Paint two tennis courts with Pickleball shadow lines at Kailua District Park

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Pickleball is a paddle sport played on a badminton sized court over a net that looks much like a tennis net but is slightly shorter at 34".  Two Pickleball courts can be set up on one tennis court.  The game is usually played with 2 players per side, meaning that one tennis court can provide a pickleball opportunity for 8 players.

Pickleball (PB) is a game for all ages, but is most popular among people over 50. It is the most rapid growing sport in the US, growing at 12.3% last year with over 2.8 million players. It is easy to learn, relatively inexpensive, and quickly engages a new player. It is characterized by an extraordinarily social nature, and serves a valuable role in bringing diverse community members together in the enjoyment of a common pursuit.

Our mailing list for Kailua Pickleball currently has over 200 participants, and it is growing weekly as new players show up for the free intro and skills training clinics run at Kailua District Park courts each Monday night.

Kailua's pickleball community has grown rapidly over the past few years, and players are commonly using the Kailua District Park (KDP) Tennis Courts and setting up temporary courts using string and tape for temporary line markings.

Approximately 30+ players show up for organized play each Monday and Wednesday nights - and occupy two tennis courts during this period. Many groups of four also come for further play on all other days of the week, and it is increasingly rare not to see a foursome playing on courts at the KDP each and every day.

The setup and takedown of temporary court takes about 10-15 minutes on either end of play.  In order to mark court lines, players use masonry string and duct tape, as well as their personally owned pickleball nets. As consistent and active players, the need to create and break down a court each time we play becomes tedious.

Many other locations, seeing the regular use of their courts for pickleball, paint medium dull blue "shadow lines" on existing tennis courts as a means to make the courts dual purpose. The difference in line colors allows players of each game to tune out the other set and play their games without interference. Diamond Head Tennis Club is one such Honolulu C&C facility that has done so.

Recently, the Kailua Pickleball community has been working with Honolulu Parks and Rec (HPR) to get lines painted on two tennis courts in Kailua District Park.  HPR Director Michelle Nekota agreed that there was a large community need, and directed that two Kailua District Park tennis courts be painted back in May, 2017. Initially, there were budgetary objections by KDP, but when the PB community offered to pay for the lines, the HPR relented and said that they actually did have money in their budget.

Since then, the leadership at Kailua District Park, dismayed by protests of a small group of tennis players, has delayed the action and attempted to produce alternative court location solutions that are unacceptable due to safety considerations or usage periods permitted to other activities.

The Kailua Tennis Courts serve the whole community, not just tennis players. There are 8 courts, and it is incredibly rare for all courts to be occupied. We are asking to SHARE 2 of 8 available courts. We respect and support the needs of the tennis community to have access to play a sport they love, and we feel we deserve the same respect in return.

At this time, the signatories of this petition represent Kailua community members who want Kailua District Park to support Pickleball and paint shadow lines so that players don't have to create and break down courts each time. We are taxpayers too, and we want our community to support this healthy activity, especially for seniors.

The signatories want the HPR to paint pickleball lines on two adjacent tennis courts that are enclosed by a fence. This means Courts 1&2 or 3&4 are both acceptable alternatives.

To date, we have 131 signatures on a paper petition by players who come to Kailua. We have 520 members of our Oahu Pickleball Meetup app.  Let's get at least 200 players to sign on to this request for painted lines at Kailua District Park Courts 1&2 or 3&4.



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