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February 2020 PickleBlast

The GVR Pickleball Center is now open for play! This is a very exciting time, yet hectic. There are still many tasks to be completed and issues to resolve, so please be patient as we work through our to-do lists. Lots of info this month, so let's get to it.


What's in this PickleBlast?


GVRPC Board Meeting Highlights

GVR Pickleball Center update

Welcome New Members

Member Rating Changes

Interview with Donna Davis, Southern Arizona Senior Games Tournament Director

Call For Nominations

Membership Renewals

Focus Play reminders

Help Wanted

Can You Hear Me Now?



GVRPC Board Meeting Highlights


  • Update on pickleball center and new courts

  • Focus Play reminders (see below)

  • Ratings evaluations year-round

  • Santa Cruz Valley Bicycle Advocate Committee

  • Arizona Pickleball Players Association for 2021

  • New club hats/visors to be sold at Senior Games tournament

  • Meeting minutes


GVR Pickleball Center update


We are open for business! We have created new court schedules to incorporate the GVR Pickleball Center (GVRPBC) courts and added several competitive club events, as well as expanded instructional classes. We are still adding amenities to the Center, so if you see something that should be added or changed, please don't hesitate to let us know. A special thanks to our club members who created and donated 18 ball holders for the Center.

Welcome New Members! (January)

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Interview with Donna Davis


Our interview this month is about the upcoming Southern Arizona Senior Games. We have the Tournament Director, Donna Davis in the studio today and she's here to share information about the Games. Like professional athletes she seems to start preparations for the next season a few days after each one ends.


[PickleBlast]: Thanks for taking some time to talk to us today, Donna. We’re about a month away from the Southern Arizona Senior Games and we'd like to know how things are shaping up. Are we doing well with registrations? Which categories are full and which still have availability?

[Donna Davis]: We currently have 314 people registered. We have almost 100 teams for the mixed doubles event and have closed that category for now. We have a few openings in men’s doubles and we have room to add several women’s teams. 2.0/2.5 teams have a great opportunity for players to “get their feet wet” in a tournament setting without the pressure of the double-elimination format by registering for the 2.0/2,5 round-robin bracket.

CLICK HERE  to register for any event.   Registration for all events closes Feb. 21.


[PB]: Is there anything new at this year’s Games? 

[DD]: This year’s tournament will be held at our beautiful, new, 24 court pickleball center March 17, 18 and 19.

[PB]: As a participant what are the three most important things I need to know?

[DD]: 1. Our 115 parking spaces are expected to fill quickly. People may park on the street. If the lot is full there will be signs pointing you to the overflow parking area. Shuttle vans will transport players to and from the courts.

2. Seating and shade are limited. It would be a good idea to bring a bag chair and an umbrella.

3. There is an area behind the vendors’ booths that is covered in pea gravel. Please stay out of the gravel. The small stones get embedded in your shoes and scratch up the court.

[PB]: As we all know, the success of these events is largely determined by the number of volunteers we have and the coordination to get everyone working together. Where do we need volunteers and what are the qualifications and expectations for each group?

[DD]: Volunteering is an excellent way for you to give back something to the club for all the work they have done in getting us this new pickleball center. Next week an email with details on how you can volunteer will be sent. We need shuttle drivers (especially if you have a van), selling 50/50 raffle tickets, keeping an eye on snack food, parking lot attendants, and people to help check-in players all positions.

Please consider line judging. Remember, line judges have the best seat in the house! We only use line judges for the medal matches and we need 4 per match (one to watch each line). Round up your friends and signup together.

[PB]: Donna, thanks for taking a few minutes to talk to us today and thank you so much for all the work you are and have been doing behind the scenes to make this year's Southern Arizona Senior Games a success! We look forward to participating in the inaugural tournament at the GVR Pickleball Center!

Call For Nominations


Our club board will have four vacancies in 2020: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Member At Large. Our Nominating Committee has not yet received nominations for the majority of these positions, but must receive them before March 3. If you would like to self-nominate or nominate someone else, please do so after confirming that they are willing to serve. Contact our Nominating Committee for more information: 

Becky Lupo        520-841-1951

Brenda Russell      916-261-4445

Donna Talarski    314-607-6929


Membership Renewals


If you haven't already renewed your membership for 2020, consider doing it now. Our club finances are stretched, as we've contributed all of our reserves to build 24 courts but there are still expenses for the small things that make playing enjoyable. Such as pickleballs. Can you imagine how boring a game is without pickleballs? And, you must renew no later than March 1 to attend the Annual Meeting and vote on board members and bylaw revisions. Here's the membership renewal application. Please pay by check, as cash payments present a myriad of complications for our club leadership.


Focus Play and New Courts


Here's just a few reminders on the procedures for Focus Play at the new courts.

  • Queue paddles at designated spots to enter the rotation. We are still working on permanent locations, but line up paddles near the group of courts where you're assigned to play. Check the schedule onsite to see what court groups to use for the current day.

  • Exit the courts when your game is finished to allow others to play. If there are no other paddles in the queue, you can continue to use the court for another game.

  • Single or double paddles, please. Don't group more than two paddles together.

  • Place balls back into the holders when you're exiting the court.

  • End play when the scheduled focus play session ends.


Help Wanted!!


Court Concierge - We are looking for one or more people to volunteer to help players coming to the courts to find their way, to answer questions, and to generally serve in the concierge role at the Center. This would probably work better with a group of volunteers, rather than asking one person to take this on. If interested, please reply to this newsletter email address.

Club Event Coordinator - We are looking for an individual to monitor signups for our club events to ensure that those of us signing up are doing so for the correct level and are current club members. We are working to upgrade our system to do this automatically, but need someone in the interim to help. This is primarily computer work, as this person reviews the signups and compares to our membership database to verify. An additional duty would be to represent our club in discussions with other regional clubs for InterCommunity Play. And finally, this person would be the club point of contact for clinics and classes provided by traveling pros. If interested, please reply to this newsletter email address.


Can You Hear Me Now?


As we age, we begin to become aware of increasing limitations. It's a fact of life, but for some it happens more quickly or drastically. Please read this article from one of our newer members to be reminded about what we can do to make playing enjoyable for all. Thank you.




  • This week we published responses to questions we asked each of the GVR Director candidates. You can read what we asked and how each one answered here.

  • Commemorative prints from the Grand Opening are still available to order. At $20, this is a great value and will continue to bring back memories of the ceremony and the new center. You can place your order here.

  • The USA Pickleball Association is conducting a survey for all - members and non-members alike. If you would like to voice your opinions about the USAPA, you can access the survey here.

  • Need one of those jazzy pickleball name tags? You can order them through our website here. Please use this page only for orders. Putting an order in the club mailbox or including with dues payments doesn't get the info to the right people.

  • Coming soon! On February 25 we are offering instructional clinics for club members with Sean Rickard. Sean is a pickleball pro based in Tucson and has taught at our club several times in the past. These clinics are for 3.0 and 3.5 players and space is limited. The sessions are 2 hours long and cost $50 per person. Sign up for 3.0 sessions or 3.5 sessions using your club rating. No exceptions, as these clinics are very popular and are nearly full.

  • Please follow GVR requirements for guests. There have been a few incidents already at the Center of people coming to play who are not eligible to use a Guest Pass. GVR is monitoring daily and will definitely ask you to verify that you and any guests are following their rules. Here are the requirements for your review.


In Closing: If you have a suggestion, comment, or a question, let us know – preferably by email – as discussions on the court sometimes (actually quite frequently) get lost or forgotten. And let us know if you find this newsletter helpful. Use the GVR Pickleball Club website ( to contact us.


That’s all for now folks.....stay positive, keep smiling, and enjoy playing!!!!


Jeff Harrell, President

GVR Pickleball