What area does Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) cover?
The broad umbrella of SMPA hopes to represent the local Seattle pickleball players as well as our close neighbors with whom we play every day. In addition to Seattle, with its many neighborhoods, SoDo, South Seattle, Central, Capitol Hill, Montlake, northeast Seattle, Lake City Way, North Seattle, Ballard, West Seattle, we hope to be a useful resource for our northern neighbors, Shoreline, Montlake Terrace and Edmonds. Then there’s Bellevue and Bothell, Mercer Island, Redmond, Issaquah types who show up on our Seattle pickleball venues looking for good play. And let's not forget our friends to the south in Normandy Park, Des Moines, Kent, Federal Way, Auburn and Covington who drive into the city to join us.
Why form an association?
See our main page if you need the full details, but we are tired of hearing of the efforts of small groups of individuals getting rebuffed by the city when asking for a hearing of our needs. Club, association, a gathering of interested parties, we are really stronger together if we approach the powers that control access to potential facilities. How sad is it that Seattle, mere miles from the island where pickleball was born, has a total of two dedicated pickleball courts, one unsafe little asphalt pad ringed by a popular walking path and soccer playfield.
I only play indoors. Why should I get involved in a group that is trying to get outdoor courts?
We depend on strength in numbers, and your support regardless of whether you play pickleball indoors our outdoors helps us all. We want to improve facilities for pickleball area wide. That means advocating for more hours for indoor play, more choices for indoor play, and gaining some control over level of play encouraged for certain time periods. We expect to address adding indoor facilities as well in our dealings with Seattle Parks and Recreation.
Can I become a trustee for the SMPA?
We plan to put forward Bylaws that will allow those who join SMPA to have a role in governing the fledgling organization. For the time being, the founding trustees are busy getting bylaws, the website, the name, and other organizing details in place. Stay tuned for opportunities to participate at the governing level. In the interim, get involved.
I'm not a senior, so what does getting involved in the SMPA do for me?
SMPA is an umbrella for smaller pickleball clubs, individuals, informal groups, and players of ALL ages. To continue to grow the sport of pickleball, we need to have courts times available for young players who may learn the game at summer camp only to never touch a paddle again once they are home in the city. Young professionals who are still in their working years and can't play during the day need us to fight for more evening play, and that's where getting involved with the SMPA can help bring the concerns of all players, young and old, novice or experienced, to the decision makers.
I'm a senior citizen pickleball player, and don't see what a club could do for me. Why get involved?
Yes, most community centers justify their pickleball play under the "Lifelong Learning" banner without really making a commitment to senior players. Does your community center offer any "over 70 only" play? They are anxious to offer "drop in at all levels" that isn't friendly to Parkinsons sufferers, to those recovering from strokes or other age-related limitations. Why not? They could, and we can be the voice that moves the city to be inclusive of those pickleball fanatics whose mobility is diminished by age or illness.
What is pickleball?
Before we direct you to YouTube to watch the game being played at the highest competitive level, a bit about the sport: invented on Bainbridge Island, pickleball is a mashup of ping pong and tennis, played with a hard paddle on a badminton-sized court on a net slightly lower and shorter than a tennis court. Oh, and then there’s the whiffleball we play with that is the pickleball itself. Wooden paddle or graphite composite, it doesn't matter. Just try it.
Addictive and fun, pickleball has grown from a local game played on badminton courts in backyards, camps, and gyms, to an internationally recognized court sport for all ages. Local and national tournaments draw teenagers, middle-agers, seniors and all the in-betweeners, and have increasingly pulled in former tennis players flexing their powerful groundstrokes while taking competitive pickleball to new heights.
Where can I play pickleball in Seattle?
Check out timeforpickleball.com to learn about scheduled play times.