May 2018 Newsleter



President’s Perspective
Pickleball in the Park
Court News
New T-Shirts
Member Spotlight
New Board Members
Please Forward


President’s Perspective

Hello Metro pickleballers,

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.



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Pickleball in the Park

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.


  • Free intermediate player clinic at 10 AM
  • Free advanced beginner player clinic at 11 AM
  • Free drop in play (all levels) from 10 AM to 2 PM

These are outdoor courts, so check our Seattle Metro Pickleball Association Facebook page the day of the event for any weather-related changes.

Recap: Pickleball at the Park – Green Lake

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.

Check out the entire gallery of photos from this fun event here on the SMPA website.

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.

Choose from either a 1-year $20 membership, or a lifetime $500 membership. Your dues will support SMPA initiatives and entitles you to SMPA member benefits. And it’s tax deductible!

By the way, we heard your feedback and have streamlined the sign-up process.

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Court News

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.

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New T-Shirts Available

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.

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Member Spotlight: Meet the Donovans

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.

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New Members of the SMPA Board

Frank Chiappone
Frank Chiappone, Secretary

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 Oldridge
Sean Oldridge,

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.

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Please Forward

Please share this newsletter with your pickleball friends.

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 or, better yet, join SMPA.


April 2018 Newsletter


President’s Perspective
Membership Drive
Notes & Updates
Meet the Board

President’s Perspective

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!



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SMPA members play at Maple Leaf Par

Announcing the 2018 membership drive

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.

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Pickleball at Yost Park in Edmonds

Notes and Updates

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.

Sign up and reserve your court time today! Reservations have priority over drop-in play. Information on reservations for outdoor courts can be found here:

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.

Drop in play at Green Lake Tennis and Pickleball courts every Saturday and Sunday 9am – 12pm

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Meet the Board

Jerry Kindinger, President

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 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.


Seattle Parks and Recreation Launches Seven Pickleball Pilot Sites and Provides Pickleball Equipment at Five Sites

The courts were lined in late October. Nets were made available in November. This press release makes it official. Come out and play!


24 New Outdoor Pickleball Courts

The Seattle Parks Department has added pickleball lines to existing outdoor tennis courts in seven locations to create a total of 24 new outdoor pickleball courts. Many thanks to all the pickleball players who attended meetings and wrote emails, and to the Pickleball Pilot Project Team at the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department!

The seven locations are:

Pickleball Nets

The new pickleball courts don’t have permanent pickleball nets. We will have to use portable pickleball nets instead. You can buy your own net, borrow one, or join a group that already has one.

Where to borrow a portable pickleball net

The Seattle Parks Department Pickleball Pilot Project Team has delivered portable nets, balls and wooden paddles that you can borrow to the Delridge, Green Lake, Miller, and South Park Community Centers, as well as at the Discovery Park Environmental Learning Center.

How to setup a portable pickleball net

There are many portable pickleball nets offered for sale. While they have small differences, you will learn most of what you need to know by watching this YouTube video:

Is there more we can do?

The Parks Department needs to know that their efforts are paying off. Make sure you send an email to to let them know which new pickleball courts you are using and to thank them for making it possible.

And please Join! so that we can update you on progress and other opportunities to engage in getting the City of Seattle to increase our pickleball venues indoors and out across Seattle.

Thank you!
Seattle Metro Pickleball Association


Pilot Project Status, 9/12/2017

What pilot project?

The Seattle Parks Department launched its pickleball “pilot project” in July. Based on the feedback Parks received, they will paint pickleball lines on only a select list of existing outdoor tennis courts. The comment period for this pilot project ended on September 5, 2017.

What Parks plans to do

This is the city’s response regarding the painting of pickleball lines on the 7 area courts that are part of the pilot, in the words of the project manager, Ms. Karimah Edwards, Capital Projects Planner, City of Seattle (dates in parentheses are ours):

  • The comment period for pickleball closed last week with no opposition (September 5, 2017)
  • The courts have been designed and bids have been solicited for court lining
  • We have received bids and anticipate finalizing a contract this week (September 11, 2017)

The City of Seattle solicited bids from contractors that could complete the lining by the end of September 2017. However, they anticipate the lining project would be completed in October (2017) at the latest.

What’s next?

Keep an eye out for lines to be painted on these courts:

  • Green Lake Park in central-north district
  • South Park Community Center in south-west district
  • Georgetown Playfield in south-central district
  • Delridge Community Center in south-west district
  • Discovery Park Court in central-west district
  • Miller Community Center in central-east district
  • Soundview Playfield in north-west district

Paddles at the ready everyone, and we will post more updates as we learn about the painting schedule.

What’s the lining plan?

The intent is to have tennis lines and pickleball lines coexist. Not all tennis courts at any given location are to have pickleball lines. Originally, the Parks department wanted to paint lines so that one tennis court could be used as one pickleball court.

In a meeting with our SMPA Board and other community members, we pointed out how it would make sense to paint lines for multiple pickleball courts on a single tennis court. This strategy has been used locally and successfully at Yost Park in Edmonds  where two tennis courts were lined to be used as eight pickleball courts.

Two tennis courts lined for pickleball at Yost Park in Edmonds

Is there more we can do?

With the comment period ended and the pilot officially launched, keep playing. And if you do have comments to make to the city about pickleball, use the email address

And please Join! so that we can update you on progress and other opportunities to engage in getting the City of Seattle to increase our pickleball venues indoors and out across Seattle.

Thank you!
Seattle Metro Pickleball Association