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February 1, 2022

Pickelball at The Reef

Added 4 new pickleball courts to the tennis/pickleball area here at the Reef.  We have completed this task and now have 5 pickleball courts and 1 tennis court.  Please stop down and take a look.

Thanks Don and Linda Midlikowski

Why Pickleball?
Pickleball grew in 2020 to 4.2 million players in the US, an incredible growth rate of 21.3% from 2019 and is the fastest growing sport in America.  It is a sport for all ages, easy to learn, great way to exercise, enjoyable outdoor activity plus a stress reliever and another big plus - is that individuals can form many new friendships,

Our own Reef facility hosted the first Virgin Island Pickleball tournament Aug. 21, 2021.  We, as Reef Villa owners, should be very proud of that accomplishment.  It was such a hit that Don and I started plans to expand the playing area to 5 pb courts in lieu 2 and keep 1 tennis court.  This will ensure that Island PB players will have more court time rather than bench time.  We are finding the number of PB participants here on the rock continues to grow as is indicated by the TeamReach pickleball link which has over 100 individuals now using that site. The Reef will benefit financially by an increase in membership numbers, individual daily use fees, tournament income and future league play.

In order to make this project come to fruition, we had to ask for Donations to raise enough money to buy the necessary equipment. Don and I were amazed at how our PB community responded as we received gifts of money from people on and off the Reef.  We wish to acknowledge the following who have donated $500 or more:  Tom and Amy Etheridge, Judy and Robert Leonardis, Leslie and Carl Maschauer, Jonathan and Genee Alba, Jeffery and Robin Sparks, Ginger & Frank Lucido, Mark and Emily Tomasini, Mayya Kawar and Branden Rausch.  Other donations range from $100-$400 were received from:  Denise and Ed Rupp, Liz and Tom Luttrell-Wilson, Jackie Bunn, John Haley, Normajean Brent, Jacky Conklin, Raymond Mellin, Ed and Vivian Blair and Rich and Cindy Creighton.  Big THANK YOU.  Words just do not seem to be enough.

Once we received enough funding it was time to order the 8 Wilson Pickleball Posts, 4 Wilson Pickleball nets and the material needed to actually do the project.  (Court Paint, Line Paint, Squeegees to apply paint, Paint rollers, Tape used for applying the court lines, Concrete Mortar for patching, White paint for lines, Green paint for the entire PB court, PVC piping for sleeves, Excise tax for shipping nets and posts plus other miscellaneous tools.)  Once all needed material was received it was a green light to go from Jason and Brian.

  • Monday January 24 Don and I did final scraping, filling holes and cracks, sweeping, cleaning and blowing off court areas.
  • Tuesday January 25 Don, Jacob Abaya and I Painted green over the white PB and Tennis boundary lines.
  • Wednesday January 26 Paint entire court area Green, was completed with these adventuresome volunteers who have never taken on a paint job like this one entailed:  Debbie and Brion McDonald, Jackie Bunn, Jonathan Alba, Tom and Liz Luttrell - Wilson, Steve Hess, Don and Linda Midlikowski.
  • Thursday January 27 Don and I calculated and placed layout of courts. Let paint dry.
  • Friday January 28 Mark, tape and paint pickleball lines. A Lot of on your knees with back bending and steady hand detailed work.  We were very fortunate enough to have an off Reef volunteer with engineering experience, Joe Champagne, and Don Midlikowski with his experience in building, construction and retail sales.  These two calculated the correct distances and size for all four courts.  I can guarantee that the court lines are spot on correct.  Taping and painting boundary lines were completed by:  Tom Etheridge, Judy Leonardis, Debbie McDonald, Elaine and Joe Champagne, Liz Armstrong, Deb Kimball, Isabel Brady, Don and Linda Midlikowski.
  • Saturday January 29 Drill 8 holes for posts.  Sounds easy….NOT.  Dave Follman took the lead on this project.  The rocks and hard clay proved to be an all day challenge as Dave F and Don Mid operated the drilling equipment with David Knowles breaking up the concrete with his drill.  Physical pounding and hole clean up completed by our determined team of volunteers.  Dave Follman, Jill and David Knowles, Jackie Bunn, Rich and Cindy Creighton, Don and Linda Midlikowski.
  • Sunday January 30  Place Pickleball sleeves and posts in holes, level and apply cement. This was an all morning and afternoon job that basically dehydrated all those involved.  Volunteers who stuck it out:  Emily Tomasini, Alan Feuer, Cindy and Rich Creighton, Don and Linda Midlikowski.
  • Monday January 31 Putting nets up was the highlight of the project. Elaine Champagne, Jill Knowles, Deb Kimball, Steve Hess, Don and Linda Midlikowski.

My new motto:  Let's make this an "Island Pickleball destination."

Contact Linda Midlikowski via message with any questions or if you are interested in learning pickleball.

340-473-0215  (Message is the best mode to contact me.)

About

Pickleball is a court sport played on a badminton-sized court with the net set to a height of 34 inches at the center. It is played with a perforated plastic ball and composite or wooden paddles about twice the size of ping-pong paddles. It can be played indoors or outdoors and is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players. In addition, the game has developed a passionate following due to its friendly, social nature, and its multi-generational appeal.

Pickleball can be played as singles or doubles. New players can learn the basic rules quickly in a single session. No special apparel is needed – just something comfortable and appropriate for a court sport. Equipment is inexpensive and easily portable. The game can be played by all ages and is particularly popular in school P.E. programs and in adult living communities.

The sport is governed by the USA Pickleball Association (USAPickleball.org), which maintains the rules, promotes the sport, sanctions tournaments, and provides player ratings. For more information, please visit: usapickleball.org.

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