Loucks, Bryan Van Patter, Rick Hodges & Larry Whitnell.  
Other prizes winners included:  
closest to the pin prize Bryan Van Patter, longest putt Bob Graham & putting contest
Sharon Harbaruk.

Thanks go to Convenor Rick Hodges & also to the staff at The Bluffs for all their hard work in putting this together.


Posted Sept. 3, 2017 - St. Thomas Players Compete in Bayfest Tournament



Congrats to the Green Team which finished second at the Bayfest Tourney in Port Rowan
on Labour Day weekend.  St. Thomas players included Richard Lenz (3rd from left) &
Barb Gonyou (4th from left).





Posted Aug. 27, 2017 - Railway City Tournament Makes CTV News & Local Newspaper

Our tournament on Aug. 26 was featured on the CTV London News. You can see the feature
at:  
http://london.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1196328
A feature also appeared in the St. Thomas Times-Journal at:

Posted Aug. 12, 2017 - National Pickleball Day Celebrated in St. Thomas





Aug.12, 2017 was National Pickleball Day in Canada. Pickleball Canada, in conjunction with ParticipAction,
encouraged all pickleballers across Canada to get out and play and celebrate our great game. A group of
players at the new Pinafore Park courts in St. Thomas celebrated with a photo which is included on the left. 
Photo Credit:  Sharon Harbaruk, Sign & Flags: Jan & Rod Nicholson



Posted Aug. 11, 2017 - London Store Expands Pickleball Inventory

Of CourtsOf Courts (https://ofcourts.com/) in London is under new ownership and they are expanding
their pickleball inventory. 
For example, they stock the new line of Head pickleball paddles and
there have been some excellent reviews of these 
paddles.  Until Sept. 26 they are offering a 13%
discount on all in store products. The discount can be obtained by 
using promo code STPB13.



Posted Aug. 4, 2017 - STPC Golf Tournament Coming Up On Sept. 9

Attention All St. Thomas, Aylmer, Port Stanley & Area Pickleball Golfers:

The St. Thomas Pickleball Club is hosting the 2nd Annual Pickleball Golf Tournament on Sept. 9 at the Bluffs in Port Stanley.

This is mainly a golf event which will test some of your pickleball skills on some holes....you have to see it to believe it!  If you didn't play last year you missed a great time. There will be food, door prizes, a trophy for the winning team and whatever else Convenor Rick has up his sleeve.

Not a golfer - come out for the food & fun....only $10.

All pickleball players from St. Thomas & area (Elgin County) are eligible to register and join the fun. There will be a cap on numbers so don't wait to register.

See the attached flyer for further details and registration information.

Rick Hodges
Convenor
STPC



Posted July 27, 2017 - STPC Clinic Held At Pinafore Park 
  
 



 




A successful clinic featuring instructors Sid & Carolyn Stevens from Sauble Beach was held at the new Pinafore pickleball courts on July 26. This was the inaugural event for our club at this location and many favourable comments were heard from the 36 players (3 groups of 12 - see photos) that were present. Participants will now be working on their warmup exercises (don't forget the 2"run!), varying their serves, hitting serves/return of serves deep & keeping the proper spacing between partners when playing, among other things. Thanks go to Sid & Caroline who did a great job.


 

Posted July 12, 2017 - 4th Annual General Meeting of the STPC Was The Best Yet
A lot of positive comments were heard last night after the club AGM. 54 club members and 2 guests had a great time at this event which was
held at the Lakeside Pavilion in Pinafore Park. The turnout was the best the club has had in the 4 years that the AGM has been held at Pinafore.

The business portion of the evening featured a financial & membership report from Treasurer Jill Noad. President Dave Hall summarized club activities
from 2016-17. A number of amendments to the club constitution were passed and a board of directors consisting of Dave Hall, John Harbaruk,
Cynthia Rutledge, Jill Noad & Catherine Upfold was approved for the 2017-18 year.

A number of items were also raised under the New Business part of the agenda.
Peter & Barb Burtoft are moving to Mexico and they were presented
with a card & best wishes by V-P John Harbaruk. A draw for a table full of great door prizes was held at the conclusion of the business portion of the meeting. 

Some rather hilarious entertainment was provided by Peter Burtoft & Vern Huston. It seems that Peter is a singer and Vern had Morris Livermore suing the club because his wife Mavis gave him up for a bad ass biker. Vern, assisted by Joyce Blair, Kay McLean & Jan Nicholoson, also demonstrated the many uses of the new water bottle holding apparel presented to President Dave while also presenting him with a fabulous pickleball crown.

The potluck that followed was unbelievable & members were invited to finish off the evening with play at the nearby Pinafore courts. 
Thanks to everyone who made the AGM an enjoyable, fun experience which combined business & socializing.
This only served to emphasize what we already knew......pickleball players are a great bunch of people!

Posted July 12, 2017 - STPC Court Storage Box For Sale

Large commercial quality, steel storage box similar to those used for storing tools on construction sites.
Used for two years
by the St. Thomas Pickleball Club to store portable nets and balls at local tennis/pickleball courts. With new dedicated courts,
the box is now redundant. Comes with:  four, removable, heavy duty castor wheels, two padlocks (recessed when locked for security), side handles for carrying. Does not include contents as seen in photo.  $400 firm. Email to:stthomaspickleball@yahoo.ca.



Posted June 30, 2017 - State of the Art Pickleball Facility Now Open At Pinafore Park
June 30, 2017
ST. THOMAS —
The City of St. Thomas Parks, Recreation & Property Management Department is proud to
                                                announce the opening of the new Pinafore Park Tennis and Pickleball Courts.
                                               The newly completed courts consist of 8 tennis and 8 pickleball courts and are now open for
                                               
public use 7 days a week 8am – 11pm (weather permitting).
                                               An official grand opening with a full day of festivities and special guests will take place in the 
fall.
                                               For further information contact:
                                               Ross Tucker, Director of Parks, Recreation and Property Management
                                               City of St. Thomas
                                               (519) 631-1680 ext 5201







Posted June 21, 2017 - Read This Before Playing At the New Pinafore Pickleball Courts
1. Opening Day:  The Pinafore courts will be completed soon. We will notify everyone when they are open and when the official ribbon cutting takes place. These courts are a game changer for our sport and the best outdoor facility in Ontario. We would like to see as many players as possible at the ribbon cutting.
 
2. Reserved STPC Playing Time Confirmed: We requested 4 two hour sessions of reserved playing time and received 3. The fourth session was for league play so it will have to wait until next year if we can get the extra time.  This will be run as a pilot program in order to determine our needs for the future.

The 40% participation rule is NOT in effect as that only applies to St. Joe's. However, as part of the pilot we will keep track of usage.  If club members don't use this time it may be cancelled or the number of courts reduced for next season.
   
    a)  Mon. morning 9-11 am (6 courts reserved). 
    b)  Wed. evening 7-9 pm (6 courts reserved)
    c)  Saturday morning 9-11 am (6 courts reserved)
    NOTE:  This represents only 4.2% of the total playing time available each week

Please keep in mind that you can start play before reserved time kicks in and you may play when it is over although you will have to respect the right of non-club players to use the courts.

3. Balls:   Durafast 40 neon balls will be supplied for reserved club time. However, we have no place to store balls at the courts so bring a ball with you in case none are available.

4. Why use reserved club playing time? Obviously you can form your own playing groups and play outside of club time. The great thing about reserved time is that only club members can use the 6 courts. Everyone who shows up will know how to play the game and how to properly follow the rules. As a club we can set our own rules (see 5. below) and determine how we want to use the time. We can run practice drills, mini-tournaments, clinics, try it sessions etc. Once in awhile we may need to use reserved time for beginner lessons but we will give lots of notice and try to leave a couple of courts open.
 
5. New Rec Dept. Rule for All Play Outside of Club Time:  Please note that this is a rec department rule which does not apply to club play.
Rule: If all 8 courts are occupied & players are waiting, those using the courts will be limited to a maximum of one hour of play and then they must give up the court (applies to both tennis & pickleball)
Rec. Dept. Rationale: "We do not want to rush those people off the courts that are just learning the sport or coming out to simply have fun. We want to have the entire facility (tennis & pickleball) as consistent as possible." 

Enforcing this rule is problematic as there will be no rec. dept. staff on duty. The only way to determine how long someone has been playing would be to ask the players on all 8 courts.  When courts are full, you could be waiting a half hour or even a full hour before a court opens up.

The STPC and the Timken Pickleball Committee lobbied for the following universally accepted rule but to no avail:  If courts are full and players are waiting, players should play one game and rotate off the courts to allow the first four in line to move on to a court. This is the protocol followed at Timken, St. Joe's and all other venues that we know of. We will follow this protocol during club reserved time on Mon., Wed. and Sat.  

Outside of club time, we would hope that all our club members would show good sportsmanship and not tie up a court for 30-60 minutes when your fellow players are waiting.

Complaints about waiting time, disputes over court access etc. should be addressed to the rec. dept. but you can also let the STPC know if there any problems.

6. Can the STPC book court time in addition to our reserved playing time?  Yes. One off events like the Railway City Tournament on Aug. 26 and the clinic sessions on July 26 have already been booked.
 
7. Can other groups book reserved time? According to the rec dept. the answer is yes if they are an established entity in this municipality i.e. another club or association. However, they must have their own insurance coverage. The STPC pays $1200 per year for General Liability plus Director's & Officer's insurance so we are fully covered.

8. Code of Conduct:  The rec dept. code of conduct is attached. Please be familiar with the contents and how to register complaints.

9. Parking:  The parking lot at the south end of the courts can accommodate 25-30 vehicles. There is limited parking by the administration building north of the courts. Staff spaces can be used after hours in the evening & on weekends. In the summer, players may be able to use the Curling Club lot on the other side of Parkside Dr. but that has yet to be determined.

10. Evening Play: The lights can be turned on manually when needed. They will shut off automatically at 11 pm.

11. Seating:  16' of space exists on the south side of the courts between the baseline and the fence. Players will utilize about half of that when playing so this allows those who are waiting to line up or sit on the 4 benches located on that side. There should also be enough room on that side to set up folding lawn chairs along the fence if you wish to bring your own seating. Please stay close to the fence so as not to interfere with play. For larger events, players and spectators can sit outside the courts on the grass as the windscreens are semi-transparent.

12. Washrooms: The new washroom facility in the centre of the park is a fairly long walk from the courts. Plan accordingly before leaving home.

13. Hydration:  This is especially important during the summer when playing outdoors. Drink lots of water before coming to the courts and bring your water bottle. Guess there is a good chance you could be walking to the washroom?

This summer at Pinafore will be a bit of an experiment to work out the kinks. Based on what happens we will be able to make adjustments for next year so your patience is appreciated for the first few months.

As usual, questions are welcome. Email us at stthomaspickleball@yahoo.ca or talk to an exec. member.

The Executive
STPC 

Posted June 20, 2017 - STPC Donates to St. Joseph's High School
   
 



St. Joe's Head of Physical Education Richard Mommersteeg (right) 
receives a cheque for 
$500 from STPC President Dave Hall (left) on
behalf of the St. Thomas Pickleball Club. The donation was the club's
way of 
thanking the school for providing our club with a great indoor
playing venue. 
Custodians also received a gift card for the help they
provided to the club 
during the 2016-17 indoor season. 





Posted June 12, 2017 - Indoor Season at St. Joe's Extended to June 23, 2017
With the delay to the opening of the outdoor courts at Pinafore, the executive has arranged for an extension of the
indoor
playing season & added two extra Wed. play dates. All sessions start at 6:30 pm on the following dates:
June 12, 14, 16, 19, 21 and 23. See you on the courts.

Posted June 11, 2017 
1. Notice of STPC Annual General Meeting 2017 
·         Where: Lakeside Pavilion in Pinafore Park 
·         When: July 11, 2017  4:30-6:30 pm. Please note correction from previous date of June 27.
·         Who May Attend:  Any member who has paid their 2017-18 membership fee. This includes 
          regular members & NAM’s.
·         Agenda: Meeting starts promptly at 5 pm. Business, potluck, door prizes and socializing to follow.
·         Post Meeting: If the courts are ready, open play for everyone including NAM's will follow at the 
          Pinafore courts so wear proper attire to the meeting if you want to play.  
·         Please let Jan Nicholson know the number attending ASAP for potluck planning purposes. Jan will supply further
          details about what to bring etc.  Contact Jan 
nicholsonjans@yahoo.ca or 519-782-3065.

2.  Membership Renewals
Current STPC memberships expire June 30. The deadline for Regular Playing Members (RPM’s) and Non-Playing Affiliate Members (NAM’s) to renew is June 23, 2017
The NAM fee is set at $10. The RPM fee has been raised to $60. That's a $40 increase BUT the $1 per session fee to play at St. Joe's for the fall/winter/spring season has been eliminated.  For those that play regularly this will work out to be about the same as you paid last year when we were collecting the loonie. Some players may come out ahead or behind depending on how much they play.
Deadline for renewals is June 23. You must renew your membership in order to attend the AGM on July 11 and also to play in any of the three reserved time slots per week that the club has booked for Pinafore Park (details to come later). Cheque or cash can be submitted to Treasurer Jill Noad at St. Joe's or mail to Jill at: 2 Wood St., Apt. 102, St. Thomas, ON N5R 4K9.  Make cheques out to St. Thomas Pickleball Club.


Posted June 3, 2017 -
OSGA Dist. 31 (Oxford-Elgin) Pickleball
Tournament Results
Over 50 players mainly from St. Thomas, Aylmer, Woodstock & area converged on St. Joe's High
School today for the 4th Annual Dist. 31 tournament. Convened by the St. Thomas Pickleball
Club, this was the largest turnout to date which is an indicator of how rapidly the sport is growing. 
                                                                   Play commenced at 8:30 am and when the smoke cleared by mid afternoon St. Thomas players
                                                                   took home 14 of the 16 medals that were up for grabs.
List of Medal Winners - See pictures of winners on Photo page

Mixed Doubles 55-64:  Gold - Chris & Bob McQuiggan (St.T);  Silver - John Kupisz & Jackie Davison (Woodstock);  
Bronze - Larry Whitnell & Catherine Upfold (St. T)

Mixed Doubles 65+:  Gold - Terri & Chris Boss (ST T); Silver - Richard Lenz & Mary Tully (St. T); Bronze - Bernie
Peschutter & Marilyn Graham (St. T)

Men's Doubles 55-64:  Gold - Bob McQuiggan & Larry Whitnell (St. T); Silver - John Kupisz & Allan Robertshaw (Woodstock); 
Bronze - Robin Hewson & Bryan Van Patter (St. T)

Men's Doubles 65+:  Gold - Rick Hodges & Richard Lenz (St. T);  Silver - Terri Boss & John Rutledge (St. T); 
Bronze - Larry Doan & Bill Robinson (St. T)

Women's Doubles 55-64: Gold - Chris McQuiggan & Catherine Upfold (St. T); Silver - Kathy Zyburra & Barb Gonyou (St. T); 
Bronze - Marianne Campbell & Pam Moore (St. T)

Women's Doubles 65+:  Mary Tully & Marilyn Graham (St. T)

Gold medalists may advance to the OSGA Southwestern Ontario Regional Tournament in Sarnia on Aug. 16 in Sarnia.

Congratulations to all the winners! A big thank you goes out to the Convenors and the other volunteers who put on a well
organized tournament.
 A second big thank you goes out to all those who contributed to our food drive as 120 lbs. of dry food
goods were collected for our charity of choice, the St. Thomas Elgin Food Bank.


Posted May 30, 2017 - 2nd Annual Railway City Pickleball Tournament Set for Aug. 26
                     
Click to enlarge Flyer or Registration Form
 

 



Posted May 29, 2017 - St. Thomas Players Compete in London Pickleball Tournament
Congratulations to a group of St. Thomas pickleball players who competed in the London Tournament, May 27-28 at Fanshawe College.
1. Participating STPC regular members & PAM members included: Peter Burtoft, Marianne Campbell, Robin Hewson, Rick Hodges, Bob & Chris McQuiggan, 
Pam Moore, Bernie Peschutter, Catherine Upfold, Lyn Levandoski (Silver medal in Open Women's Doubles), Richard Lenz & Larry Whitnell.
2. Non-Club players included Wes Bogart & Scott Elliott (Bronze medal in Men's Double 3.0 rating level). 

Posted May 26, 2017 - Dates Changed for two Events and Set For Two Others
1. The July 18 grand opening of the new Pinafore courts has been cancelled as tennis pro Daniel Nestor is no longer able to attend.
     A new date for the ribbon cutting ceremony will be announced as soon as the courts are completed.
2. The STPC Annual General Meeting date has been changed to Tuesday, July 11. Details to follow.
3. The date for the Railway City Pickleball Tournament will be Aug. 26. All 8 courts at Pinafore are reserved. This tournament is
     open to all Elgin County players. Details to follow. 
4. The STPC Pickleball Golf Tournament is booked for Sept. 9 at The Bluffs in Port Stanley. Again, this is open to all area players.

Posted Apr. 21, 2017 - Civic Award For Two STPC Members





Last night at the Honours and Awards Banquet in St. Thomas, STPC club members
Dave and Helen Hall received an award for "Special Contribution to the Community." 
Only one of these is given each year so they are very honoured to be the recipients
for 2017. 
The recognition is for everything they have done to introduce and promote
pickleball in St. Thomas.
 City Councillor Joan Rymal, shown on the right, made the
presentation. Thanks go to the 30 or so players and family members who turned out
to help celebrate 
the event.






Posted Apr. 11, 2017 - Bits and Pieces from Apr. 9 Club Executive Meeting
1. 2017 AGM set for July 11 @ Pinafore Park
2. Official ribbon cutting ceremony for new Pinafore courts to be announced.
3. Spring lessons:  Apr. 22 class is full, with a few spots left for our Apr. 29 class
4. Three major club events returning in 2017: OSGA Dist. 31 tourney (June 3), STPC Railway City Tournament
Aug. 26 & STPC Golf Tournament Sept. 9 at The Bluffs. These events are open to all area players not just club members.
5. Discount Paddle Order: Apr. 22 is the deadline to order your club discounted paddle
6. STPC recommended balls for club play: Outdoor - Durafast 40 (neon), Indoor - Onix Pure 2 (orange)

Posted Mar. 20, 2017 - Florida League Winners Includes STPC Member
  
   

The Villages, FLA, Mar. 20/17:  The championship finals of the Intermediate Mixed Team League were held today
at the 18 court Rohan Pickleball Centre in The Villages, FLA. Over 100 players comprising 12 teams completed a
season of competition leading up to the championship match to determine the winner of Sneaker Bowl II.
Team Thunder ‘N Lightning defeated the Volley Lamas 9 wins to 7 in the Sneaker Bowl II finals.
STPC member Dave Hall and partner Anita Poynter (no not one of the Poynter Sisters) went 4-0 in mixed doubles
to help pull off the win.  Man did that sneaker smell bad!

Posted Mar. 20, 2017- March Break Kid's Camp At the Sally Ann in St. Thomas
  
For the third year running, volunteers helped introduce pickleball to children attending the Salvation Army’s
March Break Children’s Day Camp, March 13-17, 2017.

The format is always the same, namely:

Day 1 - children (ages 6 to 11) learn how to serve the ball.

Day 2 - returning the ball plus some rudimentary warm up drills are taught.

Day 3 - volunteer’s day off. The kids have a field trip that they attend.

Day 4 - we break into groups of 4 and play a game while we introduce them (slowly) to the rules.
The rules introduced are:

·         Serving diagonally

·         No serves into the kitchen

·         Two bounce rule

·         Scoring (we have them call out the score before each serve)

 Day 5 – More games & rules while reinforcing the rules from the day before.

 

At the end of the week, we handed out a certificate of accomplishment (hats off to Rick Hodges for
creating it) and a small bag of candy. The kids, as always, provide very positive feedback as is demonstrated
by the most popular question from them: “Are you going to be coming back for the next camp?”.

Once again, we had so many volunteers that we actually didn’t use all of them, but a heartfelt “Thank You” to all the volunteers
who offered and who helped make this a memorable experience for the kids. Volunteers were:  Marianne Campbell, Barb Gonyou,
Richard Lenz, J.D. Neill, Betty Ann Schleihauf, Catherine Upfold, Larry Whitnell.

A great time was had by all, kids and volunteers alike.

Dave Loucks
STPC

Posted Mar. 14, 2017 - 11-22% Discounts On New Paddles 
STPC discounts on 5 different paddles are now available. Our supplier is offering the following prices for group orders placed
through our club. These are quality paddles good for all levels of play. The good news is that anyone can order a paddle even
if they are not a club member
. Details are listed below. Email
stthomaspickleball@yahoo.ca if you are interested purchasing a
paddle through our discount program. Specify quanity and colour if applicable. Please note that we can also add balls to any 
orders that are sent in. Indicate brand & colour from www.pickleballdepot.ca. We recommend the Durafast 40 (neon colour) for 
outdoor play. Three day turn around on delivery.


    
Left: Apex Pinnacle  Middle: Paddletek Element (first & seconds) Right: Paddletek Tempest (firsts & seconds)

1.    Apex Pinnacle - Website price:  $77.74 (includes HST & shipping).   
Check it out at:  
https://www.pickleballdepot.ca/products/apex-pinnacle
Club Price = $60 (22.8% discount). Includes HST & shipping.

2.    Paddletek Element Second (red onlyVery Limited Availability.  Minor surface imperfections. Playability not affected.
Website price: $90.34 ea. (includes HST & shipping). 
Check it out at:  https://www.pickleballdepot.ca/products/element-factory-seconds
Club Price = $70 (22.5% discount). Includes HST & shipping. Limited Availability.

3.    Paddletek Element First (4 colours) – No blemishes. Website price: $112.94 (includes HST & shipping). 
Check it out at: 
https://www.pickleballdepot.ca/products/paddletek-element 
Club Price = $90 (20.3% discount). Includes HST & shipping.

4. Paddletek Tempest Wave Graphite FirstWebsite price: $146.84 (includes HST & shipping)
Check it out at:  https://www.pickleballdepot.ca/products/tempest-graphite 
Club Price = $118.00 (19.6% discount). Includes HST & shipping.

5. Paddletek Tempest Wave Graphite Second - Website price: $101.64 (includes HST & shipping)
Check it out at:  https://www.pickleballdepot.ca/collections/seconds-and-demos/products/tempest-factory-seconds 
Club Price = $90 (11.4% discount). Includes HST & shipping.


Posted Mar. 7, 2017 - STPC Spring Beginner Lessons Scheduled for Apr. 22
Join the pickleball craze and get ready to play at the new outdoor courts in Pinafore Park this spring. It's easy to learn, fun, good 
exercise, very social and inexpensive.  

When:  St. Joe's High School Gym, Sat. Apr. 22 from 8:30-12:30 pm
Cost: $20 for 4 hours of instruction & play
Class Size:  the first 16 beginners to register are guaranteed a spot, extra classes will be added subject to demand
Format: Introduction, how the game is played, rules, different shots, practice drills, learning resources plus 2 hours of
coached playing time. You will 
be playing the game before the class is finished.
Paddles:  Paddles & balls are supplied. Different paddles are discussed. Group paddle orders through our club receive
a 20-25% discount.
Who Can Register:  Any Elgin County resident 18 years of age or older.
Registration:  You must register in advance. The first 16 are guaranteed a spot. To register, send an email to 
stthomaspickleball@yahoo.ca 

Posted Feb. 16, 2017 -  STPC Membership for 2017-18 Includes Tips Booklet



Club membership renewals for the 2017-18 year are due June 15. As a bonus for our 
members the executive has decided that all regular members, NAM's and PAM's will 
receive a free copy of this 47 page Tips Booklet. There is one tip for each week of the 
year in this Year One booklet. Also included are some drills and interviews with top players.

BONUS: As part of the same program, starting the first week of July 2017, all members will also
be emailed a TIP OF THE WEEK not found in the booklet. Regardless of your level of play, 
the tips contained 
in the booklet and the emails can help you improve your game.

The booklet is distributed in The Villages, FLA and is endorsed by top players/coaches 
in The Villages such as Coach Mo, Deb Harrison and Jeff Shank.





Posted Feb. 3, 2017 - Photo Op in Florida




Feb. 3, 2017 - Shown here with Pickleball pro Deb Harrison (centre) at her weekly
clinic in The Villages, FLA are STPC Vice-President John Harbaruk (left) and 
President Dave Hall (right). 










Posted Jan. 27, 2017 - Want a Mexican Pickleball Vacation?
Canadians are playing in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Lake Chapala/Ajijic and a brand new resort dedicated to pickleball (10 courts) is opening Mar. 1, 2017 on the Baja Peninsula - www.trespalapasbaja.com 

Posted Jan. 27, 2017 - Some Clarification On the Ball Approval Fiasco
The Pickleball Central Blog has a rather lengthy posting which clarifies recent news about ball approvals and the "conditioning" of new balls. Anyone who wants to take the time to read the blog should click here.

Posted Jan. 15, 2017 - Jugs Indoor Ball Saga Continues With Provisional Approval
Here is something you may not know.  After a lengthy study, the lime green JUGS ball was declared the standard indoor tournament ball within Ontario, about 3-5 years ago. As a result, most indoor venues in the province adopted this ball for indoor play. Over a year ago the certified testing of the USAPA came along and upset the whole apple cart. The JUGS ball did not pass certification and the JUGS people were given one year to come up with a ball that would pass the tests. This was disappointing because all clubs, more or less, had become use to playing with the JUGS ball and it appeared to be the most inexpensive ball on the market.

Once the certification rules took hold, then other manufacturers followed the USAPA standards to the letter, came out with new balls and up went the price of balls on the market. The orange Onix Pure 2 indoor ball which the STPC began using just prior to the end of 2016 is one example of this type of new ball.  Some manufacturers came out with so-called 'hybrid' balls that they say can be played indoors but in reality were no safer than the Durafast 40 outdoor ball that was played predominately in Ontario prior to the PAO study and declaration for indoor play.

On Jan. 15, 2017 (see below) the USAPA announced that the JUGS ball is acceptable until the end of 2017 as long as it is "conditioned" properly.  Details on the "conditioning" process will be available soon. It would appear that the need for "conditioning" is to be eliminated by the end of 2017. In all likelihood this provisional approval is simply an extension granted to the JUGS company to allow them to come up with a ball that will pass testing even though they have already had a year to produce an acceptable ball.

Now the PAO, the STPC and other Ontario playing venues will have to decide which ball to use and there may no longer be a standard across Ontario. For tournaments, it would be up to organizing committees to decide which ball to use.
NOTE: Scroll down to find previous articles on  ball testing (Oct. 18 and 23, 2016).

USAPA Announcement, Jan. 15, 2017:

The Jugs Bulldog ball has been retested using currently allowable conditioning standards.  With proper conditioning, this ball passed the bounce height test and is now approved for sanctioned play until December 31, 2017. Conditioning is the practice of compressing the ball using a predefined method so that the ball will meet the bounce specification in IFP Rule 2.D.4. See manufacturer for specific conditioning instructions.
 
The USAPA is working with the manufacturers to eliminate conditioning beyond 2017. Companies manufacturing balls that require conditioning have agreed to pre-condition these balls this year when used in sanctioned tournaments. Details will be provided in the upcoming article: "The Future of Conditioning." Look for this in the next issue of Pickleball Magazine.

Posted Jan. 14, 2017 - STPC Games Night Was Fun For All
As a replacement activity for pickleball playing dates at St. Joe's that were cancelled in January a games night was held for club members at the Port Stanley Legion on Jan. 13, 2017 Photos are posted on our photo page and the following comments were submitted by organizers Clayton and Caroline Watters:  

Card and Board Games Friday, January 13. 21 club members attended.

Games played: Apples to Apples; 6 - 3 - 2 - 1; Wizard; Play Nine; Take it Easy; shuffle board; euchre; to name a few.

Started at 7 and finished at 10.

Introduction and welcome, reviewed a few rules, then played first set of games until 7:45. Break for a drink then played next set of games. Then had a break with snacks and people refreshed their drinks. Norma and Jan brought snacks along with Caroline.

Then we played a few more games until it was closing time. Everyone pitched in to cleanup and headed home.

The feedback we received was that everyone enjoyed the evening and wanted to do this event again.
Caroline and Clayton

Thanks go to Caroline and Clayton for organizing this event. Pictures are posted on our Photo page.


Posted Dec. 20, 2016 - Christmas Pickleball at St. Joe's Dec. 19, 2016
Last night was Christmas Pickleball at St. Joe's for all club members. The 35 attendees enjoyed some Christmas goodies, a Santa skit complete with a rendition of Jingle Bells and lots of pickleball play. Thanks go to everyone who contributed to making this a fun evening. Pictures are posted on the Photo page of this website. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all our club members.
News Item Posted in St. Thomas T-J:  http://www.stthomastimesjournal.com/ur/story/1209952 

Posted Dec. 14, 2016 - Special Club Activity Nights Scheduled For January, 2017



Attention All STPC Members:
 this includes regular members, Playing Affiliate Members (PAM's) and 
Non-Playing Affiliate Members (NAM's)

Between Jan. 13 and Feb. 3 there are six St. Joe's play dates cancelled due to school activities. If there is sufficient interest your executive will arrange alternative activities as follows:

1. Fri. Jan. 13, 7:00-9:30 pm -  Cards and/or Board Games evening in the Harbour Room, Port Stanley Legion. Cost to
cover room rental will $2-$4 per person depending on the number attending. Purchase your own drinks.
Organizer: Clayton Watters. Email Clayton at  cdwatters2017@gmail.com by Jan. 5 if you want to participate.

The Executive, STPC


Posted Dec. 12, 2016 - Christmas Pickleball Comes to St. Joe's Dec. 19, 2016


Click on image to enlarge. All club members including
Non-Playing 
Affiliate Members are invited to attend.
Stop in and see Santa and enjoy some 
Christmas treats. 










Posted Nov. 24, 2016 - A Fun Evening at St. Joes


 

On Monday Nov.21 a fun evening of play took place for 32 players who attended the club's mini-tournament
at St. Joe's gym. Everyone played 4 games with 
a different partner. The top 8 finishers then played in two
final games to determine overall winners. In one final the team of Helen Davey & Robin Hewson defeated
Brenda Cairns & Bryan Van Patter by an 11-3 score. In a very close and exciting match the other final saw
Ken Rosevear & Larry Whittnell defeat Chris Andersen & Bob McQuiggan by an 11-9 score.


Photos: Top Left - Helen Davey/Robin Hewson  Top Right - Larry Whitnell/Ken Rosevear.  Bottom Left - Bob McQuiggan/Chris Andersen  
                                                                    Bottom Right - Bryan Van Patter/Brenda Cairns

       
Special Note: The organizers would like to sincerely apologize to Robin Hewson and Bob McQuiggan for
the error that occurred at the end of the regular games. As 
a result of overall scores in the first 4 games,
Robin should have been partnered with Chris Andersen in the gold match while Bob McQuiggan should
have been 
partnered with Helen Davey in the consolation match.

Thanks to all the players who donated food items. Over 100 pounds of canned and dry goods were dropped
off at the St. Thomas food bank. 



Posted Nov. 17, 2016 -  9 Reasons to Take Out An STPC Non-Playing Membership

The other night after pickleball a couple of our players got a bit gushy about the great job that has been done promoting pickleball here
in St. Thomas. That got me thinking. Our regular club members certainly are aware of what the club has done and continues to do for
them as STPC members. However, if asked, they probably could not come up with some of the items on the list below. I was a little
surprised myself when I finished putting the list together.  
What about players who are not club members? Many don't know the history over the last 3.5 years and probably don't realize that
our club has and still is providing services and opportunities that benefit all players in the St. Thomas area. Everyone knows that
our regular membership is capped but they are probably not aware that they can take out a Non-Playing Membership to support what
the club is doing.

Consider the following benefits which apply to all our pickleball players:

1. Lobbying For New Facilities. The STPC provided an entity and the credibility needed to lobby the city for more pickleball facilities in St. Thomas. Two presentations were made to Council and we worked closely with Parks & Recreation to attain this goal. All players benefit from these initiatives.

2. Pinafore Park Project. The approval of this project was a direct result of the club's efforts to obtain more playing facilities. Once this project was approved, the club executive was instrumental in providing design ideas. Recently, input was also provided with regard to rules and etiquette as well as other aspects of the day to day operation of the courts. Opening in the spring of 2017 these eight new courts will benefit everyone who plays the sport from May to October.

3.  Local Tournaments:

a)      OSGA Dist. 31 (Oxford-Elgin) Tournament. This tournament was started by the STPC three years ago at the urging of the Ontario Senior
         Games Assoc. It is now an annual event run by our club for the benefit of all players in the Oxford-Elgin (Dist. 31) area.

b)      Railway City Pickleball Tournament. Organized by the STPC in 2016, this tournament will be an annual event open to all players who
         reside in Elgin County. Last August half of the 60 players in this tournament were not club members. 

c)      Pickleball Golf Tournament. Held in Sept. 2016, this will be another annual event organized by the STPC but open to all pickleball 
         players in the St. Thomas area. Three of the four teammates who got to hoist the trophy in Sept. were not club members. 

4.  Purchasing Equipment. The club arranges for group purchasing with discount pricing on select paddles and balls. In the past 2-3 years we have ordered approximately 200 paddles for local players. You do not have to be a club member to take advantage of this service.

5.  Timken Pickleball.  Negotiations with management led to an increase in the number of playing time slots from 2 to the current 10 and to the introduction of designated levels of play. At our request, two new nets replaced badminton nets and the NVZ line was painted on the badminton courts. The Rules & Etiquette sign
and the tarp that covers the west doors were supplied by the club. Our portable net was on loan to Timken for a year until it was needed at St. Joe's. Anyone who 
plays at Timken benefits from these initiatives. 

6.  STPC Website. There is a wealth of valuable information on our website which is available to the general public and to all players.

7.  Beginner Lessons. The STPC has introduced the game to approximately 400 adult and school aged beginners. One of them may have been you. We plan to 
continue promoting the game to new players in the future.

8.  Dissemination of Information. Our email lists provide a valuable service to club and non-club members. Almost 300 individuals are kept informed about
cancellation of playing time, upcoming tournaments and pickleball related news items. If you know players that are not on our mailing list and would like to be
added, please have them email us.

9. Future Considerations: Club organized league play at Pinafore next summer. All St. Thomas players would be eligible. Subject to approval by Parks & Recreation.  

Non-club players who want to support our continuing efforts to promote the sport, provide services to all players and obtain more and better
playing facilities can request a Non-Playing Affiliate Membership (NAM). The annual fee is $20. Contact us at stthomaspickleball@yahoo.ca if
you are interested or have questions.

Posted Nov. 4, 2016 - 2nd Annual "Ur Chance To Wine" Mini-Tournament Coming Up
Special Events Co-ordinator Clayton Watters has just released the following information on this soon to be held tournament
.




DATE: Monday, Nov. 21, 2012
LOCATION:  St. Joe's gym
TIME: 6:30-9:30 pm (please arrive by 6:15 for warmup, sign in etc.)
WHO CAN ENTER: Any club member
NO PARTNER REQUIRED:  organizers will assign partners  
HOW TO REGISTER: Email Clayton at cdwatters2017@gmail.com
REMINDER: The maximum number of players is 32, so the first  32 people to reply will be included in the tournament.
PLEASE BRING:  canned good for the food bank.

Rules for the tournament:

1) Four games for each entrant and each game is a maximum of 15 minutes. There shall be a one minute warm up for each person's first game. The one minute is included in the fifteen minutes maximum time.

2) Leading at 15 minutes is three points, a tie is one point, points less than your opponent is zero. A whistle will be blown at the fifteen minute mark to end the game, no continuing until a fault occurred.

3) Maximum number of players is 32.

4) Each person has new partner for each game in the tournament. Only exception is the championship game (four players with the highest scores) and the consolation game (next four players highest scores).

5)  The championship playoff game and the consolation playoff game shall be a one game, to 15 points with pickle ball rules.

6) If two or more players have the same points then the first tie breaker will be point differential, the second tie breaker will be a coin toss.

7) All decisions are made by the organizer.

Posted Oct. 29, 2016 - The Huntsman World Senior Games Pickleball Tournament Oct. 2016
 
 What a blast it would be to go to the Huntsman World Senior Games as a player or even as a spectator.
 Held in St. George, Utah over a two week period in October each year there are 
thousands of senior (50+)
 athletes from all over the world competing in 27 events. 

  Pickleball alone had 633 players from 34 states and 2 provinces playing in 1530 matches. This great video
  collage from the recently completed 2016 pickleball tournament not only shows why this is 
a great tournament
  but it also illustrates 
why pickleball is such a great social sport even at the highest levels of competition. 

 
Posted Oct. 23, 2016 - Something Smells A Little Fishy!
In case you didn't know, the rules we follow in pickleball are established by the International Pickleball Federation (IFP) which is the world governing body.
In November 2015 the IFP introduced new specs for balls and paddles which were aimed at standardizing the way the game was played. All IFP approved balls had to fall within certain specs for Diameter, Weight, Bounce, Hardness and Number of Holes (see Oct. 18 posting below). That was good news. As 
long as you use an IFP approved ball the specs will be nearly the same and there shouldn't be a huge difference in play from one brand to another.  

The deadline to meet the new specs was Oct. 1, 2016. Some balls, like the indoor Jugs ball which the STPC uses for indoor play, did not meet the specs 
and are no longer approved as of Oct. 1. The Jugs company is working on a new ball but so far no replacement has been introduced. 

Recently a video clip (see below) got me thinking that something might be rotten in the state of Denmark. In this clip, 3 outdoor balls are tested and there 
was a very large differential in the bounce height. The two Onix balls both bounced at least 4-6" higher than the Durafast 40. However, when the IFP 
tested and approved all three balls the recorded differential on the bounce was only 1" between the Onix balls and the Durafast 40. Is this poor quality
control on the part of the manufacturer, a gliche in the IFP testing system or something else?

So what gives and why should you care?  The higher bouncing ball will favour the bangers (generally anyone rated 3.0 or lower) since the chances of hitting into the net are less. Players who use the 3rd shot drop and dinking game (generally 3.5 rated and above) will find it more difficult to keep the ball low and may end up getting more hard returns in the face or other body parts. If you play in tournaments or play in other communities when you travel you might find 
a wide variation in how the ball plays if different balls are being used. It seems to me that this is exactly what the new ball rules were trying to eliminate .

The STPC uses the DuraFast 40 for outdoor play and with the new courts at Pinafore opening next spring the outdoor game is going to become a much bigger part of the playing scene here is St. Thomas. At least we will be using a ball that meets the standards set by the IFP.
NOTE: For indoor play our club has always used the lime green Jugs ball. We are currently testing the indoor Onix Pure 2 ball and are waiting for the 
revised Jugs ball in order to test it out as well. 

                                                                            Pickleball Bounce from Keith Bing on Vimeo. Posted on The Pickleball Life Blog site. 


Posted Oct. 22, 2016 - STPC Beginner Lessons
16 beginners completed 4 hours of instruction and practice on Oct. 22. Another class scheduled for Nov. 5 is full but there are still openings for a third class scheduled for Nov. 19 at St. Joe's High School from 8:30-12:30 pm.  Anyone interested in registering for this class should contact the STPC at stthomaspickleball@yahoo.ca or call 519-207-1466.

Posted Oct. 18, 2016 - Clarification On New Specs for Approved Balls

At St. Joe's on Monday night there were a couple of questions about the new balls we were trying out.

The rule revisions for pickleballs were introduced a year ago (see below) and all balls had to meet the new specs by Oct. 1, 2016. Some balls only required minor changes or perhaps none at all.

The goal was to establish a standard but as you can see from the revisions below this becomes quite technical and slight variances are allowed in terms of diameter, weight, height of bounce, hardness and number of holes. As a result not all balls will play exactly the same but they should be close.

For indoor use, the orange Onix ball that our club used on Monday at St. Joe's does meet the new specs. Our lime green Jugs ball does not. It did not pass the new bounce standards and is made of a softer plastic. This might account for why the orange ball seemed to be faster. So far Jugs does not have a replacement ball on the market but there is supposed to be one coming soon. We would like to test out the new Jugs ball when they are available before deciding which one to go with.

For outdoor use, unless the executive decides to try some different outdoor balls, we will probably stick with the Durafast 40 which is approved and has been the standard in North America for a number of years.

Rule Revisions:  November 1, 2015
 
*2.D.1. Construction. The ball shall be made of durable material molded with a smooth surface and free of texturing. The ball can only be one single, uniform color, except for identification markings. The ball may have a slight ridge at the seam as long as it does not significantly affect straight flight characteristics.
 
*2.D.2. Size. The ball shall be 2.874 inches (73mm) to 2.972 inches (75.5mm) in diameter. The maximum out-of-round diameter variance shall not be greater than +/-0.020 inch (0.50mm).
 
*2.D.3. Weight. The ball shall weigh between 0.78 and 0.935 ounces (22 and 26.5 grams).
 
*2.D.4. Bounce. The ball shall have a bounce of 30 to 34 inches (76.2 to 86.4 cm) when dropped from a height of 78 inches to the top of the ball onto a granite surface plate that is a minimum of 12” x 12” x 4”. The test is to be performed at an ambient temperature of 75 to 80 degrees F (24 to 27 degrees C).
 
*2.D.5. Hardness. The ball shall have a hardness of 40 to 50 on a Durometer D scale at a temperature of 75 to 80 degrees F (24 to 27 degrees C).
 
*2.D.6. Design. The ball shall have a minimum of 26 to a maximum of 40 circular holes, with spacing of holes and overall design of the ball conforming to straight flight characteristics. The ball must have a manufacturer’s or supplier’s name or logo printed or embossed on it.
 
2.D.7. Approval. The Tournament Director will choose the tournament ball. The ball(s) selected for play in any IFP member’s sanctioned tournament must be named on the official list of approved balls.

Posted Sept. 10, 2016 - 1st Annual STPC Golf Tournament - Lot's of Fun
The 36 golfers who participated in our first STPC Golf Tournament at The Bluffs on Sept. 9 had a
great time. The weather co-operated & the operative word 
was fun as everyone enjoyed the best
ball scramble with some pickleball elements thrown in for good measure. Nine non-golfers also
showed up for the 
the lunch and prize presentations following the golf.
 
When the smoke cleared, the Champion's trophy (pictured below) was awarded to the team of Justine Howes, Helen Davey, Carl McCormick & Mike Howes.  Closest to the pin prize winners were Harold Lang & Betty Ann Schliehauf, Most Honest Golfer was Dave Hall (this should be under review!).

A large number of door prizes were given out at the conclusion of the event. 

Based on the success of this year's tournament it is quite likely that this will become an annual event for St. Thomas pickleball players. 

Thanks go to: Rick Hodges (tournament organizer),  Sharon Harbaruk (photographer), Rod & Jan Nicholson (trophy donation), Bryan Van Patter (trophy modifications),
all those who donated door prizes, Mark & SueTowman of the Bluffs for their hospitality & a great lunch.
More pictures are posted on our Photos page.

Posted Sept. 7, 2016 - Attention Pickleball Golfers

At last count 32 golfers have signed up to play and attend the lunch social at The Bluffs Golf Course near Port Stanley. In addition eight non-golfers will also attend for the lunch social. The 9 hole event starts at 11 pm with prize presentations, lunch & social following at approximately 12:30-1 pm. 
Teams of four players will be competing for the Champion's trophy and other prizes. At least one hole will feature a pickleball "element" (that’s a clue) incorporated into the play. The 19th hole will consist of a putting contest which allows teams to reduce their overall score if they do well putting the ball.  A closest to the pin prize is included and there will be a draw for a wide range of door prizes.  Should be lot's of fun for everyone!
All players should be at The Bluffs no later than 10:30 am or earlier if you want to hit the practice green for some warm up.
Rick Hodges
Tournament Director
STPC


      Champion's Trophy

Posted Sept. 7, 2016 - St. Thomas Players Compete in Bayfest Tournament

The 4th Annual Bayfest Pickleball Tournament was held on Sept. 3, 2016.  This was part of the 
Bayfest Labour Day Weekend events held in Port Rowan. This was a fun tournament which 
utilized a team approach to playing. 

Four players from St. Thomas were entered and their team finished a close second in the tournament.

Pictured at left are: Kneeling r-l:  Marilyn Graham & Barb Gonyou   Back Row r-l: Bruce Graham, Richard Lenz
plus the other two team members from Brantford, Brian & Robert.

Congratulations on a good tournament!



Posted Aug. 26, 2016 - Salvation Army Kid's Camp A Pickleball Blast!         
 
 
 
 
    
For three weeks beginning August 8, 2016 and ending August 26, 2016, volunteers helped introduce pickleball to children attending the Salvation Army’s Children’s Day Camp. Each week involved a new crop of kids and volunteers tried valiantly to bring order to madness, mayhem and chaos.

We were successful because, by week’s end, we had the kids playing pickleball correctly (as correctly as a group of 6 – 11 years olds can play). Plus, at the end of each week, we gave out a certificate and small bag of candy to each child. The kids had a great time and their feedback was very positive, especially after the candy was handed out.

We had so many volunteers that we actually didn’t use all of them, but “Thank You” to all the volunteers who helped make this a memorable experience for the kids. Volunteers were:  John Bole, Terri& Chris Boss, Peter Burtolt, Helen Davey, Bob Esseltine, Barb Gonyou, Bruce Graham, Marilyn Graham, Rick Hodges, Harry Knibbe, Richard Lenz, Pam Moore, Betty Ann Schleihauf, Catherine Upfold, Larry Whitnell.

I was so involved in the day, that I completely forgot to get any "action" pictures but we do have a photo above of the kids from one week of the camp. However, I did remember to get a picture of some of the volunteers at the Post Day Camp Trauma & Convalescence Center. That picture is attached. 

Dave Loucks, 
Chief Organizer
STPC

Note: Thanks go to Dave for taking on the job of organizing the pickleball portion of the day camp and to the volunteers who assisted. If you ask any of the volunteers, teaching kids aged 6 to 11 can be a hectic but rewarding experience. It's enough to drive you to drink! No wonder they had to attend a Trauma & Convalescence Center at the end of the three weeks.

Posted Aug. 18, 2016 - PAO President's Report Worth A Read 
Please take a couple of minutes to follow the link below and read the President's Report that will be presented at the Pickleball Association of Ontario's AGM at the Markham PAN AM Centre on Sept. 23. Some of the comments in the report apply to our own situation here in St. Thomas. You will also notice two references to the goal of moving the sport forward so that someday it will be part of the Olympic Games.

The PAO had it's beginnings in 2010 and became an incorporated entity 5 years ago. Thanks to the hard work of PAO volunteers and also volunteers  working for Pickleball Canada, I believe that our national and provincial associations, along with those from other countries, will be instrumental in pickleball becoming an Olympic sport.  It may not happen in our lifetime but can you imagine how great it would be to watch our sport at the Olympics along with all the other sports being played in Rio as this is being written?

Your STPC membership no longer includes a membership in the PAO. Due to insurance considerations we opted out of compulsory PAO membership this year. In the future I think our members should reconsider this decision. In the meantime, once you read the President's Report I am sure you will agree that the $10 spent on a PAO membership is money well spent. Go to the PAO website where joining is as easy as a couple of mouse clicks.

Dave Hall
President
STPC

 
Posted Aug. 9, 2016 - STPC Golf Tournament Coming Up On Sept. 9/16
Click on the flyer below for details & registration information. This is billed as a fun golf event for all skill levels. It is open to anyone who plays pickleball in St. Thomas.
Club & non-club members are welcome.

Posted Aug. 5, 2016 - Railway City Tournament A Great Time for All

60 players enjoyed 5 hours of friendly play pickleball at St. Joe's on Aug. 4. This was not about winning or losing but when the smoke cleared 
three teams emerged at the top of the heap although it was extremely close. So close that a tie breaker was narrowly avoided.
Results: 
1st Place - Navy Team (22 points) Rick Hodges, Christine Boss, Brian Crocker, Jan Nicholson, Elise Appleford, Kathy Zyburra
2nd Place - Kelly Green Team (21 points) Bruce Graham, Helen Davey, John Bole, Chris McQuiggan, Richard Desabrais, Lynn Sietsma
3rd Place - Royal Blue Team (18 points) Mary Tully, Robert Hillman, Ken Rosevear, Michele Horton, Terry Boss, Bob Hayes
 
Based on player comments at the tournament and the emails received afterwards, this was an enjoyable, well run event. Congrats to
the organizers and volunteers 
for making it so. Click here for tournament photos.

Don't forget to sign up for our next event....the Pickleball Golf Tournament at the The Bluffs in Port Stanley on Sept. 9. This will be another "friendly play"
event with the empahsis on having fun. Complete details will be emailed shortly.  


Posted July 27, 2016 - Attention All Players Who Registered for the Railway City Pickleball Tournament




Plans and scheduling for the Railway City Pickleball Tournament at St. Joseph's High School on Thursday, Aug. 4 are now complete. Please read the following carefully as it covers pre-tournament preparation and will save time and questions on the day of the event.
 
NOTE: Play starts at 9 am. Warm up time is available from 8:15 to 8:45. We expect to finish between 2 and 3 pm.
 
We would ask all players to please remember that this is a friendly play tournament where the emphasis is on having fun. You will be partnered with players of varying skill levels and will be playing against players of varying skill levels. Remember to go with the flow and just have a good time.

NOTE:  Click on the table at left to see a list of teams and players.

****Players are asked to please bring at least one canned food or non-perishable food item as we will be collecting these at the registration table for the local food bank.

                                                                         Tournament Guidelines & Rules:

1. All players should check in at the registration table outside the gym doors when they arrive. Once your name is checked off you will receive a snack pack and your tournament t-shirt. This is your team shirt so please wear it during the tournament. Each team should meet briefly between 8:30 and 9 am. Introduce yourselves and plan your strategy (if you have any).

 2. Lime green indoor Jugs balls will be used.
 
3. Since this is a fun tournament no referees will be used. Call your own lines. Your opponents cannot argue your line calls. If an opponent blatantly steps into the Non-Volley Zone to volley a ball you may call a fault.  Be doubly sure that you are 100% correct that a fault was committed and the ball did not bounce in their NVZ. If you are not sure, don't make the call as it will result in loss of serve or point for your opponents.
 
4. Call the score before serving and use your loud voice so your opponents can hear it.
 
5. Safety First – loudly call “ball” if your ball goes to an adjacent court.  STAY ON YOUR COURT and wait for your neighbour to stop play, retrieve the ball and return it to you.

6. Format: 10 teams consisting of 6 players per team will compete against each other. You will play 5 games....one with each of the other 5 members of your team. Games will be timed to 15 minutes so all matches will end at the same time. The team that is leading at the end of 15 minutes scores 2 points. If the score is tied, each team scores 1 point.  These points will be tallied at the end of the tournament to determine winners. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. If teams are tied for these positions the tie will be broken by using the total number of points scored by each team during play.  
 
7. Teams will use a coin toss to determine who serves to start a game. If the winner chooses to serve or receive, the loser picks starting side. If the winner chooses starting side, the loser chooses to serve or receive. Players may take a brief warm up period (maximum 1 minute) before starting each game but it will be counted as part of the 15 minutes of playing time.

8. Teams may switch sides of the court half way through a game (7 min. 30 sec mark) if they wish but only if both teams have agreed to this before the start of play. Switching sides is not mandatory.
 
9. One 30 second timeout per game will be allowed each team prior to the last 3 minutes of a game but the clock will not stop running.  If a timeout is called, place your paddles on the floor (and the ball) so you know where to start again once the timeout is over.
 
10. If questions arise during a game regarding rules or other playing concerns please refer them to the scorer's table for a decision if necessary.  
 
11. Play starts at 9 am after some brief announcements. The gym will be open at 8:15 am if you want to warm up.
 
12. There will be no break for lunch. A small snack pack and water bottle will be available but players are advised to bring a cooler bag with drinks, sandwiches etc.
 
13. There will be waiting time between your matches. Only 16 players can play at any one time so 44 players will be sitting. You will likely have to sit for two or even three games between your matches. This is common in most tournaments as there are never enough courts. Be prepared to socialize. Your patience is appreciated. Bleacher seating is available. Feel free to bring a seat cushion or fold up stadium seat. 
 
14.The schedule of play and results of matches will be posted outside the gym doors. Please check the schedule and be ready to play as soon as courts are available. A section of the bleachers will be reserved as the “On Deck” seating area. Teams that are next up to play should sit in the “On Deck” area and be ready to go once the clock is reset to 15 minutes. Please refrain from approaching the scorer's table to see match results or ask scheduling questions.
 
15. One member from each team should report your score to the scorer's table as soon as your match is finished.
 
16. Parking is at the rear of the school with entrance to the lot from Fairview Ave. Use the rear door marked with an H over the door. Go all the way down the hall, turn left and proceed down the hall to the side door of the gym. This is the only gym door that will be open as other entry points will interfere with play. 
 
17. Washrooms and a water fountain are located just up the hall from the gym entrance. 
 
18. Change rooms are available for those who need them.  
 
If you have any questions please call 519-207-1466 or send an email to our Convenor Clayton Watters at cdwatters2017@gmail.com.

We look forward to seeing everyone at St. Joe's on Aug. 4 and have a great tournament.
 
The Executive
STPC

Posted July 15, 2016 - Railway City Pickleball Tournament:  IT'S A GO!

The cap of 60 players has been reached as registration for the Railway City Tournament scheduled for Aug. 4/16 at St. Joe's gym is now closed. However, additional registrations are welcome and these will be added to a waiting list of players who will substitute for any participants who are unable to play on the day of the tournament. 

A team format will see 10 teams with 6 players on each team. Participants will partner for one game with each of their team members to play against other teams.for a total of 5 games. Games are timed to 15 minutes with 2 points awarded for a win and 1 point for a tie.

Everyone gets a minimum of 5 games, a tournament t-shirt, a snack pack and loads of fun! 

Complete details will be forwarded to all players prior to the tournament. We look forward to seeing everyone on Aug. 4 for a day of fun pickleball.
                                                The Executive, STPC
                                     
Posted July 10, 2016 - Don't Be a Pickleball Snob

Without a doubt, the best way for you to keep improving is to play with better players. It forces you to play at the top of your ability, makes you pay for your mistakes, and puts you on the fast-track to a higher skill level.

But if you attempt to only ever play with players who are better than you, then you are, what I call, a pickleball snob, and I believe it will cost you.

Remember, someone took you under their wing when you first started playing, so pay it forward and make a point to regularly play with players who are weaker than you. Perhaps you regularly play a warmup game with them, or once a week you decide to dedicate the last half of your play to playing with them. Not only does it build community, it also helps raise the general level of play.

If players ask to play with you, and you opt to play a higher-level game, let them know when you WOULD be willing to play, perhaps later in the day, or later in the week.

Don’t be patronizing—or overly aggressive. Instead of focusing on who wins or loses, find a way to make it challenging for yourself. Pick a shot you want to improve upon and focus on hitting that shot. Or, try to reduce your number of unforced errors. Focus on keeping the ball in play rather than slamming every put-away shot.

Consider how YOU’D like to be approached when lower level players ask to play with you and approach the better players that way.

Borrowed from: ABQ Pickleball Club


Posted June 22, 2016 - STPC AGM Featured Important Decisions, Great Entertainment, Fabulous Door Prizes and Scrumptious Food
  
The 3rd Annual General Meeting of the St. Thomas Pickleball Club was called to order at 5 pm, June 21 at Lakeview Pavilion, Pinafore Park.
  
The meeting started with a $500 cheque presentation to St. Joe's High School in appreciation for letting us use their gym from Sept. to June,
two nights a week. Official announcements regarding the Railway City Pickleball Tournament (Aug. 4) and the STPC Golf Tournament (Sept. 9)
were made at the start of the meeting. The financial report was presented by Treasurer Chris McQuiggan and President Dave Hall's report outlined
the multitude of club events from the past year.

A number of important amendments to the Constitution were ratified by the membership. Copies of the revised Constitution will be emailed to all
members. It can also be accessed by clicking the link at the top of this page. Apporoximately $500 in donated door prizes, including pickleball and
non-pickleball items, were won by club members. To go along with a great potluck dinner, members were treated to some entertainment by the
Ukes of Hazard, a local ukulele group, and the musings of local elders Morris & Mavis Livermore.  

The 2016-17 executive was elected consisting of John Harbaruk (V-P), Cynthia Rutledge (Secretary), Catherine Upfold (Director-At-Large),
Jill Noad (Treasurer) and Dave Hall (President). Clayton Watters continues to fill the volunteer position of Special Events Co-ordinator.

Thanks go to everyone who help make this a successful evening.

Photos from the meeting are posted on our Photo page.


Posted June 4, 2016 - Railway City Pickleball Tournament Set for Aug. 4

                                     Click to enlarge Flyer or Registration Form                              
                    
 
 


Posted June 2, 2016 - Ukes of Hazard To Perform at Club AGM June 21








Don't miss our club's Annual General Meeting on June 21, 2016 at Lakeview Pavilion,
Pinafore Park. The fun runs from 4:30 to 6:30 pm with the business portion
commencing at 5 pm sharp. There will be a door prize draw for hundreds of dollars
worth of prizes. The always great potluck dinner will follow with entertainment 
provided by the local ukulele group - the Ukes of Hazard. All club members and
spouses are welcome. Great food and a great social time.....see you there! Contact
Jan Nicholson at nicholsonjans@yahoo.ca if you are attending. 












Posted May 14, 2016 -  Pickleball Tournament At St. Joe’s A Big Success
On Saturday May 14, 2016 the OSGA District 31 Summer Games Pickleball Tournament was held at St. Joseph’s High School. Play commenced at 9 am and was completed by 3 pm.  38 players from the Oxford-Elgin area registered for the event.  All but two of the players were from the St. Thomas area as Woodstock had two entries. Winners can advance to the OSGA Provincial Summer games being held in Midland/Barrie on Aug. 9-11, 2016.

This was a great opportunity for some of the less experienced players to get a feel for tournament play without having to travel or stay overnight.   Everyone had a good time and enjoyed competing while having fun at the same time.

The St. Thomas Pickleball Club volunteered to convene this tournament for the OSGA. The club would like to thank the OSGA for their financial and administrative assistance. Thanks go to the LDCSB for providing a great facility. Thank you to the volunteers who helped organize and run the event.  

Congratulations to the following winners:
Women’s Doubles 55-64: Marianne Campbell/Pam Moore (Gold), Jan Nicholson/Kathy Zyburra (Silver), Jill Noad/Sharon Mahon (Bronze).
 
Men’s Doubles 55-64: John Kupisz/Al Robertshaw (Gold), Bob McQuiggan/Bryan Van Patter (Silver), Larry Whitnell/Rick Hodges (Bronze).

Mixed Doubles 55-64 Age Bracket: Bryan & Kim Van Patter (Gold), Larry Whitnell & Pam Sykes (Silver), George & Pam Moore (Bronze).

Women’s Doubles 65+: Mary Tully/Marilyn Graham (Gold)

Men’s Doubles 65+: Robin Hewson/Albert Visser (Gold), Richard Lenz/Bruce Graham (Silver).

Mixed Doubles 65+:  Richard Lenz/Mary Tully (Gold), Bruce & Marilyn Graham (Silver), Rick Hodges/Joyce Blair (Bronze).

Photos of the winners and all the players are posted on the Photo page. 

Posted Apr. 8, 2016 - Find A Partner For the OSGA Dist. 31 Tournament

Attention All St. Thomas Pickleball Club Members:

Need a partner for the OSGA Dist. 31 Pickleball Tournament at St. Joe's on May 14?  Events include Women's, Men's and Mixed Doubles. You can play in one or
two events for the same fee (($15).  Simply email us your name, contact information, age group (55-64 or 65+) and event(s) and we will try to hook you up with
someone else who needs a partner.  Emails should be sent to:  twoboomers@yahoo.ca. 
NOTE: You are under no obligation to form a team once you submit your name.

The Conveners
OSGA District 31 Pickleball Tournament

Posted Apr. 8, 2016 - OSGA 55+ Dist. 31 (Oxford-Elgin) Pickleball Tournament May 14 at St. Joe's.

NOTE:  We may have to cap the number of players. Registration forms will be accepted according to the date submitted. If you want
to play in this local tournament you and your partner should each complete a registration form and waiver and submit it with a
cheque for the entry fee ASAP to guarantee your participation. Registration is not complete until both partners have submitted forms.


Details:
1. Hosted by:  St. Thomas Pickelball Club. Convenors: Rod Nicholson, Clayton Watters, Dave Hall
2. Who Can Enter: Any pickleball player age 55 or older living in Dist. 31 (Oxford-Elgin)
2. Where: St. Joseph's High School gym
3. Date: May 14, 2016
4. Time: 8 am- 5 pm
5. Age Brackets: 55-64, 65 and up (players 65 or older can play down in the 55-64 if necessary but players 55-64 cannot play up)
6. Categories: Men's Doubles, Women's Doubles, Mixed.
7. Number of Events Allowed: You can play in one event or two if you wish at no extra charge e.g. women's doubles and mixed
8. Format: Round Robin. Women's and Men's Doubles in the AM, Mixed in the PM.
9. Registration Fee:  $5 entry fee per player plus $10 OSGA membership fee. Total of $15 per player.
11. Complete details and a playing schedule will be available once registration is completed.

Please print the form and waiver. Complete each and submit with cheque or cash ($15 per player) to Carol Chute, Rod Nicholson, Clayton Watters or Dave Hall. Forms are also available from Carol Chute cchute63@gmail.com  or 519-633-8862. Forms can be dropped off at 15 Osprey Lane or 51 Joyce St. in St. Thomas. Out of town players can mail forms to: Carol Chute, 51 Joyce St., St. Thomas ON N5P 3M3.

NOTE: Gold medal winners in each category may advance to the OSGA Provincial Summer Games in August being held in Midland. There is, however, no obligation on the part of the winners to participate in the provincial tournament.

 Posted Mar. 20, 2016 - Some Thoughts On Buying a Pickleball Paddle

Recently, someone I know in B.C. was pretty excited about a cheap aluminum paddle that was being sold
by London Drugs for $21.28 tax included. A drugstore selling pickleball paddles....go figure. Maybe Source
for Sports will start selling drugs? It looked good and how could you go wrong with a price that is even
cheaper than wood? He played with it for three games and the handle bent. See photo at left.

At one time St. Thomas beginners were getting a deal on Victory paddles from Pickleball Depot for about $40.
Although this was not a bad paddle for beginners the handle broke on a couple of them and the edge guard
 would sometimes come unglued.

Apparently Canadian Tire and Giant Tiger are getting into the paddle business. You can expect to see more of this as everyone jumps on the bandwagon
once they can see how the sport is growing. The number of paddles on the market and the number of manufacturers has increased exponentially.

However, some of these new products are cheap made-in-China knock offs and like they say, "You usually get what you pay for." 

Pickleball is an inexpensive sport to play. Beginners should not be afraid to spend some money on two things:  good court shoes and a quality paddle in the 
medium price range around $75. These are the only investments you have to make so why cheap out on your basic equipment. If you develop into a serious
player you can always buy one of those $100 plus paddles and pay $200 for your Maria Sharapova Nike court shoes if you feel it will help. 
Whoops...sorry Nike just dropped Sharapova from their sponsor list! 

Another consideration is paddle weight. You might want to consider a light paddle to start. Light paddles are quicker, especially at the net where quickness is
important because you often don't have much time to react. If you are into the banging game heavier paddles allow you to hit the ball harder but they are slower
and lack the control you would get with a lighter paddle.
In the end you have to decide on brand, grip size, weight, price, type of material etc. but these
are some things to consider.

Pickleball Central has a paddle guide at http://www.pickleballcentral.com/Pickleball_Paddle_Guide_s/49.htm which will definitely help any player in choosing
the correct paddle for their game.

If you have any questions about paddles or pickleball in general please feel free to send us an email at stthomaspickleball@yahoo.ca.  

Dave Hall
President
St. Thomas Pickleball Club 

Posted Mar.17, 2016 - Happy St. Paddy's Day! Here's our first update on the project to build
new courts at Pinafore Park.
      

By now everyone has heard the great news that St. Thomas Parks & Rec will be adding 8 new courts 
dedicated to pickleball at Pinafore Park. Construction is slated to start later this year.

The St. Thomas Pickleball Club is taking a proactive roll in the designing of these courts. Two 
plans for court layout have been submitted by the executive. 

Plan A calls for the courts to be stacked four on four while Plan B is linear with 8 courts in one row.
The executive was unanimous in suggesting Plan A as the preferred layout.
Click either plan on the left to enlarge. 
Ross Tucker, Director of Parks & Rec, will be forwarding these plans to the company doing the final
designs once the tendering process is complete. Ross
 has also assured us that there will be plenty of
opportunity for public input once the draft design is completed for the city.
Note: The final plan will be subject to space considerations, budget etc. 




Posted Feb. 23, 2016 - Club Fun Tournament A Lot of..........FUN!
Club members enjoyed a fun tournament at St. Joe's High School gym on Feb. 22, 2016. With many members down south for the winter the turnout was smaller than normal but 21 players participated in the round robin event where partners were randomly selected by the convenor. 

The gold medal match saw Chris Andersen (middle left) and Robin Hewson (middle right) defeat Jane VenDerkuyl and Lyle McLean by a 15-12 score. Convenor Clayton Watters (right) and assistant Rod Nicholson (left) organized the event and kept everything on schedule. The consolation match was won by Pam Moore and Brian Van Patter with a 15-10 win over Harry VanDerkuyl and Mary Tully.  

Everyone enjoyed a fun evening and a box of donated food items was collected for the local food bank.
More pictures can be found on our Photos page.



Posted Feb. 2, 2016 - BiG NEWS: St. Thomas City Council Approves 8 New Pickleball Courts For Pinafore Park.

On Mon. Feb. 1/16 St. Thomas City Council approved the 2016 city budget. Included in the budget is an $850,000 expenditure for fully funded
new tennis courts and new pickleball courts at Pinafore Park.

According to Ross Tucker, Director of Parks & Recreation, here is the plan:

1. Remove the old courts and build 8 new tennis courts.

2. Add 8 new courts dedicated solely to pickleball. Portable nets no longer necessary.

3. Windscreens and lights to be included for all courts.

4. Timelines:  tendering by June, open house for public consideration of planning details, commence construction in Sept., final surfacing & lines completed in spring 2017 followed by grand opening/ribbon cutting ceremony

5. Funding:  Majority of funding comes from a Federal Gas Tax rebate with a lesser amount coming from Community Development Charges levied by the city on new housing etc. Municipal property taxes are not being used for this project.

This has been a long term goal of our club almost since the beginning. Achieving it was not easy. There was no pickleball in St. Thomas prior to May 2013.  We gradually built the sport to the point that additional facilities were required. 

About a month ago we were informed that new dedicated courts were tentatively included in the budget. We didn't announce it at that time because the budget had yet to be passed. Thanks go to the many players who completed the online city budget survey prior to Feb. 1. 
 
This is an obvious game changer for our sport. For 5-6 months of the year these courts will be available from sunrise to 11 pm. The entire community regardless of age will be able to play pickleball. The potential for club play, open play, league play, lessons and even tournaments will definitely be something to look at.

Thanks go to Ross Tucker and staff for supporting our vision and efforts. Thanks also to City Council for supporting Ross' budget submission in order to meet the growing demand within the community. But most of all this giant leap forward is a testament to the popularity of this great game, the enthusiasm of the players and the perseverance and work of our club executive past and present.

More and more communities in Ontario are converting to or sharing tennis courts with pickleball. To the best of our knowledge there is no place that has built 8 or more brand new outdoor courts dedicated solely to pickleball. Way to go St. Thomas!

The Executive
St. Thomas Pickleball Club


Posted  Jan. 27, 2016 - Fun Tournament At St. Joe's Feb. 22, 2016

Clayton is at it again. He will be running a club tournament at St. Joe's which will be very similar to the last one he did back in the fall.  Participants had a great time!  There are a couple of minor changes. Please see the details below.

Ur Chance To Whine.
Tournament date is Monday February 22/16
NOTE:  Cap on number of participants is 32. The first 32 to email Clayton at cwatters@elgin.ca are in. You can also see Clayton at St. Joe's on Mon. or Fri. evening.

 Start at 6:30 pm sharp.
 Prize for whining the championship game is one bottle of red whine for each person on the winning team, or two bottles of red whine. The non whiners of the championship game and the whiners of the consolidation game will receive an interesting prize.

 Rules for the club pickleball tournament.

 1) Four games for each entrant and each game is a maximum of 15 minutes. There shall be a one minute warm up for each persons first game, of which the one minute is included in the fifteen minutes maximum time.

 2) Win or leading at 15 minutes is three points, a tie is one point, points less than your opponent is zero.

 3) Score to 15 points, unless timed out and pickle ball rules apply. A whistle will be blown at the fifteen minute mark to end the game, no continuing until a fault occurred, unless the game was completed.

 4) For all matches the convener picks the players names from the jar, for the player and the partner and for the opponents for each game. A player cannot play with same person twice.

 5) Each person has new partner for each game in the tournament. Only exception is the final four championship game or the consolation game.

 6)  Those players who are not playing, or they are sitting out, will have priority for the next set of games.

 7) The four people with the the most points shall have a playoff in the championship game which the playoff shall be a one game, to 15 points with pickle ball rules. The players with the fifth to eighth most points will playoff in the consolidation game.

 8)  If two or more players have the same points then the first tie breaker will point differential, the second tie breaker will be a coin toss.

 9) All decisions are made by the convener and are final unless he is thrown out by the unruly crowd.

 10) The two whiners in the championship game will receive a bottle of red wine, chosen by the organizer and the two who did not whine will receive an interesting prize. The whiners in the consolidation game will receive a prize.

Posted Jan. 18, 2016 - Two Box System Introduced for Organizing Play At St. Joe's.  
   
This week the two box system for organizing club play was introduced at St. Joe's.  Box systems are 
not new to pickleball & this one was adopted from an article that appeared in the Jan. 2016 Pickleball Canada
newsletter.  
This is being introduced on a trial basis to see if it works the way we hope it does for our club 
members. A photo of our boxes (on the right) & the photo from the newsletter are included as well as a list
of rules for 
utilizing this system.
A great big thank you goes to club member Bryan Van Patter who made the boxes and Jan Nicholson who
applied the finishing touches.  
Rules:
1. We have 4 courts, so the first 16 players to start do not have to use the box. Play with whoever you wish.
2. If there are more than 16 players at the start those who are not playing should divide their paddles evenly
    between the 2 boxes.
3. At the end of a game when coming off the court, place your paddle in a box before sitting down. Winners
    paddles go in the Winners (Gold) box and second place finishers go in the Runner up (Silver) box.
4. If you want to take a rest, deposit your paddle first. If your turn comes up before you are ready to play,
    remove your paddle and put it back on top of the pile in the same box.
5. The box with the arm in the up position will be next up when a court is available. The four players who are
    on 
deck should be ready to remove their paddles as soon as a court is available. After removing   
     your paddles, lower the arm and raise the arm on the other box before going on to the court.
6. When you play your next game it must be with a different partner.
7. You may want to put an identifying mark on the butt of your paddle to make it easier to keep track of it's location in the box. 

Posted Jan. 15, 2016 - Pickleball Now Has It's Own Magazine!  The very first issue of the Pickleball 
Magazine is now available on line. Lots of good articles, ads and photos. Click here to read it. 

Posted Dec. 19, 2015
- The Big Guy in the Red Suit Shows Up for Club Christmas Social at St. Joe's!


On Dec. 18 our club Christmas Social was held at St. Joe's gym.  A very colourful 
group of 26 club members attended and had a great time playing pball & snacking
on Christmas munchies. Eight door prizes were given away & of course Santa
made an appearance with one of his Elves (a naughty one as seen in this photo).  
We also had the Grinch show-up to play pball. More pictures from this event are
posted on the Photo page.





Posted Dec. 10, 2015 -  
Calling all “would be” Santas, Elves, Mrs. Claus! 
The St.Thomas Pickleball Club invites you to celebrate the Christmas season.
Friday, 
December 18th at St.Joes will be a “social” night when dressing as your 
favourite Christmas character is acceptable, even encouraged. A refreshment table
will be set up so those of 
you who have special seasonal recipes can share with your fellow players.

Who knows, Santa himself may show up and 
reward those of us who have been nice all
year 
– even those who may have been a bit naughty on or off the courts.
We hope to see you there!



Posted Nov. 25, 2015 -
Fun Tournament Enjoyed By All.  36 players and a few spectators had a great time at St. Joe's on Nov. 23 at the club's "Ur Chance To Whine" fun tournament. The event lasted three hours and everyone played four games with a different partner. The top four point getters played off in the championship match with the team of Marianne Campbell & Bob McQuiggan winning over Chris Anderson & Howard Tims by a slim margin of 11-9. Thanks go to to Convenor Clayton Watters and Rod Nicholson for running the show. Look for more of these events in the future as Clayton has agreed to be the "Special Play Convenor" for our club.  Check our photo page for pictures.  

Posted Nov. 8, 2015 - Club Fun Tournament on Nov. 23 at St. Joe's.  This is your chance to win a bottle of wine & have fun playing pickleball.  The format allows ALL club members to participate without worrying about skill level.  Players will draw names for a partner for each match. You will not play with the same person twice in the pre playoff portion. Minimum 4 games guaranteed. Games are timed to 15 minutes. Each player gets 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie. The four players with most points play 1 game to 11 win by 1. Winning team each get a bottle of wine.  Contact Cynthia to sign up.  Deadline to sign up is Nov. 16.

Posted Oct 31, 2015 - Halloween Pickleball, Oct. 31, 2015.  Last night was Halloween Pickleball at St. Joe's.  St. Joseph himself showed up & handed out treats at the door. There were some great costumes, plenty of treats & lots of fun. Check out the pictures posted on our Photo page.

Posted Oct. 26, 2015 - "Drills & Skills" Starts Nov. 2/15 at St. Joe's

Mon. Nov. 2 will be orientation night for our "skills & drills" sessions which will take place each Monday from 6:30-7:00 pm up until Dec. 21. At that point we will do an evaluation to determine if changes are needed or the sessions are worth continuing. If you did not sign up for this activity you can still do so by emailing Cynthia. Regular play will commence at 7:00 pm each Monday (please note exception for Nov. 2 mentioned below).

For this first session on Nov. 2 only we are reserving one hour (6:30-7:30 pm) for the orientation and we would like all those who signed up to attend since we will be doing a demo of each of the suggested practice drills. Regular play will commence at 7:30 pm for all club members. If you did not sign up for the drills please do not come out until 7:30.

After Nov. 2, with four courts we can only accommodate 16 players for the weekly sessions. Each week 16 players will be selected and receive an email notification. We will attempt to ensure that everyone receives an equal amount of practice time. If you cannot attend when your name comes up please let us know so we can slot in a replacement.

Please keep in mind that this is not a clinic or lessons. However, we will provide assistance for those that have questions or need help with the execution of certain shots. You will receive a handout explaining the various drills. A list of web links is also available so you can study the proper execution of every shot. Most of these can be practiced at home with your paddle. The handout & list of links are posted at the bottom of the Pickleball Links page of this website.

Posted Aug. 27, 2015 - Try It Days Draw To Successful Conclusion.  Our 3 day Try It Program concluded on Aug. 25.  The results of this project exceeded our expectations. We are pleased to report that over the three days, 136 participants between the ages of 34 and 87 came out to see what the sport was all about and to hit some balls with our club members. Over 80 people have signed up for beginner lessons which are being offered this week and into September. Approximately 50 club members also attended over the 3 days to assist the participants and play some pickleball. 

A video collage of the event is posted on our main page. Thanks go to Ezra Nicholson who served as producer, director, camera man & drone pilot for this production.

We would like to thank the Ontario government for providing a $3000 grant to run this program and also the Parks & Recreation department for providing the courts at Pinafore Park.

 Posted Aug. 12, 2015 - Try It Day #2 Draws Crowd.



Aug. 11, 2015 was Day 2 of our Try It Program at Pinafore Park and it was another amazing day for pickleball in St. Thomas.  28 new people showed up to try the sport plus 13 of the Day 1 participants from July 28 came back to give it a second try. That's a total of 41 participants plus 23 club members who showed up to play and help out with the newbies.

Beginner lessons for the newbies are scheduled for St. Joe's on Aug. 24, 26, 28 & Sept. 12. As a result of the turnout on Day 1 and Day 2 all of the 48 beginner spots available over the 3 days in Aug. are completely filled.  Spots for the Sept. 12 lessons are going quickly.  Some of the newbies looked very good so we can expect to see some good players joining us as a result of the Try It Program.

Thanks go to those club members who provided assistance today. Don't forget we have one more Try It day scheduled for Aug. 25 and this will be your last chance to join in the fun. Times are 9-12 noon and 1-4 pm. 







Posted July 28, 2015 - A Great Day for Pickleball in St. Thomas.
 
Today was an amazing day!  This was Day 1 of our three Try It days at Pinafore Park.  It was hotter than Hades but it didn't seem to matter. There was a lot of shade under that big tree and the bananas, power bars, cookies, watermelon and refreshments were appreciated by all.

55 people showed up to give it a whirl as well as 36 club members who came out to play and help the newbies hit some balls. The numbers far exceeded our expectations especially given the temperature. Thankfully not all of them arrived at the same time. The Director of Parks and Recreation also showed up along with two city councillors.  They were amazed at the numbers that turned out to try their hand at pickleball. Thanks go to Parks & Recreation for making the courts available to us on the three days. Some of the participants are pictured at left. Other photos can be found on our Photo page.

A big thank you goes out to our executive, past executive members and several club members who put a lot of work into making this day a huge success. It was a real team effort.

However, IT'S NOT OVER YET.  We have two more Try It days to go. Aug. 11 and Aug. 25 from 9-12 noon and 1-4 pm. Many of you have already signed up to help on one or both days. If anyone else is interested please email Secretary Cynthia at stthomaspickleball@yahoo.ca . Also, don't forget to spread the word to your friends and neighbours that they should give this a try. 

 Posted July 6, 2015 - Two New Pop Up Banners Acquired to Promote Pickleball.   





Part of our club's Senior Community Grant funding has been used to purchase
two Pop Up Banners as shown in the photo at left.
These banners are currently on display at the Timken Centre and the St. Thomas
Seniors Centre. 














Posted July 26, 2016 - Cheque For $3000 Presented to STPC

 


 
MPP Jeff Yurek (centre) presents a cheque for $3000 to club executive members Dave Hall & Catherine Upfold. The grant from the Ontario Senior
Community Fund 
will be used for advertising, promotional materials & refreshments to run three "Try It" sessions for retirees & seniors this summer. Ten new paddles have also been ordered for participants to use.  All club members are invited to participate on July 28, Aug. 11 & 25 from 9-12 noon & 1-4 pm.
Bring your fold up chairs & cooler.
Some snacks & refreshments will be available. If you have a preference for day/time please let the 
executive know as we hope to have players demonstrating the sport for all sessions. 

Posted June 26, 2015 - Club AGM A Fun Evening.  The 2nd Annual General Meeting of the St. Thomas Pickleball Club was called to order by President Vern Huston at 5 pm, June 25 at Lakeview Pavillion, Pinafore Park.  The financial report was presented by Sec./Treaurer Jan Nicholson and President Vern's report outlined the significant club events from the past year. Brief reports were presented on the status of our playing time at Pinafore Park and also the $3000 grant that the club just received from the Ontario Seniors Community Grant Program. The door prize draws included both pickleball and non-pickleball items with many club members taking home a prize. Special presentations were made to retiring Sec./Treasurer Jan Nicholoson and newly sworn in Canadian citizen Chris Boss. Diamond ring presentations also went to Jan Nicholson, Birgit Peschutter and Catherine Upfold. 

A new five member executive was elected consisting of John Harbaruk, Cynthia Rutledge, Catherine Upfold, Chris McQuiggan and Dave Hall. The business portion of the meeting was followed by a fabulous potluck dinner and social hour. 

Special thanks go to retiring executive members Vern Huston, Rick Hodges and Jan Nicholson for all their work over the past year. 
Photos from the meeting are posted on our Photo page.

Posted June 22, 2015 -  Club AGM To Be Held June 25, 2015 - All club members are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting at Pinafore Park (Lakeview Pavillion) this Thursday starting at 5 pm.  The annual business meeting will be followed by a potluck social and a draw for fabulous door prizes. See you there. 

Posted June 22, 2015 - Pickleball Workshop in Strathroy.  Four members of the St. Thomas Pickleball Club conducted a half day workshop with 16 players at the Gemini Sportsplex in Strathroy today.   Jan and Rod Nicholson teamed up with Dave & Helen Hall to put on the "improve your game" workshop. Various skills and drills were covered as well as basic strategies used in the game. 

Posted June 18, 2015 -  St. Thomas Pickleball Club Applies for $3000 Grant.  If our grant application is approved, the Ontario Seniors Community Grant Program would provide up to $3000 to our club to "help seniors stay connected, active and involved in their community."  A big thank you goes out to club member Catherine Upfold who prepared the application.  If we get the grant the plan is to hold several "Try It" sessions this summer for retirees and seniors in order to encourage them to get involved and take up the sport.
More details will be released if and when the grant application is approved. 


Posted June 6, 2015 - First Ever St. Thomas Pickleball Tournament A Huge Success

Saturday June 6, 2015: The OSGA District 31 Summer Games Pickleball Tournament was held at St. Joseph’s High School today. Play commenced at 9 am and was completed by 3 pm.  35 players from the Oxford-Elgin area registered for the event.  St. Thomas Club members won 11 of the 12 medals that were up for grabs. Winners can advance to the OSGA Southwestern Ontario Regional Summer games being held in London on Sept. 10, 2015.

This was a great opportunity for some of the less experienced players to get a feel for tournament play without having to travel or stay overnight.  Everyone had a good time and enjoyed the competition and fun.

The St. Thomas Pickleball Club volunteered to convene this tournament for the OSGA. The club would like to thank the OSGA for providing financial and administrative assistance. Thanks go to the LDCSB for providing a great facility. Thank you to the volunteers who helped organize and run the event.  

Congratulations to the following winners:
Women’s Doubles: Chris McQuiggan/Catherine Upfold (Gold), Jan Nicholson/Jane VanDerkuyl (Silver), Jill Noad/Sharon Mahon (Bronze).
 
Men’s Doubles: Bob McQuiggan/Bryan Van Patter (Gold), John Kupisz/Al Robertshaw (Silver), Ken Rosevear/Rick Hodges (Bronze).

Mixed Doubles 55-64 Age Bracket: Chris & Bob McQuiggan (Gold), Sharon Mahon/Ken Rosevear (Silver), Jane & Harry VanDerkuyl (Bronze).

Mixed Doubles 65+ Age Bracket:  Chris & Terri Boss (Gold), Joyce Blair/John Rutledge (Silver), Jill Noad/Peter Burtoft (Bronze).

Photos of the winners and a group photo of the players can be seen on the photo page of this website.  

Posted June 2, 2015 - St. Thomas Pickleball Club Players Attend London Tournament.  A number of our club members played in the London Pickleball Tournament May 30-31, 2015. Among the 140 players who registered for play were Bob & Chris McQuiggan, Harry Van Derkuyl, Bryan Van Patter, Catherine Upfold, Vicki Carrothers and Lyn Levandoski. Lyn was a big winner with a gold (Women's Doubles 50-59), a silver (Open Women's Doubles) and a bronze (Open Mixed Doubles).  Volunteering to officiate were John Harbaruk, Rosanne Smith, Rod Nicholson and Dave Hall. Congratulations to all of you for doing a fine job representing our local club.

Posted May 28, 2015 - Club Donates to St. Joe's High School (from the St. Thomas Times-Journal May 25, 2015)

On May 25/15 St. Thomas Pickleball Club President Vern Huston presented St. Joe's Athletic Director Richard Mommersteeg (3rd from left) with a donation of $350. A big thank you goes out to Richard and St. Joe's for making the best pickleball facility in St. Thomas available to our players every Monday evening from Nov. to June. The money will be used to support physical education functions and to purchase additional pickleball equipment for student use.

Last November club members spent a day at St. Joe's teaching the sport which is now included in the physical education curriculum.

A gift certificate was also presented to custodian Dave Smith as a thank you for the great service he provided every Monday evening. Play resumes this September on Monday and Friday evenings from 7 to 9:30.

Want to see how pickleball is played? Come out to St. Joe's on June 6 from 9 am to 5 pm. 35 players from the Oxford-Elgin area will be competing in the first ever tournament to be held in St. Thomas. Admission is free and entry is through the rear door by the parking lot.
Check the Photos page for more pictures.



Posted Apr. 28, 2015 - New Rule Added to IFP Rule Book.  The International Federation of Pickleball rulebook is the only rule book followed by Pickleball Canada, the Pickleball Assoc. of Ontario and the USA Pickleball Assoc. On Apr. 20, 2015 the following rule was added:  Section 9 - Non-Volley Zone Rules.  Rule 9. G. For non-officiated play, non-volley zone faults may be called by any player on either team.  In effect, this means that players can now call NVZ faults on their opponents in non-officiated play. This should be done as diplomatically as possible and in social or friendly play situations players MAY decide to have a reserve rather than inflict a loss of point or loss of serve.  

Posted Apr. 24, 2015 -  OSGA Dist. 31 (Oxford-Elgin) Summer Games Pickleball Tournament.  June 6, 2015, 9 am-5pm.

Where: St. Joseph's High School, St. Thomas, Ont. This is  beautiful gym with 4 courts, good spacing & lots of seating. Portable nets will be used. 
Categories: Men's Doubles, Women's Doubles, Mixed Doubles
You May Play in Two Events:  You will need a partner for each event.
Age Brackets: 55-64, 65+ (65+ players can play down with a younger partner but 55-64 players cannot play up)
Who Can Participate:  Any Oxford-Elgin (Dist. 31) resident 55 or older who are OSGA members.
Cost: $8 for your OSGA membership +$2 for each event you participate in. Maximum total cost is $12 unless you already hold an OSGA membership in which case you pay just $2 per event. All fees are included on the registration form. You will not find a more reasonable fee for a pickleball tournament anywhere in Ontario.
Registration:  Click here for cover letter, registration form and waiver.  Please print out the form and the waiver. Be sure to complete all required sections and also complete the Liability Waiver form. If you are not an OSGA member your total should be $8 + $2 for one event and an extra $2 if you choose to play in a second event e.g. women's doubles, mixed doubles.
Deadline:  Registration forms & cheques must be turned in to the St. Thomas Pickleball Club executive or mailed by May 8, 2015. The mailing address is at the bottom of the registration form. NOTE: A registration is not complete until each partner has submitted a registration form.
Details: Tournament organizational details will be forwarded once we know the number of participants. A round robin format will allow each team to play a number of games depending on how many teams are in your bracket.

Winners in this tournament can advance to the OSGA Southwestern Ontario Regional Tournament in September if they wish.

If you have any questions please contact us at stthomaspickleball@yahoo.ca or phone 519-207-1466.

The Executive
St. Thomas Pickleball Club
on behalf of the OSGA Dist. 31 Committee

Posted Mar. 13,  2015 - This Pretty Well Says It All About Why Pickleball Is A Great Sport. 



  


  
 



Posted Feb. 10, 2015 - The St. Thomas Pickleball Club
has a lot of relatively new players since it is less than two years old. Here is an opportunity for you to play in a regular tournament that is close to home where you won't have to worry about playing against opponents with higher skills and more experience. The Ontario Senior Games Association (OSGA) is holding it's first open tournament in Stratford on April 22 & 23, 2015. This event features a recreational division (under 3.5 IFP rating) and a competitive division (3.5 and above IFP rating). The recreational division offers less experienced players a chance to play in a tournament setting which will be less competitive. A flyer and registration form are available on the OSGA website at http://www.ontarioseniorgames.ca/.
NOTE: Since many Ontario players do not have an official IFP rating I suggest that you use the following self-rating method for this tournament if necessary. Go to IFP Rating System | International Federation of Pickleball for complete information on the rating system and a list of criteria for ratings. Use the criteria to rate yourself and then have it approved by your local ambassador, club president or convenor. If you over rate or under rate yourself it will be obvious during tournament play so be honest about it.
 
Posted Jan. 11, 2015 - Pickleball Canada Newsletter January 2015. Click here for the latest issue of our national association's newsletter.
Interesting stats from this newsletter include the following:  a) Canada has about 290 Places to Play. B.C. has 109 and Ontario 140 b) Estimated
number of courts is 710. Many clubs/groups have added new dedicated courts and/or pickleball lines painted on tennis courts. c) Guestimate
on the number of players is 14,135. B.C has 7563 and Ontario has 5673.
 
Posted Dec. 24, 2014 - Christmas Social.  A fun time was had by the 35 or so people who attended the Pickleball Christmas Social at
the Timken Centre yesterday (Dec. 23/14).   Rick gave out a number of door prizes and everyone chipped in with food. Santa was a hit with numerous questionable requests for French maids etc. and of course Santa liked the naughty girls.  A great big thank you goes to Jan and
her assistants for all their organizing efforts as well as to Santa for coming all the way from the North Pole. Check the Photo page for pictures
from this event. A brief write up plus photo can be found in the St. Thomas Times-Journal by clicking
here.
 
Posted Dec. 19, 2014 -  Jan Models the Newest Addition to the St. Thomas Pickleball Club Collection at Union Sports.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The cost is minimal (with taxes, $15 plus change per shirt).
Remember to have your St Thomas Pickleball Club card with you to get your discount.
The shirts are Core365 by North End.
519-631-1176 if you are wanting to call them for more info.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



 

 Posted Dec. 3, 2014 -
The date for the Christmas Pickleball Social has been changed from Dec. 19 to Dec. 23. It is still scheduled from 11:30-12:30 as
                                  announced in the flyer below.

 
Posted Nov. 20, 2014 - News from the Nov. 18 Executive Meeting.  A number of items were covered in the agenda. Major topics of interest included:  a) A motion was passed to raise the membership cap from the current number of 56. There is a waiting list for new members and these players will be polled before a final decision is made on how much the cap will be increased. b) A Christmas get together is being planned for Dec. 19 at the Timken Centre. All players will be included, not just club members. More details will be available soon.
c) President Vern and V-P Dave reported on their meeting with Ross Tucker on Nov. 17 regarding the reconstruction of the courts at Pinafore Park and the allocation of more dedicated playing time to the 4 pickleball courts that were used last summer.  This was a very positive meeting and we continue to move forward. More updates will be available as these plans are firmed up.  Note:  A copy of the minutes of this meeting can be obtained by emailing club Secretary Jan Nicholson at sthomaspickleball@yahoo.ca

Posted Nov. 17, 2014 - Back To School !  St. Thomas Pickleball Club members went back to school today.....as teachers! Eight club members provided instruction to 3 boys & 1 girls grade 11 Phys. Ed. classes at St. Joe's High School. Phys. Ed. head Richard Mommersteeg had recently purchased 30 paddles and a couple of dozen balls in order to add pickleball to the phys. ed. curriculum. Thanks go to the following club members who helped bring our great sport to the next generation of players:  Vern Huston, Jan & Rod Nicholson, Rick Hodges, Chris McQuiggan, Helen & Dave Hall, Bryan Van Patter. A picture is posted on the Photos page.

Posted Oct. 31, 2014 - Colonel Sanders Was In the House. On this Halloween Day a celebrity visited both the Competitive & Intermediate players at theTimken gym. Colonel Harland D. Sanders spoke briefly to the players & showed perfect form in his serving demo. He did notbring any fried chicken 
but his bucket was full of Halloween treats. More photos are available on our Photo page.
         


Posted Sept. 19, 2014 - Good News for Pickleball in St. Thomas?
The following email was sent out to all players on Sept. 16, 2014:

Greetings to All St. Thomas Pickleball Club Members & Friends,

More good news for pickleball players! Monday night's St. Thomas City Council meeting included an agenda item from the St. Thomas Pickleball Club executive. The club executive sent Council a letter describing the growth of the sport and the need for more facilities. Part of the letter is included below as it explains our request:

"To accommodate this growth, our club would ask Council to take the next step in providing more pickleball facilities for St. Thomas residents.  We are aware that through the city’s “Asset Management Plan” it has been identified that the Pinafore tennis courts are scheduled for replacement.  We respectfully submit that consideration be given to including dedicated pickleball courts with permanent nets as part of the reconstruction project.  With Council’s permission, the club would like to look for sources of funding to help with this project.

One additional row of dedicated pickleball courts (the equivalent of four tennis courts) would provide for eight courts.  This would allow the general public, working residents and students to play as the courts would be available all day, seven days a week. We could also incorporate reserved time for club play, beginner lessons for all age groups, school use, skill development clinics and even tournament play. With eight courts St. Thomas could become a hub for outdoor tournaments since to our knowledge there is no community in Ontario that has sufficient outdoor courts to host large tournaments. 
In order to move our proposal forward could this be referred to the 2015 capital budget process? "

Our letter was submitted on the advice of Ross Tucker, Director of Parks & Recreation, in order to have some new, dedicated pickleball courts included in the reconstruction project at Pinafore. As a result of Council's decision Ross will now include pickleball courts as a capital budget item for the project.

What does this mean?  We have now officially completed Step 2 of a process.  Step 1 was to get the lines painted on the tennis courts and get reserved playing time on Tues. and Thurs. evenings. Step 2 was to get dedicated courts included in the capital budget. Step 3 will be to see the completion of these courts.

Before we get too excited about this please remember that just because something is submitted as a capital budget item there are no guarantees that it will happen next year. However, we are now part of the plan.  The Pinafore tennis courts are badly in need of reconstruction. It will happen sometime. Hopefully that will be sooner rather than later and the pickleball courts will be included with the renovations. 

Today was a good day for pickleball in St. Thomas,

The Executive,
St. Thomas Pickleball Club

 




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