Falling Leaves and Winter Pickleball
We’re skipping a month or two of newsletter editions so that we can include a number of items in this Fall/Winter edition. Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) doesn’t rest, and the Board has been busy with a number of tasks. There’s a tournament to plan for next summer, events to plan for this winter, a search for new Board members, continuing to meet with city and other officials to look at everything from court access indoors to lining courts outdoors. And the Board is plotting activities for 2020 in our Strategic Plans that we’ll share here and as the year progresses. We put out a question to our SMPA members on Facebook and by email, and our member priorities remain dedicated facilities, indoor access to courts and more outdoor courts. We’re on it!
SMPC 2020 Planning Underway
After taking some needed time off, the Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic (SMPC) tournament planning committee reconvened last month to get started on next year’s tournament. If you’re one of those picklers that likes to plan way ahead, save the dates July 24th – 26th, 2020. The tournament will once again be held at Shoreview Park in Shoreline, WA.
July 2019’s SMPC tournament was the largest outdoor pickleball tournament in the Seattle-metro area, welcoming 305 players from around the country playing 388 matches over the span of 3 days. In the weeks that followed, we heard from many of you about things you thought went really well and ways we could make the tournament even better. The planning committee listened and now we’re back at it looking to build on that foundation to create a uniquely northwest pickleball event. While we don’t have a lot of details to share yet, we can tell you that Pickleball is Great has been retained to run the show in 2020, and we’re excited to partner once again with Mike Hoxie and Gigi Guerra.
Stay tuned over the coming months for more news coming from the planning committee including things you asked for like a pre-tournament clinic, a night to play with pros and a junior tournament. We’ll keep you posted.
By the way, if you are interested in volunteering to help organize the 2020 event, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org And if you’ve not made your way through the photos documenting the highly successful tournament, take a look by visiting the SMPA website. You can view tournament results here to see a list of all the medalists.
SMPA Members Played and Medaled at USAPA National Championships
Seattle was well represented across all age and skill groups at the USAPA National Championships that concluded November 10th, 2019. A record number of players made their way to the desert to compete, and in addition to all around great matches from our local talent, Seattle pickleball players brought home a medal or two.
Gold Medalists (note bold indicates SMPA member)
- Joyce Jones – Women’s Singles 75+,85+
- Brian Hunter/Lisa Schwab – Mixed Doubles 3.5 50+
- Kitty Danger/Danger Danger – Mixed Doubles 3.0 50+
- John Lui – Men’s Singles, 3.5 50+
- Theresa Haynie/Susan Crossland – Women’s 3.0 70+
- Jo Gries – Women’s Singles, 3.5, 50+
- Stuart Silk/Christopher Kern – Men’s Doubles, 3.0 65+
There were plenty of non-SMPA Seattle regional players who brought home hardware, including Jim Cooke of Pickleball Station, Dora Masada of Redmond, and Jane Meadows of Redmond. For a full list of brackets and winners, visit the Margaritaville 2019 USAPA National Championships site.
SMASH Pickleball Winter Leagues
SMASH Winter Pickleball Leagues are now open for registration. Join the SMASH pickleball players this winter for exciting pickleball play in two locations: Seattle and Mercer Island. All skill levels welcome: they have divisions that match your skill level. Sign up here.
SMPA President’s Fall/Winter Message
Winter brings short days and some very cold mornings to Seattle, and I hope you are getting your heart rate up and staying warm in one of the many gyms open for pickleball play around the metro area.
Your SMPA Board of Directors held a Strategic Planning Retreat for the purpose of setting goals and focus priorities for calendar year 2020. Prior to the meeting, we received approximately 30 emails from members listing their top three priorities for SMPA. Those emails were integral to the Board discussion and decisions. Thank you for the input.
After much discussion, we identified five priorities that SMPA will concentrate on for the coming year. We will be reaching out to members and soliciting volunteers to help achieve these goals as we move forward. We also want to extend an open invitation to all members to communicate their ideas and suggestions regarding these priorities at any time. We are dedicated to making 2020 our best year yet and to making material improvements in the state of Pickleball in the greater metropolitan area.
SMPA 2020 Priorities
- Dedicated Pickleball Courts We intend to pursue development of dedicated pickleball courts. We expect to work on parallel tracks toward development of clusters of outdoor courts as well as a year round indoor/outdoor pickleball complex. While we will continue to work with SPR to develop locations, we intend to broaden our focus beyond SPR controlled property attempting to explore an array of possibilities, public and private, in Seattle as well as surrounding municipalities.
- Indoor Play Time We will seek to expand available venues and hours for indoor play. We will work both with SPR decision makers as well as community center directors to develop more play opportunities. We will also work to develop play opportunities at non SPR controlled sites and establish mutually beneficial relationships with other entities toward this end.
- Establish New Play Programs We plan to develop a junior play program for youth and to support that effort with clinics and instructional play in order to broaden interest among youth. For adults, we intend to hold some introductory sessions for those new to pickleball and to continue sponsoring clinics for beginning and intermediate skill levels. Last, we want to offer more league play.
- Improve Member Communications We will upgrade our website in order to increase the informational content and make it easier to navigate. We intend to also increase communications with the membership.
- Increase Member Participation. We intend to develop more opportunities for members to actively participate in association functions and activities and to assist with all aspects of SMPA efforts to grow pickleball and our association. We expect to create a Volunteer Coordinator position in order to facilitate participation by members. To achieve our goals we need input and participation from everyone.
We look forward to playing and working with you all as we work on these priorities in 2020. Best regards.
Until next time, play hard and have fun on the courts.
Seattle Metro Pickleball Association
Jerry Kindinger, President
Play around the Sound
Camano, Kirkland, Shoreline, Kent: Lots of choices
The SMPA website tracks pickleball play events. If you don’t find something there, drag your pickleball playing friends to Green Lake on Saturdays and Sundays, Shoreview Park any Saturday or Sunday, or Pickleball Station during their open play. The Woodinville Sports Club also keeps a drop in play schedule.
Bainbridge Island Dedicated Pickleball Courts
Following on their successful summer fundraiser, the Bainbridge Island Founders Tournament, the Bainbridge Island Pickleball Club embarked on a program to build out the entrance to the courts with engraved paving bricks. They are inviting players, clubs around the country, and anyone wanting to be a part of history to purchase a brick. You’ll have to visit their Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation website for updates or to buy a brick for your favorite pickleball player.
Calling All South Sounders – PenMet Project
Gig Harbor players experienced great disappointment when the Parks folks scratched plans for a covered court area as part of the massive revision to PenMet parks. That’s being revisited, so perhaps there’s better news ahead. Otherwise, when the weather is good, check out the South Sound Pickleball Facebook page to see if the weather is accommodating for outdoor play. After that, it’s the Y in Gig Harbor.
Camano Island Pickleball
Mercer Island Player Report
Looking for indoor play on weekends? When weather drives pickleball players inside, Mercer Island Community Center is open on Sundays and during the week as well for pickleball play. Note that non-Mercer Island residents pay $5.75 to play. Good lighting, good competition, often crowded.
Skills and Drills Sessions
Miller Community Center Skills class ends at the end of November, however pickleball instruction and planned skills sessions will resume with the next LifeLong Learning schedule change. Keep an eye out on FaceBook, and Time for Pickleball for planned classes. Don’t forget about Pickleball Station for the great clinics and free intro classes they offer.