Beginner Frequently Asked Questions
What is Pickleball Lincoln Inc. and why should I join? Pickleball Lincoln Inc. (PLI) is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to foster the growth of a unique, inclusive community, focused on fun, fitness, and friendship. Pickleball court locations in Lincoln were made possible by the work of PLI. If you play pickleball in Lincoln Nebraska, you are already benefitting from the work of PLI. Tournaments, open play, round robins and so much more are organized by PLI. We are the main source for everything related to the sport of Pickleball in Lincoln, Nebraska. The main benefits of PLI membership are: •One FREE 1.5-hour lesson for new PLI members. •Access to portable nets and first aid kits at city park locations. •Lessons, round robins, skills & drills, tournaments. •Many volunteer opportunities. •Your membership fees and donations are 100% dedicated to court and equipment maintenance as well as new court construction
What is Open Play or Drop-In Play? This type of play is loosely self-organized by the players themselves. Players arrive and leave the court venue as they wish. When four players are done with a game on a particular court, those waiting should be invited to play on the same court. Players self-organize so that all have an opportunity to participate. Being respectful, friendly, and allowing all to participate is the key to making this type of play work.
What is Round Robin (RR) Play? Round robin play differs from open/drop-in play in several respects. •There is a coordinator who organizes play and runs the RR event. •Games are played until there is a winning side or until time expires (usually 12-13 minutes). A full RR session typically lasts about two hours. •After each game, players switch courts, partners and opponents based on how the RR coordinator has set things up. •With this type of play, it is important that players sign up and if necessary, remove their names from the sign-up list if they are unable to attend (see the "What is Playtime Scheduler" FAQ). Players do need to arrive 10-15 minutes early to help set up nets and warm up so that play can proceed at the scheduled time. If one person is late, it can delay the start of play for other participants.
What is Playtime Scheduler? Playtime Scheduler (PTS) is a website used by the Lincoln Pickleball community to organize and schedule recreational play. PTS can be accessed by any common web browser (i.e., Chrome, Safari, etc.) on a desktop, smart phone or tablet. A basic PTS account is free, and you can sign up for one here: www.playtimescheduler.com. When you register, you should assign yourself a rating so others can see your level of experience. A 2.0 rating is appropriate for beginners.
How do I find opportunities to play with other beginners? The best way is to create an account for yourself on Playtime Scheduler (www.playtimescheduler.com). See the "What is Playtime Scheduler" FAQ if you are not familiar with this application. Once you have an account, you will see a number of small circles, each of which represents a particular event (open play, round robin, group lessons, etc.). Within each circle there is a skill rating range associated with the play event. As a beginner you should look for events having a skill rating from 2.0 to 2.75. If you are at a desktop computer, you can hover your mouse over the event for a short description and location. If you click on a circle, you will see an pop-up dialog box with more information and a registration button at the bottom. You will also be able to see a listing of players who have already registered along with their self-reported skill level. This is a good way to see if the event is appropriate to your experience. During spring-summer-fall seasons, Playtime Scheduler has daily drop-in play events listed at Peterson Park, but you are welcome to show up at any time to see if there are other people to play with (See "How does a beginner play at Peterson Park" FAQ). During winter, Playtime Scheduler has weekday morning drop-in play listed at Speedway Motors and some city recreation centers (See "How does a beginner play at Speedway Motors" FAQ). You can always organize a get-together with other beginners you may know personally at Peterson Park or any city satellite court. Available times and venues are listed on PLI's website. Satellite courts do use portable nets that you will have to set up and take down. Please contact Pickleball Lincoln at email@example.com if you need a quick lesson on how to set up and take down portable nets or need additional information on satellite court play.
How does a beginner play at Peterson Park? Peterson Park in South Lincoln has ten (10) permanent outdoor Pickleball courts dedicated to open play / drop-in play in the Spring-Summer-Fall seasons (See "What is Open Play or Drop-In Play" FAQ). It can be intimidating for beginners who show up to play and don't know where they fit in skill-wise and what type of play etiquette is used. Do not fret! Pickleball Lincoln Inc. has worked hard to foster an inclusive, welcoming, and friendly culture among our members, and we are sure you will have a good experience and meet new friends. In general, the six (6) west courts are for intermediate to advanced players. This isn't a strict or enforced rule but as a beginner, we suggest starting on one of the four (4) east courts. If you are by yourself and the courts are full, pick a court you would like to play on by placing your paddle in one of the paddle holders mounted on the fence adjacent to the court. When the current game is over, the correct etiquette is that the current players come off the court to see if there are any paddles in the holders. The owners of those paddles should get to play next. It may be that you are the only one waiting at that court. In that case, three of the current players would go back on the court and you would partner up with one of them. Introduce yourself! Tell the other players you are a beginner and just learning the game. Ask the names of the other players and then enjoy your game.
How does a beginner play at Speedway Motors? Speedway Motors in southwest Lincoln is a privately owned indoor facility and is used by Pickleball Lincoln, Inc. (PLI) for drop-in and Round Robin play during winter months. We are able to use the facility between the hours of 7:30AM – 2:00PM on weekdays. The indoor gym space allocated to PLI is set up for dual use as basketball and pickleball. When used for pickleball, there are potentially 18 usable courts! The cost to play for PLI members is currently $5 per session or $35 per month and these costs go directly to Speedway Motors. It can be intimidating for beginners who show up to play and don't know where they fit in skill-wise and what type of play etiquette is used. Do not fret! Pickleball Lincoln Inc. has worked hard to foster an inclusive, welcoming, and friendly culture among our members, and we are sure you will have a good experience and meet new friends. Even better, PLI volunteer coordinators are present during scheduled play time to take court fees, answer questions, and to make sure things run smoothly. Intermediate to advanced players typically play on the courts located in the south bay. As a beginner, we suggest starting on one of the courts in the middle bay. If all courts are full, stand along the wall where the bleachers are located and wait for a game to end. When the current game is over, the correct etiquette is that the current players come off the court to see if there are any players waiting to play so that they have a turn. Introduce yourself! Tell the other players you are a beginner and just learning the game. Ask the names of the other players and then enjoy your game. If you have any questions, please speak to one of the volunteer coordinators. Since the pickleball courts at Speedway Motors are not permanent, players set up / tear down nets and cardboard court dividers during play sessions based on the number of players at any given time. If you show up with a friend or two and there are courts available but no nets or cardboard, feel free to set things up and start playing. If it’s your first time setting up, please see a volunteer coordinator who can give you a quick lesson on how the nets and cardboard work.