April 2019 Newsletter

Annual SMPA Member Meeting
Sunday April 7, 2019

Come one, come all dues-paying Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) members to Rainier Community Center for our first ever Annual Member Meeting. If you’ve gotten the invite but haven’t RSVP’d, then do so quickly. We have food to prepare and don’t want to fall short on the cookie count.

We are committed to a short business meeting starting promptly at 12:30 PM to take care of the required tasks, hold a raffle with some great pickleball prizes (Paddles!Hats!Balls!and more) and quick Q&A, and on to the courts. SMPA Board members will be available throughout the afternoon to answer any questions. Play will be divided into 3 courts for rec play with paddle stacks if necessary, and then 3 courts for some competitive games and some form of king/queen of the courts.

Local Seattle Players Medal at IIPC

SMPA members were well represented on the medal stands on the just-concluded International Indoor Pickleball Championships (IIPC) in Centralia, Washington. Billed as the largest indoor pickleball tournament, the 2019 edition enjoyed participation from more than 580 players from the US and Canada this year, up from 2018. A qualifying, sanctioned tournament, the IIPC filled out the Northwest Sports Hub with 31 competition courts, as well as practice courts, a massage station, and a Pickleball Central store. This partial list of SMPA members (please forgive us if we missed you) shows the level of interest in competitive events for players from 3.0 to local professionals.

  • Mary Ann Benack (multi medalist)
  • Frank Chiappone
  • Lynette Danger (medalist)
  • Breann Kay
  • Tom Grubb
  • Theresa Haynie (silver medalist)
  • Marianne Salce Johnson
  • Patrick Johnson
  • John Lui (multi medalist)
  • See Lui (gold medalist)
  • Tonja Major (silver medalist)
  • Oscar Montes
  • Fran Myer (bronze medalist, Hall of Fame)
  • Tuyen Nguyen (multi medalist)
  • Erin O’Rourke (multi medalist)
  • Sean Oldridge
  • Justine Park
  • Tom Paull (medalist)
  • Lisa Schwab (medalist)
  • James Steadman
  • Karen Thomas
  • Kathy Wehle

Congrats to medalists and participants alike. The SMPA tee shirts were abundant on the courts, and that visibility reminded the pickleball world of the high level of play available in the Seattle metro area. As we are writing this newsletter, play is concluding and there are still medals being distributed. If we’ve left you off the list, it’s not intentional, and you can let us know with an email to info@seattlemetropickleball.com and we’ll give you the thanks you deserve for getting on the court under the bright lights of the IIPC.

Foot Fault? Look to the Referee

Here, SMPA member, Ying Zhao, puts her newly minted ref skills to work referring a men’s singles at the just-concluded IIPC.

Sanctioned tournaments can’t happen without referees, and thanks to efforts of SMPA, a batch of newly trained referees filled the ranks in the last week of March at the International Indoor Pickleball Championships down in Centralia. Most of these same pickleball referee/players are now available for the summer and the Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic as well.

USAPA Certified Referee Jim Cooke of Pickleball Station in Kent led the training of a handful of SMPA and Green Lake pickleball players. SMPA Board member Sean Oldridge organized the free pickleball Referee clinic in Seattle just before the IIPC tournament. Seven eager students spent their Saturday morning learning the protocols and methods for calling NVZ and service faults, enforcing the official rules, and keeping the peace on the pickleball court during hotly contested games. Afterwards, the newly trained referees traipsed across the street to the Green Lake courts to put all their newfound knowledge to immediate use by refereeing the morning’s recreational games.

Local Seattle running store Super Jock ‘N Jill provided meeting space for the pre-court instruction at their Green Lake location right across the street from the Green Lake pickleball courts.

Preparing for the Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic Tournament

Registration continues for the Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic as we reach the 50 percent filled mark. The tournament committee plans for a great summer event, and you can register at PickleballTournaments.comSMPA members get a $5 discount on the registration fee. Will you be there? We can use you as a volunteer if you don’t want to play as there’s plenty of work keeping the event running smoothly.

Visit the Facebook page for the Seattle Metro Classic tournament for up to date or breaking news about the event.

Other Pickleball Happenings

Playtime Scheduler

Who’s playing and where? Once you register (and it’s free!) in the Playtime Scheduler tool and choose Greater Seattle as your area, you can schedule a game. You can use it to indicate that you’ll be playing at one of the existing Community Center play times, or set up an outdoor game when you select Shoreview or Green Lake or SeaTac, for example. You simply create a session, indicate the level you’re looking to play with, and make any notes relevant to the game you’re trying to set up. Subscribed users receive email notification of the session.

In Memoriam: Bob Hassan

On March 28th, we lost SMPA member Bob Hassan to a terrible tragedy in our city. Bob was a regular at Maple Leaf and then at Green Lake pickleball courts. He also spearheaded and organized outdoor pickleball play at the old Magnuson Park tennis courts last summer. A true sportsman, Bob made friends wherever he played, and we’ll miss his presence on and off the pickleball court. On Saturday, March 30th, players at the Green Lake pickleball courts paused play to hold a brief remembrance ceremony in Bob’s honor.

You, too, Can Renew

February 2019 marked the first of renewal emails on their way to encourage SMPA members to re-up their membership. Seattle METRO Pickleball Association promotes and assists the growth of indoor and outdoor pickleball all around the Seattle area.

You can renew or join SMPA by visiting our website, and with your credit card and by supplying some limited personal information become a member of the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association. Note that all financial transactions are managed by a secure third-party membership management app, that we reviewed and selected based on their list management and processing security tools.

The Waiting Game, Illustrated

About 20 people waited for a chance to play on March 12th on the three “advanced” players courts at the Rainier Community Center. More were waiting on the three “recreational” player courts.

SMPA Veep’s April 2019 Message

Pickleball Friends,

Someone, somewhere declared April to be “National Pickleball Month” and we couldn’t be prouder to use April to promote two key events:

  • Our Annual Member meeting on April 7, 2019 from 12:30 to 4 PM at Rainier Community Center
  • Our SMPA unofficial birthday, as our very first meeting was April 17, 2017 at the Top Pot, Fifth Avenue location

Since that meeting at Top Pot Donuts, we organized the first pickleball activism event by getting 30-plus pickleball players to attend the Parks Board of Commissioners Meeting for Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) and show the passion and need for pickleball in Seattle. We continued to meet monthly, and decided to form the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association, create our mission statement, form a Board of Directors and become an official IRS nonprofit organization at the end of 2017. Doing so allows us to manage the business dealings that we hope will become the basis of future projects in working with the city of Seattle. Our 501c3 status also means that we can accept tax-deductible donations and matching grants when that time comes that we have a project that might require fundraising.

But wait! There’s more. Some of you have become members because you attended a meet and greet session at Green Lake or Delridge or Miller courts. Others became members because they participated in our tournament last summer or the league play at Soundview pickleball courts. And still more of you became members when we asked that you step up and join in the long road ahead of creating pickleball opportunities in Seattle.

Why do we need you? Because we don’t do this work to stay busy, but to develop the unified voice that the city of Seattle asks for to represent the pickleball community. That means that, if you are reading this and you aren’t yet a member, what’s stopping you? We keep the dues modest at $20, and what we do in exchange is meet monthly with Parks, work to develop more events to provide new and more play opportunities. No matter the reason, we value you as members, and are gratified by the renewals that mark our first year as an official metropolitan pickleball organization.

All that being said, National Pickleball Month is happening all around the country, and many organizations are looking to Seattle and our pickleball community for leadership and expanded play opportunities. SMPA thinks every month is Pickleball Month. Don’t you?

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association

Theresa Haynie, Vice President (Veep)

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