Welcome!

GAME ON!

July 2, 2020

We have been busy the last few days getting everyone ready to start our abridged Summer 2020 season. Your response to our membership proposal has been fantastic and it is great to see so many familiar faces back at the club, together with many new ones. Now that things are stabilizing, we can dimension our organized play and will be ready to start next week. My appreciation to our volunteer captains who are figuring out next steps and who will schedule play for most of you this summer.

Before we get started, I want to reiterate a few important messages:

  1. We have been able to navigate a few weeks of play without any incidents under very stringent rules. We are now opening up access to our courts, but we cannot lower the guard. It is our collective responsibility to ensure the RHLTC remains a safe place for all its members to play. We all want to see the season through to the end of October. Please observe the 2020 playing rules, now posted on our website, and help enforce them by calling out anyone not following them, and keeping the club reserved for members by ensuring the tag board is used. I will send a second email with the rules to make sure everyone reads them.
  2. The rules include regulations for before, during, and after play. Familiarize yourselves with the use of tennis balls, change of courts and procedures entering and exiting the courts. Members who are not playing should not be in club premises. If you have to wait, do it outside of the club in the designated spots and wear a mask until you are on the court.
  3. Remember that we will not be opening the clubhouse this summer. Bring all the water you need from home. We expect the city washrooms to be open behind the club if necessary.
  4. Most of you picked up your tags yesterday. Thanks for that. Those who have not picked them up will receive them through their team captains.
  5. Organized play will start soon. Watch out for communication from the team captains in the coming days if you have not heard from them yet. It is very important that you respond to their request for availability to ensure we minimize disruptions and maximize everyone’s chances to play.

Take it easy as you get started so that you can make the most of the season.

Looking forward to great tennis matches.


Regards,  
David Garcia
President Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club


REGISTRATION REMINDER AND CLARIFICATIONS

June 26, 2020

It has barely been 2 days since we opened our registration for the summer membership and many of you have been quick to sign up. Thank you for that. However, we still need a few more to get the required size to run organized play at all levels. I know there are a few days left until the July 1st deadline, but I encourage you to register as soon as you can. If you do it by Saturday, there is a good chance that you will be playing as early as next week.

I would also like to take this opportunity to make a few clarifications. I have answered some of these questions individually, but there is a chance that many others have the same concerns.

1. Junior membership – In my previous note it was stated that Junior memberships were subject to a $10 non-resident fee. The fee only applies to Adult applications. The Summer 2020 Junior membership costs $30.

2. Socials vs. House League – We won’t be hosting Monday socials, as social events are not allowed under the current operating protocol. We invite anyone who has traditionally participated in evening socials to sign up to participate in the House League level. Indeed, any member, regardless of playing ability who is not playing on an evening Inter County team can join the House League level. We will strive to provide evenly matched play for all.

3. Organized Play – Similar to my previous comment on socials, we are not allowed to run leagues at this moment. We will organize players by level in teams to facilitate the match-up process and make the experience as fun as possible, but there won’t be a league per se.

4. Ladies and Mixed Over 55 Daytime – In the haste of organizing the new membership we forgot to include the option to sign up for Daytime matches (Ladies or Mixed Over 55). These two options have been added to the registration form and your profiles to select.

5. Drop-in Play – Some of you have inquired about the possibility of playing at your discretion. Drop-in play will be possible among club members when courts are available. We will provide access from 7 AM to 11 PM and use the tag board system to manage court time. This is no different from previous years, with the only caveat that only club members will be allowed, and we will ask members to respect the guidelines for safe play and facilities use.

Lastly, if you want to make any change to the selections you have previously made in the registration process, you can always go to your profile and indicate your new preferences before we start play next week.

Once again, if you are interested in the organized play, help us get organized by registering as soon as you can. No pun intended.

Regards,  
David Garcia
President Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club


SUMMER 2020 REGISTRATION NOW OPEN!

June 24, 2020

Thank you to all of you who have provided feedback to our question last week on preferred membership method for the rest of the summer. Based on your response we are introducing a flat membership fee starting July 1st. The pay-per-use system remains in place until then.

We have created two specific membership levels to accommodate our special circumstances this season: Summer 2020 Adult ($60) and Summer 2020 Junior ($30), both subject to a $10 fee surcharge for non-residents as usual. The membership will give you unlimited access to the courts (subject to availability) and the opportunity to participate in our organized activities (Inter County level matches, House League level matches, and ladders) without any additional cost. Anyone willing to participate in organized activities must sign up by July 1st. The Free Temporary Membership will become void after that date.

Note that none of these activities will be set up as a social gathering. Volunteers will organize matchups following the traditional weekday schedule for Inter County and House League and only players on the court will be allowed at the club. As much as we want to expand the playing opportunities for all, it is important that we continue to observe the safety guidelines to protect the health of all our members and the ability to keep the club open throughout the summer. Look out for further communications on operating procedures and guidelines as we enter this new phase of our 2020 season.

Please click here to access your profile and change your membership to Summer 2020. Follow the instructions on the page. Only online applications are accepted, and membership will not become active until payment is received. There are three mandatory fields that you will need to fill in or check:

1. Read the updated Terms and Conditions to reflect the most recent changes and sign off on them.

2. Indicate which organized activity you would like to participate in this summer (state as well if you are not interested in any).

3. Indicate if you want your name to be listed in the “Find a Player” directory. This functionality has been missing by many and we are revamping it on the website.

If you have traditionally held a “Family” membership and have created a “Free Temporary” membership with an alternative email address, please continue to use the alternative account for “Summer 2020” membership. We will look at reintroducing family bundles next year.

Don't wait! Remember the July 1st deadline to sign up for our organized activities. For the sessions to start promptly we need to have groups organized next week.

Thanks again for your collaboration in making this a smooth transition.

Regards,  
David Garcia
President Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club



DOUBLES PLAY IS BACK!!!

June 19, 2020

I am pleased to inform that with the recent announcement of the York Region moving to Stage 2 the City of Richmond Hill has given us the green light to play doubles and to have 4 participants plus a coach per court for tennis clinics and lessons.

This is great news as this was the last big obstacle for many of us to enjoy the tennis we are used to. However, it does not mean that we are completely back to normal. The distancing and hygiene guidelines remain in place, as well as the recommendations for safe play. In addition, the club will continue to be restricted to members only during the summer.

The board is hoping to introduce a reduced all-in flat membership fee for the rest of the summer, which would allow us make all our usual playing hours available including day time hours and introduce regular weekly organized internal friendly team based competitive play among club members of similar levels, as well as some tournaments and ladder play. If you are a past Inter-county player, you will most likely be placed on the same teams as you have played on in the past. We will also offer a house league for non-Inter-county players. All activities will take place at the club premises.

The membership for July 1st to October 31st would be offered at a reduced rate of $60 per adult member and $30 per junior member. We need to ensure though, that we have a minimum number of members to make this solution financially viable. Otherwise, we would be forced to continue with the pay-per-use system. Please click here to let us know if you intend to join. The deadline for notifying us so we can determine if we can go ahead with offering membership is Sunday June 21st. It is very important that you let us know if you plan to join this season, so we have an accurate count in order to make the correct decision.

For those of you who have joined us this summer and enjoyed play through court booking, this will be an opportunity to keep playing as access will be restricted to members, with no court fees and the chance to join our organized programs.

While we determine if we are able to offer a flat rate membership, court bookings will be open to pay-per-use doubles beginning this Saturday. If you intend to book for doubles play, two players will have to pay for the court the same way you do today for singles and indicate in the registration who your doubles partner will be, rather than who your opponent is. The cost of the court will still be a total of $10 per hour until a flat rate membership is implemented for either doubles or singles. Two members will each pay $5 for one hour and you can either book a second hour where the other 2 members pay or you can work out the cost among yourselves. Our system will not allow 4 players to each pay $2.50 at this time. It is mandatory that all players are temporary members and have signed the terms and conditions of play, even if they are not the ones booking directly. The monitors will validate that all players are temporary members before granting access to the courts.

Group lessons will likely begin in the first or second week of July. If you are interested in signing up for a set of lessons or individual clinics, please refer to the main page of our website for the contact details for our coaches.

Stay tuned for an update early next week. Please indicate your if you intend to purchase a membership by end of day on Sunday June 21st, so that we can firmly move on with the best decision for all.

Thank you for your patience as we navigate this difficult situation. Looking forward to seeing all of you on the courts soon.

Regards,

David Garcia

President Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club



CLUB UPDATE

June 10, 2020

I would like to provide a brief update on the latest developments as the situation is fluid and will continue to be in the upcoming weeks.

We remain in regular contact with the City, as well as other clubs and tennis organizations and are making decisions trying to strike a good balance between offering playing opportunities, doing it in safe manner, and ensuring the financial viability of our club. Safety is our number one priority and we are erring on the side of caution, not to the extent of many clubs in the GTA, who are choosing to remain closed this summer, but following the city protocols and exerting diligence in executing the established operating procedures.

I want to thank all of you who have chosen to play on our courts under the booking system for following the rules and helping keep our courts safe for all of us. We have a good take rate on the limited hours we can offer today and based on your feedback we are going to try additional booking times. Please visit our court booking page regularly to check available timeslots. The continuity of some of these will depend on how popular they are.

You may have noticed as well that we have recently installed the wind screens. Traditionally we have leveraged volunteers to put them up but given the difficulty to ensure physical distance for those involved, we have chosen to hire a family not subject to physical distance restrictions. I am sure that you will appreciate having them up.

One of the most frequently asked questions is when we will be able to play doubles. The City has not given us the green light to do it, despite being common occurrence on public courts, but they have signalled that it will happen if the incidence of COVID-19 cases in our region decreases. We will keep you posted on it.

On a related note, the board made the decision this week, in consultation with other clubs in our region, to decline the participation in Intercounty activities. The ICTA doesn’t have a firm plan for what the season would look like yet, but with many clubs closed, and many others choosing to not participate we felt that it was in our members’ best interest to avoid the traffic of players from other clubs. We will seek to fill in the void with alternatives that allow us to engage in friendly internal tennis competition. Stay tuned for more updates on this regard.

That’s everything for now. Let me know if you have any question.

Sincerely,

David Garcia

President Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club


ALL 6 COURTS AVAILABLE FOR SINGLES PLAY

June 2, 2020

It has only been a few days since we were able to open our courts under strict conditions and I am happy to see that many of you have completed the change to our temporary membership, started to book courts and followed the established guidelines.

We have run into a couple of glitches, weather being one our first day last Friday, but in general I believe the process is working well for those using our courts to play singles. In light of how quickly we adjusted to the new operation and how well you have followed the established procedures, we approached the City over the weekend and early this week they updated their protocols to give us the green light to accept bookings for single play on all six courts. Starting tomorrow we can have up to 12 players booked at any given time.

There is still an issue to be solved as we have seen public courts opening the last few days with significant less restrictions than the ones imposed on us. We have addressed the City of Richmond Hill demanding a rationale, as right now we are limited in our ability to provide value to our members. While we need to continue to exert diligence in enabling safe play for everyone, we need to ensure that we are not in a disadvantage when it comes to giving you quality playing opportunities.

We will keep working with the City and will update you on any progress we make, as well as how that may impact our fee structure, the ability to eventually play doubles, and any other activities that we might be able to organize.

In the meantime, please take advantage of the opportunity to book a court and play. We have now published the schedule through Sunday and will open additional spots if there is demand for them.

A couple of reminders before closing:

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any concern.

Sincerely,

David Garcia
President Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club


WE ARE OPEN ON MAY 29TH

May 27, 2020

Following up the update provided yesterday I’m glad to announce that our website is set for you to start the process of applying to Free Temporary Membership and book courts starting Friday May 29th.

As a reminder, we will be operating in a very different environment following the protocols established by the City of Richmond Hill and as such the use of the courts will be limited to members only, for singles play, with monitor supervision, and without access to the clubhouse.

In order for you to be able to book a court you need to apply for Free Temporary Membership. You just need to log in, change your current membership level to Free Temporary, and accept the terms and conditions. There are no charges associated with it. Please follow the instructions on the Website.

Once you have registered you can book your courts in the Court Booking page. Please read carefully the instructions and general guidelines available in the 2020 Operation page.

These are some of the main points you need to consider: Each player must sign up on their own. The fee for booking a court for 1 hour will be $5 per person ($10 for the court). Bookings and payments will be made online using our event reservation system. If courts cannot be used due to inclement weather, we will refund court fees. Courts cannot be cancelled for other reasons once booked.

Access to courts and play is subject to physical distancing and hygiene rules necessary to provide a safe environment for our members and monitors. It is imperative that we respect these rules so that we contribute to the control of the spread of the virus and enable us to move to less restrictive protocols as we reach stages 2 and 3 of the reopening plan.

Courts will be open from 7am to 11pm. As usual, there will be blocks of time booked for lessons, so please check our on-line calendar for court availability. We will start with offering courts at reduced times and continue to open up hours if there is demand for them.

Courts will be locked outside of the hours of operation. Members will need to wait for their court on marked spots outside of the gate. The clubhouse will remain closed at all times and accessible only by monitors. There will be no washroom or water facilities available at the court for any reason. Players should arrive at the courts before their scheduled time but not more than 10 minutes early and should leave immediately after play. There will be no spectators allowed inside the fence on club property.

It is not perfect but it gives us the chance to get back on the court. Hopefully there will be a progressive improvement in the number of active COVID-19 cases and we will enjoy more flexibility soon. We will keep you posted of any changes in our procedures.


Sicererly,  

David Garcia
President Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club



CLUB UPDATE

May 26, 2020

As you know, we have been in communication with the City of Richmond Hill to establish the conditions for the reopening of our tennis courts in a way that is safe given the restrictions imposed by the existing State of Emergency in the Province of Ontario. I am glad to communicate that the City is providing us access to the courts, but with a series of conditions established in the Safety Protocols for Tennis Clubs issued on May 20th. These conditions are specific to Stage 1 of the reopening plan and, while we expect that they will be softened over time, for the time being are very restrictive.

These provisions constrain our ability to offer the majority of our programs and will limit the use of the courts to members only, for singles play, with monitor supervision, and without access to the clubhouse. This changes the way we operate the club and as such we have decided that we will refund all membership fees paid so far for 2020 and institute a pay-per-use system to properly manage the increased cost of operation. There will be a free temporary membership that you will need to sign up for before booking courts, including a new waiver that you must acknowledge. The fee for booking a court for 1 hour will be $5 per person ($10 for the court). Bookings and payments will be made online using our event reservation system. If restrictions eased up this season and we were able to open our courts up to free walk-on play without constant supervision, we would offer a new membership fee structure.

Access to courts and play is subject to physical distancing and hygiene rules necessary to provide a safe environment for our members and monitors. It is imperative that we respect these rules so that we contribute to the control of the spread of the virus and enable us to move to less restrictive protocols as we reach stages 2 and 3 of the reopening plan.

We have been able to access the courts for the first time this evening and have put the nets up for alternate courts as requested by the City. Our junior program will start as early as tomorrow, and we expect to begin booking courts to play as of Friday May 29th.

Courts will be open from 7am to 11pm. As usual, there will be blocks of time booked for lessons, so please check our on-line calendar for court availability. We will start with offering courts at reduced times and continue to open up hours if there is demand for them.

We know this is very different to what we are used to, but given the circumstances, we are grateful to be able to play the game we all love once again.

Please watch out for another email from me before Friday with more details on how to sign up for free membership and how to book courts.


Sincerely,  

David Garcia
President Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club


CLUB UPDATE

May 16, 2020

I would like to provide an update on our discussions with the City of Richmond Hill after the announcement made by the Ontario Premier on Thursday May 14th.

Since then, the board has been in contact with tennis authorities and partner clubs to put together an operating plan compatible with the current state of emergency that would give the City confidence in our ability to play tennis in a way that is safe for everyone involved. The City of Richmond Hill, however, has decided to keep its park amenities closed for the time being while they evaluate the steps for a safe reopening, which involves not only tennis courts. For more information, read the Richmond Hill mayor's most recent press release.

We trust that by proactively offering a viable plan to the City we are helping them understand how a safe reopening could take place and increasing the chance of having players on the courts soon.

It will not be this Tuesday May 19th though, but hopefully soon after.

Once again, thanks for your patience. We will keep you posted via email and the COVID-19 update page in our website.

Regards,  
David Garcia
President Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club


CLUB UPDATE

May 14, 2020

Today the Ontario Premier has announced the progress to a new phase of reopening starting next week. Specifically, as it relates to our sport, it has been announced that playing tennis will be allowed after Tuesday May 19, although maintaining physical distance and subject to certain constraints. We have contacted the city to confirm access to the courts and are still awaiting confirmation on the details regarding the reopening.

Our intent is to put the nets up as soon as we can walk on the courts, with the windscreens following soon after. Additionally, the board is starting to design what types of activities would be possible within the existing regulations, so that we can enjoy playing tennis this summer in a safe manner.

Thank you for your patience and understanding until we can provide a more precise message. Stay tuned for further updates.

Regards,  
David Garcia
President Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club


COVID-19 UPDATE

April 5, 2020

It is not even a month since I wrote a letter like this to welcome you to the 2020 summer tennis season and list down all the dates for upcoming activities to get us going. Since then, there have been a lot of changes and we don’t know when we will be able to play again.

The board has been in close contact with the city, as well as the OTA and ICTA, and we are aware of the directions provided at all government levels with regards to social distancing and access to public facilities. This week we have learned that, at a minimum, our club will be closed until May 31st, which  means that we have formal confirmation that our season won’t start as planned. It is unfortunate, but considering the gravity of the situation, it is the right decision to make. We all hope that the efforts we are making as a society will help curb the infection rate of the disease, save lives, and bring us back to some level of normalcy sometime soon.

Please note that our tennis courts have been physically locked by the city and that we are not allowed to use them. By-law officers are monitoring the compliance with the city directives and offenders will be fined.

Even though we have a stated deadline for closures and restrictions, there is no certainty that we will be able to operate right away, so we will have to continue to monitor the situation and adjust our plans accordingly. We will keep you informed of any changes to the current directions and once we receive a green light to start our operation, we will engage you to start the season. Hopefully we can enjoy some playing time, even if it is shorter than we would like.

Once we know what type of season we are facing, we will inform you of the different ways to participate and we will also make a decision on what adjustments we need to make to our membership fees, including refunds for all of those who have already paid. Please disregard any future automated email related to membership lapsing. We will address accordingly once we are ready to start the season.

Thank you very much for your patience and for doing what is right in this time of crisis. I really hope that the next time I write to you is to talk about tennis.

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

Regards,  
David Garcia
President Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club

Tennis Lessons

Questions about our tennis lessons? You can reach us by email or telephone.

Email: lessons@rhltc.ca

Telephone: 416-570-5457

Club Operations

Club Manager: manager@rhltc.ca

Telephone: 905-737-2491

Address:
161 Newkirk Road,
Richmond Hill, ON
(We're located at Crosby Park)

"I love the winning, I can take the losing, but most of all, I love to play". Boris Becker
                                                                                                                                       
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