Tyson McGuffin to host Mariners Pickleball Night

Top-ranked pickleball pro Tyson McGuffin will host the pickleball pre-party and throw out the first pitch on Saturday, September 30th at T-Mobile Park when the Mariners take on the Texas Rangers.

The Seattle Metro Pickleball Association is excited to announce that Tyson McGuffin will be hosting Mariners Pickleball Night. Come meet Tyson McGuffin at the pre-game party and watch him throw out the first pitch on Saturday, September 30th on the last weekend of the regular season.

Tyson McGuffin was born in Washington state’s scenic Lake Chelan and is one of the top professional pickleball athletes in the world.

Professional pickleball player Tyson McGuffin

Pickleball fans will be seated in sections 112 through 116 on the main level. The game starts at 6:40 pm, but pre-game festivities will begin on the Rooftop Boardwalk of T-Mobile Park when the gates open around 5:10 pm. The Rooftop Boardwalk is located on upper level near section 330 above the Home Plate Rotunda (Home Plate Gate on the stadium map).

Specially priced tickets of $40 include seats in the pickleball section on game day, limited-edition Mariners-themed pickleball t-shirts and access to the Rooftop Boardwalk pickleball party, where Tyson McGuffin will be meeting fans, taking photos and signing memorabilia. Selkirk paddles will be raffled off during the event.

Selkirk will be joining us with special giveaways, including foam replicas of Tyson’s new Selkirk paddle for the first lucky 800 fans. Tukwila-based InnovAsian Foods, specializing in Asian cuisine, will also provide attendees with giveaways, including special baseball caps.

Fans can try out the latest Selkirk paddles on the dinking court. This is not a full-sized court due to space limitations, but that didn’t stop players from staging a few games last year.

This is a great opportunity for the pickleball community to gather and mingle with their friends and get better acquainted with the regulars they see on the courts and at tournaments. The dinking court is adjacent to two food and beverage trucks, with seating available to relax, eat and take in the party.

Three dollars of every ticket sold will benefit the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association. Tickets can be purchased on the Mariners website here.

Dan and Katie testing out GAMMA paddles at 2022 Mariners Pickleball Night

The pickleball community from Vancouver, BC brought some spice last year with their signs and we hope to see them again.

Vancouver, BC pickleball players fire it up on the Jumbotron on Mariners Pickleball Night

SMPA invites the pickleball community to make a weekend of it. The Legends Autumn Classic pickleball tournament, hosted by Glen Peterson, will be held from September 28th to October 1st at the Gorin Tenis Center in Redmond. This tournament is expected to draw 800 players to the area to compete.

Seniors competing Thursday and Friday can stay to attend Mariners Pickleball Night on Saturday. Younger players will compete on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday play will end by 3 pm, giving competitors time to drive over and meet Tyson after the tournament. Legends Autumn Classic registration opens July 1st on

T-Mobile Park Map showing layout and seating blocks. The pre-game party is on the Rooftop Boardwalk, located above the Home Plate Rotunda near Section 330 (Home Plate Gate). Note t-shirts must be picked up at Section 339 before the end of the third inning. MPN ticket seating is located in Sections 112 to 116 on the main level.

Things to remember:

  • The pre-game party is on the Rooftop Boardwalk near section 330 above the Home Plate Rotunda (Home Plate Gate on the stadium map). It starts at 5:10 pm and ends at 6:30 pm, shortly before the game begins. You’ll want to be in your seats to watch Tyson throw out the first pitch.
  • Mariners Pickleball Night t-shirts must be picked up from Section 339 before the end of the third inning on game day. See the stadium map above.
  • A group purchase of 20+ tickets is not subject to additional fees or taxes, simply a flat rate of $40 per ticket. Your group’s name will be briefly displayed on the scoreboard after the 4th inning and the buyer will receive two complimentary tickets to a 2023 regular season home game.
  • The Rooftop Boardwalk dinking court is not a full size pickleball court due to space limitations.
  • Tickets are 100% digital and can ONLY be downloaded and transferred to you, friends and family on the MLB Ballpark app or through Ticketmaster. You cannot transfer tickets via photo image due to unique QR codes. One other option is the willcall booth.
  • Do not bring pickleball paddles into the stadium. They are considered weapons (yes, we know!) and will not be admitted. Demo paddles will be supplied, and raffle winners will have their prize paddles mailed to them.
  • Arrive early. The stadium is expected to sell-out, as this is the last weekend of the regular season. There will be traffic.
  • Consider eating before the game. There will be long lines for food and drink, and certain items may sell out.
  • Consider reserving a game-day parking spot on a site like SpotHero.
  • Only clear purses, clear bags or clear backpacks are allowed in the stadium per the gate and bag policy. No purse, no matter how small, will be allowed. People will be turned away from the gates if they fail to comply with this stadium rule.
  • If you have special access needs, such as a wheelchair, you must contact Alexa Olague before the game at (206) 346-4506 to inquire about special seating arrangements.
  • SMPA will supply laundry pens for those wanting a permanent signature on their MPN t-shirts, Selkirk foam paddles and InnovAsian baseball hats (limited quantity of foam paddles and hats).
  • Raffle is free for Mariners Pickleball Night ticket holders, but you must be present at the pre-game pickleball party to enter.


SMPA Meets with Seattle Parks’ New Superintendent

On April 12th, 2023, representatives of your Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) met with A.P. Diaz, Superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR), and members of his staff. This meeting was a first step in helping Mr. Diaz, who has been in his role since September 29th, 2022, to better understand the big issues and frustrations facing the pickleball community.

Below you will find SMPA’s presentation that started the meeting, followed by our notes of the conversation that followed the presentation.

In all, SMPA presented Mr. Diaz with 5 requested actions:

  1. Appoint or hire individuals with pickleball expertise and knowledge of its culture to participate in all decision-making processes that involve policy and resources that pertain to the sport.
  2. Abolish the 2:1 court ratio, and revisit all legacy policies that subvert pickleball culture.
  3. Better balance tennis and pickleball needs in SPR’s budget to be more in line with growing public demand.
  4. Form a task force in conjunction with SMPA focused on building dedicated courts at Magnuson Park that can attract regional and national events.
  5. Schedule a follow-up discussion and visit with Green Lake Pickleball on the Pickleball Hub concept.

Reading through the meeting notes below you might get the sense that Mr. Diaz is supportive of working with SMPA to provide the pickleball community with more courts and more places to play. We got that sense too in the meeting, and we certainly have optimism that Mr. Diaz and Seattle Parks will be true to that sentiment and follow up the good dialogue with action.  

Big Issues Facing the Pickleball Community

The meeting started with SMPA president, Frank Chiappone presenting SMPA’s point of view on the current state of pickleball at Seattle Parks’ outdoor public courts, including the big issues and frustrations facing the Seattle pickleball community. You can scroll through the presentation below or download it if you prefer.

Discussion Notes

The presentation was followed by a short discussion, summarized as bullet points below:

AP Diaz (Superintendent, Seattle Parks and Recreation):

  • Smooth presentation.
  • We agree with you on all the statistics about pickleball.
  • Agrees on the need for more lights on outdoor courts.
  • Appreciates SMPA’s advocacy (“I completely get it”)
  • SPR staff is leaning more and more into pickleball. No need to overcome that.
  • Is convinced that pickleball is a tremendously popular sport.
  • Knows that pickleball is appealing not only to aging tennis players, but also to younger people who have never played tennis and are falling in love with the sport because it is fast and quick, and very social.
  • Diaz went to visit Green Lake when he was first named superintendent. Noticed the long line of cars pulling into the parking lot and wondered if there was some kind of feeding program going on to explain the huge line of cars. Realized it was pickleball players.
  • Has seen the Green Lake pickleball courts, the stacking system. Talked with players. It was great.
  • SPR’s responsibility is to serve the public in a variety of activities. There is a need to do more.
  • Wants to take some of the points of the presentation, go through them with SPR staff. If what SMPA is asking is making the user experience better, if they make SPR’s operation easier, if they make the community happy, and SPR can implement them reasonably, SPR is happy to follow up.
  • Wants to see if SPR can easily fix the Maple Leaf pickleball courts problems SMPA reported.
  • Wants to replicate the Laurelhurst model, as a beautiful dedicated pickleball court. Acknowledges that we need locations with more than one court.
  • Wants to look at non-traditional outdoor spaces such as Magnuson (Frog Pond) parking lot, and Magnuson hangars.
  • This will not be the end of our conversation.
  • This is important. Excited to learn more.

Andy Sheffer (Deputy Superintendent of Operations, Seattle Parks and Recreation):

  • SPR very optimistic that the PPA tournament will take place at Amy Yee
  • Very pleased at PPA’s offer to resurface the courts. SPR had wanted to resurface these courts for a long time.

AP Diaz:

  • SPR will use its communication team to promote both the Metro Classic and the PPA tournaments.
  • After the tournaments, it will be hard for anyone (including SPR) to say that there is no good reason to find ways to support similar events in the future.

Peter Seitel (Green Lake Pickleball):

  • Will you address the five asks at the end of the presentation?

AP Diaz:

  • Yes. They all make sense. Wants to study them, align with what SPR has in the works. None of the asks seem unreasonable. For all sports, at some point SPR becomes constrained by capacity and by space. Diaz is proponent of non-traditional use of space, of allocating underserved (might have meant to say “underused”?) property, and of public-private partnerships.
  • When talking about revitalizing downtown neighborhoods, conversations revolve around schools, safety, lights, etc.  Pickleball often finds its way in these conversations as well.
  • His dream is to have a world class lighted pickleball facility in the downtown neighborhood, without being constrained by noise or nighttime.

Andy Sheffer:

  • Seattle City Lights gave SPR a substantial rebate on LED lights for tennis courts which made the recent light upgrade possible.

Frank Chiappone (President, Seattle Metro Pickleball Association):

  • Danyal, are you our point of contact?

Danyal Lotfi (Community Engagement Advisor, Seattle Parks and Recreation):

  • Yes. Was just recently brought on in this role. Still in orientation phase. Still gathering information, trying to find his footing. Has a team that supports him.

AP Diaz:

  • This is the first conversation of many.
  • Excited to host the PPA tournament.
  • Has arranged to have kids from Community Centers attend the PPA tournament.
  • Will evaluate SMPA proposals and figure out a time for another meeting.
  • SPR might do some more community engagement. SPR gets frequently contacted by pickleball players. Diaz wants to be responsive.
  • At the end of the day, Diaz believes there is always common ground. Pickleball players want more access to pickleball facilities, and to be able to thrive in health and wellness through pickleball. SPR’s job is to ensure people have the opportunity to unleash their passions and be healthy and have fun. We are a healthy fun city. We are on board with you. Thank you for your advocacy.

Legislative Session Ends Without a State Sport License Plate

This has not been a good year for special license plates. None of the four license plates submitted for 2023 made it through the legislature.

Four license plate bills were introduced this year, State Sport, Mount St. Helens, Le-May America’s Car Museum and OL Reign. Of the four special license plate bills introduced, only the State Sport and Mount St. Helens license plates passed in the Senate. The State Sport license plate passed with 45 yes votes and 4 no votes. The four nays were Senators MacEwen, McCune, Schoesler and Stanford. No license plate bill introduced passed in the House.

A state sport license plate is a way to celebrate and share the state sport. It also reminds local government officials that picklers are here to stay and that we deserve dedicated pickleball courts.

Thank you to our everyone who supported this effort, including the thousands of people who signed the petition, the dozens of people who collected the signature and Senator Lovick who sponsored the bill. Senator Lovick will be working with the SMPA to continue to pass this bill in 2024.

News Volunteer

Help Us Help You!

Thank you

We are so grateful for the current Seattle Metro Pickleball Association volunteers who help us execute on our vision of “More Courts, More Play” by working hard to organize play of all kinds, maintaining the courts, communicating with Parks officials and generally spreading the word about pickleball. You are the real MVPs (Most Valuable Picklers)! Your hard work and dedication are unmatched and appreciated. Thank you for being awesome!

Check out our new
Volunteer Form

More Courts. More Play.
SMPA member Erin O’Rourke stands in front of the “More Courts, More Play” banner.

Let’s Do More

As pickleball grows exponentially, there is so much more that the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association would like to do to execute on its quadruple mission of:

  • Growing the profile of pickleball in our region and the community of people working together to help it to flourish,
  • Engaging with individuals and governmental bodies to improve and expand public pickleball facilities across the region,
  • Empowering Play by providing expertise, equipment, and other material resources to enable well-run, inclusive organized play opportunities,
  • Building the dedicated pickleball facilities that our region deserves and that generations to come will enjoy.
At an Intro to Pickleball event, SMPA members Tom Grubb and Terry Cullen show how to play.

We Need You

To do it all, we will need your help. We have created a list of new volunteering opportunities and made it easy for you to let us know which of those sounds fun and express your interest. The time commitment and duration with each volunteer opportunity will vary. As a volunteer, you can put in as few or as many hours as your availability permits. Please take a look at our Volunteer Form, see if any area appeals to you, and let us know what we missed.

A sign directing people to an SMPA Pickleball in the Park event open to all.

Volunteering is a great way to make a positive difference in the world and have fun at the same time. You will make new friends, learn new skills, and feel good about helping others. So don’t hesitate. You won’t regret it!

Volunteers Lending a Hand

SMPA Member Drew Thoresen greets participants at a local Pickleball in the Park event.
SMPA member Jose “Pax” Ortega demonstrates a backhand volley.
SMPA Member and certified pickleball instructor Tom Grubb shares his teaching skills at an Intro to Pickleball clinic open to all.

Check out our new
Volunteer Form


What happened to the $50,000 the Seattle City Council allocated for pickleball lines in 2022?


In 2021, Seattle city councilmember Tammy Morales added $50,000 to Seattle Parks and Recreation’s budget “to support adding pickleball court lines to existing tennis courts in the City. This funding could support the lining of 25 new pickleball courts.” Funding was to be targeted to low-income communities.

Seattle Parks spent about 40% of that money to paint lines for eight pickleball courts in a single low-income community, and to paint lines for eight more pickleball courts spread amongst two higher income communities. It spent about 60% of the money on twelve semi-permanent pickleball nets which have not been delivered yet.

The city council’s request that the money be spent on pickleball court lines in low-income communities was clear but not binding.  For it to be binding, it would need to have included a proviso specifying so.

Council Budget Action SPR-003-C-001

At the end of 2021, Seattle City Councilmember Tammy Morales sponsored a city budget amendment titled “Add $50,000 GF to SPR [Seattle Parks and Recreation] to support adding pickleball court lines to existing tennis courts” in Seattle. Pickleball players sent emails in support of this amendment. The amendment passed and became 2022 Seattle City Council Budget Action SPR-003-C-001 titled “Add $50,000 REET I to SPR to support adding pickleball court lines to existing tennis courts.”  It says:

This Council Budget Action would add $50,000 REET I to Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) to support adding pickleball court lines to existing tennis courts in the City. This funding could support the lining of 25 new pickleball courts. Funding would be targeted to low-income communities where there is a deficiency in pickleball courts.

How we hoped the money would be spent

We had hoped that the money would be spent to paint pickleball court lines on existing tennis courts in low-income communities.

The $50,000 allocated for this would have been sufficient to paint lines for up to 40 pickleball courts.

Once lines are painted at a location, we can ask for additional budget for semi-permanent nets or raise money from the community to place nets at that location. That is how most of the semi-permanent pickleball nets in Seattle have been acquired to date. The same can’t be said for pickleball lines: we can’t raise money for pickleball lines.

How the money was spent

PickleballLinesIn Low-income CommunityAmount
Alki Playground Tennis Courts:
Lines for 4 pickleball courts
Gilman Playfield Tennis Courts:
Lines for 4 pickleball courts
Rainier Beach Playfield Tennis Courts:
Lines for 8 pickleball courts
12 semi-permanent pickleball nets to be installed at locations yet to be determined?$30,415.77

The pickleball court lines were painted in summer 2022.
The pickleball nets were ordered during the first quarter of 2023 and have yet to be delivered.
The costs above do not include Seattle Parks administrative and staff charges.

Lessons Learned

Even though the amendment stated that the money was to be used to add pickleball court lines for 25 pickleball courts in low-income communities, it spent only about one fifth of the money on pickleball court lines in low-income communities.

Even though the amendment didn’t say anything about pickleball nets over half of the money was spent on pickleball nets instead of pickleball lines.

If we want the city council to earmark money so that it can only be spent on a specific item, a Budget Proviso must be must be passed with any future Budget Action.

Thank Councilmember Morales

Please thank Councilmember Morales and her staff member, Imani Carey, for their leadership in creating more pickleball opportunities for our communities, and for helping clarify what happened to the $50,000.  E-mails of appreciation can be sent to: and to her staff:


19th Annual MXD Championships

June 22-25, 2023
Bellevue Club

New this year, pickleball! As part of the fun, the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association will host a Mixed Doubles tournament on Sunday, June 25th with events for 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, and 4.5 players.

Registration opens Monday, May 8th, 8am
Register at

$200/team includes Thursday night player party with food, beverages, live music, tennis and pickleball exhibition matches, and lots of fun!

Funds raised will benefit
Fred Hutch Cancer Center

Contact: Brian Nash, Bellevue Club Tennis Director | 206-250-7259,

Pickleball Contact: Frank Chiappone, Seattle Metro Pickleball
Association |


Free Beginner Pickleball Clinics

Registration Required

To keep the number of attendees manageable, only the players who registered in advance and signed the liability waiver will be allowed to participate in the clinics.

To make sure everyone gets a chance to attend a clinic, please only register for one clinic.

Where and When?

At Seattle’s Bitter Lake outdoor pickleball courts, from 8:30am to 10:30am on:

  • April 25, 2023
  • May 16, 2023
  • June 27, 2023
  • July 18, 2023
  • August 8, 2023

At Shoreline’s Shoreview Park outdoor pickleball courts, from 8:30am to 10:30am on:

  • May 4, 2023
  • June 15, 2023
  • July 27, 2023
  • August 17, 2023

What should I bring?

Just yourself and a smile.

If you already have a paddle, bring it. But don’t worry if you don’t have one.

Who will be the instructor?

Fielding Snow will be the instructor. Fielding is a PCI certified pickleball instructor. He has years of experience coaching in multiple racquet sports. He has been offering free instructional sessions as well as paid private, semi-private and group lessons. You can email him at

How much does it cost?

It’s free.

You can support the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association by joining as a member or making a donation.

Where do I register?

For the Bitter Lake clinics, register here.

For the Shoreview Park clinics, register here.


SMPA Directors Zoom to Olympia for Senate Hearing on SB5333

Three SMPA directors are testifying via Zoom before the Senate Transportation Committee on Monday February 6th in support of the State Sport special license plate bill. Joining them are Nancy Purcell, president of the Mukilteo Everett Pickleball Club, Rose Jones of Pickleball Playground in Spokane, and Pablo Granados, who is representing the Marysville Pickleball Assn, the Lake Stevens Pickleball Assn and the Snoco County Pickleball Assn. Pablo Granados is also the executive director of DUPR in Washington State. We are excited to have them join us in presenting compelling arguments in support of the first pickleball license plate in the U.S. The hearing begins at 4 pm. Five items are on the committee agenda. The scheduled start time for SB5333 is just after 5 pm, with live video feed provided by the legislature on TVW.

The Seattle Metro Pickleball Association serves the Seattle Metro area, a population base of 3.5 million people within Seattle, King County and portions of Snohomish and Pierce Counties. The board members are unpaid volunteers committed to developing the sport and pickleball facilities not just in the Seattle Metro area but throughout the state. The SMPA is working with the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office on a large statewide grant program for athletic facilities. SMPA is working to make pickleball an official school sport in Washington through its sponsorship of pickleball leagues in schools.

Pickleball continues to grow at an accelerated rate. In 2023 the Association of Pickleball Players released a YouGov report stating that 36.5 million adult Americans played pickleball in 2022, 10 million more than tennis participation, which per the United States Tennis Association is 23.6 million. The SMPA is working hard to find solutions to meet the increasing demand for pickleball courts, including being the non-profit sponsor of this bill.

If passed, the state sport license plate will be the first pickleball license plate in the U.S.

Proceeds from State Sport license plate sales are to be used solely for the construction and maintenance of dedicated pickleball courts and are available to be used throughout Washington. The Seattle Metro Pickleball Association is happy to partner with any Washington parks and recreation department, city or municipality which has fast-tracked the construction and maintenance of dedicated pickleball courts.

The presence of pickleball plates on vehicles will increase awareness of the state sport. The license plates will be roaming advertisements for pickleball, leading to opportunities for education about the state sport as well as more pickleball courts throughout Washington. Most importantly, it will allow pickleball players to proudly display their love for the state sport.

You can help make an impact by supporting the bill. Fill out the electronic form here. Your support will be submitted directly to the Senate committee on the day of the hearing.

Please join us in the effort to pass the bill by indicating your support today!


It’s official! The State Sport special license plate bill has been filed

The first day of Washington State’s 2023 legislative session began on Tuesday, January 10th, and Senator John Lovick wasted no time filing the State Sport special license plate bill on Wednesday, January 11th. The State Sport license plate bill recognizes the state sport of pickleball and is named Senate Bill 5333. Information about SB 5333, including status updates and the full text of the bill, is available on the Washington State Legislature website at Proceeds from license plate sales will be used for the construction and maintenance of dedicated pickleball courts throughout Washington.

In March 2022, pickleball was officially designated the State Sport of Washington. Not long after, the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) decided that our State Sport deserves a state license plate and became the bill’s non-profit sponsor. After Senator Lovick gave his support as the bill’s legislative sponsor, SMPA began the process of collecting the necessary documents and signatures required by the Department of Licensing. The official signature launch began in September at Mariners Pickleball Night. With the help of volunteers and clubs throughout Washington, 3,855 signatures were obtained by December.

148 pages of paper petitions and over 1,200 online petition signatures exceeded the 3,500 requirement by 10%.

SMPA enlisted the help of four designers, and a poll let the public choose a favorite from eight designs. With over 50% of the vote, Pickleball Rising was the clear favorite. SMPA must still obtain Department of Licensing approval of the proposed plate, which must pass certain specifications.

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 at the bill signing ceremony on Bainbridge Island.

If the bill passes during the 2023 legislative session, State Sport license plates will be available near the end of the year. The approximate cost of the pickleball license plate is $157.25 for passenger vehicle, with a $30 annual renewal fee. The display of Pickleball State Sport license plates throughout the state will be a great way to help grow the sport and attract the attention needed to build more pickleball facilities in your community and throughout Washington.


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.