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Open Play

Open Doubles & Singles Play


With 49 courts available, Open Play is available all day, every day. Although some courts may be reserved for skill specific levels, instructional classes, Tournaments or special events, there will ALWAYS be some open courts available for open play.   

Please follow the system described below to make efficient use of the courts and to be fair to all participants regardless of skill level.

Open Play: Pictona always has courts available for Open Play. If a court is available, anyone can play. If all courts are occupied, the Paddle Rack System is used to queue players for the next available court. On Open Play courts, a single game to 11 is played, and all 4 players vacate the court at the conclusion of the game if others are waiting with paddles in the rack.

Skill Pods: Players often prefer to play with others of similar skill level. For day-to-day play we designate certain courts for Open Play based on skill level. We call these Skill Pods and the levels are:

  • Novice (Skill less than 2.5)
  • Beginner (Skill 2.5 to 2.99)
  • Intermediate (Skill 3.0 to 3.49)
  • Upper-Intermediate (Skill 3.5 to 3.99)
  • Advanced (Skill 4.0 to 4.49)
  • Upper-Advanced (Skill 4.5+)

For the standard locations of our Skill Pods, please visit our Court Usage page.

For improved Open Play it is important that all players learn their skill level and respect the skill level of others when selecting the Skill Pod to play. Go HERE to read more about Skill Ratings.

Matching Up for Open Play and Skill Pod Selection: No registration is required for open doubles play; simply check in as a member or visitor. Navigate to the general Open Play courts and use the paddle rack system or head to your appropriate skill pod. Here are additional guidelines for selecting Skill Pods:

  • Players should assess their skill level as accurately as possible.
  • If players find the play too easy or too difficult, they should switch to a Skill Pod that is a better match to their skill level.
  • In cases where there are too few players at a Skill Pod, moving to a neighboring higher or lower skill pod for a game is acceptable.
  • Polite suggestions from players in the correct pod are encouraged if someone consistently plays above or below their skill level.
  • The Manager on Duty and Pictona staff periodically oversee Skill Pods, and may provide recommendations for players to shift to another pod when necessary.

Challenge Courts: Advent Health Court 4 and MetroHealth Championship Court are Pictona's designated Challenge Courts. Winners can stay on the court for 3 games, then rejoin the queue. The paddle rack for Court 4 is located on the northeast fence of that court. There is a table at the east entrance of the Metro Health Championship Court where players can place their paddles to challenge the winners in the next game.

Open Singles Play: Designated courts and times are set aside for singles play, following the same guidelines as Open Doubles Play. For the standard locations of our Singles Play Pod please visit our Court Usage page

Paddle Rack Etiquette

  • A paddle rack is located at each pod of courts and at both Challenge Courts.
  • Paddles are arranged in groups of 4, left to right.
  • A clip is used to indicate the next 4 paddles to play when a court becomes available.
  • If less than 4 paddles are in a group, a player should announce the number needed to complete the group.
  • Groups with under 4 paddles shouldn't be skipped. A player should step in to complete the group.
  • "Mixing in" is highly encouraged.
  • After your game, leave the court and check for waiting players at the paddle rack. If there are none, you may continue playing.
  • Placing your paddle in two racks to secure a court is not allowed.
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