Paddle Rack Instructions

Ken Rand and Jerry Como were kind enough to build the racks that are hung on the fence at EER, but there seems to be some confusion about how the racks should be used, so please take a moment to read this before your next Open Play session.

Why bother?

First...let's understand the goal of the system. The purpose of open play is to mix players of various skills. This event is more social than competitive. We want to foster community here. We want the more experienced players to get to know the newer players and help them along. We want the newer players to know they have a place that they can come play against better players and not feel like they're holding them back. It's open's all about fun, so leave your reservations and your ego at the gate, and just come play for fun!!!

To do this, we use a paddle "stacking" system that does two primary things:

  1. Mixes players of various skills.

  2. Ensures that you don't play with or against the same player more than once consecutively. This is part of the social aspect; mix it up.

Trust the system! If you take a minute to understand how it works, I think you'll have more fun.

So how does it work?

As players arrive and the courts fill up, anybody who is waiting for a court should place their paddle in one of the racks. Look at how full the racks are, and put your paddle in the rack with fewer paddles. The W/L rack labels have nothing to do with initial paddle placement. But once there are 4+ paddles on each side, then just try to even out the number of paddles as new players arrive...but do not move paddles after they're in the rack. The sliding mall marker will let you know where to pull paddles from.

Once there are paddles in the rack, you wait till a game ends and you need to decide who plays next. This is much easier than some folks try to make it. LOL

  1. When a game ends, all 4 players come off the court. Winners put their paddles on the W side, and losers put theirs on the L side. They should place their paddles into the first available spot to the right of the existing paddles, wrapping around to the left if you reach the end of the rack.

  2. Look at the arrow marker between the racks. You'll draw the next 4 paddles from the rack that the arrow points to.

  3. Start with the location where the ball marker is. Take that paddle and three more to the right of it; four total.

  4. Those four players go to the open court. If two of those players were partners in the last game, they should split and play against eachother in this new game.

  5. Slide the ball marker to the right to mark the next paddle to be picked from that side.

  6. Rotate the arrow between the racks so that the next group of paddles is drawn from the other rack.

Please note that paddles should never be moved in the rack. The marker moves, but paddles should stay where they are.

Keep in mind that you'll be mixing winners and losers all night, so you may have winners of a really tough match mixed in with winners of a lower level match. This is OPEN PLAY, and this paddle system is intentionally designed to mix players together for play that is very social, and less competitive.

If you think you're above playing with lower level players, stop and reconsider. Remember that you weren't as good as you are now till you played with some better players; just come have fun. Also, join our ladder league on Sunday afternoons where competitive play is the goal. :)

If you're worried about dragging down higher level players, know that people at open play are there to have fun, and want to share their love of the game; just go play!

If you've read this far, thanks for taking the time to understand what we're trying to do with open play. Hope to see you there soon!!!