Categories
Alert

ASK FOR MORE PICKLEBALL IN MOUNTLAKE TERRACE

ACTION ALERT

The City of Mountlake Terrace is working on a new Master Plan for its parks and open spaces that will will guide recreation and park improvements for the coming 20 years. City staff and the project team will incorporate feedback from their online open house into a draft plan for Recreation & Park Advisory Commission review and comment by mid-2021. The City Council will review and approve the final plan by the end of 2021.

Please visit their online open house and ask them to plan for more pickleball opportunities.

Make sure you ask them to add lines for 10 pickleball courts on the existing tennis courts at the Evergreen Playfield Complex.

Feel free to ask for indoor pickleball as well. Tell them that asking pickleball players to play on a racquetball court (the current indoor situation) is like asking football layers to play on a basketball court.

And of course, ask for whatever else you’d like.

  • If you only have 2 minutes, start here: https://mltparks.infocommunity.org/rpos-master-plan/…, and focus on the first two pages.
  • If you have 10 minutes, start here: https://mltparks.infocommunity.org/

The open house closes on April 28. But why wait? Do it now!

Categories
Newsletter

2021 First Quarter Newsletter

Change is On the Way!

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association, SMPA, turns four later this spring, and as with any organization, we evolve to stay in the game and serve our members. We will lose two Board members this year, and at the Annual Meeting that we hope to have sometime in the months to come, members will be allowed to vote on the new Board members recommended by a selection committee. We will have a change of officers as well, since at least one of the termed-out Board members will vacate their “offices.”

SMPA plans to make long-overdue changes to the website, and abandon the occasional newsletter in favor of a blog. And while we’ve pleaded with members for photos and news, we want to encourage members to take advantage of the means of commentary on our actions through our Facebook pageemail, and yes, even Twitter.

Grab a Squeegee, Bring a Towel

Kirkland adapts to new squeegee for clearing water from courts

Winter’s rains will soon drift into spring rains, and while we can’t go indoors to play, SMPA is committed to doing all we can to keep outdoor play a reasonable option for area players. Do make use of the pickleball venue scheduling site, PlaytimeScheduler, to learn about scheduled games all over the metro area, or set up closed play groups.

Following on the successful distribution of court rain shuttles, that is big squeegees, to pickleball courts around Seattle, SMPA expanded the distribution to include more courts. You can now find the squeegees locked near the courts at Green Lake, Bitter Lake, Kirkland’s Everest Park, and soon at Luther Burbank pickleball courts on Mercer Island. All locks will eventually be word locks that you can open with the code “DINK” – and take a moment to make sure the squeegee is locked when you are the last one to leave the courts.

Each squeegee cost SMPA just under $200, and as of early February, we have distributed nine, with a tenth one generously donated by North Seattle pickleball fanatics Patti and Gary Hackenberg.

Want more nets?

As pickleball players flock to Green Lake and Shoreview courts, where there are semipermanent nets in place, not all know how those nets came about. There have so far been two methods for acquiring and placing the semipermanent nets as a means of improving access for those who don’t own portable nets and to increase play opportunities.

This is how the semipermanent nets came to be, and how SMPA works with members to get them in place.

  • Seattle Neighborhood Matching Grants, or SPRKs grants, helped provide the nets for Miller Playfield courts and Green Lake pickleball courts. In brief, a local play group initiated the grant process, SMPA signed on as the required fiscal sponsor, the city approved the grant and purchased the nets, and SMPA and local players satisfied the “matching” portion by holding player events and clinics. This program was suspended in 2020 as the pandemic drastically limited tax revenues and Seattle struggled to meet other demands for city funds.
  • Local players in Shoreline acquired semipermanent nets for Shoreview pickleball courts through a more direct fundraising effort. Shoreview players started collecting donations, then partnered with SMPA to make use of our Association’s IRS 501c3 status. This allowed a broader array of players to make donations to SMPA that were earmarked specifically for the Shoreview nets. From start to finish, the fundraising effort took 3 months, SMPA purchased the nets with a generous discount from Pickleball Central, and the courts have remained packed ever since. The SMPA Board is creating a set of guidelines and a process for those metro area groups interested in following the model of the Shoreview players to acquire nets or other equipment that support the SMPA mission of improving play opportunities for players of all ages and abilities.

2021 Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic Tournament

Until we know what Washington State and City of Shoreline Covid-mitigation constraints will be in place, the SMPC tournament planning committee asks that you continue to save the tournament dates, July 22 to July 26, 2021. The tournament committee hopes to announce registration and formats and later, you can sign up for a volunteer slot on the SignUp Genius page.

Covid Restrictions Continue

Many courts are sticking with local requirements for mask wearing and physical distancing, so do pay attention to the rules when you’re heading out to play. The consequences can be locked courts or play limited to singles only.

While indoor play isn’t available for now, where there is indoor play, at Gorin Redmond Tennis Center, masks are required in addition to strict limits for numbers of players in the facility. None of this is news to most players. For the sake of us willing to follow rules as long as we can play pickleball, we encourage you to be a part of the solution and help knock down this virus so that we can all return to unrestricted play.

Footwork Drills

The internet is loaded with video instructions for every shot in the book. When it comes to footwork drills, there’s little to go on. This footwork drill gem popped up, and looks to be a great warm up in addition to helping improve your agility on the court. Check out Footwork Drills.

Reserving Seattle Pickleball Courts

The Seattle Parks department announced a few changes to their tennis and pickleball court reservation policy.

The city of Shoreline has yet to reopen their reservation system for courts, so for now, use of their courts is on the first-come, first-served basis.

Improving Pickleball Skills during Lockdown with Jeff Jolly

Let’s face it, the one-two punch of COVID restrictions that have forced us to play outside during the winter monsoons have left most of us with severe pickleball withdrawals. Withdrawal can lead us to binge watch British Antique Road Show. While sitting on the couch, we can feel our pickleball skills atrophy with each “The ugly vase you bought for 5 pounds is worth 12 million.” What is a pickleball player to do? The answer is amazingly simple, and can be done almost anytime except for when driving or performing surgery. The answer is visualization. That’s right, using one’s imagination to practice the perfect serve is almost as good as actually doing it. That’s because your brain doesn’t know the difference between actually seeing something or imagining it. Professional athletes such as Tiger Woods have been using this technique since his teen years to perfect his swing. That seems to have worked pretty well for his career.

How can you use visualization to improve your skills? Visualization lets you take the action from a conscious action to a unconscious reaction, a reaction of your choosing.

Find a comfortable and quiet place (that sofa, for example) and take as little one minute up to as long as 30 minutes. The amount of time is completely up to you, but note that it’s better to do a small amount every day rather then 3 hours on a Saturday.

  • Close your eyes and think of a specific skill you want to improve, like serving the ball hard and fast. Or, maybe blocking a hard drive to just drop in the non-volley zone (NVZ).
  • With your eyes closed, take a couple of deep breaths and imagine yourself on a pickleball court.
  • Visualize this as a movie script. What sensations are you feeling? Is there a light breeze? Is it sunny or cloudy? Can you feel the pressure as you stand on the balls of your feet? What other muscles are contracted and ready?

When you are ready, see the ball coming at you as if in slow motion.

  • Feel your muscles contract as you swing the paddle and make contact with the ball.
  • See the ball going where you want it to go.
  • Get back in your ready position.

Try this and see how much you can improve instead of worrying about your return to play. What do you have to lose, except another game?


We keep asking you to join SMPA and to encourage your pickleball playing friends to do so as well. Why? The growth of pickleball created long waits for court time, with many local cities too caught up in dealing with budget shortfalls and managing homelessness to proactively answer to the demand for pickleball courts. That’s where SMPA comes in. We have worked hard over the past four years to be the voice of pickleball in dealing with Seattle Parks and Rec, and have put our membership clout to good use when we speak for all players in the metro area.

Our membership fee is low, while our reach grows with each new member. Jump in and join SMPA or renew your SMPA membership. Use this Join or Renew button, to redirect you to the MemberPlanet website. MemberPlanet securely manages our membership database so that we can focus on pickleball development. Whether you become a Lifetime Member or select a year-to-year renewal, your membership shows that you are committed to the work of SMPA in helping grow pickleball throughout the Seattle metro area. Your membership qualifies you for a discount on gear with Pickleball Central and Smash Pickleball.

Categories
News

Seattle Pickleball Courts Reservation Policy Changes

The Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) department is changing its tennis and pickleball court reservation policy. SMPA is trying to understand what impact (if any) this will have on pickleball. Please contact SPR’s Matt Look and/or the SMPA if you have concerns or questions.

SMPA has in the past rented the East Green Lake courts for weekend outdoor play, with the cost typically covered by player donations. We do not expect this new policy to affect such rentals.

Here is the email announcing the changes.

From: “Look, Matthew”
Subject: Amy Yee Tennis Center Group/Lesson Policy Update 2021
Date: February 2, 2021 at 3:51:15 PM PST

Dear Coaches and Coordinators,

2020 presented many challenges with tennis court usage and accessibility. Tennis is considered a low risk activity, and outdoor tennis, even more so, thus the demand for outdoor courts was at an all-time high. The calls for more transparency and fairness with our booking policies was heard by our department. Coupled with our efforts to get online booking up and running, we are making some changes to our outdoor court rental policies for 2021. We are contacting you as a frequent user of our outdoor courts.

The general public will be able to rent courts no more than 14 days in advance with a maximum reservation time of 3 hours. If your reservations generally fall into these parameters, then you may continue to call or email us for your booking like normal. If you need to book courts more than 14 days ahead of time and/or longer than 3 hours, we ask that you agree to the following:

  • Booking requests for must be communicated to an AYTC administrator (currently Matt Look, or Ian Clare)
  • Payment will be due 30 days before the first day of your booking
  • Unpaid permits will be canceled 14 days before the first day of your booking
  • All adjustments/cancelations must be made a minimum of 14 days ahead of time
    • No refunds or date changes within 14-day period
    • Weather related cancelations can be reported up to 48 hours after the booking date

If you are booking within 14 days, reservations will be subject to the 3-hour maximum, cancelations need to be made 24 hours in advance for a refund.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about these new procedures. If you have your requests for summer ready, we can start to look at them now. Seattle Public Schools have priority on our courts, and their season has been delayed due to the pandemic, and will stretch into June, which may affect court availability for your reservation requests.

Thank you,

Matt Look
Senior Recreation Specialist, Amy Yee Tennis Center
City of Seattle, Seattle Parks and Recreation
2000 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Seattle, WA 98144
O: 206-684-4764

For more information about Seattle court reservations, visit SPR’s Tennis Court Reservations web page.

Categories
Newsletter

Winter 2020 Newsletter (December)

Squeegees, Players, and Nets Ahoy!

Shoreview players worked hard to raise funds for semipermanent nets

Everyone is pleading to go inside to play, although early December brought the Seattle metro area some spectacular sunny and low-wind days for outside play. Until we have Covid under control, the city and state regulations will severely curtail indoor play. Bundle up, and visit Shoreview parks and play on the new semipermanent nets. Squeegee off the overnight rain or morning drizzle with SMPA-provided squeegees at Miller and Shoreline and in West Seattle, and play. The pickleball venue scheduling site, PlaytimeScheduler, rolled out a premium version that lets you, for a small annual fee, get more information about the scheduled games and set other limits to your scheduled play group.

2021 SMPC Planning

While we are all dodging COVID by physical distancing, wearing masks, avoiding indoor play and large groups, the Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic (SMPC) tournament committee is meeting every other week or so to keep on track. Will the tournament happen? That question will be settled for certain when Shoreline can issue a permit early in 2021. However, the tournament planners are committed to having a tournament of some kind and will work with Shoreline to hold a safe event.

What that means for all of our local players and SMPA members is this: we welcome volunteers now and during the tournament. Referee clinics will resume in 2021, and a springtime raffle will help with early round fundraising to offset tournament operating expenses. Speaking of raising money, do you know you can donate even now through the SMPA website? When you join or renew your SMPA membership, look for a special box to add a donation for the tournament. If you have other ideas or want to volunteer, fire off an email and let us know.

Check your schedule and save the tournament dates, July 22 to July 26, 2021 and if you can, sign up for a volunteer slot on our SignUp Genius page.

Mayor’s Coffee Klatch

Many SMPA Board and general SMPA members were online on October 23, 2020 to hear Seattle Mayor Durkan respond to questions submitted in advance to the Mayor. SMPA member Sarah Webb posed an excellent question, “Pickleball is a wonderful sport for seniors. Despite being the birthplace of pickleball, Seattle has no dedicated pickleball courts and limited places to play compared to other cities. We have regularly communicated with SPR about this to no avail. Can you do something to remedy this situation?” The Mayor’s response to the question was both surprising and disappointing: “This is the first time in three years that I have heard about pickleball.”

Following the Mayor’s event, SMPA sent the Mayor a letter that outlines all of the efforts that have been made by the pickleball community, urging SPR, the City Council, and her office to provide more pickleball venues and play opportunities. The letter is posted on our SMPA website. Not surprisingly, there’s been no response to this or other written questions that were submitted to the Mayor by SMPA members.

Permits for Seattle Courts

SMPA is currently working with Lifelong Recreation Southwest District Coordinator, John Hasslinger, to extend SPR issued permits authorizing pickleball play at several outdoor courts. These permits give pickleball players use priority on the shared tennis courts for specific days and times. The current permits expire December 4th, 2020, so we need to find a way to extend the dates so that outdoor play can continue during the winter months. We will keep you posted as the efforts continue.

Rescheduled PIG Tournaments

In deference to COVID restrictions in the state of Washington, Pickleball Is Great (PIG) rescheduled their early December 2020 tournament. PIG still has on the schedule the Holiday Pickleball Smash tournament at the Eastside Tennis Center in Kirkland on December 31, 2020. Early registration ends on December 23, 2020, so if you’re up for celebrating the end of 2020 with a fun tournament, this is it!

SMPA President’s Winter 2020 Message

Friends,

What does SMPA do when the days grow short? We’ve spent the past several weeks continuing to advocate for more pickleball venues and working to facilitate outdoor play.

On the proactive side of things, there were some great wins for SMPA.

SMPA President Jerry Kindinger delivers court squeegee to Walt Hundley pickleball courts

With the funds raised by the Shoreview pickleball players and other area players, plus matched funds donated through SMPA, we completed the purchase of the semipermanent nets at Shoreview. The nets were delivered to Shoreline Parks department and then a volunteer work party assembled them onsite at Shoreview Park. Players expressed appreciation for SMPA’s work on this project, and likewise, SMPA was happy to participate in this player-driven project.

We purchased, assembled and distributed squeegees for outdoor courts (see photo) at High Point and Delridge in West Seattle, Miller on Capitol Hill, and Shoreline courts to give our pickleball players the ability to remove excess water and play during winter weather. Judging from the feedback, the squeegees are being well utilized and are, figuratively, a smash. We expect to purchase more squeegees for other locations this winter.

While proactive, yet more challenging, SMPA engaged with the city of Seattle and later Shoreline on important pickleball-related concerns.

Several SMPA members attended the Mayor’s online Coffee Klatch (see article). We intend to continue opening channels to the Mayor’s office to make sure that pickleball isn’t just a sport she plays poorly, and is something worthy of Parks and Rec funds for courts both indoors and out.

The Lifelong Recreation Advisory Council (LLRAC) also sent a letter to City council member Lorena  Gonzalez and copied the Mayor, the SPR Superintendent, and the SPR Director of Recreation, asking for more pickleball venues. More to the point, LLRAC requested that monies be included in the five-year Restoration of Sports Courts budget for adding more pickleball lines on outdoor tennis courts.

Last month, SMPA Board members, led by Frank Chiappone, presented a PowerPoint proposal to Shoreline City and Parks officials for a public-private joint venture to develop a dedicated pickleball facility at Shoreview Park. Although the presentation was well received, the Shoreline representatives reported back that, presently, insufficient funds existed to act on our proposal. They did encourage us to stay in touch for further discussion when their pandemic-driven circumstances change.

In every dealing with city governments we are reminded that our effectiveness as an organization is dependent upon our membership. We encourage you to renew your membership, so critical to our ability to continue to advocate for pickleball and to provide wide ranging benefits to the pickleball community. SMPA membership is the best $20 investment you can make to the sport we all love. Most annual membership renewals begin early next year, however your early renewal lets you take advantage of also making year-end charitable gift to our pickleball-specific organization. You can make donations any time of year on Member Planet.

I look forward to engaging with all of you in 2021 to address the many challenges in expanding pickleball in the greater Seattle metropolitan area. Until then, I wish you all happy, peaceful and healthy holidays.

Jerry Kindinger

President, Seattle Metro Pickleball Association

Good Weather Brings Crowds

The contractors resurfaced courts at the Green Lake East Pickleball Courts, however the relining reduced the number of courts. With only 6 courts, there can be long waits on the weekends. Consider taking your group of players to Bitter Lake (nets required) or Shoreline Park Courts.

www.timeforpickleball.com/LocationsAnother option is Shoreview Park courts in Shoreline, where there are 4 new semipermanent nets, and increasingly larger crowds of players. Check out playtimescheduler.com for groups scheduling play there, and consider later in the day to avoid packing the courts.

COVID and Better Pickleball

CJ Johnson of Better Pickleball chats with local Seattle pickleball player (and retired pathologist) Sarah Webb on CJ’s YouTube channel to discuss some of the risks of transmission we face during this pandemic. Give them a listen, and practice safe distancing and other guidelines on the courts. And off.

No Indoor Pickleball Says SPR

Seattle Community Centers will not reopen for indoor play in the foreseeable future due to Covid. In fact, a few community centers are slated to remain closed for all of 2021 to allow for restoration. SMPA and LLARC expect to work closely with SPR to ensure that indoor pickleball is available as soon as possible when the centers reopen.

Join a Sammamish Commission

City of Sammamish is looking for a few good people to fill out their various City commissions, including arts and Parks. This is your chance, if you are an eastside player and reside in Sammamish, to join Parks Commission and be a voice for pickleball. Visit here to learn about the Sammamish Parks and Recreation Commission.

Join

Now is as important a time as ever to join or renew your SMPA membership. When you click the Join or Renew button, you’ll be taken to the MemberPlanet website. MemberPlanet securely manages our membership database so we can focus on pickleball development. Whether you become a Lifetime Member or select a year-to-year renewal, your membership shows that you are committed to the work of SMPA in helping grow pickleball in the Seattle metro area. Your membership qualifies you for a discount on gear with Pickleball Central and Smash Pickleball.


We are grateful for your membership and if you have gotten a reminder, please take a moment and re-up. For those of you who left auto-renewal in place, the $20 charge will appear on your valid credit card.

Categories
News

Seattle Needs More Pickleball Courts

The Seattle Parks Departments’ Lifelong Recreation (LLR) Division provides recreational activities for citizens over 50 years old.

The Lifelong Recreation Advisory Council (LLRAC) advises the LLR about programs, policies, and financial issues.

In mid-November, LLRAC sent the following letter to the mayor, the heads of the Park District Board and the Parks’ Recreation Department, and the Parks Superintendent.

From: Joyce Moty
Subject: Seattle needs more pickleball courts
Date: November 12, 2020 at 9:33:32 AM PST
To: Lorena Gonzalez
Cc: Jenny Durkan, Jesús Aguirre, Justin Cutler
RE: Seattle Needs More Pickleball Courts

Dear Councilmember Gonzalez:

The Lifelong Recreation Programs Advisory Council, advocate for recreational programs for people 50+ to 101, asks that you revise the 2021 budget to include allocations of monies for Restoration of Sports Courts, for the years 2021-2026, in the Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) budget, in order to address the needs for recreation opportunities that maintain a healthy and engaged citizenry.

The pandemic has affected the recreational activities of Seattle residents, especially seniors, who may feel isolated. Outdoor activities such as pickleball could make a big difference in the lives of seniors. Park staff and volunteers worked with Dr. Sarah Webb to draft Rules for Safe Return of Pickleball Play.

At a minimum, lines for outdoor pickleball courts could be painted on tennis courts, as specified in Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Pickleball Pilot Project Report. The costs of painting pickleball Iines is modest, several hundred dollars per court. This short term solution could be achieved for limited capital outlay and provide additional venues to relieve the overcrowding that presently exists for dozens of Seattle residents.

Pickleball is immensely popular in Seattle, and the demand for playing courts is high, as demonstrated in the SPR survey for the 12-year Strategic Plan. Seniors have shown their passion and support for pickle ball by writing letters and testifying at Parks board meetings.

Please allocate funds for the Restoration of Sports Courts for 2021 to 2026 in the Seattle Parks and Recreation budget, which specifically includes capital expenses for lining more tennis courts with pickleball Iines.

Sincerely,

Lifelong Recreation Programs Advisory Council
Joyce Moty, President
Beryl Schulman, Vice-president
David Ward, Treasurer
Debbie Zemke and Dan Christopher, Secretary
Al Barnes
Larry Goetz
Scott Hogan
Jerry Kindinger

Categories
News

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan: “This is the first time in three years anybody has asked me about pickleball”

On October 23rd, Age Friendly Seattle and The Seattle Public Library hosted Mayor Jenny A. Durkan for a special Civic Coffee Hour and Q&A focusing on issues facing Seattle’s older adults, including COVID-19, the City of Seattle’s 2021 budget, and more.

Several attendees asked pickleball related questions to the Mayor, such as:

“The proposed Seattle Parks and Recreation Capital Improvement Plan (SPRCIP) totally defunds the “Sports Court Restoration Program” a tiny fraction of which is the only funding that allows pickleball lines to be painted on outdoor tennis courts. Did the mayor really mean to cut back on the very small amount of money needed to expand access to outdoor pickleball (one of the few popular, accessible, affordable, and fun physical activities that are safe for most older adults and promote social participation) across all Seattle neighborhoods? “

The moderator only relayed one of the many pickleball questions to the mayor. Watch the question and the mayor’s answer below.

A few days after Mayor Durkan’s performance, the Seattle Metro Pickleball association sent her the following letter.

October 28, 2020

The Honorable Jenny Durkan, Mayor
PO Box 94749
Seattle, WA 98124-4749

VIA EMAIL AND FIRST CLASS MAIL
jenny.durkan@seattle.gov

Re: Age Friendly Initiative request

Dear Mayor Durkan:

Friday, October 23, 2020 you participated in a public “coffee” event organized by Age Friendly Seattle as apart of your Age Friendly initiative and your proposed 2020 budget. The public was invited to submit online questions.

One of the questions read was:

Pickleball is a wonderful sport for seniors. Despite being the birthplace of pickleball, Seattle has no dedicated pickleball courts and limited places to play compared to other cities. We have regularly communicated with SPR about this to no avail. Can you do something to remedy this situation?

Your response to this question was:

“This is the first time in three years anybody has asked me about pickleball.”

First, over the last three years literally hundreds of citizens have communicated with SPR, the Board of Park Commissioners, City Council members and your office urging more pickleball venues and play opportunities. 1, 2. Life Long Recreation Advisory Council has also urged more pickleball opportunities be made available for seniors. Acknowledging that you have never heard about the substantial demand for more pickleball illustrates a serious disconnect between your office and SPR leadership.

Second, according to your Age Friendly Seattle Action Plan 2018-2021, “Social participation and physical activity are essential for both quality of life and longevity” and “Age Friendly Seattle supports learning, fitness, social [..] activities for older adults as well as intergenerational activities that are accessible, affordable, safe, and fun,” and “Age Friendly Seattle supports parks […] that can be used and enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.” Pickleball undoubtedly meets all of these criteria. Why is it not receiving the attention it deserves?

Third, your apparent lack of knowledge of the substantial and ongoing efforts of residents to align city recreational opportunities with existing and future demand disserves a large portion of senior residents. In 2019, SPR sought public input in connection with preparation of a 12 year Strategic Plan. The demand for more pickleball was overwhelming 2. Your pending budget wholly ignores this input. Allocating zero dollars for pickleball courts over the next five years runs counter to strong longstanding recreational desires of seniors. See Budget, “Sport Court Restoration Program” page 107 of the SPR CIP.

On behalf of the Seattle metropolitan pickleball community I respectfully request that:

  1. You please familiarize yourself with unmet demand for more pickleball venues and play opportunities for seniors and others and include pickleball in your Age Friendly Initiative;
  2. You or your office respond in writing to the other pickleball related questions submitted in connection with the October 23rd online public coffee event;
  3. That you revise your 2021 budget to include allocations of monies for Restoration of Sports Courts for the years 2021-2026 so that, at a minimum, lines for outdoor pickleball courts could be painted on tennis courts for seniors, as specified in SPR’s Pickleball Pilot Project Report. This should be corrected before the budget is finalized. Otherwise, pickleball opportunities for seniors will be adversely affected for years to come.


Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully,

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association
Jerry Kindinger, President

[1] Over the last three years hundreds of residents have responded to every SPR survey asking what is wanted, every Park’s Department public meeting where input was sought about the recreational “wants” of the community, and every SPR fest marketed with a theme of “tell us what you want”. Every one of these encounters communicated an overwhelming demand for more pickleball venues and play opportunities. In addition, residents have participated in dozens of non public meetings with SPR representatives in an effort to create pickleball opportunities which meet the existing and growing demand.

[2https://www.seattlemetropickleball.com/wp-content/pdfs2share/SPR%202020%20Strategic%20Plan%20-%20Citizen%20Feedback%20-%20Pickleball.pdf

Categories
News

Fall 2020 Seattle Outdoor Pickleball Permits

John Hasslinger, SPR Southwest LifeLong Representative, succeeded in getting our summer outdoor pickleball court reservations extended until December 4th.
Thank you, John!

If you need to show the corresponding permits click on the links below:

Categories
Newsletter

Fall 2020 Newsletter

Let’s Play, Seattle! And Kent and Bellevue and Mercer

The calendar may still indicate fall, but the wet weather is an announcement that winter isn’t far behind. You’ll be able to play, bundled up when it’s cold, however the courts may need a little help. If you are playing in Shoreview Park in Shoreline, there is a tournament squeegee available to remove water from the courts for play. Caveat: courts eventually drain, may need some help to dry off, and yet still be unsafe for play. Use at your own risk. And be a good pickleball neighbor, too, by hauling old towels to the courts to help dry them off on those days when they need a little help.

With the exception of Woodinville Sports Center and SeaTac, and a handful of other locales, there is no indoor play in Seattle for the coming months, thanks to COVID. Wear your mask, haul along a towel or two, and join the drop in play underway. Look at any day of the week and at the times indicated with a round bubble on the playtimescheduler.com calendar. Add your name to be to be notified of scheduled games.

Pickleball is (Still) Great

Many of you may know from seeing the activity start up all around the country that tournaments are still a thing. Pickleball Is Great (PIG) director Mike Hoxie is running the following tournaments in December, with attention to COVID-safe play.

Registration opens shortly for these local-to-Seattle metro area tournaments at Woodinville Sports Club (WSC) and the Eastside Tennis Center (ETC).

  • Dec 4-6, 2020 – WSC NW Washington Winter Holiday Classic (Woodinville)
  • Dec 17-2020 – ETC/Kirkland Winter Holiday Slam (Kirkland)

Mike and his PIG team (see sidebar intro) were responsible for the very successful SMPC tournament in 2019, run a tight show, and point out that in many instances there is likely more congestion and a greater number of players during recreational drop-in play than at today’s tournaments.

Additionally, PIG is discouraging spectators due to COVID concerns, and plans the following to help comply with local and state COVID-safe guidelines.

  • Stagger start times to avoid check-in congestion
  • Increase sanitization of everything (balls, clipboards, pencils, baskets)
  • Limit number of players within a specific area of the facilities
  • No onsite posted scores; players to monitor through personal mobile devices

Are Parks and the City Really Listening?

SMPA work with Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) to increase pickleball opportunities stalled out in the past several months with a decided lack of response, lack of communication, and lack of follow through on previous SPR commitments. Blame COVID in part, however we are all still paying taxes and looking for opportunities to keep fit and enjoy the many outdoor facilities in our local parks.

To promote increased pickleball outdoors during Covid, a volunteer group of SMPA members worked with John Hasslinger, Life Long Recreation Southwest Coordinator, to draft proposed set of Rules for Safe Return to Play. The goal was to act in partnership with SPR and develop a set of rules that could be supported both by the City and the pickleball community and posted on all public courts. After the rules were submitted to SPR well over two months ago, SPR never responded, let alone acknowledged the submission.

Also ignored were SMPA efforts to work with SPR to develop an outdoor recreation pickleball program during COVID. Adding to that, the program application form (apparently required by SPR), necessary to make sure that indoor PB is included in the programming when the community centers open up again, has yielded only silence. Consequently, to our knowledge, nothing is being done by or communicated by SPR about plans for a return to drop-in programs when the Covid restrictions lift.

Finally, and perhaps most disappointing, the Mayor’s Proposed Parks Budget scheduled for approval and passage in November looks at best grim. You can view it online. We recommend that you search the “Sport Court Restoration Program” at page 107. Note that no money is allocated for sport courts for the years 2021 to 2026! This indicates no money whatsoever is budgeted for anything related to outdoor pickleball for the next five years. For the last two years, the pickleball community has doggedly responded to every SPR survey, public meeting, public event invitation of any kind to advocate for more pickleball venues and play opportunities. In addition, SMPA representatives attended countless meetings with SPR representatives to personally deliver our message, that facilities in Seattle lag behind similarly sized cities, and pickleball loses out to tennis for court priorities.

After each of these solicitations, SPR leaders, City Council members, and others repeatedly communicated that they “heard us,” they understood the importance of pickleball as a priority, and that they would address it. In light of this budget, these assurances and apparently convenient words ring hollow. SMPA has proven to be an attentive, participatory, engaged, and representative partner in dealings with the City of Seattle. Our question is this: they keep asking for input, but are they really listening?

Pickleball Mind Reset

Have you ever found yourself making the same error over and over again? Just like when you go to do something on your phone but it’s not working. You call tech support and they ask you if you have tried rebooting it or updated the software recently? It’s time for “mindset reset.”

For example, in the middle of a match you keep making the same unforced error over and over. With each missed ball or serve, you become more frustrated and can’t stop yourself. That is because you are running on “old reflex programming.” To change that takes a conscious effort to look at how you can improve. I recommend you take these steps.

  • First: Take four slow, deep breaths, something known as box breathing. This helps get oxygen to your brain to help you to think more clearly which can keep you from going into that negative emotional sinkhole. The military trains combat soldiers with this technique so that they can make good decisions in the midst of a crisis.
  • Second: Be aware of the comments you say to yourself, as the negative talk is programing your subconscious and reinforcing bad habits. For example, in the middle of a game, you’ve hit the ball so hard it takes out a low flying satellite. Your reflex may be to yell in frustration, “I keep hitting it too hard! Arrgh!!!” Your subconscious self is listening to what your conscious self is saying. Thus, your subconscious reflex response is to do what it just heard which is “hit it hard.” The result? You likely repeat the error.

You can consciously put the brakes on that cycle and reprogram your brain by asking: “What’s happening? What’s missing? What’s next?”

  • Take a moment to ask, “What happened?” And recognize that “I faulted by hitting too hard.”
  • Objectively look at how the error occurred by asking “What was missing?” In this case, a shorter swing and softer touch.”
  • “What’s next?” You can help by doing a quick visualization and verbalization of the desired action. While you are waiting for the serve, see in your mind’s eye the movement you want to do and repeat to yourself “Shorter swing, softer swing.”

For a more in-depth discussion about this subject, take a look at a video I made. In the meantime, an error is neither good nor bad unless we label it as such. You can use your error as feedback for improving your game. Reboot by being objective in your self-assessment of errors, focusing on solution, practicing the correct action in your mind and in your words, and play on.

Check Out Green Lake East

The contractors are done, delayed by the smoke closures and rain and we now have newly resurfaced courts at the Green Lake East Pickleball Courts. Grab your paddles and pickleballs, and take advantage of the six pickleball courts lined on the tennis courts with the two semipermanent nets. Check out playtimescheduler.com for groups scheduling play there.

USA Pickleball Fall News

USA Pickleball members receive the magazine in email. For those not yet sold on supporting the national organization, you can still read their newsletter here.

Who is PIG?

You may have noticed the cute porcine logo associated with many pickleball tournaments, an indication that Pickleball Is Great, or PIG, is at work. They are a tournament management company with a passion for a superior player experience. Everyone at PIG brings years of personal indoor and outdoor tournament play experience, which influences how they approach each pickleball tournament.

PIG doesn’t run just your local tournaments; they help run the West, so far as tournaments go. As PNW tournaments make a slow comeback, outdoor tournaments are alive and well in the desert southwest. Need an escape from the winter rains? With flying now viewed as more COVID-safe, consider a trip to the desert. In addition to managing all AAU Pickleball tournaments, PIG is running a number of desert tournaments in Arizona and California, not to mention Utah. Check out the tournament calendar on pickleballtournaments.com to see what’s happening.

You can catch up with Pickleball Is Great by following on Facebook (PICKLEBALLISGR8) or joining their newsletter (send request to newsletter@pickleballisgreat.com).

Join

Now is as important a time as ever to join or renew your SMPA membership. When you click the Join or Renew button, you’ll be taken to the MemberPlanet website. MemberPlanet securely manages our membership database so we can focus on pickleball development. Whether you become a Lifetime Member or select a year-to-year renewal, your membership shows that you are committed to the work of SMPA in helping grow pickleball in the Seattle metro area. Your membership qualifies you for a discount on gear with Pickleball Central and Smash Pickleball.

We are grateful for your membership and if you have gotten a reminder, please take a moment and re-up. For those of you who left auto-renewal in place, the $20 charge will appear on your valid credit card.

Mayor’s Coffee Klatch

The Seattle mayor says she wants to hear from you about community needs and priorities. Here’s your chance to ask her to support pickleball.

  • What: Age Friendly Seattle Civic Coffee Hour with Mayor Jenny Durkan
  • When: Friday, October 23, 2020, 9:30 to 10:30 AM
  • Where: https://bit.ly/AgeFriendlyLive

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan will address Seattle community’s elders and talk about the City of Seattle’s 2021 budget during a virtual meeting. This will be a good occasion to ask her what she plans to do for Seattle’s pickleball players over 50.

Even better, you can ask her to support older pickleball players by providing semipermanent outdoor pickleball nets and, when the Seattle community centers reopen, by providing more opportunities for indoor pickleball all year long. If you fee like older pickleball players have been treated as second class citizens for too long, here is your chance to let her know.

SMPA President’s Fall 2020 Message

Friends,

The successful fundraising project to purchase four semipermanent nets for Shoreview Park ended quickly when donations met the target goal. The nets are ordered, with delivery to Shoreline expected around the end of the first week of November. Thanks to all who donated and congratulations to the Shoreview players for leading the way. These nets will soon be available onsite for all pickleball play at any time, weather permitting, to allow more play and eliminate the need for folks to bring and set up nets.

The success of the Shoreview project drove the SMPA Board to consider supporting similar projects in other parts of the metropolitan area. Given the unavailability of the City grants that we have used in the past, this may be the most effective method available. Keep an eye on our website, and we hope to soon post details of how other metro area pickleball groups can solicit SMPA aid when raising funds for the purchase of pickleball equipment for use at public pickleball venues. There is lots of pickleball development work going on around the metro area. Down south, the Kent Parks Department is starting the design phase of the Kent Memorial Parks renovation. They are considering adding pickleball court lines on the existing tennis courts. Take their survey (https://www.kentwa.gov/residents/parks-recreation-and-community-services/parks-planning-development/kent-memorial-park-renovation/kmp-outreach-survey-general) and tell them that this is a great idea.

SPR has formally established drop-in pickleball outdoor play times and issued permits for Delridge in West Seattle (9AM-Noon), Walt Hundley in West Seattle(10AM-Noon) and Miller Playfield in central Seattle (10AM-noon). The permits are in effect now and run through December 4, 2020. These permits were issued under Life Long Recreation and are the result of outstanding efforts of John Hasslinger, SW Life Long Recreation Coordinator. A big thank you goes out to John for his tireless efforts in promoting pickleball and advocating for our sport.

The Seattle Sports Complex Foundation continues to drive the design of a new combined tennis and pickleball court at Lowman Beach Park. Please take the second survey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MM6878Z) to let SPR know that you indeed do like pickleball courts, and that four courts is better than two. Thanks to all who attended the two virtual open houses, responded to the initial survey and expressed support for this project. And a special thank you to SMPA member Lisa Corbin and the Seattle Sport Complex Foundation who are making this happen.

SMPA continues to explore other locations for dedicated pickleball court facilities. The obstacles to developing the Magnuson Park site became too numerous to justify investing the significant time required for an uncertain outcome. Working on other potential locations is labor intensive and slow, and the Board will report when we have something for consideration.

Lastly, SMPA is overdue for an upgrade to our website. Our goal is to make the SMPA website more informational and helpful to all members. Consider this your invitation to send us a note stating what you would like to see on the website. Email your suggestions to our general mailbox, info@seattlemetropickleball.com to add your opinion.

We are grateful for our members and your support as we continue to make the case for pickleball throughout the metro area. I look forward to a full return to play for everyone, as SMPA continues to spread this great game built on fun, fitness, and friendship.

Jerry Kindinger

President, Seattle Metro Pickleball Association

Categories
News

Pickleball Nets Fundraiser

YOU DID IT! Fundraising Goal Met in Under A Month

Shoreview Park in Shoreline, WA pickleball courts

Starting in July, 2020, a core group of Shoreview Park pickleball players decided they were done with keeping track of the net box code for the portable nets and began to collect funds to purchase a few of the rollabout Douglas semipermanent pickleball nets.

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) jumped in to facilitate fundraising for those players who could take advantage of corporate matching funds or donor-advised funds and make tax-deductible donations through the SMPA nonprofit 501(c)3 status.

The Shoreview group, made up of players from all over the Seattle metro area, led the drive that raised approximately $6,500 for up to four semipermanent nets with the help of the metro area pickleball community.

What Happens Now?

Now the wait begins, as over half of the funds raised were employer matches that take many weeks to process. However, as soon as those dollars are in hand, SMPA will complete the purchase of the nets with the aid of Pickleball Central of Kent, WA. The nets will be handed over to the City of Shoreline, and then they will deliver them to the Shoreview Pickleball Courts to be assembled.

We’ve every reason to believe that everyone who used employer matching funds has completed the step of requesting funds, and we hope to see the funds paid out near the end of October. That’s your timeline, as best as we can report. If the funds are paid out sooner, SMPA will complete the purchase and send out the good news.

This fundraising project would never have happened without the enthusiastic efforts of Shoreview players Tim Williams, Dorrena Ortega, and Randy Harkness, among many others, who carried around the donation jar and encouraged local players to kick in money. Additional donations came through the SMPA MemberPlanet site, and favorable pricing is courtesy of our pickleball pals at Pickleball Central.

Donation Finish Line

Our donation tracking meter captured the dollars raised by an excited pickleball community. We’ll report out updates on the nets and their arrival through our SMPA Newsletter and FaceBook pages.

https://www.memberplanet.com/campaign/seattlemetropickleballhhhhh/smpanetfund

Categories
Newsletter

Summer 2020 Newsletter

Shoreview Players Looking to Buy Nets

Starting in July, a core group of Shoreview Park pickleball players decided they were done with keeping track of the portable nets and decided to start collecting funds to purchase a few of the Douglas semipermanent pickleball nets. They got the okay from the Shoreline Parks department and began collecting on-site cash donations. As the fundraising gathered steam, the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) Board of Directors voted to set up a net fund that would allow those who want to use tax-deductible donations, corporate matching funds, or donor-advised funds to make tax-deductible donations utilizing the SMPA nonprofit 501c3 status.

The Shoreview group hopes to raise approximately $6,500 for up to four semipermanent nets, while allowing donors the option to give any funds raised above that amount to the SMPA general fund until we can establish a metro-wide pickleball equipment grant program moving forward. If you’ve played the Shoreview courts, you can appreciate the quality of the surface and the quick drainage that means play pretty much year ’round. No matter where in the metro area you call home, consider a tax-deductible donation to the net fund so that SMPA can purchase semipermanent nets for Shoreview courts, knowing that we’re all in on this “growing pickleball” thing.

We will post more details on the SMPA website within a few days, and we will use MemberPlanet to facilitate donations for this fundraising project. Donors will have the option at the time of their online donation to approve that funds received over the amount needed be placed in the SMPA general fund.

Meet our New Membership Director

You may know her as the tall blonde with a ponytail and powerhouse forehand, learned from her dad Craig Likkel, and now you can also know her as our SMPA Membership coordinator and one of our newest Directors, Kiersten Bacon. In her own words, she shares a bit of her background and what she hopes to accomplish as she helps grow SMPA membership.

“Greetings. My personal challenge is to increase SMPA member involvement and provide participation opportunities. I hope to continue to bring more value to you, our members, through fun in-person events, as soon as we can safely do so again. I invite your critical feedback about what SMPA can continue to do to grow the sport and playing opportunities throughout the greater Seattle area and bring value to you as members.

A little background on me – I played pickleball as a kid in my neighborhood and in school, and started playing regularly in the Seattle area in my 20s. I really enjoy playing with my dad and relatives, and look forward to teaching my own child (due to arrive this November) how to play! In addition to my love of multi-generational play, I have a personal desire to increase play opportunities on weeknights and weekends for those of us who work or go to school full time.”

Have a question about your membership status? Log in to your account and if you need help, email us (info@seattlemetropickleball.com) and we’ll try to help.

Exploring New Venues in the Area

SMPA Board member Frank Chiappone reports that SPR has given the Laurehurst pickleball community the green light to move forward to convert a concrete slab near the Laurelhurst tennis courts into a pickleball court. The plan is to resurface the slab with a standard court surface. There will be one court only, with the big holdup currently being getting cost estimates from contractors to resurface and paint pickleball lines.

The SMPA Board continues to investigate converting the old, unusable outdoor tennis courts at Magnuson Park into dedicated pickleball courts. There are a couple of obstacles to resolve in this process, yet this location is ideal for a potentially large complex of outdoor courts.

Join us in salivating over the soon-to-open Bainbridge Island Pickleball Founders Courts, located at Battle Point Park on Bainbridge Island and under the control of the Bainbridge Island Pickleball Club. There will be a number of events marking the opening of the courts. Whatever you do, plan to visit and play sometime before winter weather halts play.

If you travel very far north, you can now enjoy dedicated pickleball courts in Mt. Vernon, Washington at the Hillcrest Park. Regular play and closed groups fill the courts, with easy access from the freeway if you are itching to travel.

SMPA President’s Summer 2020 Message

Greetings friends,

This month, I want to focus on two topics: the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 virus on pickleball and new pickleball venues around the Sound.

Players from Mercer Island, Seattle, and Bellevue enjoy a new pickleball venue with Mercer Island’s Luther Burbank Tennis courts.

Pandemic-related matters While the pandemic continues to adversely impact pickleball activities, many players are returning to play on various outdoor courts in Seattle. This has caused some confusion regarding whether and how we can safely return to play. Several SMPA volunteers worked with John Hasslinger, Southwest Lifelong Recreation Coordinator, to develop guidelines for safe return to pickleball.

The guidelines were a group effort led by Sarah Webb, MD, the chief author and were submitted to SPR for approval and publication. An avid pickleball player, Sarah is a retired pathologist, formerly the Chair of Infection Control and Microbiology Lab Director at a community hospital (watch CJ Johnson interview Sarah on YouTube). Submitted to the SPR the first week of August, the guidelines, “Covid 19 Return To Play Rules for Outdoor Pickleball Seattle Parks and Recreation,” are specifically intended to assist players play under practicable safe conditions. As active play continues, we await a response from SPR and a decision whether the City will adopt and publish these rules. Kudos and thanks to Sarah, John, and all of the SMPA volunteers whose review and suggestions resulted in an excellent guide for the entire pickleball community.

As most of you know, all community centers are still closed to drop-in pickleball, as well as nearly all other programs. They are expected to remain closed at least through October. SPR’s John Hasslinger and I are working to facilitate a resumption of the drop-in indoor play as soon as practicable. The goal is to “daylight” pickleball within SPR so as to ensure that the substantial demand for indoor pickleball is not overlooked or forgotten in the return to regular programming. Also, we are creating a template application form to be used by SPR in restarting pickleball and other recreational programs. John outlined this strategy to the Life Long Recreation Advisory Committee (LLRAC) on August 5, 2020, which LLRAC approved. We are working on the template to submit now with the hope that with LLRAC’s support there is a quick recommendation to and approval from the SPR Leadership Committee to pave the way for a seamless return to indoor drop-in pickleball programs this Fall. Stay tuned.

Happenings at new and existing pickleball venues There are lots of irons in the fire regarding existing and potential future pickleball venues. Elsewhere in this newsletter, you can read about some of the more prominent ones, such as Mercer Island and Bainbridge. Additionally, SPR is proceeding with resurfacing of a limited number of tennis courts throughout the city of Seattle.

Bitter Lake courts are currently being resurfaced (see photo in this newsletter or view in Facebook). Green Lake East courts are to be resurfaced soon as well. We can thank SMPA Board member Miguel de Campos who submitted a recommended court configuration that would better accommodate the substantial demand for play common to Green Lake Pickleball. We’ve no guarantees these recommendations will be accepted, yet we remain hopeful. I have requested that SPR share with me the resurfacing schedule for the rest of 2020. When we know, we’ll share the information.

We have known for some time that SPR will restore Lowman Beach Park shoreline in West Seattle. The existing tennis court is being removed. Check out the brief topic on the effort to get a tennis court with pickleball lines built at an new location in the park.

Fond Farewell Pickleball lost to retirement an important ally in the SPR’s Southwest District. John Barclay, Coordinator of South Park Community Center for the past several years, hung up his keys and loaded up for a relocation to Colorado. John was instrumental in growing pickleball at South Park, and Seattle pickleball will miss this great friend and supporter of pickleball. From new fans to move air in the overheated gym, to nets, to expanding play, he worked tirelessly to promote pickleball play at South Park. At the retirement celebration, SMPA Board member Theresa Haynie presented John with a SMPA tee shirt in thanks and recognition of his many contributions to the pickleball community. Safe travels, friend!

With that, play well, be safe and stay healthy! Hope to see you on the courts soon.

Jerry Kindinger, President

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association

Seattle Pickleball and Tennis Courts Resurfaced

Seattle Parks and Rec (SPR) has limited its 2020 court resurfacing plans. They have completed a few of them, including Bitter Lake, and will soon start on Magnolia and Green Lake East courts. Sadly, SPR marches to their own guidelines on the number of pickleball courts they will paint. We’ve been told there will be 8 pickleball courts at Bitter Lake and only 6 at Green Lake. Let the photo give you some hope for a new play venue very soon.

USAPA becomes USA Pickleball Association

The largest pickleball association in the world at 40,000 members and growing, USAPA decided time was upon them to modernize the website, the name, the logo, and now has burst forth with USA Pickleball Association. In addition to updating their website, they also updated apparel, so if you’re looking for a fall pickleball wardrobe, catch their discount while you can.

And if you aren’t a member of USA Pickleball, get on board. They are the folks who run the USA Pickleball Championships in Indian Wells, work hard on growing Junior pickleball, and support a nationwide group of Ambassadors dedicated to growing pickleball. You can read the latest edition of their newsletter here.

Lowman Park Restoration

The Seattle Park District has scheduled a public meeting for August 26th from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM to hear from the community regarding the removal and repositioning of a decommissioned tennis court. The Seattle Sports Complex Foundation is urging all pickleball players to attend the meeting online and strongly support installing a new tennis court with pickleball lines for at least two pickleball courts! Use this meeting link and when asked for password, use lowmanbeach. You can also join the meeting by phone at 1+(206) 207-1700. If you phone in, use code 146 008 1942.

Bitter Lake

Cascade Sports Courts rendering Bitter Lake courts playable.

Join

Now is as important a time as ever to join or renew your SMPA membership. When you click the Join or Renew button, you’ll be taken to the MemberPlanet website. MemberPlanet securely manages our membership database so we can focus on pickleball development. Whether you become a Lifetime Member or select a year-to-year renewal, your membership shows that you are committed to the work of SMPA in helping grow pickleball in the Seattle metro area. Your membership qualifies you for a discount on gear with Pickleball Central and Smash Pickleball.

We are grateful for your member support and if you have gotten a reminder, please take a moment and re-up. For those of you who left auto-renewal in place, the $20 charge will appear on your valid credit card.

Pickleball Lines at Meadowbrook

Thanks to all of you who reviewed and made suggestions to improve our Green Lake East resurfacing recommendations.

The six outdoor tennis courts near the Meadowbrook community center are slated to be resurfaced and gain pickleball court lines, probably in 2021. Please take a look at the draft of our recommendations for those courts and tell us what you think.