The public tennis and pickleball courts at Stony Brook Elementary School, Brewster, MA, are fully occupied this summer.
Demand Going Up And Up
According to Bill Dermody, who recently addressed the bay property planning committee, the demand for pickleball is continuously increasing, and now up to 200 dues-paying members. Bill Dermody stated, ‘Pickleball demand is going up and up and up, and that’s kind of a big issue.’
Currently, players are sharing four courts for pickleball and tennis, and to accommodate both sports, two tennis courts were repainted, allowing up to 32 pickleball players to use them.
As the Cape Cod Chronicle reports, the challenge is that on summer mornings, about 40 to 50 pickleball players usually show up to play, creating a capacity issue. According to Dermody, pickleball players have to yield if tennis players also arrive, resulting in a reduction to 16 courts. Dermody emphasized that “The real problem is pickleball capacity.”
“A Big, 800-Pound Gorilla”
He has proposed a solution: constructing more dedicated tennis courts at the bay property, freeing up the Stony Brook Courts for exclusive pickleball use. However, he added a note of caution, “’There’s a big, 800-pound gorilla there, which is noise.”
Town Manager Peter Lombardi pointed out that two recently suggested Sea Camps planning options involve building new athletic courts at the bay property. Option #3, both in the “arrival fields” and “central campus,” would replicate the current number of courts at Stony Brook — four full-size tennis courts and four junior-size tennis courts.
Two years ago, there were around 70 pickleball players in Brewster. However, as Lombardi mentioned, the interest has surged significantly, with approximately 140 players last year, and this year has capped at 200, as Recreation Director Mike Gradone confirmed.
A Willingness To Cooperate
Daryl Bladen, a tennis player, humorously noted, “Some of us are getting older, and we’re not growing as fast as the pickleballers.” The senior tennis group from the recreation department has maintained a consistent 50 players over the past three years, without a cap, according to Gradone.
Senior tennis programs have reserved the tennis courts from 9 to 11 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. For pickleball, the courts are reserved from 7 to 10 a.m. seven days a week, with a 70/30 residential split, as indicated by Gradone.
Gladen pointed out that pickleball players are experiencing longer wait times for courts.
Katie Jacobus, vice chair, praised both groups of players for their willingness to cooperate and share the town’s public courts.
Walk-Ons, Residents, And Visitor Incur No Charge
While reservations for courts cannot be made online at present, players can reserve a one-hour slot for $5 by calling the recreation department at 508-896-9430. Walk-ons, residents, and visitors incur no charge.
Although there are currently five tennis courts near the First Light Beach parking lot and two near the community pool, the proposed bay property courts would be entirely new if included in the bay property master plan, which is up for a spring town meeting vote, clarified Lombardi.
The Sport’s Rapid Growth
Sherry Scheer, a pickleball educator from Wellfleet, offers clinics in Brewster, Dennis, and Harwich. A former professional tennis player, Scheer transitioned to pickleball and is dedicated to enhancing players’ strengths and strategies.
Scheer, a certified pickleball instructor, and accomplished competitor, continually improves her skills through study, training, and practice. She is sponsored by Engage Pickleball, known for crafting high-quality paddles.
She noted that the sport’s rapid growth has overwhelmed the facilities of the towns on the Cape. Scheer also highlighted that players often shift from tennis to pickleball due to its lower impact on the body, reducing the risk of knee injuries caused by movements like side-shuffling and stop-and-start motions.
Day trip to the CAPE today. Dennis Pickleball is so IMPRESSIVE! Lots happening on all 14 Courts: Top Cape players on 6 Advanced courts, Intermediate courts busy & Sherry Scheer Clinics. 2 Court Managers + Diane & Jeff Treiber have the place running like a top. #ModelProgram pic.twitter.com/4sNZpRLL17— Pickleball Boston (@PickleBoston) June 30, 2020
Scheer’s recent achievements include Gold and Silver medals at the Senior National Games in Pittsburg. Her upcoming major competition is the USA National Championships on November 6 in Dallas, Texas.
A Forward Contact Point
Her advice includes maintaining a forward contact point, using a pendulum swing from the shoulder for strokes, moving forward, and focusing on the ball. She emphasized the importance of consistency and placement for success, recommending knee braces for added support.
Regarding clinics, Scheer’s August 19 session is fully booked, but Gradone is arranging additional clinics for October and November.
Click here for more Massachusetts-related pickleball articles.
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