On our homepage it was noted the Laramie Pickleball Association began in Spring 2017. A number of our current players were present at the founding of the LPA, including Carolyn, Dennis, Georgia, Susan and Lowell, Flewellyn, Jan and Joe, Treece and others. (Included below is an article written for the Laramie Boomerang by Amber Travsky who completed the first Pickleball class offered at the Recreation Center in Spring 2017 -- it's a classic!) This section attempts to capture the joy and fellowship provided individuals who play pickleball in Laramie. (Laramie players also provided paddles and balls to a group in Arusha, Tanzania [June 2019] learning to play pickleball for the first time: see Arusha Pickleball Clinic, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-TngGGHYLo) We begin with a few photos from recent events such as the LPA Annual Meeting/Party and events supported by the LPA and some background material such as the LPA Bylaws.
LARAMIE PICKLEBALL ASSOCIATION BYLAWS (With April 2021 Revisions)
Article I - Name The name of this organization shall be the Laramie Pickleball Association. Article II - Purpose To promote the recreational, social, and competitive aspects of the game of pickleball among all players, members and nonmembers. Article III - Membership Section 1: All interested players are eligible for membership, and each member shall have one vote. Section 2: Members will abide by the bylaws and actively support and participate in club functions. Membership includes the basic requirements of good sportsmanship, integrity, courtesy, and respect. Section 3: Membership will be terminated by voluntary withdrawal, nonpayment of dues, violation of the provisions of these bylaws, or violation of published rules, guidelines, and regulations of any facility which is used by the association. Article IV – Meetings Section 1: There will be at least one meeting per year, that being the annual meeting, open to the entire membership. Meeting minutes from all meetings will be kept by the Secretary and forwarded to all members in a timely manner. Section 2: Special meetings may be called by the President or upon request of at least three members. Such meetings shall have at least a three-day notice given to members regarding time, place, and agenda. Section 3:An annual meeting shall be held in May or June for the purpose of electing officers, establishing fees and assessments, and general planning for the season’s activities. Only club members in good standing will be eligible to vote. Section 4: A quorum shall consist of at least three executive officers and any club members in attendance. Article V - Dues and Assessments Dues and fees assessed members shall be determined each year at the annual meeting. To be considered a member in good standing membership must be paid in the first two months of the fiscal year. New members are expected to pay upon date of application. If new membership begins within two months of the next fiscal year, current-year dues will be waived, and payment will apply to the next fiscal year. Article VI - Officers and Their Duties Section 1: The elective officers of the club shall be: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Any active member of the Club is eligible for these offices. Section 2: The Past President shall continue in an advisory capacity for one year following their term. Section 3: Terms of office shall be one year, from June 1st through May 31st each year. Vacancies in any office may be filled by the President and ratified by a majority of the members at the next scheduled meeting. Section 4: Duties of Officers: A. President: Shall assume Club leadership, preside at all meetings, appoint chairs of committees, call special meetings as needed, and generally be a spokesperson for the Club. B. Vice President: Shall assume the duties of the President in his/her absence. He/she shall also chair the Membership Committee and generally assist the club in all functions as necessary. Secretary: Shall record minutes of Club meetings, is responsible for determining if a quorum exists. This officer is responsible for sending and posting Club notices to all club members and transferring all records to successor upon completion of term. Treasurer: Shall collect dues and assessments, disburse all funds, and provide an oral financial report for each regular meeting and a written financial report for each member for the annual meeting. Article VII - Committees Section 1: A Nominating Committee shall be appointed by the President at least sixty days prior to the annual meeting. The committee shall consist of at least 3 members and present a nomination for each office to be filled thirty days prior to the annual meeting for posting. The membership will then vote on the list of officers. Section 2: The President may appoint special committees as needed. (Tournament, Communications, Social, Rules, etc.) Article VIII - Fiscal Year The fiscal year of the Club shall start the 1st day of June and shall end the 31st of May. Article IX - Amendments Section 1. The bylaws may be amended by two-thirds majority vote of the members in attendance, after an explanation and discussion of the proposed changes. Article X - Dissolution Section 1. This Club may not be dissolved until all of its outstanding debts have been paid; upon dissolution, all assets and all property of the Club shall be surrendered to the Laramie Recreation Department.
"Getting the Pickleball Bug"
In the Field By Amber Travsky (Laramie Boomerang, Spring 2017)
“One, five, one,” I shout. I stoop slightly, one foot behind the other. I swing my paddle and strike the ball and, to my relief, it goes over the net and lands in the diagonally-located green square. My teammate, Candy Furphy, is ready for the return shot – and the volley is on. Candy and I are two of about eight people who participated in the first-timers pickleball class put on by and at the Laramie Community Recreation Center through the month of January. On this final class there are four of us playing a round-robin series of games. Candy and I are joined by Larry “Budda” Fairfield and Carolyn Welsh. Our clinic instructor, Kason Walton, first leads us through a few warm-up drills and then we’re ready for a bit of friendly competition. We each play with a partner but, at the end of a game, we move around so that by the end of three games everyone has played with and against everyone else. Each person gains the points his or her team made in a game so that, at the end and after three games, the person with the highest number of points is deemed the winner. I decided to take this beginner clinic since a number of friends have raved to me about the game. Pickleball seems to be the hottest new activity at the Laramie Recreation Center, at least in the 50 and over crowd. There are certainly younger players but, with games typically held during weekday mornings, it attracts those with more flexible time schedules. According to Lowell Spackman, who is vice president of the newly formed Laramie Pickleball Association, the sport made its debut here a little over a year ago. Thanks to more playing times at the recreation center, numbers have grown. Spackman said there are now more than 40 people playing on a regular basis. Pickleball has nothing to do with pickles. According to pickleball lore, it got its name from the founder’s dog named Pickles. The dog would chase the ball and run off with it and, when deciding what to call this new game, the players enshrined the dog’s name forever with the sport. Pickleball combines aspects of table tennis, badminton and tennis. The gear is simple with a net, a paddle and a ball. Players wear typical workout gear; the only “must” is a good pair of sneakers. The paddles resemble but are larger than those used in table tennis. The recreation center has paddles available but those who play regularly prefer getting their own. The ball is a hard plastic whiffle ball. It lacks the bounce of a tennis or racquetball. At times it seems to get a strange spin, making it easy to misjudge just where to swing to lob it back the other way. In fact, missing the ball is my top error. I have yet to have any feel for just how far the paddle can reach and, expecting it to be longer, I swing and cleanly miss the ball; I get nothing but an “air ball” instead. At the very start of the clinic Walton explained the floor layout. The space in front of the net, oddly, is called the “kitchen.” That is, basically, the “no volley” zone. A player can’t stand in the kitchen and return the ball, making it difficult to slam the ball down the throat of an opponent. There are also rules on when a bounce is required and where a person can stand when returning a ball – such rules are better explained at the gym by others who know the game. The hardest part in learning the rules is just keeping the score and knowing whose turn it is to serve. When I shouted the score, we had made one point, the other team scored five points and I was the first server on our team. Therefore I shouted the score: one, five, one. If that sounds a bit confusing, it becomes clear after playing just a game or two. Taking a first-timers clinic is a great way to start but experienced players are more than happy to help newbies at the drop-in clinics. This sharing of expertise abounds among Laramie’s pickleball players. According to Spackman, when people started playing it was mostly through trial and error. “A few of the people who play regularly are naturals and have great hand-eye coordination,” Spackman said. “Others of us need lots of practice and drills to improve.” I am not a natural – I’ve only won one game in my five clinic sessions - but it was a total hoot especially on our last day of the clinic. We laughed and joked amidst a bit of competitive zeal. Budda came out the winner but we all had a great time. Now I think I’m ready to join the drop-in games and play with the “big kids.”
If you go: What: Drop-in Pickleball games Where: Laramie Community Recreation Center When: Tuesdays and Thursdays: drills from 9 to 10 and game play from 10 to noon Fridays: game play from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays: Noon to 3 p.m. (with competitive and recreational games) Cost: Free with recreation center membership; non-members need a day pass. Next beginner’s clinic: TBA
LPA OFFICERS 2017-2018 Susan Spackman, president Lowell Spackman, vice president Dennis Tangeman, secretary Georgia Carmin, treasurer
2018-2019 Lowell Spackman, president Michael Day, vice president Kirsten Reynolds, secretary Gail Stakes, treasurer
2019-2021 Gail Stakes, president Dennis Tangeman, vice president Carolyn Welsh, secretary Treece Sisneros, treasurer
2021- 2022 Michael Day, president Leslie Polson, vice president Eric Sandberg, secretary Steve Anderson, treasurer