Bitter Lake Outdoor Court Lights to Be Upgraded Soon

The Seattle Parks Department has enhanced the Mount Baker Park court lights in December 2022 and the difference is striking. With this latest upgrade, there is now decent lighting for evening play south of the ship canal at 20 lined pickleball courts:

(Over half of these courts do not have pickleball nets, but that is a story for another day.)

So far, there are no Seattle pickleball courts with decent lights north of the ship canal. Some players elect to drive to Shoreline Park for evening play. Others, such as the Green Lake Pickleball Club players have been pressing Seattle Parks to give them access to two of the ten lighted tennis courts at Lower Woodland during winter evenings when they go largely unused by tennis players.

But there is some good news for pickleball players who live north of the ship canal: This week, Andy Sheffer, Seattle Parks’ Director of Planning and Development, committed to upgrading the Bitter Lake court lights by the end of February 2023.

We predict a lot of evening play will occur on the eight Bitter Lake pickleball courts as soon as the new lights are installed.


Pickleball State Sport license plate bill ready to go to Olympia!

Signature goal met, Pickleball Rising design wins poll vote

The Seattle Metro Pickleball Association is thrilled to announce that a Pickleball State Sport license plate bill will be part of Washington’s 2023 legislative session! The minimum requirement of 3,500 signatures has been collected. The design Pickleball Rising won the poll vote, and after additional feedback, the adjusted design shown above will be submitted to the Department of Licensing.

This is Washington’s second pickleball bill in two years, and the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association is honored to participate as the bill’s non-profit sponsor. Our legislative sponsor, Senator John Lovick of Mill Creek, will be moving the bill through the legislature.

Celebrating Washington’s State Sport at the Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic tournament on July 23, 2022.
From left: Frank Chiappone (SMPA President), Kate Van Gent (SMPA Director), Senator John Lovick (sponsored SB5615), Chuck Wright (proposed pickleball as the state sport), and Anna Copley (co-founder of Pickleball Central).

The Pickleball State Sport license plate was designed by Jason Laramie of Laramie Studio in Seattle. His design was inspired by the ferry ride from Bainbridge Island, the birthplace of pickleball. The view is towards the east, where a pickleball rises like the sun over Washington State. The pickleball paddles at left are based on the commemorative OneShot paddles signed on Bainbridge Island in March 2022, where the State Sport bill was signed into law. Of eight poll designs, Pickleball Rising received over 50% of the votes.

Collecting 3,500 signatures since the official petition launch on September 10th at Mariners Pickleball Night was no easy feat. SMPA enlisted many volunteers to reach folks all over Washington State, from Bellingham to Spokane. We would like to thank our volunteers and our partners who participated in collecting signatures, including Pickleball Central, Pickleball is Great, Eastside Tennis Center in Kirkland, Gorin Tennis Center in Redmond, Harbor Square Athletic Club in Edmonds, Skagit Valley College/Blackburn Pickleball Pavilion, Pickleball Playground in Spokane, and the many statewide clubs who hung our banners and posted our petition.

A very special thanks goes to volunteer John Rankin, who drove statewide to pickleball tournaments and pickleball events to gather signatures. We are firm believers that bills like this are needed to encourage the development of dedicated pickleball courts throughout Washington State.

SMPA volunteers, David Yamada and John Rankin, petitioning at T-Mobile Park before the Mariners vs. Astros playoff game.

Do you want to help build more pickleball facilities in your area but don’t know how? Become part of our movement by buying a Pickleball State Sport license plate when it becomes available! Every time you drive, your community and municipal leaders will be reminded that pickleball is here to stay. Proceeds from the purchase of every plate will support the development of dedicated pickleball courts. The display of Pickleball State Sport license plates throughout the state is a great way to help grow the sport and attract the attention needed to get more pickleball facilities built in your community and throughout Washington.

See you on the courts!


Join Seattle’s Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners

Here is your chance to become a commissioner

The Seattle Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners is actively recruiting for members to fill vacant seats

All are welcome to submit an application for consideration.

The City of Seattle is committed to promoting diversity in the city’s boards and commissions. Women, persons with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, young persons, senior citizens, persons of color, and immigrants are encouraged to apply.

All you have to do for now is fill out the application form. Easy!
Under “Which Boards would you like to apply for?” select “Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners”.
If you need help with “What is your Residential Council District?“, visit this page and type in your address to find out your Seattle City Council District.

Are you nuts?

Absolutely not! There is an active pickleball player on the Mercer Island Parks Board. Why couldn’t there be one on Seattle’s Parks Board?


What is Most Important to You for Shoreline’s Future Parks?

The City of Shoreline is updating its Parks, Recreation, Open Space and Arts (PROSA) Plan. This plan, which is updated every six years, provides a 20-year vision and framework that will help decide how city money will be spent and what services will be offered.

Take the initial survey

Take their survey. Make sure you say that pickleball courts are very important to you.

When asked if there is anything else you would like to share about Shoreline parks and outdoor spaces, remember to request dedicated outdoor pickleball courts.

Keep in mind that you are helping Shoreline Parks plan its pickleball courts for the year 2030. Explain how Shoreline Parks should plan now to be able to accommodate the demand for pickleball courts it will face in 2030.

Share your vision on a map

Use the survey’s online map to add your ideas, comments, and facility needs related to specific locations. Click the “Like” button for existing comments that you support.

Get ready for more

This is just the start. The plan will be developed over the next 12 to 18 months. It is important that we ask for more pickleball facilities and programs repeatedly during the whole process.

Extra credit

Go talk to Shoreline’s PROS Plan team at upcoming events. Let them know how they should plan for pickleball’s growth over the next 10 years.

More information


Shop and Support SMPA

The Amazon Smile program has been discontinued.

Do you ever shop on

If so, select Seattle Metro Pickleball Association as your choice of nonprofit organization on, and the Amazon Smile program will donate 0.5% of qualified purchases to SMPA.

Lean more about the Amazon Smile program here.


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 program is driven by Sue Goodwin, along with a newly formed Advisory Council of community representatives.

The community Advisory Council will engage neighborhood members to drive local player involvement. The Advisory Council work sets 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 Seattle’s historically underserved diverse communities to grow the game and culture of pickleball.

This program seeks to expand the ethnic, economic, and geographic diversity in pickleball play and instructional activities. With a goal of $10,000 annual budget, the program fund is independently managed by the Advisory Council.

The fund source is a combination of community donations, grants specific to the goals of the program, and personal donations. The Advisory Council anticipates additional funds for the Seattle Diversity and Inclusion in Pickleball (DIIP) Fund through pickleball clinics, lessons, and donations.

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association, acting as fiscal sponsor, formally established a “DIIP fund” to provide financial support for this diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) pickleball program and related services for established underserved communities of Seattle.

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

If you have any questions, email us and someone will 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.