Under the lights
Thursday, August 29, 2019
The city of Ann Arbor gave our pickleball group permission to mark out pickleball courts on the tennis courts at Veterans Park on the city's west side. Now, when there are already two real sets of six permanent outdoor pickleball courts available in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area (Leslie Park in AA, Ford Lake Park in Ypsi), you might not think that's such a big deal. Except...Veterans Park has lights! As in, you can keep playing after dark!
Now, we haven't really ascertained whether it's permitted to stay in the park after, say 10 PM, because many city park have "open until dusk" type rules, and in the height of summer, when it would have been nice to have these courts, and those lights available, there's enough light on the western edge of the eastern time zone to keep playing until well after 9 PM anyway. So perhaps there's not that much utility in having this new place where we can play late, except for the nice days in April/May or September/October. But on the other hand, it's always nice to have more places to play, since the sport is still in the up and coming phase. Like I always lament, the Spark People web site has yet to see fit to add pickleball as a item on their fitness tracker, though it has been one of the fastest growing sports in term of new players coming on board over the past decade, perhaps especially among senior citizen types.
Anyway, we went out there tonight to see how things were under the lights. And they were...mostly fine. The tennis courts are at the top of a hill, with softball and baseball diamonds in the area below, so the lights for the diamonds were kind of at eye level for the courts, and made it a bit difficult to see from one side. The stiff breeze added to the challenge, so despite switching sides halfway through the games, most games were won by the team who ended up on one particular side at the end. But that's the way it goes outdoors sometimes. Gotta play the elements you're dealt!
I was impressed by how quickly the lights came on, for what it's worth. Back when I played tennis, I got to play under outdoor lights occasionally, and if I'm remembering correctly, there was always a lag between when you pushed a button, and when the lights got bright enough to be useful. I also recall having to pay for lights, a buck an hour, in quarters, at the place I'm thinking about, and the Veterans Park lights were free, in addition to being technologically advanced. Perhaps I'm just easily amused and or impressed, but it's the little things that get you through the day, y'know?
And when you play late at night, the end of the day comes quicker...g'night!