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Seattle Parks’ Pickleball Survey Results

In January, Seattle Parks issued a survey on how to best support the current demand for pickleball courts. We invited you to check the boxes and fill in the blank spaces. You and 3300 of your friends answered the questions, and the results are now available in two parts:

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Alert

Wait Less. Play More.

Have you ever had to wait a long time to get on a pickleball court during open play?

Most Seattle outdoor pickleball courts could accommodate 50% or more courts than they already do. On two side-by-side tennis courts, Edmonds paints lines for eight pickleball courts, Shoreline paints six pickleball courts, and Seattle only paints four.

If Seattle followed Edmonds’ or Shoreline’s lead we could have many more pickleball courts on the outdoor tennis courts that already have pickleball lines. For instance, Green Lake could have 8 to 10 courts instead of 6; High Point, Brighton Park, and Mount Baker could have 6 courts instead of 4; Magnolia could have 12 courts instead of 8.

What can you do about it?

1. Attend Seattle Parks’ March 30 public meeting

Attend Seattle Parks’ first of two public meetings on the future of outdoor pickleball online on Wednesday, March 30, at 4:30pm. Make sure you tell them to paint more than two pickleball courts per tennis court. Register now to attend this meeting.

2. Get the mayor and city council involved

The mayor and the city council have the power of the purse. Tell them that it is time for Seattle Parks to follow Edmonds and Shoreline’s lead, and make better use of Seattle’s existing tennis courts real estate by painting more than two pickleball courts per tennis court.

Click here to get started sending them an email. Here is what you could say:

Dear Mayor Harrell,

Dear Public Assets Committee Chair Lewis,

Dear Public Assets Committee Members Herbold, Juarez, Morales and Mosqueda,

As a pickleball player, I am dismayed to see that Seattle Parks still chooses to make very poor use of the available court real estate when adding pickleball court lines to existing tennis courts.  For instance, in a location with two tennis courts side by side, Edmonds Parks fits lines for 8 pickleball courts at Yost Park, Shoreline fits lines for 6 pickleball courts at Shoreline Parks, but Seattle persist on only wanting to paint lines for four pickleball courts in the same space.

Why doesn’t Seattle Parks want to have more than two pickleball courts per tennis court?  Because Seattle Parks doesn’t want to inconvenience tennis players with too many pickleball lines and it says that having a higher pickleball court density would make it difficult to manage court reservations. The Edmonds and Shoreline Parks departments have been able to surmount these obstacles. Certainly Seattle Parks can follow suit.

Long lines of pickleball players waiting to participate in open play sessions are often seen in places such as the Green Lake, Walt Hundley, and Miller courts on clement weather days. Maximizing the number of pickleball courts at these (and all other) locations would increase the number of courts by 50% or more for the price of a few painted lines. Given that the number of pickleball players is growing exponentially and is projected to surpass the number of tennis players in the next ten years, this simple space usage optimization needs to be implemented sooner than later.

Please encourage Seattle Parks to make the best usage of available court space by painting lines for more than two pickleball courts per tennis court when designating courts for dual tennis and pickleball use.

If you prefer to do it on your own here is all the information you need:

See you online on Wednesday March 30th at 4:30pm.

Categories
News

Seattle Parks Reviews Pickleball Court Lines Policy. Pickleball Players Not Invited.

Seattle Parks recently held a meeting to review their official policy that says that when they paint pickleball lines on outdoor tennis courts, they will only paint two pickleball courts per tennis courts, even if many more will fit.

Who represented tennis players at this meeting?

The Seattle Parks employee in charge of Seattle Parks’ Amy Yee Tennis Center and of all the outdoor public tennis courts.

Who represented pickleball players at this meeting?

Nobody. Pickleball players were not invited.

Who else attended this meeting?

We are told: a landscape architect, Seattle Parks planning, Seattle Parks grounds maintenance, Seattle Parks facilities maintenance, some external consultants, possibly someone from Seattle Parks finance.

What did these people who do not play pickleball decide?

They will keep painting only two pickleball courts per tennis court, even if more will fit.

Why?

They say that more pickleball court lines would be too confusing for both sports and make it difficult to manage court reservations.

Why should I care?

Because our schools need access to more collocated pickleball courts

The Physical Education teachers at the Lincoln High School and Hamilton Middle School in Wallingford would use the single tennis courts located at the Wallingford playfield if they each had lines for 4 pickleball courts. But Seattle Parks decided they would never paint more that 2 pickleball courts there.

Because the more collocated pickleball courts a location has, the better it supports a culture of inclusivity

Do you ever think that you cannot go play at a particular location because it is overcrowded? Do you ever think that there are not enough courts at a particular location to accommodate players of different skill levels? Well, most locations would be able to accommodate 50% to 100% more courts if Seattle Parks were willing to ditch its current policy.

All over the country, pickleball complexes are springing up. Why? Because the more the merrier.

Because Seattle Parks should make the best possible use of the court space it has

Would you paint lines for 2 tennis courts where 3 would fit? I didn’t think so.

But what about the confusing lines?

All the other sports fields have multiple lines. Why should tennis be special?

Actually, tennis no longer is special in a lot of town and cities across the country. In our own backyard, Shoreline hosts 6 pickleball courts on 2 tennis courts at Shoreview Park and Shoreline Park. Edmonds has lines for 8 pickleball courts on 2 tennis courts at Yost Park.

But what about reservations?

Where there is a will there is a way. Shoreline manages to allow people to reserve tennis courts at Shoreline Park even though they have more than 2 pickleball courts per tennis court.

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News

How to navigate the Spring 2022 school tennis season

Seattle

The pickleball courts at Green Lake, Miller, Brighton, Soundview, and Bitter Lake will be impacted by high school tennis teams from February 28 through May 26. Exact times vary from day to day, depending on practice/match schedules, but users should expect courts to be in use starting at 3pm through at least 6pm at most sites. We have asked Seattle Parks for more detailed information.

Shoreline 

We expect the Shoreline Park and Shoreview Park tennis courts to be used for school tennis team practice during the spring as well. Exact times should be posted by the tennis courts. If you see an announcement, please take a picture of it and send it to us so we can publicize it here.

Elsewhere

If you know of other pickleball courts in the Seattle Metro area that will be occupied by school teams, please help us let everyone know about it.

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News Volunteer

SMPA Seeking a Volunteer Treasurer

UPDATE: The treasurer position has been filled.

The Treasurer duties specified in SMPA’s Bylaws are as follows:

  1. Have charge and custody of and be responsible for all funds and securities of the corporation
  2. Receive and give receipts for monies due and payable to the corporation from any source whatsoever, and deposit such monies in the name of the corporation in such banks, trust companies, or other depositaries as shall be selected in accordance with the provisions of these Bylaws
  3. In general, perform all of the duties of the office of Treasurer and such other duties as from time to time may be assigned to him or her by the President or by the Board.

The SMPA volunteer Treasurer is an executive position within the 501 (3) (c) organization.

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Alert

Join the Redmond Parks and Trails Commission

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a pickleball player become one of Redmond’s Parks and Trails commissioners?

The city of Redmond is recruiting applicants to fill one vacancy on the Parks and Trails Commission. The city is committed to having a commission that reflects the diversity of the community and welcomes applications from any resident living within the 98052 zip code who is interested in the future of Redmond parks, recreation, and trails, including those who may have applied for past vacancies.

If you are interested, you can find more information here.

Pass it on.

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Alert

Lynnwood Players: Join ParksLove

The city of Lynnwood is looking for 25 community members to advise them during the creation of a comprehensive park and trail capital project plan that identifies system needs and prioritizes future investments to achieve their equitable park planning goals.

Translation: Lynnwood is going to decide which new parks projects it will fund. Wouldn’t it be nice to have at least one pickleball player on this advisory group? If you joined, you would only have to attend 6 to 8 meetings between April 2022 and August 2023 with each meeting lasting 1 to 3 hours.

If you are considering participating in this project, please take 10 minutes to complete this short survey by February 28.  

Pass it on.

More information here: www.LynnwoodWa.gov/ParksLove

Categories
News

Now Open: SMPA Store

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) apparel now available online.

Shop for hoodies, sleeveless men’s and women’s shirts, and quick-dry wear in a variety of colors.

We accept all major credit cards in our online store.

We also feature shirts for Pickleball, the Washington State Sport.

Even better, when you order any sleeved SMPA sports wear, you can add the “Washington State Sport” logo on the sleeve for only $6.

What else is there? SMPC 2022 tournament shirts! Order yours now.

Women’s 2022 SMPC Hoodie
Categories
Alert

Seattle Parks and Recreation Needs Your Input on the Future of Pickleball in Seattle’s Parks

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is seeking input from tennis and pickleball players on how they can best support the growth of pickleball. Everyone is encouraged to participate in their short survey.

Before you get started, take a moment to imagine what you would like Seattle Parks to do to support pickleball players in the future. Make sure you share it in the last question of the survey which will ask you “Do you have any other thoughts or ideas to share about pickleball or tennis in Seattle“?

Take the survey here before February 8th. Remember to share your vision for Seattle pickleball in the last question.

Need more information? You can find SPR’s announcement of their survey here.

Pass it on.

Categories
Newsletter

Happy 2022! SMPA Newsletter Returns

Covid hovers, SMPA Keeps Active

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) managed successful ventures in 2021, despite Covid interruptions to indoor play and winter rains that limited outdoor play. SMPA members across the metro area played in the rain and snow, competed in tournaments, organized play groups on PlayTime Scheduler, and joined or renewed their SMPA membership. That’s you, reader, masking up indoors to play this fun sport, bundling up for outdoor pickleball games, raising money to buy more nets, keeping your playgroup intact.

SMPA delivered more than a dozen rain shuttle squeegees to venues from Shoreline, West Seattle, Capitol Hill, to Kirkland, and Bellevue last year. To improve accessibility to play, SMPA-supported donor groups placed two more nets at Shoreline courts, and additional semipermanent nets at the very popular Green Lake venue. All in all, through coordinated city grants and large and small donor groups, we have placed almost two dozen semipermanent nets on pickleball courts in the Seattle Metro area.

SMPA can do things like this because our members actively engage all year long in local play activities. Overall, there are now more indoor venues (when there’s no Covid closures) because SMPA members advocate for pickleball players with their local Parks Departments and community centers.

As with any non-profit, the SMPA Board meets monthly to work on future projects, address current issues, and focus on business. In spring of 2022, please watch out for the following and, when the time comes, please attend our 2022 online Annual Meeting (Covid concerns prevail) and vote for the next slate of Directors replacing retiring and termed-out Directors.

  • SMPA Board member slate announced April 2022
  • Ballots sent by email to members in mid April 2022
  • Online Annual Meeting late April 2022

Bellevue Parks 6-year Plan

The first draft of the Bellevue Parks and Open Spaces System Plan includes these highlights. 

“An emerging sport is pickleball and there is demand locally for court space. It is a priority to investigate pickleball facility options for the future. Courts may be indoor or outdoor and both are desired.”

“The city is committed to re-striping tennis courts for pickleball use, while investigating options for implementing pickleball nets” 

“In the longer-term, plan outreach noted interest in a dedicated pickleball court cluster that can be used for group play.”

“The city will continue to work with the pickleball community and regional partners to assess opportunities for dedicated court development in new and existing parks.” 

See the previous plan here. And then? Call your city council representative and ask for their support for pickleball.


Seattle Outdoor Pickleball Demand Study

Seattle Parks and Rec (SPR) allocated $50,000 to pay for consultants to complete an Outdoor Pickleball Demand Study.  They tell us to expect a survey and two public meetings where the public will have a chance to make themselves heard.

State Sport of Washington

Washington legislative Bill 5615, designating pickleball as the official sport of the state of Washington, is moving along. On Friday, the bill was approved by the Senate State Government & Elections Committee. The bill now moves to the Rules Committee.

Bill 5615 will need to be approved by both the state House and Senate before it becomes official.

What can you do? Leave a comment in support of this bill, or call your Washington state legislators and ask them to pass the bill. Having pickleball as the official state sport of Washington would be way beyond cool, and increase the visibility of the sport without us pickleball-playing taxpayers spending a dime in promotions. Let’s get this done.

Be Our 2022 SMPC Volunteer Coordinator

The Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic tournament needs you! Or someone you may know with the connections and personal skills to reach out to and organize the many volunteers who’ll help run a successful July 2022 pickleball tournament in Shoreview Park.

You can read the complete description of coordinator duties here. If you’re interested, reach out to the tournament committee, already meeting every two weeks to plan for the best tournament and best player (and volunteer) experience possible.

SMPC Sponsors

How do we pay for the Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic (SMPC) tournament? Mostly through registration fees, and in part through sponsorships. We can happily announce that Humana healthcare has signed on as our first Title Sponsor.

As the tournament grows, we need those sponsorships more than ever. If your business or organization, or someone you know, would be a good sponsors fit to help create a successful July 2022 tournament in Shoreview Park, please reach out to the committee, or better yet, directly to Dennis Poppe, local pickleball player and USA Pickleball National Champion (2021), who’s helped develop our sponsorship program this year. Dennis will work directly with those interested in becoming a sponsor in 2022.

Ad for PlayTime Scheduler

New SMPA Online Apparel Store

SMPA opened a new online merchandise store late last year, featuring hoodies, as well as a variety of dry-fit type shirts for women and men. Run by the same vendor who made last year’s great SMPC tournament shirts, the 3rd party store site offers size, color, and style variety. Check it out here!

This is SMPA membership renewal time for many of you. A click on the Join button takes you to our 3rd-party membership website. MemberPlanet securely manages our membership database so we can focus on pickleball, our members, and growing the sport across the Seattle metro area. We are grateful for your support and, if you have gotten a reminder, please take a moment and re-up. For those of you who left autorenewal in place, the $20 charge will appear on your valid credit card.

Questions about your membership renewal or status? Contact us and we’ll try to help.