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.
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.
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.
The Treasurer duties specified in SMPA’s Bylaws are as follows:
Have charge and custody of and be responsible for all funds and securities of the corporation
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
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.
The Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) department has resumed indoor “drop-in” pickleball sessions at multiple locations starting in early October 2021. Most locations offer 45-minute long sessions. All locations require advanced reservations and limit the number of players to 4 times the number of pickleball courts available.
Players have had many questions regarding these new drop-in sessions. We are trying to answer some of them here. Thank you to all of you who have taken the time to share your experiences with us.
Q: Were any pickleball players involved in the decision to have 45-minute sessions?
A: We don’t know, but we guess not. The Seattle Metro Pickleball Association was not consulted.
Q: Are other sports limited to 45-minute sessions?
A: Yes. Badminton, basketball, ping-pong and some volleyball seem to suffer the same fate.
Q: Why 45-minute sessions?
A: We can only guess that this is SPR’s way to split large crowds that used to congregate for large amount of times into smaller crowds that congregate for shorter amount of times.
Q: Do other cities around Seattle have the same 45-minute rule?
Q: Why do most Seattle locations offer 45-minute pickleball sessions while a few offer longer sessions?
A: We are told that the community centers that offer 45-minute sessions did not have a choice. The decision was made at a higher level. We do not know if the few community centers that have longer sessions are breaking the rules or asked for special dispensations.
Q: Can I sign up for multiple consecutive pickleball sessions?
A: The online system registration system does not allow registering for multiple consecutive sessions. However, at this time, it is usually possible to stay and play the next session because of low attendance. When it rains every day, things will likely change.
Q: I signed up online for a drop-in session that I will not be able to attend. What should I do?
A: There is no way to cancel online. We hear you can call your community center to cancel your registration.
Q: Can I drop-in even if I don’t have a reservation?
A: If the number of reservations for a particular session has not reached the maximum number of players allowed, we do believe that there is a good chance you will be allowed to register on the spot and join in.
We have heard of sessions where all the available spots are reserved by advance registration, but only a few of the registered players actually show up. When unregistered players ask if they can join in, the community center doesn’t know whether to release the reserved spots that are unoccupied. Confusion ensues.
Q: I can’t play 45-minute continuously. I like to take a break between games. If I take a break, what will the other people in my foursome do?
A: There is a good chance that the number of players present won’t be a multiple of four. Some players will have to sit and wait for a turn no matter what.
Q: The Rainier Community Center hosted the most diverse pickleball community before the pandemic. Why does it not offer drop-in pickleball now?
A: This is indeed quite surprising given that the Rainier Community Center currently offers drop-in Hip Hop Spin, Basketball, Bridge, and Tai Chi. The SPR person we were told to contact regarding this is not returning phone calls or emails.
Q: Who at SPR decided to have 45-minute pickleball sessions?
A: We don’t know.
Q: Is this how it is going to be for the foreseeable future?
A: Not necessarily. We believe SPR might change the current system if they think of a better way.
Q: How can I give SPR feedback about this new system?
A: You can email PKS_Info@seattle.gov, the official SPR channel for inquiries, compliments, suggestions, complaints, etc.
The local Seattle non-profit Sports in Schools, has partnered with the Seattle parks department and for the 6th year is running a FREE FALL middle school tennis program for 6 weeks twice a week after school at 12 middle school sites all around Seattle.
Here is a summary that shows the schools and the days and times they will be running programs at tennis courts that have (official and unofficial) pickleball court lines. This program runs for 6 weeks only and starts the week of 9/13 and ends the week ending 10/22.
Seattle Parks hosts Big Day of Play as a celebration of Seattle’s diversity and it encourages neighbors, communities and families to have fun, build relationships and be active together. It’s the day to play your way! We see this as the perfect day to advocate for pickleball. Read on.
This year, the Big Day of Play is taking place Saturday August 21 from noon to 4pm. You don’t have to be there all four hours; gather a group of pickleball friends and drop by when convenient.
The event takes place outdoors at Rainier Playfield, across the street from the Rainier Community Center.
Be sure to look at the four tennis courts located on the playfield, across the street from the Community Center. These courts see very little use throughout the year, yet the Seattle Parks Department refuses to paint pickleball court lines on them. The Rainier Community Center has 6 indoor pickleball courts and historically enjoyed a large, active, and diverse community of pickleball players. Wouldn’t it make sense to paint pickleball court lines on the outdoor tennis courts right across the street from the community center?
This is your chance to talk to the Seattle Parks District Oversight Committee and the Seattle Board of Park Commissioners. These two groups have some oversight of the Parks Department. Several of their members will be present at the Big Day of Play. They will be asking attendees the following questions: – What is the Seattle Parks Department doing well and should keep doing? (A: Host a large and diverse pickleball community at the Rainier Community Center. Reach new players through their Rec’n The Streets program.) – What is the Seattle Parks Department doing poorly and should stop doing? (A: Seattle Parks only allows pickleball on the least desirable tennis courts. This is redlining and it is time to stop that practice. In particular, stop vetoing painting pickleball court lines on the Rainier Playfield tennis courts.) – What is the Seattle Parks Department not doing yet that it should start doing? (A: Allocate court use equitably across tennis and pickleball.)
Tell them to start painting pickleball court lines on the Rainier Playfield tennis courts. The Parks department has already painted, is about to paint or has already recommended painting pickleball lines on most outdoor tennis courts adjacent to community centers in other parts of the city. There is no reason to make an exception with Rainier. And no, this is not a highly used tennis court. Their own data shows that these courts are reserved an average of only 45 minutes a day.
Tell them that the Parks department insists on painting pickleball lines only on the least desirable tennis courts. This is discrimination plain and simple, and has to stop.
Tell them to allocate money to fund pickleball recreation programming and pickleball facilities in their next budget. They are about to allocate a boatload of money to the Parks Department for the next six years. In their first budget cycle, they allocated: – $26,681,070 for Parks and Recreation Operating Expenses, supplementing and expanding the capacity of Seattle Parks and Recreation to serve Seattle residents. –$142,927,236 for Capital Projects, investing in infrastructure and improvement projects for Seattle Parks and Recreation to preserve and maintain Seattle’s park system. And all that is just a small part of the Parks Department’s total budget.
In their last budget they allocated over to $2,000,000 to tennis for Amy Yee Tennis Center upgrades and for drainage improvements at the Laurelhurst Playfield outdoor tennis courts. In that same budget, they allocated $0 to pickleball recreation programming and $0 to pickleball facilities.
Tell them that it is not acceptable to fund tennis and leave pickleball unfunded.
One of the things I want to do as president of SMPA is spend some time writing on this page to give you updates and visibility into some of the things the Board and other folks are working on. Well, here it is 3 months since I took this role and I haven’t posted a thing. We have a lot of catching up to do. It’s been a busy 90 days and there’s a lot happening both on the courts and off.
First off, I want to thank and congratulate everyone involved with the recent Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic. That includes the tournament organizing committee, the volunteer captains, the hundreds of volunteers and all the players and spectators that made the weekend so extraordinary. If you haven’t seen Kyle Yate’s glowing review of the tournament in The Dink newsletter it’s a great read and a testament to how special this area is and can be for pickleball. Besides Yates, some of the biggest names in the sport came to play, reigning U.S. Open Champion Callie Smith was here, as was Steve Deacon, Erik Lang, and Seattle’s own Lindsey Newman. We had local legends and Hall of Famers Mark Friedenberg and Fran Myer play and participate. ProPickleball was here to stream the Open matches. We received local news coverage on KING-5 TV, and sports anchor Chris Eagan, a pickleball fanatic just like you and me, played in the Pro Men’s event.
The SMPC is the signature event of our calendar year, but it’s more than just a tournament. It’s a showcase for local governments and area businesses to see first-hand the growth of the sport and how it can draw tourists from the entire region and beyond to come visit and spend money. It’s a signal to Parks and Rec departments the need for more courts, and to demonstrate that an investment in pickleball courts can not only sustain itself but meet and exceed their missions of enabling health and fitness to a diverse set of citizens. We all have a lot to be proud of and I’m already excited about next year’s tournament. Let the countdown begin!
Speaking of getting more courts, let’s talk about the South East Seattle saga that Miguel de Campos has been chronicling on this page and other exchanges with SPR regarding pickleball matters. I don’t need to get into the details since Miguel captures it all, but I do want you to know how I see SMPA’s role in driving this, and other discussions about pickleball, forward. I’ll start with yet another thank you to all of our members, and non-members, who wrote or called SPR representatives and other government officials to voice their opinion about the South East Seattle courts and the Green Lake resurfacing project. In an email to one of our members, Laurie Dunlap from the SPR Superintendents office called the pickleball-related correspondence they’ve received “overwhelming.” I bet it is! Let’s keep it up. Just remember to be polite and respectful. SMPA will continue to work directly with SPR in trying to change policy and practices that discriminate against pickleball players. We recognize that SPR’s job isn’t easy. They have a lot of different groups they need to deal with and serving the historically underserved is rightfully their highest priority. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be held accountable for the decisions they make and the processes they put in place to make them. When battling against bureaucracy it pays to be persistent and patient. We will continue to use our strength in numbers to be a voice for pickleball players and push for more access to courts and more opportunities to play in the Metro area.
Meanwhile our work continues in other areas. SMPA has recently worked with a group of players to fund four new Douglas semi-permanent nets for the Bitter Lake courts and another group has raised money to purchase four more at Green Lake and one at Shoreline Park. You can now find these nets all over the metro area, in Shoreview Park in Shoreline, Walt Hundley Playfield and Delridge Park in West Seattle, and in Miller Park on Capitol Hill. If your group would like to raise funds for semi-permanent nets at your park, reach out to us at email@example.com. We can help by setting up a portal for tax-deductible donations and purchasing the nets for you once the money is raised. Thanks also to the volunteers who help assemble them once they arrive.
And whether you’re looking for ways to improve your game, play more competitively, or just looking for some open rec play, several SMPA members (and Directors) are teaching or organizing different play events around town. On Mondays you’ll find our Vice President Theresa Haynie leading a women’s group in skills and drills at Shoreview park. SMPA member Fielding Snow has organized drill sessions with play twice a week also at Shoreview. Several members, led by Director Sarah Webb, are helping SPR teach the game to beginners at Bitter Lake. And yours truly runs a round robin tournament for more advanced players there on Saturdays. Former Director Sean Oldridge continues to organize open rec play at Green Lake every weekend. SMPA helps these groups by reserving courts for longer chunks of time than an individual might be able to. For example, SMPA reserves all six pickleball courts at Green Lake every Saturday and Sunday for the entire summer. Sean takes donations every weekend and pays SMPA back over time. Reserving courts in big chunks demonstrates real revenue opportunity for SPR and illustrates in a measurable way the growing demand for pickleball. If you need some help organizing similar events in your area, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I told you we had a lot of catching up to do! But I’ll stop there for now. If you’re reading this and you’re not an SMPA member, please consider joining our group. We’re not a club, just a group of players looking to advocate and advance the sport as best we can. If you have any questions or suggestions for me directly you can reach me at email@example.com.
Recap: On July 15, the Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) Department’s Deputy Superintendent Christopher Williams wrote that (1) it is SPR’s policy to addpickleball lines only to the tennis courts that historically get low usage by tennis players and (2) that adding pickleball court lines to the tennis courts located next to the Jefferson and Rainier Community Centers would constitute a “change of use to parks or park facilities” which would require an opaque and cumbersome review process. On August 1, Seattle Metro Pickleball Association President Frank Chiappone sent the Association’s reply.
On August 3rd, the Southeast Pickleball players called for pickleball players to express their opposition (1) to SPR’s newest policy of allowing pickleball only on the worst tennis courts, and (2) to SPR’s policy of adding pickleball court lines to tennis courts adjacent to community centers that host pickleball communities everywhere EXCEPT in Southeast Seattle. Below is their call to action.
As you know we have petitioned
the Seattle Parks department asking (among other things) that they paint
pickleball court lines on the outdoor tennis courts adjacent to the Jefferson
and Rainier Community Centers.
, Seattle Parks’ Deputy Superintendent Christopher Williams is
now saying that they want to paint pickleball court lines only on Southeast
Seattle’s least desirable tennis courts and that adding pickleball lines on the
Jefferson and Rainier courts would constitute a change in facility programming
a long and complicated review process
though Seattle Parks already has already or is about to line tennis courts for
pickleball near many community centers that host pickleball programs (Bitter
Lake, Delridge, Green Lake, High Point/Walt Hundley, Meadowbrook, Miller, Magnolia,
South Park) , when it comes to Southeast Seattle community centers, they refuse
to do the same.
To Christopher Williams,
Cc. SMPA, Andy Sheffer
Planning and Development Division Director
you for this reply. I understand why SPR prefers to work with community groups
and their representatives and I would guess most members of the pickleball
community would prefer this as well. However, your response highlights many of
the very reasons why I, and many others, have lost faith in this arrangement. I
ask you consider the following:
It is unreasonable to
ask the public to funnel feedback through community organizations such as the
SMPA when SPR has not in good faith included this organization fully and
transparently in all phases of decision making related to equitable use of city
courts. I demand the SMPA receives equal representation to that which the
tennis community receives via the Amy Yee Tennis Center and its
representatives. Otherwise, asking the public to not provide direct feedback to
SPR is for the convenience of SPR only.
You mentioned the 16 new
courts planned for Southeast Seattle. The fact that you mention this as a
gesture of SPR good faith effort to respond to community feedback is tone-deaf
and emblematic of many of the issues being raised. A petition with almost 800 signatures
addressed why the courts selected for dual-lines in Southeast Seattle are
unacceptable and inequitable. By trumpeting this effort on your part reflects
either that you, and/or SPR in general are ignorant to this vociferous public
feedback, or have simply chosen to ignore it. Pickleball players are asking for
quality, not just quantity.
SPR fear of displacing
tennis players is just unfair. It is incumbent upon SPR to articulate why it is
policy to preserve the interests of one recreational community over another.
Currently, tennis players have access to hundreds of tennis courts all around
the city. These include the best faculties described as having lights,
restrooms, parking newer surfaces, high court capacity, etc. Many of these
courts are designated as “tennis only” courts by policy, or de facto owing to
lack of pickleball court lines. The SPR plan to designate some courts for
dual-lines is in itself inequitable since even these courts are lined in a
manner that under utilizes the potential court capacity for pickleball, and
uses diminished line color – again for the benefit of tennis. As a result of
your desire to prevent “displacement” of tennis players, you have hundreds of
displaced pickleball players every weekend crowding the few courts that exist
while tennis courts sit empty.
Equity. SPR policy
believes it is okay to designate courts for pickleball that are being under
utilized by tennis players. In fact, the pilot study even suggests that
underutilization of courts be determined by “high instances of graffiti and
vandalism.” Once again, please articulate how you believe this is equitable?
Why do you think these courts are underutilized by tennis players? Fair sharing
of court facilities means EITHER dual-lining ALL courts in the city starting
with the MOST desirable, OR equitably designating courts for either dedicated
tennis or pickleball. The reason, I believe this is an equity issue is that
USTA tennis, despite efforts to the contrary, has historically been a sport
predominantly enjoyed by the most affluent and privileged segments of our city.
This is apparent in the continued power and influence this recreational
community has within SPR as there is no other way to explain why such a clear
Finally, you mentioned a
community feedback process by the end of the summer. I will offer my input to
my SMPA representatives to not participate in any further meetings with SPR
until these core inequities are addressed. I will also advocate to my fellow
pickleball community members to not participate in any public feedback sessions
with SPR, as this would only be used to legitimize the practice of SPR to
ignore public feedback and continue the practice of non-transparent and
inequitable decisions making. Instead, I will advocate for legal action
a resident of Southeast Seattle, and individual member of the community, I ask
that you address these concerns as a starting point to any plans moving
Here is the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association’s reply:
Thank you for seeking input from
the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) regarding the Seattle Parks and
Recreation (SPR) department’s plan to finally add pickleball court lines to
some of the outdoor tennis courts in Southeast Seattle (south of Capitol Hill
and East of I-5).
SMPA is delighted to hear that
after adding lines for over 40 outdoor pickleball courts on existing tennis
courts in 10 different locations outside of Southeast Seattle, SPR is now
getting close to start painting its first pickleball court lines on some of
Southeast Seattle’s outdoor tennis courts.
SMPA fully supports SPR’s policy
to make significant changes to facility programming only with broad public
engagement and support.
SPR has already added pickleball lines on tennis courts near
existing community centers that host pickleball player communities, such as
Delridge, High Point, Miller, Bitter Lake, South Park and Green Lake;
SPR has already scheduled the work to add pickleball lines on
tennis courts near the Magnolia Community Center which also hosts an active
pickleball player community;
SPR has recommended in its Pickleball Pilot Study Report that
pickleball lines be added on tennis courts near the Meadowbrook Community
Center which hosts pickleball players;
SPR has recommended in its Pickleball Pilot Study Report that
pickleball lines be added on tennis courts near Southeast Seattle’s Rainier
Community Center which hosts the largest and most diverse pickleball player
community in the entire city;
The Pickleball Pilot Study Report has been approved by the
SPR’s Strategic Plan states that SPR will “get the most out of
our current parks and facilities by converting single-use spaces into
multi-functional spaces in order to serve more people within our system,
including converting tennis courts into multi-sport courts, ,,,”;
SPR’s Strategic Plan has been reviewed and approved by the
Board of Park Commissioners, the City Council’s Public Assets and Native
Communities Committee, and probably the Seattle Council;
Southeast Seattle’s Rainier, Jefferson and Van Asselt
Community Centers host large, vibrant, and diverse pickleball player
SPR’s recently announced plan of
adding pickleball court lines on Southeast Seattle tennis courts that are located
nowhere near the community centers hosting the local pickleball communities is
departing from the de facto policy of locating most pickleball court lines near
the community centers that host pickleball players. We must question why SPR is
choosing to treat Southeast Seattle differently from the rest of the city.
You say that “the Seattle Board
of Park Commissioners needs to weigh in on any change of use to parks or park
facilities”. We would like to point out that SPR has already painted pickleball
court lines on over 20 tennis courts, and is planning to paint lines on at
least 14 more, without seeking Board of Park Commissioners approval.
We are concerned with SPR’s most
recent focus on allowing pickleball only on tennis courts that see little usage
by tennis players, without considering why some tennis courts see more usage
than others. High usage correlates with court features such as:
the current state of the court surface
the proximity of available parking lots which is even more
important for pickleball players than tennis players since pickleball players
often need to bring their own net,
water fountain availability,
light availability for evening play,
By allowing pickleball players
only on the courts least used by tennis players, you are effectively
restricting pickleball players to the least desirable courts and reserving the
most desirable courts for tennis players. This is discrimination. We welcome
any opportunity to speak directly to the Seattle Board of Park Commissioners,
Seattle Parks and Recreation, City Council or any other civic leader that can
help us immediately address and correct these concerns.
Consequently, given the
precedent set with other pickleball court lining projects already finished,
currently scheduled, or recommended by SPR in other parts of the city, we
request that SPR add pickleball court lines to the tennis courts at Rainier
Playfield as recommended in SPR’s Pickleball Pilot Study Report and at one of
the two of the following locations:
Rainier Beach Playfield
Do you still need more inspiration? How about this?
Dear Christopher Williams,
The graphs above show the inequities
of Pickleball courts in the Seattle area especially for Southeast. I also
would like to say that both Jefferson Park and Rainier Park in the Southeast
are public parks not private parks for tennis only.
I want to know why Southeast
pickleball players are not given equal treatment as tennis players for use of
tennis courts? Why are the tennis courts designated “for tennis players
only”? Tennis players have the best courts to play on, i.e. Jefferson
Park and Rainier Park in Southeast Seattle.
Seattle Parks plan to allow
pickleball players to play only on courts that tennis players would not
consider using because they are old rundown courts, i.e. Beacon Hill Park and
Dearborn Park with grass growing up onto the tennis courts, no bathroom facility
available no parking and unsafe.
How can pickleball players be
displacing tennis players? Southeast Seattle pickleball players don’t
even have decent courts to play on.
Pickleball lines could very
easily be painted onto the existing courts at Jefferson Park and Rainier Park
to utilize the potential court capacity for pickleball.
Why can’t tennis players share
the courts with pickleball players?
I agree with Nathan King that
SPR must address these issues to make things between tennis and pickleball sooner
Seattle Parks Department has already or is already planning to add pickleball
court lines to the outdoor tennis courts adjacent to most of the community
centers that host sizeable communities of pickleball players, except for the
two that are located in Southeast Seattle: the Jefferson and Rainier community
centers. It is totally unacceptable for the Parks Department to treat the
Southeast Seattle residents differently than residents in other parts of the
also strongly object to your current plan of adding pickleball court lines only
on the least desirable outdoor tennis courts in Southeast Seattle.
Jefferson and Rainier community centers host one of the largest and most
diverse pickleball player communities in the city. Please allow them to use the
outdoor tennis courts adjacent to these two community centers.
take two minutes to write to Seattle Parks’ Deputy Superintendent Christopher
Christopher.Williams@seattle.gov) and cc the mayor (Jenny.Durkan@seattle.gov
), to let them know that it is completely unacceptable
for the Parks Department to treat Southeast Seattle pickleball players
differently than players in other parts of the city. Send us a copy as well at SouthEastSeattlePickleball@gmail.com,
so we have a record. And send a copy to all your pickleball friends to
encourage them to write as well.
Nothing is going to change unless we all pitch in.
P.S.: Saturday August 21 from noon to 4pm, some of the Seattle
Park District Oversight Committee members and some of the Board of Park
Commissioners will be at Rainier Playfield looking to interact with the public
to find out what the Parks Department should continue doing, start doing and
stop doing. Mark your calendars. More to follow.
Why Is SPR Choosing to Treat Southeast Seattle Differently From the Rest of the City?
On July 15, the Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) Department’s Deputy Superintendent Christopher Williams wrote that (1) it is SPR’s policy to addpickleball lines only to the tennis courts that historically get low usage by tennis players and (2) that adding pickleball court lines to the tennis courts located next to the Jefferson and Rainier Community Centers would constitute a “change of use to parks or park facilities” which would require an opaque and cumbersome review process.
On August 1, Seattle Metro Pickleball Association President Frank Chiappone sent the Association’s reply. Read it here.