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Introducing the Diversity and Inclusion in Pickleball Fund 

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) Board of Directors unanimously approved a new program dedicated to providing pickleball to underserved communities in Seattle. This effort is being driven by Sue Goodwin along with a soon-to-be formed Advisory Council of community representatives.

The community Advisory Council expects to engage neighborhood members to drive local player involvement. The goal is to set the stage for participants to learn and practice skills to foster a pickleball community and culture characterized by courtesy, kindness, and inclusion. The Advisory Council will help to recruit, train, and hire youth and adult leaders, coaches, referees, and ambassadors from these communities with a goal of growing the game and culture of pickleball.

The fund source is expected to be a combination of community donations, grants specific to the instructional and participation goals of the program, and personal donations, with SMPA acting as the nonprofit fiscal sponsor. Sue Goodwin expects to bring additional funds to the Seattle Diversity and Inclusion in Pickleball (DIIP) Fund through pickleball clinics, lessons, and donations.

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association has launched this dedicated fund to provide financial support for DEI pickleball programs and related services for established underserved communities of Seattle, to expand the ethnic, economic, and geographic diversity in pickleball play and instructional activities. With a goal of $10,000 annual budget, the DIIP Fund is managed by the program’s Advisory Council.

Click the Donate button to complete your online donation to the DIIP Fund. 

If you have any questions, email us and we’ll respond as promptly as possible.

If you are making your donation by check, make it payable to Seattle Metro Pickleball Association noted as “DIIP fund”. Mail to SMPA, 6523 California Avenue SW, Ste 151, Seattle WA 98136.

This DIIP fund allows personal funds, corporate matching funds, or donor-advised funds be given as tax-deductible donations to the 501(c)3 nonprofit Seattle Metro Pickleball Association.

News Volunteer

Volunteer and up your game. It’s a win-win.

The pickleball license plate is on track to become a reality and you can participate in the process. We only need less than 800 petition signatures to reach our goal of 3,500 by December 19 (Mon).

SMPA has pickleball instructors excited about the license plate who are donating their time to give free clinics as a thank you to any volunteers helping with the final push to get petition signatures. Volunteers will be eligible for a FREE Intermediate/Advanced Skills and Drills Clinics to be taught by prominent pickleball instructors in April or May 2023 (Dates/location TBD) for every 50 petition signatures.


  • First 16 people to turn in 50 petition signatures (2 full sheets) will get a FREE spot in a 90-minute clinic.
  • Every 50 signatures guarantees a FREE spot.
  • Collect 100 signatures and bring a friend to the clinic for FREE!

Bring the petition sheets, a clipboard and pen to your favorite hangout, family gathering, tournament, league, or club event! Please keep the originals and email photos of completed petition sheets to by 12/19/2022.

Volunteer Opportunities

Please sign up for a shift on SignUpGenius to collect petition signatures at the 2022 ETC/Kirkland Holiday Pickleball Smash!

Over 400 players are registered for this tournament on 12/15 to 12/18 (4 days). It’s the easiest way to hit the 50 signatures and secure a FREE admission to the Spring 2023 Pickleball Skills clinic. Sign up for 2-hour shifts now!

Draft Plate Design and Online Petition

The online petition is available for signatures from anywhere! Check out the draft designs and vote for your favorite before the poll is closed.

Alert News

Seattle Parks Listening Sessions Update

Seattle Parks sent you an invitation that reads “We want to hear your ideas on how to make our recreation facilities and programs work for you! Join the conversation with recreation leadership and share your ideas on how we can improve recreation communications, facility hours, and programs.”

Eighteen people, fifteen of which were pickleball players, attended the first listening session.

Here is what transpired.

Good News

Seattle Parks is considering increasing evening and weekend operating hours at its community centers. 

Bad News

To increase evening and weekend operating hours, something’s gotta give: the current operating hours. Seattle Parks is considering taking away some of the hours that the community centers are currently open during the day Mondays to Fridays and moving them to evenings and weekends. This could seriously affect the current drop-in pickleball schedule.

What Can You Do About It?

Attend a listening session

If you attend one of the listening sessions, you will be asked four questions:

  1. Indicate when you would like to access recreation facilities and programs, by distributing stickies across days (MTWTFSS) and time slots (7-9,9-12,12-2,2-5,5-9).
  2. What are the main ways that you hear or learn about recreation activities
  3. How would changing hours to evening or weekend impact you?
  4. Is there anything else you would like to share with Seattle Park and Recreation leadership?
Participants in Seattle Parks first listening session at the Delridge Community Center on November 9th, 2022
Make your voice heard

When we hear about expanded hours, we all dream of more pickleball hours. But that is not what we are talking about here. This is mostly a reallocation of hours towards evenings and weekends.

When you answer #3, keep in mind that a carelessly executed expansion plan could lead to the loss of current pickleball drop-in sessions and no new evening or weekend pickleball drop-in sessions.

Answer the online survey

Seattle Parks released an online survey. It will ask questions similar to the ones above.

Make your voice heard

When we hear about expanded hours, we all dream of more pickleball hours. But that is not what we are talking about here. This is mostly a reallocation of hours towards evenings and weekends.

When you answer question #13 (“How would changing the community center operating hours to evenings and weekends impact you?”), keep in mind that a carelessly executed expansion plan could lead to the loss of current pickleball drop-in sessions and no new evening or weekend pickleball drop-in sessions.

Use question #17 (“When you visit a Seattle park, what are some of the things that you would consider an enjoyable experience”) and #18 (“When you think about welcoming safe and clean parks, what does that look like to you) to talk about what you would consider an enjoyable pickleball recreation program and enjoyable pickleball recreation facilities. See yesterday’s post if you need a little inspiration.


Come Tell Seattle Parks How Well Their Pickleball Programs Are Working for You

How is the indoor pickleball drop-in program working for you? Are the drop-in sessions happening on convenient days and at convenient times? Are there enough players showing up for you to have a game? Can you find sessions attended by players with a skill level that matches yours? Are the kitchen lines painted at the right distance from the net? Are there enough drop-in sessions?

Seattle Parks drop-in pickleball offerings peaked in 2018 and are currently about 25% below that peak. (Data based on weekly indoor drop-in offerings as of November 2nd of each year.)

How are the pickleball classes offered by Seattle Parks? Are they offered at convenient times? At convenient locations? Spanning the right skill levels? If you wanted to enroll, were you able to do so?

How easy is it for you to find out which facilities offer indoor pickleball and what their schedule is? How easy is it for you to know when schedule changes occur?

How is the outdoor pickleball program working for you? Seattle Parks reserves outdoor courts exclusively for pickleball at Delridge, Walt Hundley and Miller some weekday mornings. Did you know about those? Would you like to see more dedicated outdoor pickleball drop-in sessions sponsored by the Parks Department at other locations or at other times?

Does your neighborhood have enough semi-permanent pickleball nets for your outdoor pickleball courts?

Are the pickleball lines easy to see on your local outdoor courts?

Pickleball court lines at Brighton Playfield

Seattle Parks wants to hear your ideas on how to make their recreation facilities and programs work for you! Join the conversation with recreation leadership and share your ideas on how they can improve recreation communications, facility hours, and programs.

Seattle Parks is organizing 4 listening sessions where you can share your feedback. These sessions are not just for pickleball, but let’s make sure there is a huge pickleball turnout at all four sessions. Please pick one session to attend and bring your friends. Wear your favorite pickleball shirt.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 9 – Delridge Community Center, 6 to 7:30 pm
  • Thursday, Nov. 10 – Meadowbrook Community Center, 6 to 7:30 pm
  • Tuesday, Nov. 15 – Jefferson Community Center, 6 to 7:30 pm
  • Thursday, Nov. 17 – Bitter Lake Community Center, 6 to 7:30 pm

Families welcome. Refreshments provided.

UPDATE: A fifth session has been added:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 15 – Jefferson Community Center, 6 to 7:30 pm

    Morning listening sessions will be announced soon.

    See you there!


    Action Alert: Help Define the Priorities for Auburn’s Parks and Recreational Facilities


    The City of Auburn is going to update their Parks, Recreation, and Open Space (PROS) Plan. The PROS Plan includes a six-year plan and 20-year vision for Auburn’s park system. It outlines goals and objectives, implementation strategies, capital improvements, and investment programs for the City’s parks, recreation and open space system.

    If you think that Auburn will need more pickleball facilities over the next 6 to 20 years, this is your chance to say so, loudly and clearly.


    Share your insights via the Parks Department’s survey. City residents, patrons, and interested stakeholders are all invited to participate.

    Here are a few hints, regarding this survey:

    Question 4 will ask “What are the type of facilities that you most regularly use”. Do NOT select “tennis courts”. Instead select “Other” and type in “pickleball courts”. This will help the “pickleball” answers stand out from the “tennis” answers.

    Use question 8 to describe in detail the type of pickleball facilities you would like to see in Auburn over the next 6 to 20 years. If you know of existing facilities that could serve as a model, please include links to them.

    Please explain why such facilities will be needed. Coud it be that the number of pickleball players is growing exponentially, and that Parks Departments need to start planning accordingly?

    What else?

    Talk to all the pickleball players you know. Ask them to take action.

    Share this web page with all your pickleball friends.

    What next?

    This is just the beginning of a long process. At the end of the survey, type in your name and email address so Auburn can keep you in the loop for the next step.

    How important is it?

    This updated PROS plan will define the Auburn Parks Department’s new goals for the medium and long term.

    If the Parks Department’s new goals include your pickleball vision, we will be able to work together to realize these common goals over the next 20 years.

    If the Parks Department’s new goals don’t include your pickleball vision, any significant pickleball request you make will be seen as a distraction from the Parks’ real goals. You will have to wait 6 or more years for the next PROS plan revision, to give it another shot.


    More courts, more play, more nets

    The Seattle Metro Pickleball Association understands that a pickleball court isn’t complete without a net and we are working with various Parks Departments and local communities to get nets where they are needed.

    This year, twelve semi-permanent Douglas pickleball nets were installed at locations throughout Seattle and Shoreline. Last year, twenty semi-permanent Douglas nets were installed. The vast majority of these nets have been purchased thanks to funds raised by the pickleball community with the help of corporate matching. SMPA continues to request that parks departments add semi-permanent nets wherever they add pickleball lines. Seattle Parks has plans to add 12 more Douglas nets to courts over the next few months.

    These nets make the game more accessible for everyone, eliminate the need to carry portable nets to the courts and take the time before playing to assemble them. SMPA will continue to work with parks departments across the metro area to prioritize adding more pickleball courts and nets in 2023.

    If you need nets at your local courts we can help. Read our fundraising guide. Contact us at


    State Sport Pickleball License Plate Poll

    If you haven’t already signed the state sport license plate petition, now is the time!

    The graphic designers have submitted their drafts. Which one of these designs will be on the pickleball license plate? You decide! Click on the poll to select your favorite design and submit your comments.

    These are rough drafts and can be altered. The letters SMPLE mean SAMPLE. When the plates are made, each plate will be assigned an individual number taking the place of the temporary word SMPLE. Submit your comments at the bottom of the poll to provide any feedback on the designs.

    SMPA is 65% of the way to the goal of 3,500 signatures. If you’re excited about getting one of these designs on your car, spread the word and ask your friends to sign the petition! Feedback on any of the designs can be posted in the poll.

    Displaying a pickleball license plate on your vehicle is a great way to celebrate and share your pride in the sport you love. Your community and municipal leaders will be reminded that pickleball is here to stay, every time you drive. It is a great way to help grow the sport and attract the attention needed to get more pickleball facilities built in Washington. Proceeds from the purchase of a plate will support the development of a dedicated pickleball facility.

    Follow us on Facebook for the latest news!


    SMPA at Microsoft Ignite 2022

    The Seattle Metro Pickleball Association showcased the state sport of pickleball at Microsoft Ignite last week. The global event, launched in six languages, brings together product experts and partners from around the world to discuss the latest innovations shaping the future of tech. This year it was back, with 3,500 people uniting at the Seattle Convention Center in downtown Seattle.

    Microsoft asked the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association to be a partner in showcasing the flavors of the Pacific Northwest, and what sport is more representative of the Pacific Northwest than pickleball, invented on Bainbridge Island. When it comes to pickleball, Washington has many firsts. Among these, the state can boast the first composite pickleball paddle, the first pickleball tournaments and the first retailers.

    Our friends at Pickleball Central once again supported us to make the event successful. Nicole Smith, Director of Retail Operations, provided a display of ten pickleball paddles, including an original wooden paddle. Also on display was an official state sport paddle, signed by the governor and others at the state sport bill signing on Bainbridge Island. SMPA Director Gordon Sata brought an impressive display of maps showing pickleball court locations throughout Seattle. Director Amy Greger was on hand, along with SMPA volunteers, to tell participants about the Washington State pickleball license plate bill and petition, the first of its kind in the United States. Pickleball instructor Rick Bomar, aka Pickleball Rick of Marysville, and Devin Schmidt, Head Pro at Harbor Square Athletic Club in Edmonds, volunteered their time and expertise to engage and educate attendees about pickleball.

    Joining the SMPA and Pickleball Central on the main convention floor was a Sasquatch, Woodinville Valley Farms, Frans Chocolates, Pike Brewing Beers, the Blitz Seahawks mascot, Blue Thunder, and the famous fish throwers of Pike Place Market. Sasquatch and Blitz spent quite a bit of time in our area, posing for photos and dinking back and forth.

    The Seattle Metro Pickleball Association would like to extend a special thank you to all the volunteers who made this event a success. Look for us (and maybe Sasquatch) at future Microsoft events.


    Court Usage: Regulations and Expectations

    Treat others with respect

    Treat others with respect. This is part of the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association’s Code of Conduct that all members must agree to before joining the association.

    Respect the local rules

    Most locations have posted rules. Respect them.

    For instance, if a rule says that players can continuously occupy a court for an hour, do not attempt to force them to leave their court in the name of open play.

    Respect local open play protocols

    Be flexible. If you join open play at a particular location, find out the local play protocols and abide by them. If people are playing games to 9 when the courts are overflowing with players, then play to 9. If people are using rally scoring, then use rally scoring. If people want winners to stay on the court, let the winners stay on the court. If people want all players to rotate out after every game, do so.

    If the local customs don’t suit you, try to change them by consensus, or find another play time or location with protocols that more closely match what you are looking for.

    Walk a mile in their shoes

    Don’t assume that someone who sees the world differently than you is wrong, boneheaded, stupid and doesn’t like you. Your way is not the only way.

    Open play is not the only way

    A lot of people get introduced to pickleball via open play: they show up at a location where people rotate in and out of the courts at the end of each game. Naturally, they tend to assume at first that all pickleball play is open play. That is not the case.

    Even if I and a hundred of my closest friends converge on a specific location at a specific time with the intention of sharing those courts by rotating in and out of them after each game, we might not have any more rights to access those courts than people who want to have closed (private) play and occupy a court for an hour. It all depends on the local rules, and these rules are not always clear.

    There are very few courts in the greater Seattle area that have a rule that requires open play at all times. There are a few courts that require open play at specific times as part of pickleball programs sanctioned by local parks departments.

    Just in case you wonder, there are a lot of reasons why people might want to take part in closed play instead of open play. A group of close friends might want to play together for an hour. A family with young children might want to play together as a family. Players might want to practice for a tournament with and against specific partners. Coaches might want to teach lessons. You might want to work on specific drills with a partner. Don’t assume that you can freely join any and all pickleball games. Ask nicely. Don’t take rejection personally.

    Closed play is often the rule of the land

    A lot of the dual tennis/pickleball courts in the Seattle area have rules that favor closed play over open play.

    Traditionally, tennis has been played on public courts by having two or four people agree to meet on a court to play a game for 60 to 90 minutes. The tennis court usage rules have been written to make this easy: They often allow games to last for 60 to 90 minutes before players need to cede the court to the next group.

    These rules designed for tennis do not easily accommodate pickleball open play, where dozens of players share the same few courts and come and go at different times. Parks Departments are slowly adapting to the demand for more pickleball open play. If you want more sanctioned open play opportunities, make sure that you let your local government know about it regularly.

    Respect court reservations

    People sometimes assume that public pickleball courts are open to everyone at all times.

    Be aware that some Parks Departments allow for court reservations.

    If some players have a reservation, let them be. If you think your Parks Department should not allow reservations, that is an issue you should raise with your Parks Department.

    In summary

    You might disagree with some of the points above, and that is perfectly ok. Having many different perspectives will help make the pickleball world a better place for everyone as long as we treat each other with respect.