Pickleball is such a social sport, and the community around our sport is one of the best aspects of the game! Communication between players can sometimes be a challenge, though, and sometimes people revert to group texting, which is an indisputably poor way to reach people.
It’s harder to silence text messages when you need to focus on other things, or when you work the night shift and are awoken by early risers, etc. .
You can't remove yourself from group text conversations.
Your cell phone number is shared with people you might not want to have it.
The good news is that there is a better way! Below are a few options that I’ve seen in use. Maybe one of them could help your group communicate more effectively, too.
Discord is a tremendously powerful tool for community communication!
CHAT: numerous "channels" allow people to chat about different things, and personalized notification settings let individual users decide which channels they want notifications on, if any at all.
THREADING: within a given channel, users can create "threads" that keep topics together. So lets say you want to see who's available to play at EER this afternoon. You create a "thread" called "open play today" (or whatever you want to call it), and people can reply to that thread even inline with the rest of the EER channel chat. These threads show-up in the menu under the folder they're in, but then they disappear after they have been inactive for a while.
APPS: the Windows, iOS, and Android apps are all outstanding. Trust me, they flow SO MUCH better than GroupMe or texting.
VOICE/VIDEO: channels can host voice and video calls, which can be very helpful and fun for coordinating schedules or discussing the latest tournament plans, or whatever.
EMOJI: custom emoji make the experience more fun! Do you have pickleball emoji anywhere else? I didn't think so!
So don't delay!!! Click here to join our Discord server.
GroupMe seems to be the local (metro Atlanta) favorite app. There are groups for various parks, smaller private groups, etc. It’s easy to manage notifications from the app so you’re not bothered by discussions when you can't participate, but then it's easy to turn thing back on when you want to. You can share photos, create calendar events, setup polls, etc.
EE Robinson park has at least two groups that use GroupMe; one focused on the morning crowd, and one more focused on the evenings. Here's a link to the evening group; I'm not part of the morning group. You can always create new groups that are useful for you, too.
Team Reach is a nice app that adds some useful functionality. Messages are threaded into conversations, so if somebody asks about a topic that you’re not interested in, you don’t even have to scroll through all the replies, since they are collapsed underneath the original post. North Park (Group Code: PB001) and Webb Bridge (Group Code: X21) both have groups for their players, and you can create private groups, too.
Pickleball Den has some very nice signup sheets and has some nice ways to organize play (round robin style) if you want to use that part (optional). It’s easy to create sign-up sheets for repeating events, then people can choose to sign up so that other people know they are planning to come. It does cost $8/yr, but the functionality is nice even for open play signups. Individual users don't have any way to post messages to the group, but if you just want a way for people to signup for open play, they can use the signup page, and can even leave a short comment.
After joining Den, you can join our ladder league here.
This site lets you post times that are available for play, and people can signup and leave a message for the group. It's free to use, but has a premium user model if you'd like additional features. I really like this for open play. I've had a difficult time getting other players to use the tool, though. If people know they can just show-up without bothering to signup for anything, they'll likely do that...but then you won't know who's coming. Many parks have adopted this tool...not sure why we struggle with that at my parks.
After creating an account, the courts in Gwinnett are in the "Northeast Atlanta, GA" region.