Bayside Tennis Club

The best kept secret at the Bethany beaches,

where your game is played in the shade!

The board spent a considerable amount of time discussing pickleball at the 8/6/19 board meeting. As you can see, most people who completed the survey agreed that adding pickleball courts would not attract NEW members to join the club, though growing the membership has been one of our significant challenges in recent years. Still, our current members who play pickleball would like the lines added so they have the convenience of playing pickleball at the same club where they already play tennis. Our current members who only play tennis don’t want extraneous lines on the court that can be distracting. Hence, pickleball at Bayside is one of those “you can’t please all the people all the time” issues, and we knew that whatever decision we reached, there would be members who were unhappy.

As we debated the pros and cons of adding pickleball at Bayside, we were cognizant that we could lose members either way. Adding pickleball lines could give some of our inactive members a reason to continue their Bayside membership. Without pickleball as an option, they may decide not to continue paying dues to belong to a tennis club when they will never again play tennis. Conversely, adding pickleball lines could trigger some of our “tennis only” members to leave Bayside and go to either Bethany Club or Sea Colony where they can play tennis without the distraction of pickleball noise and lines on the courts.

There was no consensus among the board members that the benefits of adding pickleball courts at Bayside outweighed the drawbacks. Literally every point made in favor of adding the courts had an equally valid counterpoint for not adding them. We don’t have the 34 tennis courts that Sea Colony has that can offer pickleball on some courts and still afford “tennis only” players the opportunity to play on good courts that are strictly for tennis. Though we have four courts, courts  1 & 2 are the preferred courts for tennis. Members acknowledge that the cushioned surface on courts 3 & 4 is a great idea from a financial standpoint, considering the cost to repair the repeated cracks that occurred prior to its installation. But many members don’t love playing tennis on them. Sadly, the cushioned surface also precludes the option to add pickleball lines on courts 3 & 4.

Despite the fact that people responded favorably to pickleball on the survey questions in isolation, a survey does not provide any context as to how the game would actually impact the use of our courts, the club’s financial condition or membership prospects. Ultimately, although some of our members have expressed an interest in playing pickleball at Bayside and the sport has become increasingly popular in this area, the board voted to table the issue for the time being.

Please keep in mind that the deferral of a decision is not an outright rejection, but rather a determination that the board requires additional time to get more and better information. We remain focused on the goal of reversing the recent trend of declining membership; we’re just not certain that pickleball will accomplish that goal.

The Board (Sandi Roberts, Jim Dudley, Jay Clark, Marie McIntosh, Dick Fox, Carmie Clark, Neil Lang, Terry Gilberts, Mark Cyr)

Published 8.12.19