APPL News & Events
Mid-Summer Letter From the Commish
Hello Pickleball Friends,
It’s hard to fathom that the start of APPL Season 2021 is only 4 months away. So much has happened over the last few months and there is plenty left to do. We have streamlined several administrative processes and are continuing to develop ways to simplify things for APPL team captains as well as our league coordinators. Establishing the capability to make on-line payments is a project we added recently due to the fantastic success of our inaugural season and the growth we are forecasting for Season 2021.
In Season 2020 we had over 1100 players participate on 95 teams in the Casa Grande and East Valley Regions. We are busy growing all 3 regional leagues that make up the two regions. The East Valley Interclub League (EVIL) already has 42 teams pre-registered. That is an increase of over 20% over last year. The Red APPL (RAPPL) East Valley Regional League is focused on adding teams to skill groups that weren’t populated last year and, new this season , is adding a Mixed Doubles division. In the Casa Grande Region, SAPPL will also be adding a Mixed Doubles Division which will fuel SAPPL’s growth. Additionally, we have developed an APPL Practices and Protocols document to demonstrate to the city of Casa Grande how we propose to execute the SAPPL matches and comply with the Governor's Executive Order dealing with the pandemic.
We’re also excited to be adding 2 new regions to the APPL Network. This season we are looking forward to the addition of the The Southern Arizona Region (Tucson, Green Valley and surrounding areas) and the West Valley Region (Surprise, Goodyear, Buckeye and surrounding areas). We are busy spreading the APPL message to these areas and meeting with the pickleball leadership of many communities. Several communities have already started registering teams. A four region playoff at the end of the season would certainly be a great close.
As mentioned above, team registration is now open . If you would like to form and captain a team you can click here to get to the team registration page on our website. If you would like to add your name and contact information to a list of players interested in playing on a team please feel free to click here.
Volunteers are answering our call!
We are thrilled to have added volunteer League Coordinators to Team APPL to help manage our growth and support one of our Key Objectives: To Provide a Great Player Experience. Deb Albert joins us as the RAPPL Women’s Division 4.0 skill group coordinator, Ruth Elliott joins us as the RAPPL Women’s Division 4.5/5.0 skill group coordinator, John-Scott Dixon joins us as the RAPPL Men’s Division 3.0 and 3.5 skill groups coordinator, Gregg Garthright joins us as the RAPPL Mixed Division skill groups coordinator and Mark Sansone joins us as the EVIL Mixed Division skill groups coordinator. Several of them have extensive experience in APPL’s team-based league pickleball and all of them bring an incredible enthusiasm to our team.
Our pandemic strategy:
A lot has to happen between now and the start of Season 2021. We also have the added uncertainty and complexity of the pandemic. We recognize that restrictions might be in place that may limit court availability and player availability given that our Canadian friends will be grappling with concerns about traveling south for the winter. Our strategy for now is to move forward under the assumption that the pandemic and related issues won’t severely limit our ability to deliver APPL pickleball. With team registration now open, we are encouraging teams to sign up but will not be accepting payment until we have a better understanding of where things stand on this issue. Our decision date is November 15th. By moving forward in this manner a lot of the preparation will be well underway should the “new normal” be close enough to the “old normal” so as not to affect starting Season 2021 on schedule in January. Should the pandemic force a delay, at least starting up quickly when things open up won’t be too overwhelming.
Something new is coming!
Along with the new Mixed Doubles Divisions in RAPPL and SAPPL this season, in the fall, if you are considering playing in APPL or perhaps forming and captaining a team, keep your eye out for our “Take a Bite of APPL” events. This innovative format will be used to get potential league players exposed to how much fun team pickleball is. We are also planning to use this format as an addition to our Green APPL offering to give entry level players the opportunity to participate in team pickleball. That’s enough of a “teaser” for now. To stay tuned you can also subscribe for APPL information and events on our website.
In closing, on behalf of Team APPL, I wish you well. We are all excited about Season 2 and look forward to seeing you on the courts. Remember, TEAM UP! PLAY APPL!