It’s so not a surprise that the league devoted to the signature Boomer sport would set the most asinine policy possible on vaccinations.
National Championships Vaccination Statement, USA Pickleball
Not surprisingly, we have been receiving a great deal of feedback, both positive and negative, about the requirement that all participants in this year’s National Championships be vaccinated to enter the Indian Wells Tennis Garden (IWTG). While many people have applauded the decision, others are troubled by it because they are not and will not get vaccinated. Accordingly, I would like to give you some background on the situation and respond to the statements, questions and suggestions we have seen on social media and received via email over the past 3 days.
First, it needs to be reinforced that the decision to require vaccinations to enter the venue was made solely by IWTG ownership and management and it applies to all events. Second, we did not have any input in the conversation and were not informed of the decision until last week. Any claims being made on social media or elsewhere that we have known of this situation for a long time and withheld this information are totally false.
We realize that this decision will prevent some of our members from participating in this year’s Nationals, not only as players but perhaps as fans, volunteers, and referees. We understand that many of you have made plans to attend which will need to be changed. This is certainly troubling to us but we fully respect IWTG’s right to establish the rules and protocols for their venue. They have been a good partner to us, and we know this decision was difficult for them. Keep in mind that the vaccination requirement goes well beyond just our National Championships as it pertains to all events at the facility, including the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament in October, an event much larger in every aspect than ours. We know that IWTG management, along with its health advisors, feels it is doing the right thing to protect the people at the venue, particularly given concerns about the Delta variant of COVID 19 that is starting to emerge in California. It is hard to argue against protecting public safety.
Provided below are responses to some of the questions and suggestions we have received.
We have received an inquiry about refunds on membership dues. Decisions regarding the IWTG vaccine policy are not associated with USA Pickleball membership, and as posted over the years, we do have a no refund policy. Please remember that membership supports the sport of Pickleball for everyone, be it recreational or tournament players, including all programs, governance, and related rules and standards.
The inevitable next statement, in which they lament the financial problems caused by all of the missing players, fans, volunteers, and referees, should be amusing.
Spacebunny and I were hit with a similarly stupid “no-refund” policy from our former gym. First they shut down for a few months, then they told us that we couldn’t work out there if we wouldn’t wear masks while we were working out. Then they sent us bills for our “overdue” membership payments.
I paid them for the last time and bought an Olympic bar, a bench, and got the exercise bike out of storage; I’m now in better shape than I’ve been in years. Based on what I’ve heard from the people who still work out there, we’re far from the only former members who have left, so it won’t be even a little bit surprising when the location is suddenly closed.