1. Is there one form of organized play within a club that is at the same time efficient, competitive, fair and at least reasonably easy to organize and run? Our vote is the Round Robin. Go here to find out more about Round Robins. And to increase your efficiency and its ease of use, we recommend you consider adopting one of the on-line sign-up tools as well, to replace paper signups, which only really work where there is a small community with people located physically proximate to each other. Our particular favorite on-line signup tool is SignUpGenius, although there certainly are many others.
2. Shootouts and Ladder Play are both competitive forms of organized play where the principle objective is to win matches, not to socialize. They are very different from each other. The following link also contains some good information about a new, free software designed specifically to run shootouts. Because shootouts in particular can be time-consuming to manage, we think this free software is pretty cool and certainly interesting for those of you tasked with running and/or organizing a shootout. Worth a look – in the following page. Shootouts and Ladder Play
3. Anybody think tournaments are a form of organized play? We sorta agree they are, but the section Bob VanderLinden just completed on running a tournament is pretty extensive. Enjoy it, and also come back and look over the section on Tournament Software. Organizing and Running a Tournament. Also check out tournament software for additional resources in running a tournament. Tournament Software
4. Challenge Courts are a very democratic organized play concept which insure that whomever wants to play during a time period gets a shot no matter what their level. Basically, the challenge court concept involves little organization except for the setting of some ground rules by which people understand how they can challenge in to play on any court. The difficulty is establishing fairness, hence the rules are critical; one example of challenge court rules are provided below courtesy of Palm Creek Pickleball Club.
What are challenge courts best at? Allowing all levels to play together. People trying to improve their game often truly want to challenge in to play better players for their own learning (and not necessarily expecting to win.) They are also good at getting competitive games as if there are no “lesser-ranked” players waiting, you will find your better players gravitating to a couple of your courts and going to battle, challenging back in on a different court once they lose or have to leave). And since the policy is essentially self-monitoring there is little to do to run the challenge courts other than continuously explaining the local club rules to the new players (or to the older players who want to ignore them.) Challenge Court Play
5. The world-class of organized play are the above; the Round Robins, Shootouts or Ladder Play, and Challenge Court play. However, there are other options which are fun and/or address certain specific needs. Please feel free to experiment with these and follow back with us as you gain some experience with these Organized Play Alternatives.
Please also contact us if you have other alternatives you’d like to see included. Thanks.
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