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Open Doubles and Singles Play

Open Doubles & Singles Play

Open Play is Pictona’s name for a system where players can play on designated courts based on skill level. If no one is using a court, anyone can play on the court. If the Open Play courts are all being used, then players use the Paddle Rack System to wait their turn for the next available court. When playing on an Open Play court, players may play one game to 11 and then must vacate the court if there are players waiting to play as seen by paddles in the paddle rack.

Players usually prefer to play with others of similar skill level. It makes for better competition and more fun. For day-to-day play we designate certain courts or pods of 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 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.

Our courts are grouped pods are shown on our campus map by an identifying color surrounding the group of courts (look closely). However, these are not necessarily our Skill Pods. Those may differ and may change from time to time.

The Court Scheduler (Jenn Hall) designates pods of courts set aside for open doubles play by skill level. Pictona tries to keep these Skill Pods as consistent as possible, but the Court Scheduler may adjust these occasionally based on demand. For the standard locations of our Skill Pods, please visit our Court Usage page. If adjustments needs to be made to the Skill Pod locations, details will be noted on the Weekly Court Schedule and posted at the courts.

Players match up with known or unknown players by placing their paddles in the paddle racks located at each skill pod to determine who occupies the next available court within that skill pod. You do not need to register for anything to play open doubles; only check in as a member or visitor. Just find your way to the skill pod that is appropriate for you. Here are some additional guidelines for you to follow in selecting Skill Pods at which to play.

  • Players should use the best estimate of skill level they can obtain. 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.
  • Sometimes too few players will be present at a Skill Pod to play a game. It is appropriate for players to then move to the next higher or lower Skill Pod to match up.
  • If individuals repeatedly play in a pod that is above or below their skill level, the players who are at the “correct” pod should politely suggest that the player move to a pod that better matches their skill.
  • The Manager on Duty and Pictona staff will monitor play on the Skill Pods from time to time and make recommendations to players if they should move to another skill pod.  

Challenge Courts
The Challenge Courts are part of Pictona’s Open Doubles Play system. Court 4 and the Championship Court at Pictona 2 are designated Challenge Courts where the winners of a game to 11 may remain on the court for up to 3 games and then must relinquish the court but may then re-enter play by taking their turn in the paddle rack. The paddle rack for Court 4 is located on the northeast fence of that court. For the Championship Court there is a paddle rack located at the northeast court entrance.

Open Singles Play
We have a growing interest in singles play and thus will set aside designated courts and times for singles play. This play can include skinny singles. Your participation follows the same guidelines as for Open Doubles Play.

Paddle Rack Etiquette

  • There is a paddle rack at each pod and at the two challenge courts.
  • Paddles are racked in groups of 4 from left to right.
  • A clip is used to indicate the next 4 paddles to play when a court is open.
  • Should fewer than 4 paddles be in a group, a player should call out the number of paddles necessary to complete the group.
  • The group with less than 4 paddles may not be passed over. Someone in the paddle rack or from those that finished playing should offer to play so that the next game can start.
  • “Mixing in” is strongly encouraged.
  • Upon completion of your game, exit the court and check the paddle rack to see if other players are waiting. If not, you may continue to play on the court.
  • It is not permitted to place your paddle in two different racks to see which court becomes available first.
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