The who, what, why and how of LOPC's structured play
Formatting the schedule of play structure is tricky business. The aim is to be welcoming, not exclusive. The aim is to provide a schedule that includes beginner/intermediate/advanced skill level players alike. And the aim is for everyone to enjoy good, fun, competitive games.
For weekday sessions, LOPC is taking the "all skate" approach -- all players are welcome regardless of skill level at all times. With six courts
dedicated to pickleball, it only seems reasonable that all levels can be accommodated at the same time every day of the week. That said, the courts will be skill-level based according to the explanation and diagram to follow.
The days will be divvied up into two sessions: organized scheduled play will take the morning time slot of 8 am - 12 noon and open play will take the
afternoon time slot. Apart from this general schedule, there will be special events that may alter the schedule and these will be noted in the calendar and on Facebook.
Flexibility is key -- this is how it will start and adjustments can be made accordingly.
Join us on the courts!
Format and court rotation
The courts are numbered starting with 1 at the northwest corner and going clockwise around to the southwest corner as shown.
The beginning/novice players will play on court 6 -- the skill level increases going counterclockwise from there so that the most advanced players play on court 1. When warranted, court 1 will become a challenge court.
Generally speaking, players with a UPT skill level rating of 3.5 or better will play on the north courts 1/2/3.
Given that skill levels fluctuate every session, this is a guideline and common sense and adaptability should prevail!
The Dura 40, Franklin or similar ball will typically be used on the north side. The Onix Fuse or similar can be used on courts 4/5/6 if preferred.
This is because the Dura 40 or Franklin are the balls of choice in higher level tournament play.
Format: 2 in, play 2, 2 out
At start of session: Play one, winners remain, split, and play one more; runners-up go to same court queue.
Ongoing: You will play 2 to 11, switching partners each game, then 2 players out and 2 players in from queue.
Court level progression is results based:
Win both - move up one court queue
Split (1 win, 1 loss) - queue up on same court
Runner up both - move down one court queue
Too many paddles!
When the paddle queues become too long, the format will remain the same, however, the games will be shortened to 8 points (no win by 2 points).
Once the paddle queues reduce, games will resume to 11 points (win by 2).
How many paddles are too many? General rule of thumb is more than 8 paddles (per 3-court side). When the paddle queue reduces to 6, resume to 11 point games.
Who doesn't enjoy a challenge! Competition is about pushing oneself. LOPC may implement a challenge court when there is a critical mass of players looking for top of the hill status!
Conditions to run a challenge court:
The challenge court may be initiated at the discretion of the session leader if six or more players wish to compete*.
The number of players must be on balance with the overall waiting players in the queue, e.g., four players cannot hold the challenge court while deep queues exist on the other courts.
A 4.0/4.5* UPTR or higher rated player may queue up directly, otherwise, a player must have won two consecutive games in the prior two-game round on court 2.
The risk to playing on the challenge court is that a player may only play one game before leaving the court - other courts run 2-on, 2-off.
Rotation: a few different rules apply:
Play one game (11 points, win by 2).
Losers leave and go to end of queue:
if rated 4.0/4.5*+, a player may go to the end of the challenge court queue.
if not rated 4.0/4.5*+, the player goes to the end of the court 2 queue.
Winners remain and split sides.
If winner plays three consecutive games, then that player automatically leaves the court and goes to the end of the challenge court queue.
When two (or three) players play on the challenge court, the high/low UPTR players pair up.
*session leader's discretion