If you are a regular SWOT player (or want to be!) PLEASE READ, in its entirety, the following information regarding Dues, RSVPs, the Waiting Lists and expectations for participation:
**PLEASE NOTE: Paramount to any of these guidelines, we expect ALL SWOTTERS to ALWAYS be respectful and courteous to EVERYONE on the courts around them, to be mindful of proper tennis etiquette and to ALWAYS bring a positive attitude to our events... remember, we are a social tennis group - it's all about having FUN! Thank You! :)
I. ANNUAL DUES
In order to keep things simple, affordable and fair for all of our members, the 2011 SWOT membership dues (like last year) only need to be paid by "active" members. Many in our group, for a variety of reasons, just can't make it to the courts with us on a regular basis... We continue to welcome you as SWOTTERS, hope that one day soon you'll join us and you DO NOT need to pay the Biannual dues (unless, of course, you start playing with us regularly!) For those of our regular players, in an effort to make it more fair and to keep costs reasonable, we've split the dues up (only $5) on a biannual basis. Most of you know that there are quite a few expenses involved in keeping the "SWOT machine" running smoothly, including the maintenance of the SWOT websites and the obvious costs for the courts, balls and water (Yes, over $1400 was spent last year on your cold bottled waters and Propels, which does not include the time and effort to purchase, refrigerate and cart 70-80+ bottles a week to the courts!) Please note that Lake Cane's Friday night Round Robin charges the same $6/person/event (WITHOUT providing refreshments!) It should also be noted that last year I easily spent 400-500 HOURS, in addition to court time, working on SWOT related activities, and intend to continue putting in as much time as I can afford to make sure our little tennis group improves on a daily basis! (Obviously, if any of our affluent members care to donate, sponsor or contribute in a larger denomination... we wouldn't be opposed and assure you that it would not go unnoticed!!) :-)
II. RSVP's and THE WAITING LISTS
SWOT, as a Meetup group, is quite unique, in that we are a very large group, with a significantly sized active core, but due to the nature of our sport, we have an extremely limited number of playing spots per night, and we continue to “sell out” our playing nights well in advance, often leaving a considerable Waiting List of players who want to join us if a spot should open. (Our Wednesday Night sessions differ, as EVERYONE initially must add their name to the Waiting List before the playing roster is chosen by the Organizers!) I honestly spend at least 4-8+ hours a week EXCLUSIVELY on making sure the best possible playing rosters for our game nights are prepared (our regulars know what I’m talking about!) When a late cancellation (or no-show) causes us to arrive at the courts with 22-23 players vs. 24 (six FULL courts), much of our preparation for the night has been wasted, and we’re left with quite a few unhappy (even upset) SWOTTERS… We always find a way to still have a great time (with a singles or Australian doubles court), but those players who have habitually cancelled out late, or have been no-shows, will no longer be allowed to RSVP, “Yes.” They will be moved to the Waiting List, allowing our reliable regulars to fill the spots!
*ALL players on the Waiting List should email or call by the day before game night, to confirm that they can and still want to play or they may be removed from the Waiting List! In other words, make sure your RSVP, whether it is a “YES” or a “I’m on the Waiting List and want to play!” is correct or change it more than 24 hours before game time to a NO!! Obviously, there are exceptions for emergencies… with a note from your doctor or boss! ;-)
*Our One Strike Rule is simple, should you ignore this request once, it will be your last free pass!!
III. EXPECTATIONS FOR PARTICIPATION
Lastly, PARTICIPATION = Bonus Points! Those players who regularly join us, maintain a positive attitude on the court (win or lose!) and write a review of their night with the gang, will be considered preferentially over those who don’t, when choosing players from the Waiting List! Considering all the effort my Assistants and I put in to make sure Monday and Wednesday nights are maximized to their fun potential - it is not asking too much of our members to spend 2-3 minutes to write a few words sharing their thoughts on the night with everyone else! (If you've ever read our post-tennis reviews, you KNOW that they are usually quite entertaining, often hysterical, occasionally somber, but always sincere and much appreciated!!)
These Guidelines are most definitely NOT punishment for those few players who need to become a little more SWOT-responsible! Rather, they have been set to ensure that ALL of the players who regularly join us and enjoy our group with such great passion, are offered the best possible time!!
My Assistants and I thank everyone for their continued support of these measures! I promise to continue to do everything imaginable to keep SWOT growing and improving (with your help and input!)… and assure you that 2011 will be our biggest and best year!