Friday, August 25, 2023 (Court Day #604)

When I arrived at Brommer Park at 8:55 a.m., the parking lot was already completely full, as well as all the nearby street parking. I parked a couple of blocks away and hoofed my way in.

It was overcast and unusually muggy with the temperatures in the high 60s by later morning.

What? All the courts are full at 8:55 a.m.? Unheard of!

Today was very busy with a lot of waiting involved.

9:48 a.m. About 30 people waiting. The men in blue: Charlie on the left, Dean on the right.

I was debating signing up in blue (top skill level, 4.0+) or signing up in red (3.5+) and since I’m coming off a three month hiatus of knee surgery recovery and my DUPR rating—at least the temporary one—seems to be showing a yellow (temporary) 3.96 to the right of the last of this past Sunday’s DUPR matches, I signed up in red. Last week, I would’ve qualified with a 4.0 DUPR rating, though DUPR continues to show my rating as “4.00”.

There were players signing up in red who are not even a 3.5 rating. There was one guy signing up in red who had no clue about DUPR and had no idea what his DUPR rating was. I would’ve put him as about a 3.3 and I told him so. But then he signed up in red again anyway regardless of what I had just shared with him.

Today was a mixed bag. I played reasonably well, though I didn’t get even one game where all four players were equally strong.

At the end of the session, when I went to put my paddle away, I realized that I was playing with my older Rogue paddle today instead of my new carbon-fiber one. I grabbed it in such haste out of my backpack to start playing that I grabbed my old l paddle! Oops.

Reservation Controversy

Last night, a reporter, Jean Yi, from the Lookout Santa Cruz news website posted in the “Santa Cruz Pickleball” Facebook group, asking to interview people for an article. Jean is writing about the controversy about the new County of Santa Cruz court reservation system for Brommer Park and Willowbrook. I sent her an email giving her my contact information and I also told her that I would be playing in Brommer this morning. She said she was going to be at Brommer too and indeed, she came. She talked to Dan Bliss, myself, René, and Alan Cable, and a man who is visiting Santa Cruz for a month named Erik. Jean also interviewed some other players.

Last night, after seeing Jean’s post, I looked at this new system, operated by Rec.US online for the County:

The County is allowing players to reserve one of the four permanent Brommer pickleball courts for $4.25 per 30 minutes. A court can be reserved for up to 2 hours which would cost $17.00.

There are several problems.

One is hardly anyone knows about the new system yet and that creates some ill-will.

Another is there is no mandatory minimum time before reserving the court. In other words, a player could arrive to the courts, see that it’s busy, go to his phone and reserve a court immediately and kick anyone there off and monopolize the court for 30-120 minutes. Sure, it generates cash for the County, but there is no sharing of the courts.

Jean’s article should be published early next week.


My newly-discovered neighbors, the new players, Mauricio and his wife Sharay arrived around 11 a.m. this morning. They were still there playing when I left. In their mailbox, I had left them a copy of my pickleball fundamentals strategies sheet I’d made up four years ago for a SCPC workshop. This morning, Mauricio said “thank you” with a big smile.

At 12:30 p.m., my game was finished, the temporary nets had been taken down and it was time for me to head home and then to work.

Funny Instagram Short

This is so accurate and apropos given the impacted nature of the courts today:

Number of days on a court: 604
Number of total hours: 2,657
Number of paid coaching hours: 2

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