Committee Update 12-10-23

Fellow VO Pickleball members, it’s been just over a month since we have initiated the player placement pilot project. We have received significant support, suggestions and feedback from you and it is very much appreciated!

    Two weeks ago Player Placement Assistants were identified in each group. There have been two meetings with the Assistants to ensure their role was understood and discuss any questions they may have. One of the Assistants described their role best, “they are the ears, not the eyes” of the group. The Assistants talk with members of their group and collect names supplied by them who are excelling within the group and any who may be more comfortable in a different group. The Assistants have recently met with the Committee to pass on names they have been told who should be considered for a new group placement. When the Committee met with the Assistants of each group a common theme was identified, the group members were not always aware who their Assistants were. As a result, the Assistants agreed they should be identified to ensure they could be approached by more members within their group. Their names are posted on the VO website. It is very important to note that the Assistants DO NOT observe the play of others to obtain names, participate in placements, utilize available data to generate names or make any personal recommendations. As this is a peer based system, they are simply passing on names provided by their peers. The Assistants are not compelled to stay in their group, if they are placed in a different group another Assistant will be identified. 

     The Committee and Assistants agree that the more Assistants we have in each group the better the assessment process will work. So please, if you are interested in participating as an Assistant, speak with those who are already Assistants to get their impression of their role. If you then want to be considered send an email to

     The Committee will make placement moves or non moves based on the names provided by the Assistants, again these names are obtained from their peers. The Committee will utilize the totality of information available to ensure members are participating in the group that best fits their ability and comfort level. 

     Brand new members to the club are constantly being assessed on Sundays starting at 1:00 on court 1 (if you didn’t self assess to Tempe, Chandler or Mesa). This will place them into a group based on any information they can provide including DUPR and UTPR ratings. They are observed playing other members who have been placed in a skill group for comparison and will also carry out some drills to assess various skills. This practice will continue throughout the season as new members join our club. 

     We anticipate additional player placement during this pickleball season which we hope provides a better experience for our membership. Again this is a pilot project so suggestions, recommendations and submitting your name for consideration to participate as an Assistant are strongly encouraged. This correspondence can be made utilizing the 

VO Pickleball Placement Committee

Jim Fleming

Tracy Franklin

Emily Hauck

Greg Smith

Karen Smith

Marty Stoner