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Ascarate "Explosion," County Meetings, Two Leagues, the Value of $17

June 1, 2024


Facilities: It Is All About the Courts


We need courts.


Funding sources, playground down the road from pb courts

We have spent two years introducing City and County government to pickleball and demonstrating the demand. Now it is evident we are going to have to revenue contribute to get this done. This sign is an example of how Mothers On Board is getting All Ability Playgrounds built (wheelchair access, etc.). Texas State Parks has grant matching.


PEPA has started fundraising - thank you Sue Collins for a very successful t-shirt sale!


As we speak, your PEPA Board is working furiously on three different facility opportunities / fundraising opportunities for new courts. This is how Ruidoso Pickleball got their second set of four permanent courts - they matched funding with the Village.


The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. - Vidal Sassoon



A Whole New World


55 players at Ascarate May 17 as multi-use courts open

Typically on multi-use courts, people take a portable net to a pocket park and play with a few friends. But what happens when they take their nets to those four new multi-use courts at Ascarate, the Grand Central Station of outdoor pickleball in El Paso? A social experiment in getting along.


Ascarate has four permanent nets adjacent to four multi-use courts. On Saturday, May 17, a few weeks after those courts opened, 55 players descended on the facility and the question pressed itself. The rules state: When four people are waiting, people playing must finish their game to 11 points, exit the court, and put their paddles back in line.


Do people bringing private nets have to rotate and share their net/court?


On May 17 we had a different type of user: casual or first time players, like families with relatives visiting from out-of-town, looking for something to do together. Rafa and I approached two groups and asked to rotate in. No problem. It was an affirmation of the ability of a group of strangers to get along, and that felt good.


When the first group packed up to leave, Rafa set up his net and shared, as have others, but there is no guarantee. What to do? Many people have nets, and we don't want a race to see who can get their first to control the court. Especially since Rafa cannot wake up early in the morning 🤣


Decision From The County:


I wrote a letter to Commissioner Stout explaining the situation, and asking: (1) if the County would be willing to purchase roll-away nets, and (2) if the futsal / pickleball courts by the Pavillion could be unlocked when there is no event in the Event Area.


Bottom line:


"The rotation rule should be applied to all the courts ..."


Our community must explain the rules to newcomers. Even with the permanent nets, we have had newcomers camp on a court, and one of us has pointed out the rotation system. Isabelle and Patty have done it, and I am sure others as well.


SO! This is what we say when people are waiting, multi-use OR permanent:


Two futsal/pb courts open, left of lake near Pavillion. Individual fencing per court. Perimeter fencing is locked during events.

You can play one game and then you rotate four off. Leave your net and share. If you do not want to rotate and share, you can take your net to the futsal/pb courts or any City court (see Where To Play). But here at the pickleball facility, it is four off, four on when people are waiting, even on the multi-use courts. PLEASE use the futsal courts - the futsal traffic has not materialized and they are laying idle. NEW concrete, no cracks, individual fencing per court.


(The crowding did not repeat Saturday May 24th nor June 1. We continue to track traffic.)


When asked about buying roll-away nets the County responded, "If our budget permits we can purchase portable nets."


If we want to build good will with the County, the pickleball community needs to attend their bond meetings and vote for money to go to Ascarate.





Speaking of Money For Ascarate Facilities ...


County meetings

County Bond Public Input Meetings - go vote for Asacarate!

I know, I would rather be in my pajamas watching TV too, but if we want more courts at Ascarate or to convince them to purchase roll-away nets, here is the place to voice and vote, to show our numbers. I went to round one last month and there were more project representatives AND County departments heads than people from the public, so I was heard. Wear your club shirt. Ask for more courts.. Take a friend, go for drinks afterward (or before 👍🏻) and make it an adventure.





Two Leagues




Richard and Omar, Galatzan management, spoke at the PEPA Board meeting in May and said turnout is robust for the new night time 5:00PM - 8:00PM hours Tuesdays at Galatzan - "a different crowd" - our working players - yay! Grandview has added a Saturday time slot. Pat O'Rourke has Saturday mornings BUT changes are coming for the summer, as they do at many Recs when the kids are out of school.


The Where to Play tab will be updated with summer changes.


Check our Home Page for leagues at Don Haskins and Galatzan!




The Value of $17


If anyone asks you what you get for $17/year membership, here is the answer:


Courts

8 at Ascarate

The next 8 we are working on

Three sets of lines instead of 2 at new gyms

Night and weekend hours that were never granted before

... and a really long newsletter 🤣


Seriously, you get a voice. Tell your friends to join. More people, more power.


Play happy,


Jamie Fisher

President, Pickleball El Paso Association

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