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Pickleball Prohibited at Emmalani Park as of 12/1/23
PHCA board has approved a resolution to prohibit pickleball at Emmalani Park as of 12/1/23
Despite VERY strong support and input from the Princeville community (players and non players) to keep pickleball play at Emmalani Park, the board approved a resolution prohibiting this sport at the only public PHCA courts during a "special" board meeting on October 19, 2023. The resolution, still unpublished (aside from the draft version that appeared in the meeting packet one week prior to the meeting), can only be found by PHCA members after logging onto https://engage.goenumerate.com/s/phca/home.php and searching through many links.
Pickleball has been played at Emmalani Park since 2015. Court improvements for pickleball were funded twice (2016 and 2022) by PHCA and pickleball play was promoted on their website until the recent change over to the Enumerate Engage site. During the winter of 2021-22, the deteriorated courts underwent the second, more durable, refurbishment with materials paid for by PHCA and with ALL labor (approximately 700 hours) provided by pickleball players. About 9 months after the project was done, a petition with 18 (undisclosed) signatures alleging pickleball play now violated the Noise Nuisance clause in the community rules (see section 20 PHCA-Community Rules) was submitted to the PHCA. This was countered with a petition in SUPPORT of pickleball play at Emmalani Park and returned to PHCA with over 235 verified, public signatures of homeowners and residents of Princeville. PHCA management conducted separate meetings with representatives of the neighbors wishing to prohibit pickleball and those who supported pickleball play, although there was minimal effort by PHCA to mediate a direct compromise between players and neighbors (some of whom purchased their properties knowing pickleball was played at the park). My requests to confirm that PHCA did not attempt any physical sound meditation measures, remain unanswered. To my knowledge, there were no independent, objective and scientific sound studies conducted. We all agree that the courts were overused during the height of COVID restrictions, which resulted in conflict among the pickleball players and, I would imagine, the nearby neighbors. Over several years, pickleball players were harassed at the park and blamed for actions they did not commit. An assortment of "quiet" balls and a paddle were tested by pickleball players in efforts to reduce the noise after learning of the neighbor’s complaint.
In Sept. of 2022, a set of restrictions (determined by Maylette with input from the anti-pickleball neighbors close to the park) that limited pickleball play, went into effect. On 12/11/22, even more severe restrictions were placed on pickleball play. These rules cut available court time to less than 20% of what was originally available and resulted in pickleball being played at the park only about 10 hours a week (on average) since then. A few months ago, I asked a park neighbor (whose husband had been vehemently opposed to pickleball) if the neighbors were satisfied with the noise level from the current restricted pickleball play. She answered, yes, they were satisfied. So as players, we were stunned by the appearance of this resolution a week before the special board meeting. Apparently this action was generated by a letter (publicly unavailable) with a single signature purporting to represent “the neighbors” (unnamed). It doesn't appear that PHCA has done any follow up with the 18 folks who signed the initial petition over a year ago, to get their current opinions of the noise level of pickleball play now.
The bottom line is that the board and PHCA were threatened with legal action if they did not prohibit pickleball. The board relied on research from other communities (but no objective data from Emmalani Park) and the threat of being sued by a very few (still undisclosed) residents, to judge a sport that has been played at a recreational park for more than 8 years, a nuisance noise and "alleged interference with the quiet enjoyment of their homes". Thus resulting in prohibition of pickleball as of 12/1/23, at the only public courts in Princeville.
Further comments can be viewed on NextDoor under posts by Cathleen Haggerty.
4752 Emmalani Dr.
Pickleball is growing in popularity throughout the world. It has connected cultures and players with one common love for pickleball. Our Lihue Pickleball Ohana recently went to spread the aloha spirit and love for the game with several community of players in Japan. They were introduced to the game by Daniel Moore who is an accomplished player with USA Pickleball. We met players from different clubs throughout the Nagano prefecture. They were so humble and gracious. We enjoyed playing with them in their beautiful indoor courts. We spent 10 days on the road touring the country with Daniel and Randy Coleman who has medaled in many USAPA tournaments. They were great coaches who provided us with invaluable insight on how to hone our pickleball skills. We hiked, played pickleball, toured, shopped and shared so many delicious meals together. It was an amazing journey!
HANAPEPE pickleball group held their 1st “HANAPEPE FUN TOURNAMENT”, on 3/17/23 Friday. Players were encouraged to wear something green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Information for this fun tournament was sent out to regular Hanapepe pickleball players. It was a free tournament that included prizes, snacks, lunch and lots of FUN for all. Everyone helped out with putting up/taking down nets, tents, etc. 43 players were grouped into either 5 or 6 players, with round robin play involving a new partner for each round. Ages and skill levels were taken into consideration for each group. There were 8 pickleball courts available. Tournament players could stay on the same courts during play, rest, and during their turn at “bye”. Mahalo players and sponsors for making this tournament successful and fun!
KEKAHA FAMILY FUN DAY, a Play Streets Event
Kekaha Family Fun Day, a Play Streets Event, was held on Saturday, July 2nd, 2022. E Ola Mau Na Leo O Kekaha invited the Kauai community, residents and visitors alike, to a day of fun which included opportunities to try physical activities that many may not normally do or participate in. (Per the Garden Island, dated July 16, 2022, “Play Streets refers to the temporary closure of streets for a short time to create a safe, publicly accessible space for children and their families to engage in active play.”)
Play Streets activities included: pickleball, skateboarding, ninja obstacle course, fishing clinic with throw-net, basketball, and free play with bubbles, chalk, hula hoops, jumping rope, etc. Among others, there were food booths, children rides, music, and more.
Pickleball Association Kauai (PAK) was invited to introduce and share pickleball at this event. We were blessed to have the many volunteers who assisted with, and all the loaner equipment that were made available to, the hundreds of participants who stopped by. Both children and parents alike got to try out and enjoy pickleball that day. We saw a lot of excitement in the children and adults who passed through. Volunteers got pumped up with the challenge of encouraging children and interested adults, and showing them how to properly hold the pickleball paddles and to hit the pickleballs. At the end of the day, our volunteers were elated to declare that our pickleball event was successful. We were tired, but thrilled, that the community’s exposure to pickleball, had exceeded our expectations.
Mahalo to our volunteers, in no particular order: Jack Hodges, Stephanie Sunn, Nolan Ahn, Laurie Yoshida, Carol Surratt, Darrel Jaggers, Bruce Malley, Marcia Buenafe, Edrien Vaatete, Rachel Chadwick, Judy Honda, Judy Miyashiro, Patrick Kaneshiro, Julie Alvarez, Rosemary Smythe, and Lucia Bartels. Also, mahalo to the following people/groups who shared their pickleball equipment: Brant Fuchigami, Lanice Pullano, Edrien Vaatete, Kauai Christian Fellowship, and Hanapepe/Kekaha Pickleball.
Thank you County of Kauai!
We are moving in the right direction! The first dedicated public pickleball courts are coming to Koloa. PAK is grateful for the work of all the County employees and elected officials who made this break-through facility possible. We appreciate the opportunity they gave us to provide design input into these courts. We are hopeful that this will be the genesis of many more venues throughout Kauai.
Waimea Senior Pickleball Tournament
Judy Honda, Melanie Okamoto, Sandy Lew, Loutoa Zoller
Bob Day, Len Tyler, Jimmy Honda
Gary McGuire, Craig Watanabe, Phil Baclayon, Keleo Perez
Pete Lavorato, Ramona Franco, Stephanie Sunn, Jack Hodges, Nolan Ahn
Nolan Ahn with Carol Mackey (missing from Mixed Doubles Photo)
Tournament Play and Spectators
Students and Faculty mentors
Waimea Town’s first senior pickleball tournament held Saturday, April 2, 2022 flirted with rain (outdoors at the Waimea High School tennis courts) and was finally moved indoors to the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center. It was a huge success.
The one day tournament was comprised of three divisions: Women’s Doubles, Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles and two senior brackets (60-69 and 70+) for each division.
The day’s medal winners were:
Women’s Doubles 60-69: Gold - Sande Lew/Loutoa Zoller; Silver - Judy Honda/Melanie Okamoto.
Men’s Doubles 60-69: Gold - Phil Baclayon/Kaleo Perez; Silver - Craig Watanabe/Gary McGuire. Men’s 70+: Gold - Bob Day/Len Tyler
Mixed Doubles 60-69: Gold - Ramona Franco/Pete Lavorato; Mixed 70+: Gold - Stephanie Sunn/Jack Hodges; Silver - Carol Mackey/Nolan Ahn
The tournament was comprised of local players from Kekaha, Waimea, Kaumakani, Hanapepe, Eleele, Kalaheo, Lawai, Lihue, Kilauea and Princeville.
Players and spectators would like to thank the Waimea High School Computer Club and faculty mentors Joyce Evens and Ryan Kakuda for putting together this tournament. The computer group received a grant from GEER (Governors Emergency Education Relief) Funds. The funds nationwide went to educational organizations who then chose to give back to people within their communities directly affected by COVID-19. The computer club chose Kaua’i’s senior citizens. Pickleball has injected (pun indirectly intended) camaraderie, exercise, laughing, competition and newfound health into the daily lives of our senior citizens.
We are thrilled to report that four Kauai picklers have won their brackets at the April 2022 Mountain Diamond Tournament. With a field of 767 players, the Mixed Doubles teams of Rumi Masumura/Brant Fuchigami and Kimi Masumura/Talon Abat won Gold in their respective divisions. Masumura/Fuchigami dominated their first three matches, then lost to the other finalist team. Advancing from the losers’ bracket, they again met them in the finals, where they won a tough match 11-9, 6-11, and 12-10. A playoff match with the previously undefeated team was played to decide the winners, with our homies winning a squeaker 15-12 for the GOLD! Our Mixed Doubles team of Masumura/Abat went undefeated over four matches to clinch the GOLD in their 3.5:19+ bracket.
Fuchigami and Abat teamed up the next day for Men’s Doubles, but were eliminated without medaling. The sisters Rumi and Kimi Masumura teamed up for Women’s Doubles and clinched the SILVER against the undefeated winning team.
We are truly making a mark in Tournament Pickleball on Kauai! Congratulations to our local champions! Of course, we have to brag a little about Rumi, who serves as a Director of PAK, and is chairing our first PAK 2022 Open Tournament in May. It will be a great one!
2022 Valentines Pickleball Scramble at Hanapepe Tennis Courts
Aloha PAK Readers. Our Hanapepe pickleball ohana enjoyed a “FUN” 2022 Pickleball Valentine Scramble on 2/11/22, Friday. The Kauai Ho’ohui ‘o Recreation (A Proud Sponsor of Pickleball) and the County of Kaua’i Department of Parks and Recreation held this event for our players at the Hanapepe Tennis Courts. Melanie Okamoto, with the assistance of other Kauai county staff members Chad Koga and James Kealalio, planned this smooth running tournament. Sisters Kimi and Rumi Masumura and our Hanapepe ohana volunteers helped as needed. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day. A slight cloud cover kept the sun from making the day too hot, and a nice breeze broke up any humidity. There were door prizes for everyone, 1st place medals with $50 Kalaheo Gift Certificates (donated by Eddie Beetschen) for four individual winners, and an onolicious bento for all participants. Incredibly, this Valentine Scramble was free to our Hanapepe pickleball players. The hope is that our players, having gotten their feet wet at this fun tournament, will be encouraged to enter future pickleball tournaments. The 1st Place “Mea Lanakila” (Winners) were: Terry Heflin, Ed Geall, Marsha Russo, and Lucia Bartels.
Kauai Pickleball Players Medal in Maui
Congratulations to our Kauai pickleball players that medaled at the Maui Pukaball Tournament held at the Wailea Tennis Club January 7-9!!
> 3.0 65+ Mens Singles | Philip Baclayon
> 3.5 All Ages Womens Singles | Stefanie Cannon
> 3.5 50-59 Womens Doubles | Loutoa Zoller and Trina Denson
> 3.5 50-64 Mens Singles | Jules Cannon
> 3.5 35-49 Mixed Doubles | Loutoa Zoller and Vivek Nautiyal
> 3.5 50-59 Mixed Doubles | Philip Baclayon and Trina Denson
OUR OWN JULIET PETERS WINS NATIONALS GOLD
Representing Kilauea Pickleball, our PAK Board member Juliet Peters and her sister Suzanne Deardorff have won gold medals at the 2021 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships. The tournament was the largest ever pickleball tournament with 2,233 registered players who paid a $140 registration fee plus event fees and qualified throughout the year. It was held at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Palm Springs, California. There are 48 dedicated pickleball courts at the facility. The tournament was run by Pickleball Tournaments, whose state of the art systems allow for near-live results of all matches and can turn the courts in 30 seconds after a match. The tournament was held from December 6-14, 2021.
Playing in the Women’s Doubles 3.5:55+ Bracket, the sisters handily won their first three matches in two games. Their fourth match required a comeback from a first game loss, but they prevailed 7-11, 11-7, 11-5, advancing from the winners bracket to the gold medal match. Playing the team of Deanna Meredith and Lorraine Dolan from the loser’s bracket, they lost the match 9-11, 7-11 forcing a one game to 15 playoff. In a thrilling, hard fought game, they prevailed 15-13 and were awarded the gold medals.
Later in the tournament, Juliet paired with Rumi Masumura in the Women’s Doubles 3.5:35+ bracket. They did well, and finished just outside of the medals, losing to the eventual silver and gold medalists in double elimination. Suzanne paired with Kimi Masumura in the Women’s Doubles 3.5:19+ and also finished just outside of the medals, losing to the eventual bronze and gold winners.
We are so proud of our fine athletes, and we look forward to more PAK members bringing in the hardware from tournaments.