The final DESIGN PHASE steps are to conduct two open house format viewings of the final design, and associated construction documents and estimated costs. All are invited to drop in to either one to see and understand the current status of this project. Stay as long as you need, or drop by for 5 minutes. Both meetings are an open house format. Please drop in at either location, any time during the designated times. Two Library branches are the meeting locations (Not at Eckstein MS), both have some limited, free parking.
Meeting 1 – May 7th (Tuesday) Green Lake Library branch meeting room ( 4:00 – 5:30 PM )
They are transitioning from Design to construction planning and funding – and this project is looking for its next group of stewards. It seems a good time to bring in a new leadership team, more closely tied to the Eckstein MS community. Kathy Schmidtke is no longer a parent of a current EMS student, and believe current parents, more closely connected to the school, its events and activities are better suited to promote this project into the next phase. She started this in 2017, and its time to pass the baton.
Many construction variables exist regarding the court surface repair process and final coating, fence repair vs. replacement. Cost estimates exist for a basic version, and a deluxe solution with associated costs from $ 40K – $ 80K. The next leadership team will need to determine what scale of fundraising is feasible and possible in the current climate of public grant funding availability. The next DON grant application date is September 2019. Partners: The Seattle Schools Self Help team (Operations) remains committed to support this project into the next phase. Seattle Parks Foundation continues to be our fiscal sponsor and is available to consult on the next phase of fundraising. Please feel free to submit any questions to: email@example.com and more importantly, they need more folks to attend one of the meetings on 5/7 or 5/8/19 and sign in to help us meet the public process requirement for their grant from Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON).
You can join the mailing list by texting the keyword: EMSpickleball to 22828 and an automated reply will ask them to enter an email address. Also, look for the Facebook group: Pickleball at Eckstein MS (NE Seattle)
The Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) pickleball pilot project led by the Planning and Development Division ended October 31, 2018. The study included the striping of multiple pilot sites across the city, site visits, input from players, staff and community members via meetings, emails and an online survey. SPR received substantial feedback about the pickleball community’s excitement and gratitude for the pilot program. There was also a great deal of desire expressed for dedicated pickleball courts. A report will be available in January 2019.
SPR will be working internally to determine next steps that include assessing the potential for additional court striping projects and the feasibility of dedicated courts.
What we are waiting for
After an extensive review by SMPA of possible dedicated pickleball court sites, SMPA delivered a full report on possible permanent outdoor pickleball facilities. That list was prepared by an SMPA committee based on 40 suggested sites, reduced to eight based on factors that included current condition, access to bathroom facilities, parking, local transportation, and reviewed against the City of Seattle Race and Social Justice criteria. The list is currently in the hands of the SPR facilities team.
In April 2019, SMPA began meeting on a biweekly basis with the SPR working committee to map out an action plan based on the results of the 2018 pilot program. The Board hopes to soon be able to report progress on a number of proposed pickleball facility possibilities around the metro area.
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)
Lynette Danger (medalist)
Theresa Haynie (silver medalist)
Marianne Salce Johnson
John Lui (multi medalist)
See Lui (gold medalist)
Tonja Major (silver medalist)
Fran Myer (bronze medalist, Hall of Fame)
Tuyen Nguyen (multi medalist)
Erin O’Rourke (multi medalist)
Tom Paull (medalist)
Lisa Schwab (medalist)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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.com. SMPA 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.
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
SMPA Veep’s April 2019 Message
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?
That’s a wrap: the 2019 Annual SMPA Member Meeting
The Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) Board of Directors remembered Bob Hassan, honored the early advocates for pickleball in the region with Joyce Jones and Niki Ryan, gave an ovation to member and Hall of Famer, Fran Myer, held the most concise of business meetings to meet bylaw requirements, and then cheered on play for the 61 members and 25 or so guests who came indoors to Rainier Community Center on April 7th. We greeted members old and new, enjoyed great play on the courts, and shared our accomplishments of the time since our start in 2017 and becoming a registered nonprofit in 2018.
As a first of many annual member meetings, the rainy April afternoon of pickleball was a wonderful display of the community that we are building with the organization. SMPA Board members served as organizers for this first one, and used the occasion to encourage volunteers to join in the fun. We hope to grow the meeting in the coming years to be full day of pickleball, renewed playing relationships, and a confirmation of the vision for pickleball in the Greater Seattle area, where we are driven by commitment to fun, fitness, and friendship in an inclusive and welcoming environment.
Up Next: Summer Pickleball in Seattle
Among the major updates to the SMPA website is the addition of a page filled with summer play events planned for our members. Check out the Play page and put these dates on your calendars. For members, these events provide a good time to see your pickleball pals, and for nonmembers, they’re a good opportunity to see and feel the excitement building for pickleball in Seattle.
Outdoor weekly drop in play at Miller, Green Lake, Shoreview, and Delridge pickleball courts (free)
Pickleball in the Park returns June through September (free)
4th of July Round Robin Shootout – start your day with a bang, a dink, or a lob. Details to follow.
Registration required for the Seattle Metro Classic Pickleball Tournament – and it’s almost full!
Rainbow Recreation at Miller Community Center
Working hard to keep the adult community fit and engaged, Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) has a full schedule of Rainbow fitness activities focused on the LGBTQ community. When we realized that the schedule did not include pickleball, a quick email and call got us on the schedule. For 8 weeks, starting in July, Rainbow Recreation will offer an Introduction to Pickleball class each Thursday morning at Miller Community Center. There is a small fee for the class that will feature a series of instructors from the SMPA pickleball community. Spread the word, or come out and play with the group ready to pick up paddles and keep moving.
Rainbow Recreation is a partnership between Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Lifelong Recreation and Generations Aging with Pride to provide recreational opportunities for LGBTQ adults 50+.
What it takes to run a Tournament
To tournament players, picking a partner, registering, and practicing together may constitute much of the work required to do well. For those involved in making the tournament itself succeed, there is oh, so much more. The Seattle Metro Classic Pickleball Tournament scheduled for July 26-28th, 2019, began as a gleam in the competitive eyes of SMPA members Patrick and Marianne Johnson of Edmonds, and then grabbed the attention of SMPA board member and Play committee chair, Frank Chiappone, events chair, Sean Oldridge, and local pro player, Tonja Major. Along with several more tournament fanatics, the Seattle Metro Classic has morphed into a 200+ player event that may well be the biggest, to date, pickleball tournament in the Seattle metro area. These events don’t happen by magic.
What Patrick and Marianne dreamed of now has major outside sponsors, volunteers, pro players, and the services of Mike Hoxie, owner of Pickleball Is Great (PIG) and a well-known tournament organizer in the Pacific Northwest. The tournament expects to draw close to 250 players, will require 100+ volunteers, 60 or more trained referees, and offers a full weekend of pickleball competition and fun at beautiful Shoreview Park in Shoreline, Washington.
The level of planning going into the tournament is an amazing display of commitment to the sport of pickleball. Meetings started in January, and continue now weekly as the Tournament Committee ramps up to fill out the player, sponsor, and volunteer rosters. SMPA member and local pickleball player, Joan Hanson, has been buttonholing potential volunteers in between her play and writing quilting books. With full support of the SMPA Board, the tournament organizers are drawing from the membership to fill out roles that will include Guest Relations hosts, bathroom patrol, player check in, tournament management, court buildout, and more.
Why should you get involved? For one, the energy surrounding a tournament is just different, to quote an USAPA Ambassador. The energy field is elevated, the play ticks up several levels, the air is abuzz with chatter about play and players and exciting points and dramatic wins and losses. You head home at the end of the day with a head filled with thoughts of points that should have been won, games that were fulfilling and fun and supercharged, and if you’re among the lucky players, a medal around your neck. And if you’re not a medalist, you’ll have new war stories to share.
The Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic can happen only because of the tenacity of the handful of players who got together to say “let’s put on a tournament.” And following on their enthusiasm, expertise, and love of the sport, a tournament happens. This particular tournament, on the heels of its smaller version that kicked off in the summer of 2018, makes the Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic another pin in the must-play pickleball tournament map, and it doesn’t happen without the many hours that the committee has already put in, and the many hours still to go. The Tournament Committee invites all SMPA members and local pickleball players to be a part of history and help make the Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic a memorable and successful tournament. Sign up as a volunteer through SignUp Genius. We need you and want to share the experience and, yes, the workload of this fun event in our local pickleball community.
Visit the Facebook page for the Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic tournament for up to date or breaking news about the event.
May Membership Drive
If we, the Board and members of SMPA, haven’t thanked you for your membership, allow us to do that now! As we close in on almost 250 members, know that your voice is critical to the work we do to get more play time, more painted courts, and ultimately, dedicated pickleball facilities in the Seattle Metro area.
You may be tagged by a membership committee member in May as we urge you to renew or join SMPA. Click here, enter your credit card and some limited personal information, and lend your voice to the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association family. You may notice when you join or renew 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.
Your support is needed: speak up for plans for dedicated pickleball courts right here in Kirkland, Washington. The City of Kirkland is weighing the conversion of existing Everest Park outdoor tennis courts into three pickleball courts. Before they proceed, they need to hear from you. Who doesn’t want more dedicated pickleball courts? Now is the time to contact the Kirkland City Parks Manager, Jason Filan, by calling him at (425) 587-3341 or emailing him at email@example.com. More details in our Action Alert page.
SPR June Play Fests at Green Lake and Yesler
SPR is hosting a Parks & Rec Fest at Green Lake Park and Community Center on Saturday, June 1st from 10 AM to 3 PM, and a week later on June 9th at Yesler Community Center. SPR plans to showcase various activities, resources and opportunities they provide to the community. The day features music, food trucks, games, activities, and booths to learn more about Seattle Parks & Recreation. Pickleball, too! Bring sunscreen (we hope) and your paddles. SMPA will be there to demo and play.
Give back to the sport? Become a referee!
In anticipation of the coming summer tournament season, including the Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic tournament, Tom Grubb will be hosting free referee clinics (weather permitting) from 8 to 9:30 AM on May 25, June 8, and June 29, 2019 at the Green Lake Pickleball Courts. Get there early to find parking.
Want to get players on the courts for play at Yost, Shoreview, Green Lake, or wherever? Sign up at Playtime Scheduler. Choose Greater Seattle as your area and select, for example, Shoreview or Green Lake or SeaTac, and then simply create a session, indicate the level you’re looking to play with, and make a note about the game you’re organizing. Subscribed users receive email notification of the session. It’s free and very functional.
Eastside and Westside, all around the Sound
Mercer Island pickleball news includes concerns over the performance of the Onix Fuse ball, and a plan to reopen the indoor facilities after the failure of the levy last fall. Read about it here.
Eckstein court project, run by Kathy Schmidtke, is on track, and she has updates to share.
New Indoor Pickleball Venue in Woodinville
Eastside pickleball players Mimi and Mark Dymetrko happily announce the coming opening of a new indoor pickleball venue after years of searching. Opening in mid-May, the newest indoor option in Woodinville offers 8 pristine indoor pickleball courts on recently resurfaced tennis courts. Designed to be spacious with good lighting, this sport club is set in the beautiful wine country of Woodinville, Washington.
Save the date: the Open House is set for Saturday, May 11, 2019 from 3 to 6 PM. Pickleball players are invited to come and check out the facility and set up some pickleball play times. They welcome all pickleball players and expect to share more details as the venue becomes operational for pickleball.
SMPA President’s Message
Let me start by giving kudos to our volunteer Planning Committee on the first rate job with the first Annual Member’s Meeting. This sets the bar for our future Annual Meetings, and we are grateful to our volunteers and our membership for a festive pickleball celebration.
Summer 2019 promises to be an active pickleball season, as our Play Committee is committed to a full schedule of SMPA Summer Play events (see article in this newsletter). Allow me to take this opportunity to gently remind everyone of our Code of Conduct that is intended to encourage a welcoming environment, promote sportsmanship and facilitate friendship and the growth of pickleball. We are all ambassadors of pickleball and the success of our sport depends upon every one of us. Take a moment to review the Code of Conduct.
Now for what many of you are asking about, the SMPA and Seattle Parks and Rec (SPR) bi-weekly meetings discussing the presence and the future of pickleball in Seattle.
On May 1, 2019, three of your SMPA officer/directors met with seven SPR representatives who are principal decision makers for SPR on pickleball matters. I was gratified to participate in setting the tone and agenda.
The ranking SPR official present was Justin Cutler, the new Recreation Services Director for the City of Seattle. Justin works directly under the new Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, Jesus Aguirre.
Among the discussions and decisions made at this SMPA-SPR meeting, these stand out:
First, Mr. Cutler approved the continuation of regular meetings with SMPA to work on improving pickleball opportunities in the metropolitan area. We believe that this was another important step because it shows recognition of SMPA and the pickleball community at the highest levels of SPR.
Second, in response to an the SMPA request, pickleball will now be specifically included as a city recognized activity in the SPR sports budget going forward.
Third, SPR granted their approval of location and venue requests for the Summer Play Schedule activities. We expect to sign the agreement to formalize this decision this week.
Fourth, with SMPA’s support, we learned that SPR plans to hold a public “Pickleball Summit” at Miller Community Center in early June 2019. Jayson Powell, Recreation Program Coordinator for Adult Sports, expects to set the date soon. The purpose of this “summit” is to receive input from as many pickleball players in the metropolitan area as possible regarding what the pickleball community wants and how SPR can help. In addition, we have been discussing establishing a pickleball advisory committee with SPR to improve communications between the City and the pickleball playing public. This idea may be introduced at the Summit. We will keep up you posted regarding the date as soon as possible. This important opportunity lets everyone voice their preferences for SPR regarding pickleball. The summit will focus solely upon pickleball.
Finally, the SPR attendees confirmed that two public general meetings, both Parks & Rec Fests, are scheduled by SPR with the goal of gathering input to be considered in the development of the SPR long-range Strategic Plan, expected to be adopted later this year. The first meeting will be June 1, 2019 at the Green Lake Community Center. The second meeting will be June 9th at the Yesler Community Center. We strongly encourage all pickleball players to attend these events.
The Parks & Rec Fest meetings will determine to what extent pickleball receives substantive consideration in the City’s overall long range Strategic Plan in the foreseeable future and will include all sports and park facilities. Once this plan is adopted, budgets will be set to achieve the Strategic Plan goals. Later budget requests for pickleball may not be possible. So, please attend the summit, respond to the SPR surveys and make your voice heard!
As SMPA has grown and our relationship with City representatives has evolved and strengthened through many meetings, the pickleball community has gained more of a voice in promoting pickleball opportunities and venues with the City. However, we still have a long way to go. The larger our SMPA membership base, the stronger our community pickleball voice will be. We value wide representation of the pickleball community, and the City expects the same. We strongly encourage your friends who have not yet joined to do so today. When they become SMPA members, we extend to them the same invitation we give to all SMPA members: share your thoughts and suggestions about how we can improve pickleball opportunities in the Seattle metro area, and then work with us to make it happen.
One last note: The Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic Tournament, scheduled for July 26 to 28, 2019, has well over 225 players registered as of this newsletter. Registration closes when registrants reach the maximum number that can be accommodated (250 or 300 to be determined by the Tournament Committee). Don’t wait! If you want to participate in this Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic tournament, jump on to the Pickleball Tournaments website today. I hope to see many of you there as players, volunteers, referees, or viewers. All are welcome for this exciting sanctioned metro area pickleball tournament.
Until next time, play hard and have fun on the courts.
Check your email inbox for the invites, as we encourage all dues-paying Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) members to come to Rainier Community Center for our first ever Annual Member Meeting.
A very short business meeting should take care of legalities, handing out the raffle prizes, a quick Q&A, and then we can get down the fun stuff of playing on the 6 indoor courts. We have the gym reserved from the meeting start at 12:20 PM until 4 PM, and are hoping to get in lots of play. In addition to vying for the raffle prizes (paddles, hats, balls), you can meet many of the other area pickleball players who’ve come together to move pickleball forward in the Seattle metro area. more pickleball venues created in the metro area.
SMPA has yet to see a final SPR report on the 2018 Pickleball Pilot project. In addition to being an active member of SMPA, your persistent comments to those in the city who control our access to pickleball venues is part of the grand plan.
If you haven’t done so, send an email message to remind SPR that pickleball players in Seattle need their support. You can click the following links and from your email app or account send an email to Christopher Williams, acting Seattle Parks superintendent, and also to the Board of Park Commissioners.
Pickleball Scheduler App
Little by little, court by court, game by game, Seattle pickleball players are exploring and using the game-scheduling tool that we introduced this winter, Playtime Scheduler. Modified by the California developer for Seattle and select other regions, the Playtime Scheduler tool lets you register, then after you choose Greater Seattle as your area, 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 a game outside the programmed times 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 (advanced, all levels welcome, and so on.). Subscribed users receive email notification of the session.
Playtime Scheduler’s real value should be apparent this summer when Green Lake Pickleball courts and Shoreview Pickleball courts battle for which can book more players in on a daily basis. SMPA members already fill those courts on the weekends, despite the cold and wet mornings. Still, the play is hot, and the Playtime Scheduler should help players set up and use the courts all day long. Give it a try – and no, SMPA is not associated and makes no money off the service to our local pickleball community. Let’s get out and play!
International Indoor Pickleball Championships
The last week of March brings us to the International Indoor Pickleball Championship (IIPC) to be held at the NW Sports Hub, Centralia, Washington. The tournament runs from Tuesday, March 26th through Sunday March 31st.
This very fun, challenging tournament serves as a qualifying event for those who plan to play in the 2019 USAPA National Pickleball Championship in 2019. You can sign up until March 12, 2019 by going to Pickleball Tournaments. Join your local and Canadian pals for this great indoor event.
Register now for summer Classic Tournament – and Volunteer, Too
Registration for the Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic opens Saturday, March 2nd so jump on now and register. SMPA members get a $5 discount on the registration fee. The tournament committee is hard at work on building out the Seattle Metro Classic Pickleball Tournament. From lining up sponsors, arranging for referees, pro participants, housing for visiting pros, the committee is working to make sure that the largest Seattle area pickleball tournament will succeed. Prize money, great play, engaged volunteers, this opportunity to present the first large pickleball tournament in metro Seattle (Shoreline) can only help to put Seattle, next door to the birthplace of pickleball, squarely on the map of pickleball destinations.
Visit the Facebook page for the Seattle Metro Classic tournament for up to date or breaking news about the event.
Looking for a game? As the weather improves, you’ll find players starting up early at Green Lake Pickleball Courts and Shoreview in North Seattle, Miller in central Seattle, Delridge in West Seattle, Perrigo Park in Redmond, and Bellevue International School. Want to play Pickleball Station? Be sure to call first, as they’ve been running great tournaments all winter long. Let’s hit the courts!
Facebook Pickleball Groups
If you follow Pickleball Forum on Facebook, you already know that pickleball players have lots of questions about rules, play, and places to play. When you’re traveling, the USAPA app Places2Play is your best guide, as the Places2Play displays a map and provides the best known info about times and locations.
And if you’re lucky enough to travel internationally, FaceBook can be a great resource for locating local pickleball groups and contacts. Use the search feature in Facebook to look for the name of the city or country you’re visiting, or search for city+pickleball to locate a local pickleball club or group. Go to interesting places, make new friends, play pickleball. Have paddle, will travel.
Renew or Join SMPA Today
February 2019 marks the first renewal emails on their way to encourage our association members to re-up their membership. We’re Seattle METRO Pickleball Association because we promote and assist the growth of pickleball all around the Seattle area.
You can help us grow. Renew or join SMPA by clicking here, and with your credit card and by supplying some limited personal information become a member of the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association.
SMPA President’s March 2019 Message
SMPA is completing our first year of active membership and most of our members’ yearly membership renewals are coming due. I want to personally urge you all to renew your SMPA membership. Our sport is growing by faster than a Tyson McGuffin slam. The USAPA now estimates that more than 3 million people are playing in this country alone. As I play at different pickleball venues this past year, I see them filled to capacity with players waiting for their 20 minutes of game play.
What can SMPA do for pickleball? SMPA provides a vocal and visible platform for pickleball players both competitive and casual to realize their goals and aspirations. We are working to help local players have their needs addressed. We collate and share current information about what’s going in our sport. Having a substantial and representative membership is the life blood of SMPA. It allows us to speak with larger unified voice in the Seattle metropolitan pickleball community. This is particularly important as we interact on your behalf with the Seattle Parks and Recreations Department in order to increase pickleball opportunities for everyone. The power of numbers of members cannot be underestimated. And having a representative and substantial membership base materially impacts what we are able to achieve.
In the past year, we have been active in working with the City to improve and expand opportunities to play pickleball throughout Seattle. League play, tournaments, equipment and increased available court times have resulted from the work of your organization. It has been my privilege to act as SMPA’s government liaison in working with SPR on a variety of projects. With much accomplished in 2018, we know we have more work to do. We anticipate even larger projects to be accomplished or begun in 2019. We will continue to keep you posted on our progress. We welcome volunteers to assist us in every aspect of our efforts. We remain grateful for the work of the many volunteers who made for several successful events this past year. We invite you to put your mark on the pickleball scene in Seattle area by volunteering to help us grow the sport.
On April 7th, SMPA proudly holds our initial annual members meeting at the Rainier Community Center. I encourage all members to attend. We plan to have a short business meeting with an opportunity for you to ask any questions. We are genuinely interested in what you want to SMPA to focus on in the year ahead, so please ask any questions and bring us your ideas.
After the business portion of the meeting, members will have an opportunity to play on the indoor courts, so don’t forget your paddles. Also, throughout the afternoon, all directors will be available to respond to any questions that we might not have been able to cover during the business portion of the event. I look forward to seeing you all at this very fun event.
Thank you again for your support this past year. On behalf of the SMPA Board of Directors, we look forward to serving your pickleball needs in the year ahead.
Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) published a survey in November 2018 regarding pickleball in Seattle. More than 240 pickleball players took the survey, and they released the results in early January 2019. The survey doesn’t cover much territory, and there is no result that indicate SPR departmental plans for pickleball. You can click here to review the survey in Adobe portable document format (PDF).
SAVE THE DATE: Annual SMPA Member Meeting Sunday April 7, 2019
Yes, the SMPA Board plans to be out in force, paddles in hand, with a short meeting agenda to tell you about where we are and what’s ahead. The fun event is expected to include a couple of vendors, a raffle, food, and importantly, some play time for all who attend. Stay tuned, and with the March and April newsletters we’ll fill in the blanks and send out evites to all dues-paid SMPA members.
No News for Now on Pickleball Pilot Report
While we await the final SPR report on the 2018 Pickleball Pilot project, the Seattle Parks department’s planning process is underway. We expect there to be a period for public comments on the plan in the Spring. Meanwhile, if you want to let SPR know what you want for pickleball in Seattle, send an email to Christopher Williams, acting Seattle Parks superintendent, and also to the Board of Park Commissioners. While no single email is going to change their stance, the more they hear from pickleball players, the better.
So What if it’s Winter? Green Lake Plays On
SMPA has been organizing drop in play at the Green Lake Pickleball Courts throughout the winter from 9 AM – 12 PM every Saturday and Sunday. As luck would have it, the weather has been somewhat cooperative most weekends, despite our typical rain-filled winter months. The Green Lake players don’t really let a little rain get between them and a few rousing games of pickleball. Braving cold early morning temperatures and, at times, dense fog, most weekends have seen between 20 to 50 people enjoying the Green Lake outdoor pickleball courts. The high point to date came this past January 26th when a rare blue sky day and unseasonably warm temperatures drew more than 70 players out to the courts, the most ever for a single day at the Green Lake Courts.
To help ease the congestion at Green Lake, SMPA members Dorrena Ortega and Tim Williams started organizing drop in play Saturdays beginning at 9 AM at Shoreview Park in Shoreline. Shoreview Park has 6 pickleball courts lined out without nets, but Dorrena and Tim are committed to bringing nets and balls each Saturday, weather permitting. They had 5 courts going the first two Saturdays with about two dozen folks turning out to play.
There is no cost to play at either location, although we accept donations onsite to help defer the cost of reservations and supplies (think line tape and chalk and balls).
Register in March – Play in July in our SMPA Classic Tournament
Sunshine, blue skies and majestic Mount Rainier on the horizon are all summer staples in Seattle. Against this backdrop, join us for the Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic, the largest outdoor tournament the greater Seattle area has ever seen. Set in a gorgeous park along the shores of the Puget Sound, this tournament features 16 courts, two practice courts, cash prizes for OPEN divisions, and competitive skill divisions ranging from 3.0 – 4.5 for ages 19+ and 50+.
This three-day tournament, celebrating our dedicated local pickleball community and benefiting SMPA, welcomes first-time participants, tournament veterans and our top local players and pros from across the northwest. Registration opens March 2, 2019 on Pickleball Tournaments website.
URGENT: Community Meeting Wednesday, January 30th, 2019 from 6:30 to 8 PM at the Eckstein Middle School Library – 3003 NE 75th Ave NE, 98115
Seattle Schools Self Help office and Friends of Eckstein MS Pickleball urge Seattle pickleball players to attend a community meeting and design workshop for the proposed build out of pickleball courts on the Eckstein Middle School grounds. The landscape architectural firm and project leaders encourage local pickleball players to bring ideas and questions. They expect to have 1 or 2 final court layout scenarios at future meetings in March and April. Enter only through the school’s front door that faces NE 75th. Join their SMS mailing list for updates by texting the keyword EMSpickleball to 22828.
International Indoor Pickleball Championships
Registration is still open for the International Indoor Pickleball Championship (IIPC) at the NW Sports Hub, Centralia, Washington. This tournament draws players from US and Canada, and runs from Tuesday 03/26/19 through Sunday 03/31/19. This very fun, challenging tournament is a qualifying event for those who plan to play in the USAPA National Pickleball Championship in 2019. You can sign up by going to Pickleball Tournaments website until March 12, 2019. Join your local and Canadian pals for this great indoor event.
Now’s the Time: Join SMPA
If you haven’t joined SMPA yet, you can do that here, and with your credit card and by supplying some limited personal information become a member of the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association.
Winter Play in Seattle
Yup, still playing and going strong outdoors. Bundled up for the cooler weather, Green Lake pickleball courts often draw more than 50 players on Saturdays and Sundays. Barring a monsoon-level rain, the North Seattle pickleball players fill 6 to 8 courts. Too busy for you? There are pickleball lines painted at Soundview tennis courts, Discovery Park, Miller (where there is a semipermanent net available at all times), Delridge (West Seattle), South Park, and Georgetown. Further north, you can head to Shoreline and check out the nicely resurfaced courts at the south end of Shoreview Park just behind Shoreline Community College. Don’t let a little cold weather slow you down.
Try out the Pickleball Scheduler App
Setting up play times around Seattle has gotten a little easier for pickleball players. Now you can go to www.playtimescheduler.com and register, and select Greater Seattle as your area. Then, when you want to set up a pickleball game at Shoreview or Green Lake or SeaTac or at any of the indoor Seattle venues, you simply create a session, indicate the level you’re looking to play with, and make any notes (advanced, all levels welcome, and so on.) for all others who’ve subscribed to Greater Seattle. They’ll get an email notification of the session. This app comes to us from the Sacramento, California pickleball community, where they’ve been successfully scheduling pickleball matches for a couple of years now. Try it out and let us know what you think (infoseattlemetropickleball.com). Let’s get out and play!
2019 Message from the President
Hello Pickleball Friends,
Bears may hibernate in winter, but not pickleball players, nor the SMPA Board. Let me tell you some of the happenings since our December 2018 Newsletter.
The Board completed the initial investigation of more than three dozen potential sites for developing dedicated pickleball courts, and has narrowed that list to eight for further research and evaluation. SMPA members Tim Williams and Mary Ann Benack have volunteered to assist with critical demographic analyses in the neighborhoods near the remaining sites. They are using the City of Seattle’s Racial, Equity and Justice tool kit as a model as well as many other resources. This work is time intensive and we expect to keep you informed as it progresses.
SMPA Board members have held several meetings with SPR representatives to both work with the City to obtain more pickleball courts and to improve communications between the City and the greater pickleball community. There have been some recent changes in responsibilities for SPR personnel with whom we have dealt in the past. We have met the successors and are confident that our relationships will continue to grow. We are hopeful that the City will soon announce plans for improving coordination and communication with the Seattle pickleball community, and we are working with SPR reps to facilitate that.
SMPA members Dan Magee and Tom Grubb are set to make a presentation on February 2nd to the Seattle School District’s annual regional BEST WEST conference for PE teachers. This even typically draws between 200 and 300 PE teachers. Dan and Tom’s presentation will include a lesson plan to enable PE teachers to teach students pickleball during 45 minute classes. Afterward Tom will provide skills assistance to the teachers during an open play period.
Conversations are ongoing with SPR to provide more pickleball courts at Green Lake to meet the very high demand. We are optimistic that accommodations will be forthcoming and will keep you posted as the discussions progress.
SMPA timely fulfilled all of its obligations for the $5000 grant we received last fall for the purchase of three semi-permanent pickleball nets. We are hoping to apply for similar grants in the near future depending upon demand.
SMPA members Larry Kirchner, Jeff Jolley and Drew Thoresen volunteered to conduct nine week “skills and drills” class at South Park. Registrants exceeded capacity and to date the class has received rave reviews. Hopefully similar classes can be offered in the Spring. If any members are interested in volunteering to hold classes on any aspect of pickleball this Spring please contact me.
We continue to plan for and explore more fun events for this year. Tournaments? Leagues? Clinics? Open Play? We’ll keep you apprised as they develop.
Our first SMPA Member’s Meeting is set for the afternoon of April 7th at the Rainier Community Center. There will be a very short business meeting in order to introduce our Board members, and all for member input. This will be followed with open pickleball play on courts reserved for dues-paid members who attend the meeting. Directors will be available to answer member questions throughout the afternoon. We look forward to seeing you all there.
Thank you for your continuing support of SMPA and for all that each of you do as ambassadors of pickleball! See you on the pickleball courts.
Seattle Metro Pickleball Association
Jerry Kindinger, President
Your SMPA Membership – Join and Volunteer
February 2019 marks the first renewal emails on their way to encourage our association members to re-up their membership. We’re Seattle METRO Pickleball Association because we promote and assist the growth of pickleball all around the Seattle area. You can help us grow.
The SMPA Board is made up of pickleball players who, like many of you, grow frustrated by long waits to play or by the appalling lack of courts in the Seattle area. We volunteer our time, energy, and money to build and sustain this organization with the mission of growing pickleball play opportunities in Seattle. We need your help, as a member of our still growing organization, to do the work required: hold play events, assist in membership drives, teach clinics, and help plan SMPA events throughout the year.
Want to do more? We’d love to get you involved with our ongoing activities. If you have marketing or event-planning, fund raising or other skills, send us a message to volunteersseattlemetropickleball.com and we promise to get back to you quickly and find a good fit for your skills.
The City of Seattle completed the Pickleball Pilot Program that ran officially from October 2017 to October 2018. During that period, they painted 24 courts at 7 different tennis courts around the City.
What we know is this:
Green Lake rocked, and continues to rock pickleball, what with 45+ players showing up on the weekends. That’s pretty incredible, considering that the Green Lake northeast tennis courts were painted for only two pickleball courts. Ever resourceful, the SMPA guys, Sean and Frank, who reserved the courts and managed them all summer and into the fall, simply taped out more courts as needed. We “built” ’em, and players came.
Miller Playfield had four pickleball courts painted out, and now have a semipermanent net there as well, and hosted a steady stream of players for Thursday night play under the lights. Yes, lights. Outside. Fun times, and as soon as the winter weather abates, we expect it to be a popular Central District pickleball hotspot to supplement their indoor play.
Soundview Courts in the Olympic Hills/Crown Hill area of northwest Seattle let us run a summer pickleball league as a pilot program. And we’ve heard anecdotally from players that live in that area that the courts have been a great addition to the park there. Quiet now, you can check out nets and start playing there on dry winter days.
Discovery Park was the site for our Seattle Metro Classic tournament, a fun couple of weekends that let us cut our teeth on running a tournament. Don’t let the lack of nets stop you: let the Parks Department know that we need more nets. Semipermanent ones would be great.
West Seattle, too, saw a steady stream of players making use of their outdoor courts to help manage the overflow at Delridge Community Center and to enjoy the lovely summer weather. Fun games, good friends, hot pickleball.
Georgetown drew some local players, and South Park is just too unhealthy to play at. Between basketball posts too close to the back line and Highway 99 trucks dumping diesel exhaust right onto the court, outdoor play there is not an option. However, indoors, Monday-Wednesday-Friday play is hotly competitive. Having outdoor courts for the overflow would be great. Someday.
And what the city of Seattle Parks knows now is that the demand for pickleball courts grows weekly and will only increase. If there are any limits at all, it’s the lack of courts. Indoor, outdoor, pickleball deserves a permanent place in their budgeting and long-term plans. SMPA meets with the project planners to stay on top of their plans, and to continue to press for courts.
Seattle Pickleball Players at USAPA National Pickleball Championships
For all who went to the desert to play or simply watch the Pickleball matches at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, the consensus is that it was a complete blast. The intense heat of the first few days was a sideshow to some really great pickleball. Imagine being at summer camp where all the cool counselors are the best pickleball players in the country, if not the world. Top professionals, local legends, players of all ages (amazing pre-teen players from Southern California), and abilities, with play starting at 3.0 level up to the professionals made for great games from dawn until the lights shut down around midnight. There were no losers here, as the USAPA created and managed a spectacular tournament.
Seattle and the metro area were well represented up and down the age and skill spectrum at the USAPA National Pickleball Championships in Indian Wells, California this past November. This isn’t a comprehensive list, so if we missed someone, please let us know.
Senior pickleball locals Gil Middleton and Yim Lee competed in the 80+ division men’s doubles, and Yim took home bronze in singles.
David Park and John Lui competed in the Men’s Doubles 3.5 and 35+, and while they didn’t win a medal, John took home Gold for his singles play.
USAPA deserves many kudos for a well run tournament that showcased the sport for a national audience and with free entry, let local fanatics fill the stands and crowd around the courts every day to take in the non-stadium court play. Stadium court, reserved for medal matches and celebrity play, sold out for the last few days of the tournament, and the fireworks on the court helped offset the cool night air. If you weren’t among those who took to the desert for the event this year, book your hotel now for next year. USAPA has a few registration changes in store, but there’ll be plenty of time to let that settle while those who want to play with their counterparts from across the US can start working on their pickleball games. You’ll want to be there.
Fran Myer inducted into the USAPA Pickleball Hall of Fame
Fran Myer likens her induction to the USAPA Pickleball Hall of fame to a Forrest Gump moment, because she feels like she’s been running around, learning how to play pickleball, dragging others onto the courts, building out a pickleball sales business, playing tournaments, organizing the first National Pickleball Tournament, and is still surprised to be honored for her work.
“I wasn’t an athlete,” says the height-challenged player, “and my background was in ballet from the age of 5 until 12, piano throughout high school. I had a lot of music in my background.” Fran attended the University of Washington, where she met her PE requirement by taking a swim test, which when she failed, meant she had to take swimming. Fortunately for the pickleball world, she passed up swimming post college and found another passion, pickleball.
“I was working at UW and they had a pickleball court at the IMA (intramural sports facility),” and Fran took to dragging her coworkers from the Urban Horticulture Center, now the UW Botanical Gardens) to play, “and I brought the paddles and the balls and got these people to come.”
Not much later, she gave in to the allure of tournament play. In fact, that’s where she met her husband Barney. Another Hall of Famer, Sid Williams, tagged Fran to play with some guy needing a partner. They played together, and then several tournaments later, played again. They met in 2000 and married in 2002. Together, they took Fran’s early work on PickleballStuff.com and grew what she started as a website to offer up rules, how to build courts, and so on. “People would email me and ask me where to buy this (pickleball) stuff, and I’d send them to Pickleball Inc. This kept happening over and over. Eventually, I just started selling pickleball stuff myself.”
We went on to talk about the long nights packaging up equipment to ship around the globe. “We wound up selling to people all over the world, Guam, Singapore, Cypress, and even Fiji. And all the states.”
By the time Fran’s husband passed away in 2014, Fran and her pickleball venture, and her reputation as a teacher and organizer, were already Hall-of-Fame worthy. The first National tournaments existed because of the efforts of Fran and the handful of Seattle players working to grow the sport. But the bright lights of Indian Wells not only dazzled the 2000-plus players there, but shone brightly on Fran Myer as she was recognized for her work to develop pickleball.
When asked what she wants for pickleball moving forward, Fran said, “Where it’s headed, given the fact that it has grown so fast, it’ll become an Olympic sport. It won’t be very much longer before people will start lobbying for including it in the Olympics.”
Fran acknowledged, “The thing is, pickleball grew so quickly that it’s hard to keep up with it. Before we could even say we needed a computerized program to manage the tournaments, we were already getting so many people signing up for them, you just have to run to keep up.” She said that personally, she “wanted there to be pickleball no matter where (she) went…Hartford, CT, Ashland, OR, and California.”
She concluded that “I totally believe in this sport for the health benefits. You’re a winner because you’re out there playing.”
Registration is open for International Indoor Pickleball Championships
Calling all indoor pickleball players. Registration opened this weekend for the International Indoor Pickleball Championship (IIPC) at NW Sports Hub, Centralia, WA, Tuesday 03/26/19 thru Sunday 03/31/19. This excellent tournament is a qualifying event for those who plan to play in the USAPA National Pickleball Championship in 2019.
In the opening hours of registration, the tournament drew 160 players of what will likely wind up being around 500 or more participants. You can play, volunteer, referee, and otherwise meet and enjoy pickleball with an international crowd. This tournament tends to pull some of our Canadian pickleballers across the border, so come and join the fun, eh? See PickleballTournaments.com and navigate to the registration page to sign up for this great indoor venue.
Seattle evening and weekend pickleball is being preempted by the children’s basketball season. There are still some options available, and here’s what we’re suggesting. send an email to Christopher Williams, the Parks superintendent, and also to the Board of Park Commissioners. No single email is going to change their stance, but the more they hear from pickleball players, the better.
Eckstein Middle School Pickleball Update
The organizers for this project to resuscitate the existing school courts for pickleball have scheduled a meeting for December 3rd (Monday) at 6:30 – 7:30 PM (meeting room open at 6:15) in the Seattle Public Library NE Branch (35th Ave and NE 68th St). The purpose of the meeting is to provide general information about what is coming in the months ahead, solicit initial project feedback and answer any questions.
Still More Seattle City Planning on the Horizon
Seattle Parks department’s planning process is underway. There should be an opportunity for public comments on the plan in the Spring. We’ll keep you posted if we learn anything new on this.
Holiday Gift Planning
We’re Seattle METRO Pickleball Association for a reason, and that means we want to promote and assist in the growth of pickleball all around the area. Help us grow and plan to get involved with our activities.
If you’re looking for a holiday gift for your favorite partner…
An SMPA membership makes for wonderful gift any time of the year. At twenty bucks (US) and no wrapping, you’ve checked off a gift and helped SMPA grow our membership.
Want to give something more?
Seattle Metro Pickleball Association is a registered 501c3 organization, yes, non-profit, and your year-end, tax deductible contributions would be both deeply appreciated and 100% used to promote pickleball in the area. And ultimately? Your gift will help SMPA in our important work of creating and increasing pickleball play opportunities.
Calling all wannabe refs
2019 promises more tournament action than ever, and therefore will require more refs for sanctioned and nonsanctioned tournaments alike. While we don’t have any specific workshops for refs on the schedule yet, we hope to get a series going early in the next year. Between the International Indoor Pickleball Championship in Centralia in March 2019, and a late-July regional tournament (details being ironed out) in Shoreline, the demand for referees is growing. Keep an eye on the SMPA website, follow the newsletter, and we’ll let you know as soon as something’s on the schedule.
Message from the President
In the last two months, SMPA has been working to implement the board’s strategic plan goals set out in the last newsletter. Not always very visible to the members, our Board activities include:
Investigating several potential sites for dedicated pickleball courts. Our committee has begun to evaluate them using a common set of criteria approved by SPR. We are winnowing the list to focus on sites that will best serve the metropolitan area and the strong demand for more courts. All of this work is in the preliminary stages, but we will keep you informed of our progress as substantive recommendations evolve.
As part of the effort of engaging with the City of Seattle to help develop more pickleball courts, SMPA Board members received orientation from SPR on the use and application of the Racial, Equity and Justice tool kit which the City wants included in any analysis of potential courts on city property. The purpose of this tool kit is to provide a means of ensuring availability of city programs and facilities to persons of diverse demographic backgrounds and geographic areas. This intense work is something we gladly took on in the interest of developing pickleball for all.
SMPA accepted an invitation from the Seattle School District to make a presentation in February to an annual conference of physical education teachers in order to educate them about pickleball and suggest a format by which PE teachers of middle school students can teach and play pickleball in PE classes. This is part of our commitment to introduce our sport to others.
SMPA jumped in to help out the Green Lake Community Center when they started their “Introduction to Pickleball” Saturday classes without an instructor. A number of SMPA members filled in to make sure that the group will leave the 5 week class well grounded in pickleball basics.
We are exploring new and exciting pickleball events for next year and look forward to sharing these with you in the coming months as planning progresses and the events become more definite. Tournaments? Leagues? Keep tuned.
On behalf or our entire board of directors, I send you our best wishes for happy, healthy and safe holidays. We are looking forward an exciting 2019.
Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) continues to work to grow pickleball in the wider Seattle metro area. We meet monthly with the City of Seattle to address the issue of outdoor court venues and access, and work where we’re needed to help surrounding areas as they, too, work with their local parks departments to develop access to more courts.
Meet our Board and check out the Action Alert page for ways to get involved and speak up when we need to show force and numbers of players. And consider joining! For a mere $20 a year, your annual membership will help us in our quest to drive pickleball as a sport to be reckoned with when we deal with local Parks folks.
Semi-Permanent Pickleball Nets
Delivered just in time for the rainy season, SMPA applied for a grant from the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhood’s Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) to the tune of $5,000. With this money we ordered three sturdy, high quality Douglas pickleball nets and distributed them between Green Lake Pickleball Courts (2) and Miller Playfield outdoor courts. Yes, we know dedicated courts would be even better, however we also know that where there are nets up already during the playing hours, pickleball players will come and they will play. Check out this photo from the first games on Green Lake courts. Have paddle, will play. Are you with us? The last Saturday in October had 55 people at Green Lake vying for 6 courts.
Summer in the City: Teens, Leagues, Tournaments, and Pickleball in the Park
SMPA had a busy summer, offering the first of league play, a couple of tournaments, more Pickleball in the Park events, and a pickleball shootout on the 4th of July.
Pickleball in the Park
Following on a very successful Pickleball in the Park event at Green Lake pickleball courts in May 2018, SMPA held additional events at Miller Playfield and Delridge Courts (West Seattle). Pickleball players old and new turned out for the instructional clinic, skills contests, and open play. The SRO event helped grow the membership, introduce the game to some new players, and let some of the current players hone their skills. Overall a success, the Pickleball in the Park events showed that the work SMPA did with the city to get courts painted is paying dividends by giving us venues to showcase the sport.
Sixteen avid pickleball players turned up at Soundview courts in the Olympic Hills area of Seattle to play a weekly league in July. This first league event let the SMPA Play committee assess interest and work out the details of renting and using the city-painted pickleball courts in the shared-with-tennis world. Great play, improved skills, new friendships, and a determination to expand the offering resulted, so stay tuned to our SMPA website (and FaceBook) for more. Erin O’Rourke and Jeff Dye captured Gold, Stephanie Leeper and Frank Chiappone took silver and the Bronze went to Justine Park and Aaron Gooze. Thanks to all the participants for a fun summer event. And many thanks to Frank Chiappone for his hard work on organizing and managing the nascent league play.
Seattle Metro Classic Pickleball Tournament
This classic in the making was SMPA’s first step in providing tournament play in Seattle. Held at Discovery Park, the tournaments, with 3.5 and 4.0 skill level events, faced challenges from weather and last-minute signups to fill the brackets, but was a great success for all involved. Want more? Consider joining the Play or Events committees and help us do more of these. Oh, and you want to know the winners, too:
Mixed Doubles: Gold: Justine Park and John Lui; Silver: Heather Carter and Mike Givens; Bronze: Ying Zhao and Frank Chiappone.
Women’s Doubles: Gold: Heather Carter and Cynthia Concannon; Silver: Ying Zhao and Erin O’Rourke;Bronze: Margo Huang and Patty Vanderhoeven
Men’s Doubles: Gold: Scott Smith and Jason Pauley; Silver: Mike Givens and Paul Matthewson; Bronze: John Lui and David Park
Mixed Doubles: Gold: Karen Arango and Oscar Montes; Silver: Christie Gestvang and Seth Caswell; Bronze: Heather Carter and Walter Wiedeman
Men’s Doubles: Gold: Jason Pauley and Ryan Shipman; Silver: Paul Matthewson and Maurice Parobec; Bronze: Jeff Dye and Frank Chiappone
July 4th Pickleball Shootout at Green Lake
What a great way to work out before the holiday picnics, with a full morning of competitive pickleball play. A happy dozen or so players showed up at Green Lake Pickleball courts to play a shootout format. The winners and losers agree: a fun morning and a good template for future holidays. Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, Labor Day…you name it, and the Play committee will consider.
Teen Night at South Park
Led by SMPA member Dan McGee, with the able assistance from SMPA Board members Jerry, Frank, Sean, and Tom, we took over the Friday night teen play at South Park Community Center to introduce the game of pickleball. So maybe we had more fun than the kids, however we hope we showed them another way to make use of their gym time, and maybe there will be a future player or two who emerges from this group.
Pickleball in the National News Headlines
Pickleball is growing and growing and growing
The Outdoor Industry Association latest data (https://outdoorindustry.org/resource/2018-outdoor-participation-report/) shows that pickleball is growing at a rate of 10% or more per year, while tennis is flat or declining. If that trend continues, there will be about half as many pickleball players as tennis players in 10 years from now. We know it’s high time to start planning for pickleball complexes in the Seattle Metro Area! And we want your input, so please make any additions to our own growing list by sending a note to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add to our list. Don’t worry, we’ll share that information as we develop our criteria, so check back in the next newsletter or check the Seattle Metro Pickleball site.
Can pickleball help you live longer?
We know it, and we work hard at our games, and now Loma Linda has picked up on the trend and offers their proof of pickleball as a way of living, and staying healthy, for longer. View their report:
We see it as another good argument for Seattle Metro area pickleball complexes!
Out of Utah: Dedicated pickleball courts reduces crime
Utah enjoys St. George as a pickleball Mecca. Their neighbor to the north, Orem, Utah is reporting crime reduction as well. https://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/central/orem/orem-pickleball-courts-reducing-crime/article_6deb4621-914b-558e-91d1-dc3d2deff735.html Time for pickleball complexes around the Seattle metro area, don’t you think!
Around the Metro area
We adopted the name of Seattle METRO Pickleball Association for a reason, and that means we want to promote and assist in the growth of pickleball all around the area.
New pickleball courts in Shoreline
Shoreview Park has new play surfaces and with that, pickleball courts got painted. What’s next? You can haul nets there to play with a lovely water view. And, not to tip our hands, but there may be a major summer tournament brewing for that location. Stay tuned! And thank you to founding and former Board member Patrick Johnson for his work on developing this opportunity.
New pickleball complex in Sequim
Sequim’s pickleball community raised $216,000 to supplement city funding and took a couple of years to complete their beautiful pickleball complex. Their first tournament was hit by a rainy day, but they played anyway, as desperate pickleballers will do. Think it’s time for pickleball complexes in the Seattle Metro Area? We do!
URGENT – 4th Annual Pickleball Halloween Pickleball Play Day at Mercer Island
Mercer Island pickleball players aren’t always serious when it comes to court time. They can party, too! Mercer Island Community Center invites pickleball players to come to their Pickleball Play on Wednesday, October 31. They’ve scheduled:
Parade of costumes at 11:15 AM
Costume awards ceremony at 11:30 AM (Best costume, Best in play, Best pickle (people’s choice)
Open play as usual follows
Help the Friends of Eckstein Middle School Pickleball
If you’re on our mailing list or follow our our Facebook page or view Time for Pickleball, you’ve seen the requests from the folks who are trying to get some old tennis courts repurposed as pickleball courts. These planned pickleball courts will be off limits during the school operating hours, although available after school and on weekends, and likely all summer, and allow the school to develop a pickleball component in their program. Please take their survey here.
Seattle Pickleball Pilot Survey
Survey closed October 31, 2018
Thank you to the 246 of you who answered the Seattle Parks Department’s Pickleball Pilot Program Survey. Given that they aren’t otherwise collecting usage numbers at the venues where regular play is happening, the high number of respondents helped let them know just how many of us are urging them to move faster to get us more courts and more court time. Thank you to all who responded to our FaceBook link and emailed requests! Numbers count.
More Seattle City Planning on the Horizon
The city of Seattle Parks department is starting a new planning process. There should be an opportunity for public comments on the plan in the Spring. We’ll keep you posted. If you hear of other planning activities going on in or around Seattle, let us know.
Thanks and goodbye to Board members Stan and Jimi and welcome Tom!
Launching SMPA required pickleball players with vision, energy, and drive to meet and do the ground work to become the nonprofit metro association we are building. Stan Jonasson was one of the first local players to answer the call, and he brought business acumen and energy to launch the first membership drives. He leaves us with his move to Port Townsend, but never fear, he’s upping the level of play for everyone there. Thank you, Stan, for your early efforts to build SMPA.
Another person critical to our initial work and success is departing Board member Jimi Vernie, who’s leaving the board but not West Seattle pickleball so that she can handle a family issue. As the governmental liaison, Jimi was essential in building the great relationships we continue to enjoy with the City of Seattle. Look for her at Delridge when you play in West Seattle, and help us express our deep gratitude to Jimi for her efforts to grow pickleball.
If you attended a Pickleball in the park event, you got some great instruction from our newest Board member, Tom Grubb. He regularly teaches in Burien and plays all over Seattle and will be a key part of our efforts to develop more pickleball venues, particularly as we work to develop dedicated pickleball facilities in the metro area. Welcome, Tom, you’re a great addition to our Board of Directors.
Message from the President
The SMPA Board honored our first year as a nonprofit by adopting some specific strategic goals for the organization. Our mission of growing the sport of pickleball and increasing accessibility of venues, has not changed. To this end, we have committed to concentrate on the following areas for the next year, and invite everyone to help us in these efforts.
Dedicated pickleball courts — Ultimately, we seek dedicated outdoor PB courts as well as an indoor facility. We recognize that this goal may not be achieved in 2018, but we unanimously agreed to begin working toward this achievement now and to make future decisions with this goal in mind.
More pickleball play opportunities for all persons — We committed to explore ways to involve more play for existing PB players as well as to seek to introduce this sport to others. This is a multi-faceted undertaking. We intend to collect data from SPR and other sources in order to determine how and when and where most play is occurring and to identify areas of need to improve availability of courts throughout the Seattle metropolitan area at times useful to persons of all demographic backgrounds. We have discussed holding more open play and clinics in order to expand our PB reach to others who may not have (or know about) this opportunity.
Increase involvement and participation in SMPA — We have added additional committees in order to better serve our mission and invited SMPA members to serve on these committees. We also plan to expand our existing board and improve geographic and demographic representation. We intend to continue working on increasing our membership to ensure that SMPA speaks with the strongest voice possible in promoting our mission.
None of this is possible without the engagement and support of the Seattle metro area pickleball community. As you’ve read the newsletter, perhaps you have seen some area that calls out to you to be involved. We have a number of committees that do the work to promote pickleball and engage with the city departments regarding pickleball issues. Please let us know about any areas of interest to you. Email volunteersseattlemetropickleball.com. Any assistance is welcome and appreciated.
Paddles up, and we’ll see you on the pickleball courts!
I want to share what the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association has been doing to promote the sport we love since last month’s newsletter.
In April, we added two new directors to our board, Sean Oldridge and Frank Chiappone. Both of these SMPA members are passionate about pickleball and have already made important contributions to our organization.
We are pleased to announce that on May 9, 2018 we received an official Internal Revenue Service notification that SMPA is classified as a public charity exempt from federal income tax. For our members this means that any donations, including annual dues, can be deducted on their federal tax returns. The effective date is retroactive to September 19, 2017, the date of SMPA’s incorporation.
We have organized weekly open play at Green Lake on Thursdays from 5:30 PM to sunset and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 AM to noon. This is a wonderful outdoor venue at which the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department has (with support from SMPA) lined for pickleball as part of a pilot program to gage the need for more courts. So please come play. No reservations are necessary. Just show up. Optional $2 donations are accepted to help defray permit costs.
From my personal experience I can say that this is a very fun experience and an excellent opportunity to meet new players. Directors Frank and Sean set up the courts each week and welcome all comers. SMPA is also working on establishing other open play venues. Stay tuned.
This month we are excited to sponsor two free play and learn events at different venues. The first of which was held Saturday, May 12th, at Green Lake where more than 100 pickleball players from the metro area gathered for four hours of fun on a beautiful sunny day by the lake. We had two free clinics, open play, and lots of discussion about how we can work together to get more courts and more play for pickleball in the Seattle area.
If you missed it, we’re hosting another Pickleball in the Park event on May 26th, this time at the Miller Playfield pickleball courts in the heart of Capitol Hill. You can read more about both events below.
Our membership is growing but we need your support, so if you haven’t yet done so, please join us! We have revised the application form on our website so that it is more user friendly. I look forward to seeing you all on the courts.
SMPA is hosting another Pickleball in the Park event, this time at the Miller Playfield pickleball courts on Saturday, May 26, 2018 from 10 AM – 2 PM.
Grab your paddle, come play some pickleball, and learn about the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association!
There’ll be free pickleball clinics from IPTPA Certified Pickleball coach Tom Grubb with open play on the four Miller Playfield pickleball courts at 330 19th Avenue East, Seattle.
Learn more about SMPA, how you can become a member, and add your voice to the growing number of players working to promote the sport of pickleball and expand available facilities and playing times in the Seattle metro area.
Thanks to everyone who came out Saturday, May 12th to support our SMPA event at Green Lake.
Thanks as well to Tom Grubb who donated his time and energy to put on two fabulous clinics. He also hung around after to offer individual tips, and he was seen on the court getting a game or two. Well done Tom!
A score of volunteers made sure everything ran smoothly, and it would be a big miss if they didn’t get a shout out and huge thanks for their help and good cheer throughout the day.
Hopefully, those of you who were there learned something new, made some new friends, and played some exciting games.
There was some wait in between games, and we had to play shortened games, but that’s exactly the reason why we need to keep raising our voices (and our paddles) to let the city know we need more courts and more play.
Finally, welcome, to those of you who signed up as new SMPA members. We’re excited to have you as part of our growing community and join us as an agent of change for pickleball throughout the Seattle Metro area.
For those who have not yet joined, if you believe that there should be more opportunities to play pickleball in the Seattle Metro area, then hit this button, have your credit card handy, and with a few simple steps, join.
Action Alert: Public input needed regarding dedicated outdoor pickleball courts in Bellevue
The city of Bellevue is considering converting the single Sunset Park tennis court into two or three dedicated pickleball courts. (Unfortunately, this tennis court is too small to comfortably fit four pickleball courts.) The city is seeking public comments by June 6 at which point we expect them to tally the votes “for” and “against” this project. We need pickleball enthusiasts to stand up and be counted. Please send an email to Lynde Wallick today to voice your support for this project.
Read more about this project and how you can help get more pickleball courts for Eastside play by visiting our Action Alert page.
Many of you asked for an SMPA t-shirt in both men’s and women’s style, using a quick-dry material that would be better suited for summer play. Well, good news, the new t-shirts are here: new color (black), new material, and all new style for both men and women, same great SMPA logo!
The new shirts sell for $25. Look for us at events, community centers and courts across the metro area to purchase your new SMPA t-shirt.
Congratulations to SMPA members Roberta and John Donovan, Gold Medal winners in the 3.0 70+ mixed division at the 2017 USAPA National Championships. When home in Seattle for the summers, Roberta and John play at Jeﬀerson Park, South Park and Pickleball Station in Kent and occasionally at Delridge and Hiawatha in West Seattle.
The Donovans got hooked on pickleball 5 years ago and started playing in tournaments just last year when John was asked to fill in for a sick partner. In addition to winning at Nationals, they claimed gold at the Grand Canyon State Games as well.
In their own words: “We love the workout we get in pickleball both physically and mentally. We have found the mental game is much bigger than we originally thought during the ﬁrst few years. There is a wealth of information on the internet regarding playing and thinking. One of our favorites is Sarah Ansboury, she oﬀers great insight into the game.”
Paddle of choice: Selkirk. Roberta uses the Selkirk Omni Graphite (Chris Peterson signature design) 7.1 oz. John uses the Selkirk Omni Amped Fiberﬂex at 7.5 oz.
Frank is a former sports anchor/reporter at KOMO-TV in Seattle where he once won an Emmy for synchronized swimming although he didn’t actually synch or swim. Now at Microsoft, he helps teachers and students do great things using technology in their classrooms.
At home, He has a wife, Bert, and three college kids, Frankie, Alle and Ella, who encourage his pickleball obsession and will occasionally play with him.
Life before pickleball is a little hazy, but he vaguely remembers enjoying sports of all kind, cooking, DIY house projects and playing the ukulele.
He plays pickleball at least three times a week wherever he can, mostly in North Seattle, but has also played in Florida, Arizona, Texas and Hawaii, but not on the same day.
Sean has worked at Microsoft for the past 26 years as a Software Engineer, most recently on the Office team.
He and his wife, Erin, have been married for 20 years and have a daughter in high school, and a son in college.
After playing soccer for over 25 years, his body was aching for a new sport. Sean was introduced to Pickleball almost a year ago, and has become infatuated with playing and promoting the sport since.
If someone forwarded the newsletter link to you and you would like to be notified directly next time, ask us to put you on our contact list with an email to infoseattlemetropickleball.com or, better yet, join SMPA.
Hello everyone and welcome to our first newsletter. We are excited for the opportunity to introduce our recently formed nonprofit organization, Seattle Metro Pickleball Association. We urge you to join the SMPA. You can do so by clicking on the big green button below. Our goal is to build an organization comprised of pickleball players interested in promoting the sport of pickleball, expanding available facilities and playing times, and some day hosting a variety of events, clinics and tournaments in the Seattle area. Through building a large membership we hope to be able to represent and meet the needs of all players in the Seattle metropolitan area more effectively than has been done to date.
We plan that this newsletter will become a regular publication and be devoted to informing the pickleball playing public about recent and upcoming activities on the Seattle pickleball scene, and goals we have for adding pickleball facilities and activities to our area. We intend to provide status reports on our progress and other information of interest.
We have been busy over the last year. We have applied for a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS. That application is pending and should be approved within the next several weeks. We have collected a comprehensive list of pickleball venues in the Seattle Metro area to help you find more opportunities to play. We have participated in several meetings with Seattle Parks and Recreation representatives. Because of these meetings and efforts of many pickleball enthusiasts, several existing outdoor tennis courts have added pickleball lines. The Parks department has worked with us to provide outdoor nets and balls at many community centers. We have also been working to obtain additional courts. This is a start. Our long-term dreams are to develop dedicated pickleball courts all over the greater Seattle Metro area. To accomplish this, we will need support of players throughout the greater metropolitan area. We are excited about the future of pickleball for Seattle. Come join us!
To achieve our goals of increasing the number of players and places to play pickleball in the Seattle metro area, we need to strengthen our organization and continue to be a unified voice with governments and decision makers. We must reach out to our communities and introduce the game to others and teach them to play and love the sport as we do. We need your energy, your voice and your support.
Thank you for subscribing and staying up to date on our progress. We invite you to officially become a member of the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association with either a 1-year $20 membership, or a lifetime $500 membership. Your dues will support SMPA initiatives and entitles you to SMPA member benefits .
Join now and contribute to an association where all members share the same vision. There will also be opportunities to help us fundraise, spread the word, or volunteer your time and talents to that end.
To achieve our goals of increasing the number of players and places to pickleball in the Seattle metro area, we need to strengthen our organization and continue to be a unified voice with governments and decision makers. We must reach out to our communities and introduce the game to others and teach them to play and love the sport as we do. We need your energy, your voice and your support.
Seattle Parks and Rec Pickleball Conversion Pilot
Seattle Parks and Rec’s (SPR) Pickleball Pilot Project is in full swing throughout the metro area! This is an opportunity to show the SPR leadership that pickleball players are out there; we are growing in numbers and we need more venues and more opportunities to play.
The 24 courts are lined on tennis courts in 7 parks. You can find the list here .
The success of the pilot program will be determined by several factors including how often the courts are reserved and how frequently the equipment is checked out (information below). There will also be random site checks to monitor use of the courts.
SPR is encouraging feedback from players. Helpful information would include` safety issues, courts in disrepair, difficulty checking out equipment or simply not enough courts to accommodate all players. Send your feedback by email or call 206-233-0063
Here are the instructions from SPR on how to check out equipment:
Pickleball equipment is available for free check-out at the front desks of the following community centers:
Delridge Community Center
Discovery Park Environmental Learning Center
Green Lake Community Center
Miller Community Center
South Park Community Center
To reserve the equipment:
Fill out the equipment check-out form with your information. You do not need to leave an i.d. or any form of collateral with community center staff.
Please note that the equipment is heavy (approx 25lbs) and cumbersome. SPR staff can only assist with exchanging the equipment at the front desk. Staff are not available to transport equipment.
As part of the pilot program overnight check-out is available. Equipment checked out overnight must be returned the next day (the center is open) within an hour after the center has opened to allow the equipment to be available for other users. Should the equipment not be returned, the user will be responsible for the cost of replacement.
SMPA members Sean Oldridge and Frank Chiappone have volunteered to host drop in play at the Green Lake Park courts every Saturday and Sunday from 9am – 12pm. They’ll get to the courts early and have the nets set up and ready to go so all you need to do is show up and play!
We are looking for volunteers to organize and host drop in play at other pilot locations. If you’re interested, or just want more information, post a message for Sean and Frank on the North Seattle Pickleball Players Facebook page.
The Pilot Project comes to an end October 31, 2018. Go out and play, have fun, and let’s make this pilot project a big success.
Jerry took up pickleball in the Summer of 2016 after retiring from the long-time practice of law in the Seattle area. Pickleball is his new passion.
Jerry is married to Marcia, and they have a grown married daughter, Kerry. He and Marcia play pickleball several times a week at various venues in Central and South Seattle.
He is one of the founders of the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association along with several other enthusiasts who are interested in expanding available pickleball facilities and events and introducing this fantastic game to others.
Theresa Haynie, Vice President/Secretary
Theresa took up pickleball after a summer of being net hauler and line-painter for the pickleball courts on Orcas Island. Married to an avid pickleball player, Theresa accompanies her wife Kathy to the occasional tournament, and makes certain the paddles are always packed for any and all travels.
Theresa schedules her technical writing workday around pickleball play at various Seattle community centers. As one of the SMPA founders, she believes strongly in giving back to the sport by working to improve playing opportunities throughout the Seattle metro area. Favorite outdoor venues: Green Lake and Buck Park on Orcas. Favorite indoor venue: Pickleball Station in Kent.
Drew Thoresen, Treasurer
Drew retired in 2007 and currently lives in West Seattle.
He is one of the founders of Seattle Metro Pickleball Association and first played pickleball in the early 1980’s, took it up again 3 years ago and now plays mostly in West Seattle.
He previously worked as a CPA, Controller, CFO and a founder/co-owner of two small businesses.
Sandra Goldade, Director
Sandra currently works at Boeing but will be retiring in a few months. She has one son, Max.
Sandra has been playing pickleball (and volleyball) for 15 years, first starting as a way to spend more time with her 94-year old dad. There is some humor in hearing a 60-something woman yelling “Dad!” in a group of people over 55.
An SMPA founder and part of the membership committee, Sandra plays several times a week at 3 gyms in West Seattle.
Jimi Vernie, Director
Jimi is a retired teacher who left small-town eastern Washington life and moved to Seattle with her husband in 2000. They started playing pickleball to get acquainted with the community. They were quickly hooked and now play 4 to 5 times a week.
Jimi has a daughter, step-daughter, a step-son, 5 grandchildren, and as of 6 months ago, a great-grandchild!
Jimi enjoys helping people make connections to other people and to our pickleball community. A founding member of the SMPA, she played a key role in the SPR Pickleball Pilot Project.
Stan Jonasson, Director
Stan is a retired Seattle small businesses owner. He moved to Seattle in 1980 from his native state of Idaho, and has been here ever since, except for one year living in New Zealand.
Stan and his wife, Linda, live in Ballard. He has two adult daughters and a step-son. Three years ago, Linda took Stan to a pickleball class and he was smitten. He is a founding member of SMPA and sits on the membership committee. Stan also volunteers for several environmental organizations.
Miguel de Campos, Director
Miguel must have been a dog in one of his previous lives because when he sees a moving ball he has to go fetch it and return it to wherever it came from.
When he is not coaxing pickleballs with a paddle, you might find him kicking them with his foot or trying to trap them with his chest, both old reflexes from his soccer playing days
When no balls are around, Miguel enjoys programming computers, keeping timeforpickleball.com up to date, listening to music and visualizing achieving world peace through pickleball, a key reason he helped found the SMPA.
Miguel’s wife, who does not share his canine ancestry, prefers yoga, tai chi, and qigong to pickleball.