Saying improvements could be made to reservation and waitlist systems, parks officials say they’re trying to figure out how to ensure the platform tennis courts at Waveny are getting full use. As it is, those reserving the “paddle tennis” courts may cancel up to four hours before their scheduled slot—a deadline the town changed from 12 hours at the request of the players themselves, according to Recreation Director Steve Benko. Yet even if an auto-notification system alerted others on a waitlist about a newly available court, it’s difficult to pull together four players on a few hours’ notice, Benko told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission at their most recent meeting.
“The hardest thing is that paddle is a doubles game, not a singles game,” Benko said during the April 10 meeting, held at Town Hall. “Very few people play singles paddle.”
Commissioner Francesca Segalas said that with the online reservation system now in place, “cancellations and waitlist were two issues that really are not working well,” and that those players who have demonstrated “a cancellation habit” cannot be tracked.
Commissioner Carl Mason asked what Parks & Rec would seek to do in terms of its policy if it was able to identify “repeat offenders” who tend to cancel at the last minute. Benko said the town’s policy has been that a warning is issued the first time, a three-day penalty (where players cannot make a reservation) is imposed after a second, a week-long penalty after a third offense and “then you are done” if it happens a fourth time.