Categories
Newsletter

Spring 2022 SMPA News

2022 Annual Meeting

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) will again hold the Annual Meeting online for 2022.

Join us on Zoom (link will be emailed to all Active, paid SMPA members) on the afternoon of Monday, May 16, 2022, to elect the new slate of Directors, say goodbye to retiring and termed-out Directors, and ratify the newest Director and Treasurer, Amy Greger, who steps in to fill a director slot for an unexpired term.

In addition to giving members a view into the financial health of SMPA (it’s good), SMPA President Frank Chiappone will give an update on future plans for the organization.

We miss greeting our members face-to-face, however we do plan to hold another Member Playdate sometime in August, to let you meet and chat with Board members during a day of SMPA member-only play.

  • Board-Approved Slate of Directors:
    • Linda Fane, West Seattle
    • Gordon Sata, Central Seattle
  • Ballots sent by email to members in mid April 2022
  • Online Annual Meeting 5.15.22
    • Election of Directors
    • Ratification of Director/Treasurer
    • SMPA Business Report
    • Trivia contest with prizes

Volunteers Needed!

The Humana Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic (SMPC) tournament needs you to help deliver a successful July 2022 pickleball tournament at Shoreview Park in Shoreline.

From helping to park cars, to run scoresheets to the Tournament Director, monitor courts, feed volunteers, and help check in players, we’ve a job for everyone.

Take a look at the available tournament week tasks and shifts on the Pickleball Desk signup site. You’ll meet lots of pickleball fanatics while giving back to the sport we’re all a little crazy about.

Seattle Plans and Promises

Seattle Parks District (SPR) is at work on the funding cycle for the next six years. We can hold out some hope for pickleball in Seattle. The proposed budget currently includes some money for dedicated pickleball courts and some money to extend the community centers’ opening hours.

Access the current budget proposal here, or copy and paste this in your browser: https://www.seattle.gov/seattle-park-district/park-district-planning/park-district-funding-plan.

You can find the part about dedicated pickleball courts on the last page of the “Restoring Clean, Safe & Welcoming Parks & Facilities” document.

You can also provide feedback by accessing 3 briefs survey here, by emailing PDPlanning@seattle.gov, and by participating in the Community Check-In at the upcoming April 14, 2022, 6:30pm Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners online meeting.

SMPA Apparel Store Updates

SMPA opened a new online merchandise store late last year, now updated with shirts and hoodies for the Humana SMPC.

Also, we now have tees and hoodies to celebrate Pickleball as the Washington State sport. Check it out here!

SMPC Sponsors

Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic (SMPC) tournament proudly welcomes title sponsor, Humana Healthcare, in addition to Proliance Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, Onix Pickleball, OneShot Pickleball paddles, and Pickleball Central, the pickleball superstore.

Ad for PlayTime Scheduler
SMPA Membership Renewal

This is SMPA membership renewal time for many of you. Click Join to go directly to MemberPlanet, our 3rd party partner that securely manages our membership database.

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

President’s Message

Greetings, SMPA friends! 

Thank you for the tremendous passion for pickleball and the never ending support you each give SMPA as we continue to grow the sport and work with local governments to improve play in the Seattle Metro area. We saw two clear examples of this in the past month, one of which I’ll touch upon briefly, and the other which will have lasting impact for years to come. 

At 8 AM on April 2, 2022, registration opened for the 2022 Humana Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic. Within the first 24 hours, we had 409 players registered. To give you a sense of how incredible that number is, we had 450 players total in last year’s tournament. We easily passed that number within the first 48 hours. We’re thrilled that you all are so excited to play in the SMPC. Some brackets filled quickly, however, here is still an opportunity for you to register and play in the best tournament in the region. You can sign up here. Also, many people work year round to plan and make this event a great tournament (see this article). The 2022 SMPC tournament runs July 20th to 24th at Shoreview Park in Shoreline.

The other example of pickleball’s growth is more profound. On Monday, March 28th, 2022, Governor Inslee signed Senate Bill 5615 to make Pickleball the official sport of the state of Washington. A special thanks needs to go out to Senator John Lovick, who introduced and sponsored the bill, and to SMPA member Kate Van Gent who tirelessly worked with government officials and pickleball players to garner support for the bill. Pickleball now takes its rightful place as the official sport of the state.

Fran Myer, Pickleball Hall of Fame, and Jessica Prince, SMPA Secretary, represent us at the Pickleball as Washington State Sport bill-signing event at the Bainbridge Island Founders Courts.

Several media outlets covered this story from the start, which brings attention to the need for more courts and more opportunity to play, and highlights pickleball’s role in keeping us active and healthy. We hope the designation will attract the private sector to invest and build more places to play and other pickleball-related businesses in the area.

Neither of those two moments would have been possible without the SMPA community stepping up, bringing their passion, and making themselves seen and heard. I love this community, and together we’ll continue to do great things.

Paddles up!
Frank Chiappone, SPMA President

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.

Categories
Newsletter

2021 First Quarter Newsletter

Change is On the Way!

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association, SMPA, turns four later this spring, and as with any organization, we evolve to stay in the game and serve our members. We will lose two Board members this year, and at the Annual Meeting that we hope to have sometime in the months to come, members will be allowed to vote on the new Board members recommended by a selection committee. We will have a change of officers as well, since at least one of the termed-out Board members will vacate their “offices.”

SMPA plans to make long-overdue changes to the website, and abandon the occasional newsletter in favor of a blog. And while we’ve pleaded with members for photos and news, we want to encourage members to take advantage of the means of commentary on our actions through our Facebook pageemail, and yes, even Twitter.

Grab a Squeegee, Bring a Towel

Kirkland adapts to new squeegee for clearing water from courts

Winter’s rains will soon drift into spring rains, and while we can’t go indoors to play, SMPA is committed to doing all we can to keep outdoor play a reasonable option for area players. Do make use of the pickleball venue scheduling site, PlaytimeScheduler, to learn about scheduled games all over the metro area, or set up closed play groups.

Following on the successful distribution of court rain shuttles, that is big squeegees, to pickleball courts around Seattle, SMPA expanded the distribution to include more courts. You can now find the squeegees locked near the courts at Green Lake, Bitter Lake, Kirkland’s Everest Park, and soon at Luther Burbank pickleball courts on Mercer Island. All locks will eventually be word locks that you can open with the code “DINK” – and take a moment to make sure the squeegee is locked when you are the last one to leave the courts.

Each squeegee cost SMPA just under $200, and as of early February, we have distributed nine, with a tenth one generously donated by North Seattle pickleball fanatics Patti and Gary Hackenberg.

Want more nets?

As pickleball players flock to Green Lake and Shoreview courts, where there are semipermanent nets in place, not all know how those nets came about. There have so far been two methods for acquiring and placing the semipermanent nets as a means of improving access for those who don’t own portable nets and to increase play opportunities.

This is how the semipermanent nets came to be, and how SMPA works with members to get them in place.

  • Seattle Neighborhood Matching Grants, or SPRKs grants, helped provide the nets for Miller Playfield courts and Green Lake pickleball courts. In brief, a local play group initiated the grant process, SMPA signed on as the required fiscal sponsor, the city approved the grant and purchased the nets, and SMPA and local players satisfied the “matching” portion by holding player events and clinics. This program was suspended in 2020 as the pandemic drastically limited tax revenues and Seattle struggled to meet other demands for city funds.
  • Local players in Shoreline acquired semipermanent nets for Shoreview pickleball courts through a more direct fundraising effort. Shoreview players started collecting donations, then partnered with SMPA to make use of our Association’s IRS 501c3 status. This allowed a broader array of players to make donations to SMPA that were earmarked specifically for the Shoreview nets. From start to finish, the fundraising effort took 3 months, SMPA purchased the nets with a generous discount from Pickleball Central, and the courts have remained packed ever since. The SMPA Board is creating a set of guidelines and a process for those metro area groups interested in following the model of the Shoreview players to acquire nets or other equipment that support the SMPA mission of improving play opportunities for players of all ages and abilities.

2021 Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic Tournament

Until we know what Washington State and City of Shoreline Covid-mitigation constraints will be in place, the SMPC tournament planning committee asks that you continue to save the tournament dates, July 22 to July 26, 2021. The tournament committee hopes to announce registration and formats and later, you can sign up for a volunteer slot on the SignUp Genius page.

Covid Restrictions Continue

Many courts are sticking with local requirements for mask wearing and physical distancing, so do pay attention to the rules when you’re heading out to play. The consequences can be locked courts or play limited to singles only.

While indoor play isn’t available for now, where there is indoor play, at Gorin Redmond Tennis Center, masks are required in addition to strict limits for numbers of players in the facility. None of this is news to most players. For the sake of us willing to follow rules as long as we can play pickleball, we encourage you to be a part of the solution and help knock down this virus so that we can all return to unrestricted play.

Footwork Drills

The internet is loaded with video instructions for every shot in the book. When it comes to footwork drills, there’s little to go on. This footwork drill gem popped up, and looks to be a great warm up in addition to helping improve your agility on the court. Check out Footwork Drills.

Reserving Seattle Pickleball Courts

The Seattle Parks department announced a few changes to their tennis and pickleball court reservation policy.

The city of Shoreline has yet to reopen their reservation system for courts, so for now, use of their courts is on the first-come, first-served basis.

Improving Pickleball Skills during Lockdown with Jeff Jolly

Let’s face it, the one-two punch of COVID restrictions that have forced us to play outside during the winter monsoons have left most of us with severe pickleball withdrawals. Withdrawal can lead us to binge watch British Antique Road Show. While sitting on the couch, we can feel our pickleball skills atrophy with each “The ugly vase you bought for 5 pounds is worth 12 million.” What is a pickleball player to do? The answer is amazingly simple, and can be done almost anytime except for when driving or performing surgery. The answer is visualization. That’s right, using one’s imagination to practice the perfect serve is almost as good as actually doing it. That’s because your brain doesn’t know the difference between actually seeing something or imagining it. Professional athletes such as Tiger Woods have been using this technique since his teen years to perfect his swing. That seems to have worked pretty well for his career.

How can you use visualization to improve your skills? Visualization lets you take the action from a conscious action to a unconscious reaction, a reaction of your choosing.

Find a comfortable and quiet place (that sofa, for example) and take as little one minute up to as long as 30 minutes. The amount of time is completely up to you, but note that it’s better to do a small amount every day rather then 3 hours on a Saturday.

  • Close your eyes and think of a specific skill you want to improve, like serving the ball hard and fast. Or, maybe blocking a hard drive to just drop in the non-volley zone (NVZ).
  • With your eyes closed, take a couple of deep breaths and imagine yourself on a pickleball court.
  • Visualize this as a movie script. What sensations are you feeling? Is there a light breeze? Is it sunny or cloudy? Can you feel the pressure as you stand on the balls of your feet? What other muscles are contracted and ready?

When you are ready, see the ball coming at you as if in slow motion.

  • Feel your muscles contract as you swing the paddle and make contact with the ball.
  • See the ball going where you want it to go.
  • Get back in your ready position.

Try this and see how much you can improve instead of worrying about your return to play. What do you have to lose, except another game?


We keep asking you to join SMPA and to encourage your pickleball playing friends to do so as well. Why? The growth of pickleball created long waits for court time, with many local cities too caught up in dealing with budget shortfalls and managing homelessness to proactively answer to the demand for pickleball courts. That’s where SMPA comes in. We have worked hard over the past four years to be the voice of pickleball in dealing with Seattle Parks and Rec, and have put our membership clout to good use when we speak for all players in the metro area.

Our membership fee is low, while our reach grows with each new member. Jump in and join SMPA or renew your SMPA membership. Use this Join or Renew button, to redirect you to the MemberPlanet website. MemberPlanet securely manages our membership database so that we can focus on pickleball development. Whether you become a Lifetime Member or select a year-to-year renewal, your membership shows that you are committed to the work of SMPA in helping grow pickleball throughout the Seattle metro area. Your membership qualifies you for a discount on gear with Pickleball Central and Smash Pickleball.

Categories
Newsletter

Winter 2020 Newsletter (December)

Squeegees, Players, and Nets Ahoy!

Shoreview players worked hard to raise funds for semipermanent nets

Everyone is pleading to go inside to play, although early December brought the Seattle metro area some spectacular sunny and low-wind days for outside play. Until we have Covid under control, the city and state regulations will severely curtail indoor play. Bundle up, and visit Shoreview parks and play on the new semipermanent nets. Squeegee off the overnight rain or morning drizzle with SMPA-provided squeegees at Miller and Shoreline and in West Seattle, and play. The pickleball venue scheduling site, PlaytimeScheduler, rolled out a premium version that lets you, for a small annual fee, get more information about the scheduled games and set other limits to your scheduled play group.

2021 SMPC Planning

While we are all dodging COVID by physical distancing, wearing masks, avoiding indoor play and large groups, the Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic (SMPC) tournament committee is meeting every other week or so to keep on track. Will the tournament happen? That question will be settled for certain when Shoreline can issue a permit early in 2021. However, the tournament planners are committed to having a tournament of some kind and will work with Shoreline to hold a safe event.

What that means for all of our local players and SMPA members is this: we welcome volunteers now and during the tournament. Referee clinics will resume in 2021, and a springtime raffle will help with early round fundraising to offset tournament operating expenses. Speaking of raising money, do you know you can donate even now through the SMPA website? When you join or renew your SMPA membership, look for a special box to add a donation for the tournament. If you have other ideas or want to volunteer, fire off an email and let us know.

Check your schedule and save the tournament dates, July 22 to July 26, 2021 and if you can, sign up for a volunteer slot on our SignUp Genius page.

Mayor’s Coffee Klatch

Many SMPA Board and general SMPA members were online on October 23, 2020 to hear Seattle Mayor Durkan respond to questions submitted in advance to the Mayor. SMPA member Sarah Webb posed an excellent question, “Pickleball is a wonderful sport for seniors. Despite being the birthplace of pickleball, Seattle has no dedicated pickleball courts and limited places to play compared to other cities. We have regularly communicated with SPR about this to no avail. Can you do something to remedy this situation?” The Mayor’s response to the question was both surprising and disappointing: “This is the first time in three years that I have heard about pickleball.”

Following the Mayor’s event, SMPA sent the Mayor a letter that outlines all of the efforts that have been made by the pickleball community, urging SPR, the City Council, and her office to provide more pickleball venues and play opportunities. The letter is posted on our SMPA website. Not surprisingly, there’s been no response to this or other written questions that were submitted to the Mayor by SMPA members.

Permits for Seattle Courts

SMPA is currently working with Lifelong Recreation Southwest District Coordinator, John Hasslinger, to extend SPR issued permits authorizing pickleball play at several outdoor courts. These permits give pickleball players use priority on the shared tennis courts for specific days and times. The current permits expire December 4th, 2020, so we need to find a way to extend the dates so that outdoor play can continue during the winter months. We will keep you posted as the efforts continue.

Rescheduled PIG Tournaments

In deference to COVID restrictions in the state of Washington, Pickleball Is Great (PIG) rescheduled their early December 2020 tournament. PIG still has on the schedule the Holiday Pickleball Smash tournament at the Eastside Tennis Center in Kirkland on December 31, 2020. Early registration ends on December 23, 2020, so if you’re up for celebrating the end of 2020 with a fun tournament, this is it!

SMPA President’s Winter 2020 Message

Friends,

What does SMPA do when the days grow short? We’ve spent the past several weeks continuing to advocate for more pickleball venues and working to facilitate outdoor play.

On the proactive side of things, there were some great wins for SMPA.

SMPA President Jerry Kindinger delivers court squeegee to Walt Hundley pickleball courts

With the funds raised by the Shoreview pickleball players and other area players, plus matched funds donated through SMPA, we completed the purchase of the semipermanent nets at Shoreview. The nets were delivered to Shoreline Parks department and then a volunteer work party assembled them onsite at Shoreview Park. Players expressed appreciation for SMPA’s work on this project, and likewise, SMPA was happy to participate in this player-driven project.

We purchased, assembled and distributed squeegees for outdoor courts (see photo) at High Point and Delridge in West Seattle, Miller on Capitol Hill, and Shoreline courts to give our pickleball players the ability to remove excess water and play during winter weather. Judging from the feedback, the squeegees are being well utilized and are, figuratively, a smash. We expect to purchase more squeegees for other locations this winter.

While proactive, yet more challenging, SMPA engaged with the city of Seattle and later Shoreline on important pickleball-related concerns.

Several SMPA members attended the Mayor’s online Coffee Klatch (see article). We intend to continue opening channels to the Mayor’s office to make sure that pickleball isn’t just a sport she plays poorly, and is something worthy of Parks and Rec funds for courts both indoors and out.

The Lifelong Recreation Advisory Council (LLRAC) also sent a letter to City council member Lorena  Gonzalez and copied the Mayor, the SPR Superintendent, and the SPR Director of Recreation, asking for more pickleball venues. More to the point, LLRAC requested that monies be included in the five-year Restoration of Sports Courts budget for adding more pickleball lines on outdoor tennis courts.

Last month, SMPA Board members, led by Frank Chiappone, presented a PowerPoint proposal to Shoreline City and Parks officials for a public-private joint venture to develop a dedicated pickleball facility at Shoreview Park. Although the presentation was well received, the Shoreline representatives reported back that, presently, insufficient funds existed to act on our proposal. They did encourage us to stay in touch for further discussion when their pandemic-driven circumstances change.

In every dealing with city governments we are reminded that our effectiveness as an organization is dependent upon our membership. We encourage you to renew your membership, so critical to our ability to continue to advocate for pickleball and to provide wide ranging benefits to the pickleball community. SMPA membership is the best $20 investment you can make to the sport we all love. Most annual membership renewals begin early next year, however your early renewal lets you take advantage of also making year-end charitable gift to our pickleball-specific organization. You can make donations any time of year on Member Planet.

I look forward to engaging with all of you in 2021 to address the many challenges in expanding pickleball in the greater Seattle metropolitan area. Until then, I wish you all happy, peaceful and healthy holidays.

Jerry Kindinger

President, Seattle Metro Pickleball Association

Good Weather Brings Crowds

The contractors resurfaced courts at the Green Lake East Pickleball Courts, however the relining reduced the number of courts. With only 6 courts, there can be long waits on the weekends. Consider taking your group of players to Bitter Lake (nets required) or Shoreline Park Courts.

www.timeforpickleball.com/LocationsAnother option is Shoreview Park courts in Shoreline, where there are 4 new semipermanent nets, and increasingly larger crowds of players. Check out playtimescheduler.com for groups scheduling play there, and consider later in the day to avoid packing the courts.

COVID and Better Pickleball

CJ Johnson of Better Pickleball chats with local Seattle pickleball player (and retired pathologist) Sarah Webb on CJ’s YouTube channel to discuss some of the risks of transmission we face during this pandemic. Give them a listen, and practice safe distancing and other guidelines on the courts. And off.

No Indoor Pickleball Says SPR

Seattle Community Centers will not reopen for indoor play in the foreseeable future due to Covid. In fact, a few community centers are slated to remain closed for all of 2021 to allow for restoration. SMPA and LLARC expect to work closely with SPR to ensure that indoor pickleball is available as soon as possible when the centers reopen.

Join a Sammamish Commission

City of Sammamish is looking for a few good people to fill out their various City commissions, including arts and Parks. This is your chance, if you are an eastside player and reside in Sammamish, to join Parks Commission and be a voice for pickleball. Visit here to learn about the Sammamish Parks and Recreation Commission.

Join

Now is as important a time as ever to join or renew your SMPA membership. When you click the Join or Renew button, you’ll be taken to the MemberPlanet website. MemberPlanet securely manages our membership database so we can focus on pickleball development. Whether you become a Lifetime Member or select a year-to-year renewal, your membership shows that you are committed to the work of SMPA in helping grow pickleball in the Seattle metro area. Your membership qualifies you for a discount on gear with Pickleball Central and Smash Pickleball.


We are grateful for your membership and if you have gotten a reminder, please take a moment and re-up. For those of you who left auto-renewal in place, the $20 charge will appear on your valid credit card.

Categories
Newsletter

Fall 2020 Newsletter

Let’s Play, Seattle! And Kent and Bellevue and Mercer

The calendar may still indicate fall, but the wet weather is an announcement that winter isn’t far behind. You’ll be able to play, bundled up when it’s cold, however the courts may need a little help. If you are playing in Shoreview Park in Shoreline, there is a tournament squeegee available to remove water from the courts for play. Caveat: courts eventually drain, may need some help to dry off, and yet still be unsafe for play. Use at your own risk. And be a good pickleball neighbor, too, by hauling old towels to the courts to help dry them off on those days when they need a little help.

With the exception of Woodinville Sports Center and SeaTac, and a handful of other locales, there is no indoor play in Seattle for the coming months, thanks to COVID. Wear your mask, haul along a towel or two, and join the drop in play underway. Look at any day of the week and at the times indicated with a round bubble on the playtimescheduler.com calendar. Add your name to be to be notified of scheduled games.

Pickleball is (Still) Great

Many of you may know from seeing the activity start up all around the country that tournaments are still a thing. Pickleball Is Great (PIG) director Mike Hoxie is running the following tournaments in December, with attention to COVID-safe play.

Registration opens shortly for these local-to-Seattle metro area tournaments at Woodinville Sports Club (WSC) and the Eastside Tennis Center (ETC).

  • Dec 4-6, 2020 – WSC NW Washington Winter Holiday Classic (Woodinville)
  • Dec 17-2020 – ETC/Kirkland Winter Holiday Slam (Kirkland)

Mike and his PIG team (see sidebar intro) were responsible for the very successful SMPC tournament in 2019, run a tight show, and point out that in many instances there is likely more congestion and a greater number of players during recreational drop-in play than at today’s tournaments.

Additionally, PIG is discouraging spectators due to COVID concerns, and plans the following to help comply with local and state COVID-safe guidelines.

  • Stagger start times to avoid check-in congestion
  • Increase sanitization of everything (balls, clipboards, pencils, baskets)
  • Limit number of players within a specific area of the facilities
  • No onsite posted scores; players to monitor through personal mobile devices

Are Parks and the City Really Listening?

SMPA work with Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) to increase pickleball opportunities stalled out in the past several months with a decided lack of response, lack of communication, and lack of follow through on previous SPR commitments. Blame COVID in part, however we are all still paying taxes and looking for opportunities to keep fit and enjoy the many outdoor facilities in our local parks.

To promote increased pickleball outdoors during Covid, a volunteer group of SMPA members worked with John Hasslinger, Life Long Recreation Southwest Coordinator, to draft proposed set of Rules for Safe Return to Play. The goal was to act in partnership with SPR and develop a set of rules that could be supported both by the City and the pickleball community and posted on all public courts. After the rules were submitted to SPR well over two months ago, SPR never responded, let alone acknowledged the submission.

Also ignored were SMPA efforts to work with SPR to develop an outdoor recreation pickleball program during COVID. Adding to that, the program application form (apparently required by SPR), necessary to make sure that indoor PB is included in the programming when the community centers open up again, has yielded only silence. Consequently, to our knowledge, nothing is being done by or communicated by SPR about plans for a return to drop-in programs when the Covid restrictions lift.

Finally, and perhaps most disappointing, the Mayor’s Proposed Parks Budget scheduled for approval and passage in November looks at best grim. You can view it online. We recommend that you search the “Sport Court Restoration Program” at page 107. Note that no money is allocated for sport courts for the years 2021 to 2026! This indicates no money whatsoever is budgeted for anything related to outdoor pickleball for the next five years. For the last two years, the pickleball community has doggedly responded to every SPR survey, public meeting, public event invitation of any kind to advocate for more pickleball venues and play opportunities. In addition, SMPA representatives attended countless meetings with SPR representatives to personally deliver our message, that facilities in Seattle lag behind similarly sized cities, and pickleball loses out to tennis for court priorities.

After each of these solicitations, SPR leaders, City Council members, and others repeatedly communicated that they “heard us,” they understood the importance of pickleball as a priority, and that they would address it. In light of this budget, these assurances and apparently convenient words ring hollow. SMPA has proven to be an attentive, participatory, engaged, and representative partner in dealings with the City of Seattle. Our question is this: they keep asking for input, but are they really listening?

Pickleball Mind Reset

Have you ever found yourself making the same error over and over again? Just like when you go to do something on your phone but it’s not working. You call tech support and they ask you if you have tried rebooting it or updated the software recently? It’s time for “mindset reset.”

For example, in the middle of a match you keep making the same unforced error over and over. With each missed ball or serve, you become more frustrated and can’t stop yourself. That is because you are running on “old reflex programming.” To change that takes a conscious effort to look at how you can improve. I recommend you take these steps.

  • First: Take four slow, deep breaths, something known as box breathing. This helps get oxygen to your brain to help you to think more clearly which can keep you from going into that negative emotional sinkhole. The military trains combat soldiers with this technique so that they can make good decisions in the midst of a crisis.
  • Second: Be aware of the comments you say to yourself, as the negative talk is programing your subconscious and reinforcing bad habits. For example, in the middle of a game, you’ve hit the ball so hard it takes out a low flying satellite. Your reflex may be to yell in frustration, “I keep hitting it too hard! Arrgh!!!” Your subconscious self is listening to what your conscious self is saying. Thus, your subconscious reflex response is to do what it just heard which is “hit it hard.” The result? You likely repeat the error.

You can consciously put the brakes on that cycle and reprogram your brain by asking: “What’s happening? What’s missing? What’s next?”

  • Take a moment to ask, “What happened?” And recognize that “I faulted by hitting too hard.”
  • Objectively look at how the error occurred by asking “What was missing?” In this case, a shorter swing and softer touch.”
  • “What’s next?” You can help by doing a quick visualization and verbalization of the desired action. While you are waiting for the serve, see in your mind’s eye the movement you want to do and repeat to yourself “Shorter swing, softer swing.”

For a more in-depth discussion about this subject, take a look at a video I made. In the meantime, an error is neither good nor bad unless we label it as such. You can use your error as feedback for improving your game. Reboot by being objective in your self-assessment of errors, focusing on solution, practicing the correct action in your mind and in your words, and play on.

Check Out Green Lake East

The contractors are done, delayed by the smoke closures and rain and we now have newly resurfaced courts at the Green Lake East Pickleball Courts. Grab your paddles and pickleballs, and take advantage of the six pickleball courts lined on the tennis courts with the two semipermanent nets. Check out playtimescheduler.com for groups scheduling play there.

USA Pickleball Fall News

USA Pickleball members receive the magazine in email. For those not yet sold on supporting the national organization, you can still read their newsletter here.

Who is PIG?

You may have noticed the cute porcine logo associated with many pickleball tournaments, an indication that Pickleball Is Great, or PIG, is at work. They are a tournament management company with a passion for a superior player experience. Everyone at PIG brings years of personal indoor and outdoor tournament play experience, which influences how they approach each pickleball tournament.

PIG doesn’t run just your local tournaments; they help run the West, so far as tournaments go. As PNW tournaments make a slow comeback, outdoor tournaments are alive and well in the desert southwest. Need an escape from the winter rains? With flying now viewed as more COVID-safe, consider a trip to the desert. In addition to managing all AAU Pickleball tournaments, PIG is running a number of desert tournaments in Arizona and California, not to mention Utah. Check out the tournament calendar on pickleballtournaments.com to see what’s happening.

You can catch up with Pickleball Is Great by following on Facebook (PICKLEBALLISGR8) or joining their newsletter (send request to newsletter@pickleballisgreat.com).

Join

Now is as important a time as ever to join or renew your SMPA membership. When you click the Join or Renew button, you’ll be taken to the MemberPlanet website. MemberPlanet securely manages our membership database so we can focus on pickleball development. Whether you become a Lifetime Member or select a year-to-year renewal, your membership shows that you are committed to the work of SMPA in helping grow pickleball in the Seattle metro area. Your membership qualifies you for a discount on gear with Pickleball Central and Smash Pickleball.

We are grateful for your membership and if you have gotten a reminder, please take a moment and re-up. For those of you who left auto-renewal in place, the $20 charge will appear on your valid credit card.

Mayor’s Coffee Klatch

The Seattle mayor says she wants to hear from you about community needs and priorities. Here’s your chance to ask her to support pickleball.

  • What: Age Friendly Seattle Civic Coffee Hour with Mayor Jenny Durkan
  • When: Friday, October 23, 2020, 9:30 to 10:30 AM
  • Where: https://bit.ly/AgeFriendlyLive

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan will address Seattle community’s elders and talk about the City of Seattle’s 2021 budget during a virtual meeting. This will be a good occasion to ask her what she plans to do for Seattle’s pickleball players over 50.

Even better, you can ask her to support older pickleball players by providing semipermanent outdoor pickleball nets and, when the Seattle community centers reopen, by providing more opportunities for indoor pickleball all year long. If you fee like older pickleball players have been treated as second class citizens for too long, here is your chance to let her know.

SMPA President’s Fall 2020 Message

Friends,

The successful fundraising project to purchase four semipermanent nets for Shoreview Park ended quickly when donations met the target goal. The nets are ordered, with delivery to Shoreline expected around the end of the first week of November. Thanks to all who donated and congratulations to the Shoreview players for leading the way. These nets will soon be available onsite for all pickleball play at any time, weather permitting, to allow more play and eliminate the need for folks to bring and set up nets.

The success of the Shoreview project drove the SMPA Board to consider supporting similar projects in other parts of the metropolitan area. Given the unavailability of the City grants that we have used in the past, this may be the most effective method available. Keep an eye on our website, and we hope to soon post details of how other metro area pickleball groups can solicit SMPA aid when raising funds for the purchase of pickleball equipment for use at public pickleball venues. There is lots of pickleball development work going on around the metro area. Down south, the Kent Parks Department is starting the design phase of the Kent Memorial Parks renovation. They are considering adding pickleball court lines on the existing tennis courts. Take their survey (https://www.kentwa.gov/residents/parks-recreation-and-community-services/parks-planning-development/kent-memorial-park-renovation/kmp-outreach-survey-general) and tell them that this is a great idea.

SPR has formally established drop-in pickleball outdoor play times and issued permits for Delridge in West Seattle (9AM-Noon), Walt Hundley in West Seattle(10AM-Noon) and Miller Playfield in central Seattle (10AM-noon). The permits are in effect now and run through December 4, 2020. These permits were issued under Life Long Recreation and are the result of outstanding efforts of John Hasslinger, SW Life Long Recreation Coordinator. A big thank you goes out to John for his tireless efforts in promoting pickleball and advocating for our sport.

The Seattle Sports Complex Foundation continues to drive the design of a new combined tennis and pickleball court at Lowman Beach Park. Please take the second survey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MM6878Z) to let SPR know that you indeed do like pickleball courts, and that four courts is better than two. Thanks to all who attended the two virtual open houses, responded to the initial survey and expressed support for this project. And a special thank you to SMPA member Lisa Corbin and the Seattle Sport Complex Foundation who are making this happen.

SMPA continues to explore other locations for dedicated pickleball court facilities. The obstacles to developing the Magnuson Park site became too numerous to justify investing the significant time required for an uncertain outcome. Working on other potential locations is labor intensive and slow, and the Board will report when we have something for consideration.

Lastly, SMPA is overdue for an upgrade to our website. Our goal is to make the SMPA website more informational and helpful to all members. Consider this your invitation to send us a note stating what you would like to see on the website. Email your suggestions to our general mailbox, info@seattlemetropickleball.com to add your opinion.

We are grateful for our members and your support as we continue to make the case for pickleball throughout the metro area. I look forward to a full return to play for everyone, as SMPA continues to spread this great game built on fun, fitness, and friendship.

Jerry Kindinger

President, Seattle Metro Pickleball Association

Categories
Newsletter

Summer 2020 Newsletter

Shoreview Players Looking to Buy Nets

Starting in July, a core group of Shoreview Park pickleball players decided they were done with keeping track of the portable nets and decided to start collecting funds to purchase a few of the Douglas semipermanent pickleball nets. They got the okay from the Shoreline Parks department and began collecting on-site cash donations. As the fundraising gathered steam, the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) Board of Directors voted to set up a net fund that would allow those who want to use tax-deductible donations, corporate matching funds, or donor-advised funds to make tax-deductible donations utilizing the SMPA nonprofit 501c3 status.

The Shoreview group hopes to raise approximately $6,500 for up to four semipermanent nets, while allowing donors the option to give any funds raised above that amount to the SMPA general fund until we can establish a metro-wide pickleball equipment grant program moving forward. If you’ve played the Shoreview courts, you can appreciate the quality of the surface and the quick drainage that means play pretty much year ’round. No matter where in the metro area you call home, consider a tax-deductible donation to the net fund so that SMPA can purchase semipermanent nets for Shoreview courts, knowing that we’re all in on this “growing pickleball” thing.

We will post more details on the SMPA website within a few days, and we will use MemberPlanet to facilitate donations for this fundraising project. Donors will have the option at the time of their online donation to approve that funds received over the amount needed be placed in the SMPA general fund.

Meet our New Membership Director

You may know her as the tall blonde with a ponytail and powerhouse forehand, learned from her dad Craig Likkel, and now you can also know her as our SMPA Membership coordinator and one of our newest Directors, Kiersten Bacon. In her own words, she shares a bit of her background and what she hopes to accomplish as she helps grow SMPA membership.

“Greetings. My personal challenge is to increase SMPA member involvement and provide participation opportunities. I hope to continue to bring more value to you, our members, through fun in-person events, as soon as we can safely do so again. I invite your critical feedback about what SMPA can continue to do to grow the sport and playing opportunities throughout the greater Seattle area and bring value to you as members.

A little background on me – I played pickleball as a kid in my neighborhood and in school, and started playing regularly in the Seattle area in my 20s. I really enjoy playing with my dad and relatives, and look forward to teaching my own child (due to arrive this November) how to play! In addition to my love of multi-generational play, I have a personal desire to increase play opportunities on weeknights and weekends for those of us who work or go to school full time.”

Have a question about your membership status? Log in to your account and if you need help, email us (info@seattlemetropickleball.com) and we’ll try to help.

Exploring New Venues in the Area

SMPA Board member Frank Chiappone reports that SPR has given the Laurehurst pickleball community the green light to move forward to convert a concrete slab near the Laurelhurst tennis courts into a pickleball court. The plan is to resurface the slab with a standard court surface. There will be one court only, with the big holdup currently being getting cost estimates from contractors to resurface and paint pickleball lines.

The SMPA Board continues to investigate converting the old, unusable outdoor tennis courts at Magnuson Park into dedicated pickleball courts. There are a couple of obstacles to resolve in this process, yet this location is ideal for a potentially large complex of outdoor courts.

Join us in salivating over the soon-to-open Bainbridge Island Pickleball Founders Courts, located at Battle Point Park on Bainbridge Island and under the control of the Bainbridge Island Pickleball Club. There will be a number of events marking the opening of the courts. Whatever you do, plan to visit and play sometime before winter weather halts play.

If you travel very far north, you can now enjoy dedicated pickleball courts in Mt. Vernon, Washington at the Hillcrest Park. Regular play and closed groups fill the courts, with easy access from the freeway if you are itching to travel.

SMPA President’s Summer 2020 Message

Greetings friends,

This month, I want to focus on two topics: the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 virus on pickleball and new pickleball venues around the Sound.

Players from Mercer Island, Seattle, and Bellevue enjoy a new pickleball venue with Mercer Island’s Luther Burbank Tennis courts.

Pandemic-related matters While the pandemic continues to adversely impact pickleball activities, many players are returning to play on various outdoor courts in Seattle. This has caused some confusion regarding whether and how we can safely return to play. Several SMPA volunteers worked with John Hasslinger, Southwest Lifelong Recreation Coordinator, to develop guidelines for safe return to pickleball.

The guidelines were a group effort led by Sarah Webb, MD, the chief author and were submitted to SPR for approval and publication. An avid pickleball player, Sarah is a retired pathologist, formerly the Chair of Infection Control and Microbiology Lab Director at a community hospital (watch CJ Johnson interview Sarah on YouTube). Submitted to the SPR the first week of August, the guidelines, “Covid 19 Return To Play Rules for Outdoor Pickleball Seattle Parks and Recreation,” are specifically intended to assist players play under practicable safe conditions. As active play continues, we await a response from SPR and a decision whether the City will adopt and publish these rules. Kudos and thanks to Sarah, John, and all of the SMPA volunteers whose review and suggestions resulted in an excellent guide for the entire pickleball community.

As most of you know, all community centers are still closed to drop-in pickleball, as well as nearly all other programs. They are expected to remain closed at least through October. SPR’s John Hasslinger and I are working to facilitate a resumption of the drop-in indoor play as soon as practicable. The goal is to “daylight” pickleball within SPR so as to ensure that the substantial demand for indoor pickleball is not overlooked or forgotten in the return to regular programming. Also, we are creating a template application form to be used by SPR in restarting pickleball and other recreational programs. John outlined this strategy to the Life Long Recreation Advisory Committee (LLRAC) on August 5, 2020, which LLRAC approved. We are working on the template to submit now with the hope that with LLRAC’s support there is a quick recommendation to and approval from the SPR Leadership Committee to pave the way for a seamless return to indoor drop-in pickleball programs this Fall. Stay tuned.

Happenings at new and existing pickleball venues There are lots of irons in the fire regarding existing and potential future pickleball venues. Elsewhere in this newsletter, you can read about some of the more prominent ones, such as Mercer Island and Bainbridge. Additionally, SPR is proceeding with resurfacing of a limited number of tennis courts throughout the city of Seattle.

Bitter Lake courts are currently being resurfaced (see photo in this newsletter or view in Facebook). Green Lake East courts are to be resurfaced soon as well. We can thank SMPA Board member Miguel de Campos who submitted a recommended court configuration that would better accommodate the substantial demand for play common to Green Lake Pickleball. We’ve no guarantees these recommendations will be accepted, yet we remain hopeful. I have requested that SPR share with me the resurfacing schedule for the rest of 2020. When we know, we’ll share the information.

We have known for some time that SPR will restore Lowman Beach Park shoreline in West Seattle. The existing tennis court is being removed. Check out the brief topic on the effort to get a tennis court with pickleball lines built at an new location in the park.

Fond Farewell Pickleball lost to retirement an important ally in the SPR’s Southwest District. John Barclay, Coordinator of South Park Community Center for the past several years, hung up his keys and loaded up for a relocation to Colorado. John was instrumental in growing pickleball at South Park, and Seattle pickleball will miss this great friend and supporter of pickleball. From new fans to move air in the overheated gym, to nets, to expanding play, he worked tirelessly to promote pickleball play at South Park. At the retirement celebration, SMPA Board member Theresa Haynie presented John with a SMPA tee shirt in thanks and recognition of his many contributions to the pickleball community. Safe travels, friend!

With that, play well, be safe and stay healthy! Hope to see you on the courts soon.

Jerry Kindinger, President

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association

Seattle Pickleball and Tennis Courts Resurfaced

Seattle Parks and Rec (SPR) has limited its 2020 court resurfacing plans. They have completed a few of them, including Bitter Lake, and will soon start on Magnolia and Green Lake East courts. Sadly, SPR marches to their own guidelines on the number of pickleball courts they will paint. We’ve been told there will be 8 pickleball courts at Bitter Lake and only 6 at Green Lake. Let the photo give you some hope for a new play venue very soon.

USAPA becomes USA Pickleball Association

The largest pickleball association in the world at 40,000 members and growing, USAPA decided time was upon them to modernize the website, the name, the logo, and now has burst forth with USA Pickleball Association. In addition to updating their website, they also updated apparel, so if you’re looking for a fall pickleball wardrobe, catch their discount while you can.

And if you aren’t a member of USA Pickleball, get on board. They are the folks who run the USA Pickleball Championships in Indian Wells, work hard on growing Junior pickleball, and support a nationwide group of Ambassadors dedicated to growing pickleball. You can read the latest edition of their newsletter here.

Lowman Park Restoration

The Seattle Park District has scheduled a public meeting for August 26th from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM to hear from the community regarding the removal and repositioning of a decommissioned tennis court. The Seattle Sports Complex Foundation is urging all pickleball players to attend the meeting online and strongly support installing a new tennis court with pickleball lines for at least two pickleball courts! Use this meeting link and when asked for password, use lowmanbeach. You can also join the meeting by phone at 1+(206) 207-1700. If you phone in, use code 146 008 1942.

Bitter Lake

Cascade Sports Courts rendering Bitter Lake courts playable.

Join

Now is as important a time as ever to join or renew your SMPA membership. When you click the Join or Renew button, you’ll be taken to the MemberPlanet website. MemberPlanet securely manages our membership database so we can focus on pickleball development. Whether you become a Lifetime Member or select a year-to-year renewal, your membership shows that you are committed to the work of SMPA in helping grow pickleball in the Seattle metro area. Your membership qualifies you for a discount on gear with Pickleball Central and Smash Pickleball.

We are grateful for your member support and if you have gotten a reminder, please take a moment and re-up. For those of you who left auto-renewal in place, the $20 charge will appear on your valid credit card.

Pickleball Lines at Meadowbrook

Thanks to all of you who reviewed and made suggestions to improve our Green Lake East resurfacing recommendations.

The six outdoor tennis courts near the Meadowbrook community center are slated to be resurfaced and gain pickleball court lines, probably in 2021. Please take a look at the draft of our recommendations for those courts and tell us what you think.

Categories
Newsletter

April 2020 Newsletter

Pickleball Play Still in Pause Mode

As the Seattle metro area continues to follow the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” guidelines, we all are anxious to resume pickleball play in social settings. To help keep your mind in the game, we’ve got a special hello from professional player Jennifer Lucore, here’s a link to some good hand-eye coordination drills from player and coach Jem Morris of Orcas Island, and a quick check in from South Park Community Center manager and pickleball advocate John Barclay. Our SMPA President Jerry Kindinger discusses current activity pursuing court development.

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) will publish another newsletter in May, and by then we may have some more hopeful news from the Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic (SMPC) tournament committee. They continue to meet and monitor the Covid-19 threat and limits on gatherings. Check out the FaceBook page for most current information, and as plans are modified in keeping with the local and state guidance on large gatherings, we will also update the SMPA tournament page on our website.

SMPA Anchor Events – Summer is On Hold

Late in 2019, the SMPA Board met to plan and prioritize activities for 2020, and as you know all too well, everything is on hold while we navigate the flattening of the infection curve, keep ourselves, family, and neighbors safe by staying put. All of our plans to engage our membership in the fun activities of summer are idled until further notice. There’s a lot at stake here, so you won’t catch us whining, and in fact various committees and even the Board are talking online about what we might be able to do once outdoor gatherings (and indoor, we hope) resume.

When we can resume activities, we’ll still need volunteers. You are welcome to send at any time a note to Volunteer. We do respond to emails, and together we can welcome new players into the fold, introduce junior players to the great game of pickleball, or make sure that our planned events run smoothly. Give back to the sport of pickleball. It’s a service you won’t regret.


This is SMPA membership renewal time for many of you. A click on the Join button takes you to the Member Planet web site. Member Planet 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.

SMPA President’s April 2020 Message

Hello pickleball friends,
I hope this newsletter finds you all well and staying healthy during this trying time. I know we are all anxious to get back playing the sport we love as soon as possible. There are only a few things that I want to share with you this month.

The election of directors closed April 2, 2020. Three new directors and three returning directors were elected to new terms. The three new directors are Mary Ann Benack, Kiersten Bacon, and Jeff Jolly. We welcome them all to the board as your new representatives. They all look forward to promoting pickleball and serving SMPA. Also, with this election, we have now achieved staggered terms for SMPA board members so that new directors can be added annually as directors’ terms expire.

SMPA continues to work on developing additional pickleball venues, and recently a couple of new potential opportunities have arisen.

Earlier this month, Miguel de Campos and I had a lengthy telephone conference with Brian Judd, Manager of Magnuson Park, to explore developing old outdoor tennis courts into dedicated pickleball courts. Very preliminarily we were encouraged to submit a proposal. We are in the process of organizing an effort to do this as soon as practicable. This will likely be a long (multi-year) process but we are delighted with this opportunity and will keep you posted.

Another opportunity bubbled up at Lowman Beach Park in West Seattle . Lowman Beach Park is a small park located just North of Lincoln Park in West Seattle. The city plans to remove the seawall and renovate the park. There has long been a single tennis court at the park. A group comprised of racquet enthusiasts and neighbors want to replace the old tennis court with another one which could also have painted lines for pickleball courts. SMPA member and avid tennis player, Lisa Corbin, is heading a group that has received a grant from the Department of Neighborhoods to retain a design firm for this purpose. She expects to begin moving forward on this project next month. As this undertaking develops, there will likely be public meetings. Stay tuned for notice of these public meetings so that you can attend to support this exciting effort.

While pickleball courts have been closed to us because of the Covid-19 virus, we encourage you to find some time to work on paddle skills at home. Search online for “pickleball exercises at home” to access several YouTube videos that demonstrate a variety of strength, agility, and practice skills to work on your game. Many can be done either alone or with someone in your household and without a net. These are instructive even if you only watch them.

As I write this, the governor has released an information teaser; he may soon open up some recreation facilities. Hopefully, this will happen and may include removal of restrictions related to pickleball. Until then, stay healthy, and may this fun parody brighten your day. Featuring many pickleball pros and familiar faces from around the country, can we all agree that I Wanna Dink with Somebody.

Jerry Kindinger, President

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association

Helloooo, is it John you’re looking for?

For anyone who plays pickleball at South Park Community Center, you may or may not know that the man behind extending play days and welcoming support for pickleball is the Community Center coordinator, John Barclay.

He’s a little bored with things being so quiet there, but he hasn’t forgotten his pickleball players, and has sent out a couple of entertaining and brief videos. You can view his message here.

SPR Still Surveying – Let’s Play Along

The Seattle Park District (via SPR’s Rachel Schulkin) is still running surveys to determine what citizens want, so please jump onto SurveyMonkey and let SPR know what you want.

You are strongly encouraged to participate and remind them that your favorite sport, and the sport of thousands in the metro area, still needs venues for play.

Pro Jennifer Lucore Sends Hiyas and Hugs

Jennifer emailed us to say “Hello, Seattle Metro Pickleball Players. I’m sending you a big (virtual) healthy hug and know that all pickleball players around the world are in this together. We need our exercise, laughter, social fix and such – things that pickleball gives us. In time we will get it back! Hang in there! 🙂 #pickleballstrong”

Lucore is among the elite professional pickleball players who’ve taken the time to write a book. If ou have some time when you’re not cooking, binge watching BritBox movies, practicing your backhand with a mirror, or when you need to take a break from working at home, get History of Pickleball – More Than 50 Years of Fun! to share her historical review of and extensive pickleball tournament experience.

And for those who haven’t turned off your Facebook feeds, check out Jennifer’s page and, most of all, stay safe!

USAPA Covid-19 Guidance

USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) does many things, including publishing a newsletter 6 times a year.

USAPA also recently published FAQs for Covid-19 to offer some insight into actions they’ve taken regarding tournament play.

Categories
Newsletter

March 2020 Newsletter

SMPA Annual Member Meeting Cancelled

You’ve no doubt heard through the pickleball grapevine or by way of social media that the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) Annual Member Meeting and Play day at Rainier Community Center has been cancelled due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) concerns.

We value the health and safety of all of our pickleball community members, and at this time take the prudent step to not hold an in-person meeting for 2020. There are, however, business items still in need of resolving, and to that end, we will hold an online election for our returning and new slate of SMPA Board Members who are replacing retiring Board members. Please check your email inbox next week for the online Election Ballot.

If you haven’t looked at your membership information lately, you might want to check on your status. As most members are set for autorenew, actually looking at your membership information takes a few minutes of looking at Member Planet to review.

Our Pickleball Community Speaks Up

SMPA members and other pickleball enthusiasts turned out in force on Monday, March 2nd, for the Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) Parks District public meeting on March 2nd. Space was limited to standing room only! Kudos and thanks go out to Jimi Vernie, Sandy Goldade and Jean Crowhorn for a fantastic job of getting the word out to local pickleball players.

A huge thanks goes out to our own Board member, Miguel de Campos, who sounded the alert to all by Facebook and email. Superintendent Jesus Aguirre spoke about the six-year budgeting process that was underway and invited input from the attendees regarding things they wanted considered in the Parks budget.

Everyone was asked to share their thoughts at their respective tables. A Parks District representative sat at each table, noted the ideas and requests from each person and then presented a summary of the recommendations from each table to the entire group.

The predominant request from every one of the seven tables was to provide more pickleball opportunities in the form of increased community center staffing and hours, outdoor courts, and dedicated indoor year round facilities.

Your voice was heard, but it remains to be seen whether the city will act on it. Nonetheless this is a very important time to speak out about our goals because the City is making long term budgeting decisions for at least the next six years.

The Parks District 2020 Planning Timeline for 2021 is as follows:

  • February through May 2020 – Park District Oversight Committee holds planning meetings, briefs and receives input from Council Members
  • March – Park District holds public meetings
  • May – Park District Oversight Committee presents to the Mayors’s Office recommendations for six year spending plan
  • June to July – the Mayor’s Office works on the budget
  • August – the Mayor transmits the Proposed Park District 6 year spending plan to the City Council
  • September through October – Park District review and public hearings
  • November – Park District votes on 6 year spending plan and adopts 2021/2022 Park District budget.

Mr. Aguirre confirmed that the most important time for public input about what should be considered in the Parks budget is now through April 2020. Our SMPA member and pickleball community action? Continue to provide input.

That means we need to ready our pens, pencils, keyboards, and any other means of communicating to the Seattle City Council’s and the Finance and Housing committee. Take a few minutes to let them know that it’s time to put pickleball into the budget as a line item and not leave us begging for Seattle Parks and Rec (SPR) leftovers.

Ask them to treat us as a viable sport, and request that they line more courts, make more indoor time available, and work toward dedicated pickleball facilities.

SMPA President’s March 2020 Message

Greetings all pickleball players of Seattle and beyond,

As you read in the leading topic this month, the SMPA Board cancelled the Annual Membership Meeting set for March 29th due to the uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus and concern for the welfare of our members and citizens of the greater Seattle community. One of the key purposes of the Annual Meeting is the election of Board members who are replacing retiring SMPA Board members. Instead, election of board members by the members will be conducted online later this month. Ballots, and the slate of the Board’s recommended candidates will be sent out shortly. The Board is considering a possible Association event for members later this summer in lieu of the play opportunity which was scheduled at the Annual Meeting. Please watch for the ballots and submit your vote according to the instructions provided.

On Tuesday March 3rd, I along with two other members of the Life Long Recreation Advisory Council met with City Council Member Debora Juarez. We urged her to favorably consider a Parks budget that first, increases community center staffing to allow for longer hours, particularly nights and weekends, and second, specifically make seniors social and recreation activities an express priority in the City Strategic and Spending Plan for the next six years.

We also planted a seed and asked that Juarez and other council members favorably consider any public/private proposal the council received and on which they would vote for the purpose of funding a dedicated year round pickleball facility similar to the Amy Yee tennis Center. At a public meeting with SPR Superintendent Jesus Aguirre that afternoon, Ms. Juarez pressed Supt Aguirre to include senior activities in the Parks Department’s Strategic Plan.

We are continuing to explore developing a dedicated pickleball site on SPR property which could include a public/private joint venture. Plans for further discussions with SPR representatives on this subject are in process. We are hearing about growing numbers of pickleballers in the greater Seattle area interested in creating a dedicated pickleball facility. This past week, two members of the SMPA Board and a SMPA volunteer met with a representative of a group from the Eastside to explore possible collaboration about development of potential dedicated pickleball facility sites. We agreed to pursue this common goal on parallel tracks and to mutually share information.

Ball machines were delivered to South Park and Hiawatha community centers. At this point, they are being used for instructional purposes by the skills-and-drills classes. It would be wonderful if use of these machines could be expanded and made available at specific times for practice by others not enrolled in the classes but for the time being, priority is to those who can be trained in operating the ball machines.

The coronavirus has put a damper on pickleball play. Although drop in pickleball at several community centers continues on schedule, some centers have decided to close this activity. Several informal community leaders are in regular contact with community centers in an effort to learn of changes in scheduled play and to keep players posted by email of any cancellations. We are grateful for these efforts. In addition, we encourage everyone to check timeforpickleball.com for changes in pickleball schedules. Miguel is doing his best to post changes when he learns about them. You can also call the community centers directly to see if they are open and offering drop in play.

Kudos to all of you who’ve written and emailed SPR! If you were unable to attend the Parks District meeting you can send any thoughts or comments about the Park district planning process to PDplanning@seattle.gov. You can also participate in the Park District online survey. We encourage you all to continue to express what pickleball services you want included in the 6 year budgeting process.

Until next time, keep those hands washed, and be cautious but play hard and have fun on the courts.

Jerry Kindinger, President

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association

Closures in Seattle

The City of Seattle announced effective Friday, March 13, 2020 at 6 PM, all SPR recreation facilities and programs, as well as facility rentals and permitted events, will be canceled until at least April 13. Any dates mentioned in this newsletter may be subject to change based on availability of facilities.

Free Family and Youth Pickleball Clinics

Want to get your kids playing pickleball? Come to Shoreview Park, 700 Innis Arden Way in Shoreline on Sunday, April 26, 2020 from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM.

This clinic is only for families with kids ages 10+. No experience necessary, all equipment is provided. Registration is required as there is only 16 spaces available.

Check the Events web page for more details.

SPR to Resurface and Stripe Courts

SPR announced that they will be adding pickleball lines to the Bitter Lake, East Green Lake and Magnolia tennis courts as part of the scheduled resurfacing of those courts. Unhappy that they aren’t maximizing the layout to fit in as many pickleball courts as possible? We are dismayed that again the City is imposing the will of the tennis community on these shared outdoor courts.

What’s Open and What’s Closed Now

Our intrepid Miguel is constantly updating Time for Pickleball, so you can check there or let us know if you don’t see your favorite facility listed.

For Seattle, for now, this is what we know: all Seattle Pickleball classes are canceled at least through Saturday, April 13. All Community Centers will be closed from Saturday March 14 until at least April 13, 2020.

You can also check the Parks Department’s blog for more information. When you read the information available on the blog, keep in mind that drop-in pickleball is no longer part of Lifelong Recreation. That is why, even though all Lifelong Recreation drop-in programs have been canceled for a few days now, drop-in pickleball had still been available until and including Friday March 13.

Be sure to check and use Playtime Scheduler to set up or see who’s setting up play groups in the Seattle metro area outside of scheduled drop in times.

SPR Spring Indoor Pickleball Tournament

Until we hear otherwise, Seattle Parks and Recreation still has on the schedule its spring Men’s and Women’s Doubles tournament. The tournament is scheduled for Saturday, April 18, 2020, at Rainier Community Center, 4600 38th Avenue South, Seattle, 10 AM to 4 PM. They’ll open the gym at 9 AM for practice. Be sure you check for possible cancellation due to COVID-19 concerns.

With skills division for women rated 3.0 and under (UTPR or self-rated) and 3.5 to 4.0, and as well a men’s skill division of 3.0 and under and another 3.5 and 4.0, you’ll see some good play. Be sure to register and pay ($20 per team) by April 10th. Use the activity codes listed here when you register online, or call Adult Sports at 206-684-7092.

Activity codes and ratings, either UTPR or self-rated skills divisions:

  • 35939 Women’s Doubles 3.0 and under
  • 37957 Women’s Doubles 3.5 and 4.0
  • 35938 Men’s Doubles 3.0 and under
  • 37956 Men’s Doubles 3.5 and 4.0 division

Give SPR Feedback

Please join in the discussion for the next 6-year budget with SPR. They have clearly established a very short cycle for setting, reviewing, and ultimately passing the SPR budget.

You can reach the Parks District budget planners using any or all of the following.

  • Public meetings for the budget review have been canceled for now due to COVID-19 precautions.
  • Email the city officials working on the 2021 Parks budget at PDplanning@seattle.gov
  • Look at the planning docs for the SPR budget on their website


Consider becoming an SMPA member today. Click this Join button to join and support SMPA.

MemberPlanet securely manages our membership database so we can focus on growing pickleball in and around Seattle and keeping our members informed.

Categories
Newsletter

Winter 2020 Newsletter (January)

Mosqueda Wants Input on Seattle’s Budget

Seattle Citywide Council Member Teresa Mosqueda, as new Chair of the Housing and Finance Committee, wants to share her priorities for the city’s 2021 budget. As she points out in her mailing, the Council and the public (that’s you and me, pickleball players!) get about two months for the budget process. In those two months, they have to receive, review, understand, change, and pass the budget. They are doing what they call a “robust community engagement process” in the next few months.

That means we need to ready our pens, pencils, keyboards, and any other means of communicating to the Seattle City Council’s and the Finance and Housing committee. Take a few minutes to let them know that it’s time to put pickleball into the budget as a line item and not leave us begging for Seattle Parks and Rec (SPR) leftovers.

Ask them to treat us as a viable sport, and request that they line more courts, make more indoor time available, and work toward dedicated pickleball facilities. You can click the image to send an email. As you can see, SPR and the City Council know we’re here and we’re not going away.



Parks District Wants to Hear From You!

This past summer, SPR began a strategic planning process where they talked to over 10,000 community members about the future of Seattle’s parks and recreation facilities. They’ve used that input to develop a plan that further commits their department to using SPR resources to create equity in Seattle through investments in creating a healthy environment, supporting healthy lifestyles, and uplifting and strengthening our communities. The Park District budget will support these commitments.

There are many ways to join in the discussion for the next 6-year budget, and as you may have noted in the lead article featuring Citywide Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, there is a very short cycle for setting, reviewing, and ultimately passing the SPR budget. You can reach the Parks District budget planners using any or all of the following means.

  • Attend one of the public meetings
  • Email them at PDplanning@seattle.gov
  • Take a look at their website
  • Get yourself and some pickleball pals and give public testimony at an upcoming Park District Oversight/Park Board Committee Meeting, February 2020 through May 2020. Find a night to attend and take your paddles and pickleball partners. Meeting dates are listed here.

Better yet, try to attend one of these meetings.

SMPA Anchor Events in 2020

You made your year-end donations to the organizations you most love. Next up, getting involved in things you love. Whether you’re feeling a bit short of cash or not, this is an excellent time to consider becoming a volunteer for the coming SMPA events that we’ve planned.

In 2020, the SMPA Board hosts the Annual Member meeting at the end of March, a well-liked Fourth of July Shootout event, the SMPC tournament in July, and has plans for clinics, a Meet and Greet and Play Day, and new this year, Junior clinics and play events. Events such as these are only possible because of the generous involvement of pickleball volunteers.

We invite you, and maybe even beg a little, too, to send a note to Volunteer. One of our Board members will connect you to an event that suits you, and together we can welcome new players into the fold, introduce junior players to the great game of pickleball, or make sure that our planned events run smoothly. Join in! Meet new pickleball friends! Give back to the sport of pickleball. It’s a service you won’t regret.

SMPA President’s 2020 Message

2020 is off to a busy start with some great things queued up for the year.

SAVE THE DATE! Our second SMPA Annual Meeting is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, March 29, 2020, at Rainer Community Center. Our Planning Committee is working on a slightly different format this year which is intended to provide more pickleball play and less waiting than last year. The business portion of the meeting will again be short. Next month and in advance of the meeting, we’ll publish the formal Annual Meeting notice with the Agenda and slate of directors recommended by the Board for election.

The Board continues to work to develop more pickleball play opportunities. In response to member input, Frank Chiappone, Director and Chairman of our Play Committee has been working with SPR to create special “members only” weekend play opportunities. SMPA will soon be publishing a couple of possible programs and asking for members’ input. Based upon members’ responses, SMPA will secure certain community centers for the days and times preferred. Please be sure to respond to Frank’s solicitation if your are interested. Depending upon the level of interest additional “members only” weekend or weeknight opportunities may be offered later.

We are pleased to announce that SMPA member Dennis Jackson has been working with our Treasurer, Drew Thoresen, to submit another grant to be used to purchase three outdoor semi-permanent pickleball nets to be placed at Delridge. If any other members are interested in applying for net grants where they play definitely let us know. We are happy to assist in guiding you through this process.

We continue to search for potential dedicated pickleball court sites. In the past month alone we considered two or three sites working with SMPA member Paul Reed. These efforts remain a work in process. Progress is slow; regardless, we invite anyone who has any ideas about locations to contact us. We promise to follow up on any suggestions and are happy to work with or support your efforts to do so.

On January 29th, several SMPA Directors met with Tim Pretare of SPR to discuss a variety of topics, particularly involving indoor play, which is under Tim’s purview. The meeting was informative and Tim was, as always, helpful. During the meeting, Tim indicated that SPR had favorably considered providing pickleball machines at South Park and Delridge, with details to be worked out. He promised no dates for delivery, however, we understood it would be in the near term. The original “ask” for pickleball machines and surrounding organizing efforts were the result of SMPA members working behind the scenes. Kudos to all of you who’ve written and emailed SPR!

Last month, we worked with two pickleball groups in our metro area to promote our beloved sport.

  • First, we were contacted by one of the organizers of a new pickleball club, the Thurston County Pickleball Club. This group is in the early formative stages and we were delighted to answer their questions and share our experience. We welcome the Thurston County Pickleball Club to Thurston County and wish them every success.
  • Second, we committed to work with the Bainbridge Founders club to jointly promote our respective tournaments this summer. Our SMPC Tournament Committee will be working with them and we are pleased to develop this relationship further. We were happy to support the building of the Bainbridge Island Founders Courts by purchasing a commemorative brick in the name of Seattle Metro Pickleball Association.

Finally, we completed negotiations with Mike Hoxie, of Pickleball is Great, to return as our Tournament Director again this year for the SMPC Tournament, July 24-26, 2020. Mike was just recognized as an “Ultimate Influencer” of our sport in this month’s USAPA Magazine, and we look forward to another terrific tournament under Mike’s direction.

Until next time, play hard and have fun on the courts.

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association

Jerry Kindinger, President

USAPA Pickleball Magazine – Latest Edition

USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) does many things, including publishing a newsletter 6 times a year.

Check it out this month for an article on Pickleball Influencers, including our SMPC Tournament Director and Pacific NorthWest Region Ambassador, Mike Hoxie. Good pickleball news even if you aren’t a USAPA member yet, read it here.

Mercer Island Parks Looks to Add to Parks

The City of Mercer Island has begun a community-driven process to update their Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Plan (PROS Plan). They are looking for help determining how to prioritize projects and where to focus to keep the island parks and programs thriving. The process includes extensive public engagement, and final review of the Plan is tentatively scheduled for the end of 2020.

The pickleball players who fill the gym for play during the week and on Sundays, and yes, many of us Seattle, Bellevue, Edmonds, and area players have used their lovely six-court gym, are looking for some help, too. That is, help in letting Mercer Island Parks and Rec know how, why, when we use their parks and how much miss outdoor pickleball options there.

Go to the PROS Plan web page and subscribe today so that you can have a chance to make your voice heard when the moment comes”. The PROS plan page just changed today and announced a survey that will be publicly available on Feb 12, 2020.

SPR Spring Indoor Pickleball Tournament

Seattle Parks and Recreation hosts a spring Men’s and Women’s Doubles tournament. The tournament is scheduled for Saturday, April 18, 2020, at Rainier Community Center, 4600 38th Avenue South, Seattle, 10 AM to 4 PM with gym open at 9 AM for practice.

The tournament has a skills division for women rated 3.0 and under (UTPR or self-rated) and 3.5 to 4.0, and as well a men’s skill division of 3.0 and under and another 3.5 and 4.0. You must register and pay $20 per team by April 10th. Use the activity codes listed here when you register online, or call Adult Sports at 206-684-7092.

Activity codes and ratings, either UTPR or self-rated skills divisions:

  • 35939 Women’s Doubles 3.0 and under
  • 37957 Women’s Doubles 3.5 and 4.0
  • 35938 Men’s Doubles 3.0 and under
  • 37956 Men’s Doubles 3.5 and 4.0 division

Consider becoming an SMPA member today. Click this Join button to go to the MemberPlanet website.

MemberPlanet securely manages our membership database so we can focus on pickleball, our members, and growing the sport across the Seattle metro area.

Categories
Newsletter

SMPA Year-end Wrap Newsletter

SMPA President’s Fall/Winter Message

Seasons Greetings all,

Holidays are upon us! That means several community centers will be closed to pickleball for 1-2 weeks this month, or at the very least, on the holidays. Be sure to call before going to your favorite community center venue to play PB after December 15th. Check with the community center to confirm that they are open for pickleball at the times you regularly play. Alternatively, you can check online at Time for Pickleball to confirm that drop-in play is occurring when you expect.

Searching For Pickleball Venues
This past month, the SMPA Directors began working on some of the goals the Board established for SMPA for 2020. Specifically, one of our members, Paul Reed, has been working with commercial real estate brokers to find a potential privately owned site that could be developed and serve as a year round indoor pickleball facility. Thank you Paul for all of your efforts! This is not a quick remedy to the problem of how to get more pickleball courts, however, we need to look at every possibility, reasonable and otherwise.

We are looking to our members in our search for a year round site for indoor pickleball. I ask that all SMPA members help us identify potential sites that could satisfy this long term SMPA goal. If you know of any potential site that could accommodate 12-24 indoor pickleball courts with available parking, or if you know someone who owns or controls such a site and may be interested in entertaining discussions about developing their facility or their property, please let me know by sending a note to SMPA. This request is open until we find a suitable site. Please keep your antenna up throughout 2020, and we promise to advise our members when we identify an acceptable site.

We continue to pursue sites on City of Seattle property. As previously reported, in late 2018 and into 2019, the SMPA Board investigated over 40 different sites on Seattle city property with the SPR’s knowledge and using criteria approved by SPR. These sites were winnowed down to the top eight that we believed best met the criteria. Substantial additional investigative work was done on these eight sites. Each site was analyzed using the City’s Race and Social Justice initiative, which seeks to develop and ensure equity in delivering services. Demographic analyses, court development potential, parking availability, public transportation, accessibility, and other factors were applied. In all, several hundred hours were expended in this effort. The final eight sites and all surrounding research were then submitted to SPR twice (last February and again in June) with a request for feedback on the preferred sites. SPR never responded, and moved forward on a West Seattle court complex not on our list. Still we have not abandoned the idea of establishing a partnership with the City on one of these sites. Last month we began inquiring about potential partnership structures with the City. For now we intend to pursue dual tracks, exploring potential opportunities on both Seattle city and metro area private properties. This is a long term activity that tests everyone’s patience. Stay tuned.

Website Redesign
One of our strategic goals for 2020 is to revamp our website to make it more informational and user friendly. We need your help. We are looking for volunteers with web site design expertise who are willing to work with us in achieving this goal. If you have this talent or know of someone who does, please send us an email.

Holiday Giving
This seems like the perfect time remind you all that giving a $20 annual SMPA membership to one of your pickleball friends is a wonderful stocking stuffer and holiday gift. We continue to work on growing our membership so that we can speak with a greater voice. Also, as you consider year end charitable contributions please remember that SMPA is a 501c(3) organization. Know that 100% of all contributions are used to promote pickleball or offer more pickleball opportunities to our members. How to give: log in to your MemberPlanet membership account and make a direct gift; send a check to the address at the bottom of this message, or if you are a FaceBook user, click the Donate button associated with the latest newsletter notification. All SMPA officers and directors serve without any form of compensation on a completely volunteer basis. Thanks for your consideration.

Holiday Wishes
Finally, on behalf of the entire SMPA Board of Directors, we wish each of you the blessings of good health, joy, and peace of the season. With your help and support, much has been accomplished. We are grateful for you all and look forward to spending fun times on the courts in 2020.

Until next time, play hard and have fun on the courts.

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association

Jerry Kindinger, President

North Seattle Pickleball Players Invite All

The North Seattle Pickleball Players at Shoreview Park invite one and all to an End of Year Pickleball Celebration, this weekend, December 15th, 2019. They promise Latin Jazz with no cover, dancing for the brazen, and door prizes. gathering at Aurora Borealis at 16708 Aurora Avenue, Shoreline, WA. Please RSVP so they know how many tables to reserve, and include your plus-one or partner. See you there!


Give Back to Pickleball by Volunteering

Volunteers make the world go ’round, and make events such as Pickleball in the Park and the SMPC tournament possible. We can’t do this work alone, and want to invite our members to apply to the (yes, unpaid volunteer) position of Volunteer Coordinator for Seattle Metro Pickleball Association. Think how that would look on your CV! The job description is summed up in this: Develop more opportunities for SMPA members to participate in SMPA functions. You can send a note to Volunteer about why you would best fill that role. The Board meets in January, and would love to make a decision, followed by a glowing announcement, and then kick open the doors to some great 2020 volunteer opportunities for pickleball play in the metro area.

Court News

We have so much court-related news to report that we put it all on our News Bulletin page.

Playing at Ravenna? Be prepared to pay!

If want to play at Ravenna, you now need to sign up here and pay $33 if you want to play on Mondays, or $33 to play on Wednesdays, and/or $33 to play on Fridays. Play all 3 days, it’s $33 x 3 for the quarter.

Note that this was the decision of the local Community Center Coordinator as a means of allowing pickleball to take place during hours when the gym is not open to the public. You can read much more about it on the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association website in an article that outlines the alarming state of pickleball, indoor and outdoor, in Seattle. If you are concerned about this development, we recommend that you email Justin Cutler, SPR Director of Recreation (justin.cutler@seattle.gov) to offer your praise or complaint.

Pickleball Instruction and Skills

Miller Community Center offers pickleball instruction and skills sessions as part of the LifeLong Learning schedule. Keep an eye out on FaceBook, as well as Time for Pickleball for classes. Don’t forget about Pickleball Station for the great free pickleball intro classes.

USAPA Pickleball Magazine – Special Edition

USAPA National Championships in Indian Wells, California ended November 10, 2019, yielding some memorable matches on center court as well as along the other 48 dedicated pickleball courts that took over the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. USAPA just issued a special edition of their magazine, which includes photos of every medal winner. You’ll also see plenty of advertising, and a lot of great shots of your favorite pros who continue to elevate the game of pickleball. You can read the year-end special edition issue here.

Winter Tournaments

Looking for more competitive play? Grab a partner, sign in to Pickleball Tournaments and look at the schedule for December. Woodinville Sports Club, in association with Pickleball Is Great, is hosting the NW Washington Winter Holiday Classic by PIG at the Woodinville Sports Club, December 20 to 22nd at the indoor facility in Woodinville, WA. Hurry, though, because registration closes this weekend, December 15, 2019. In its second year, this tournament features lots of local players, and you two could be wearing a medal to Christmas dinner. Take a look at their flyer and get out and play!

For the second year, Pickleball is Great presents the 2019 ETC/Kirkland Holiday Pickleball Smash Tournament on December 27 to December 29, 2019 at the Eastside Tennis Center in Kirkland, WA. This tournament drew a great field of local and regional players last year, and promises to do the same. Registration closes on December 19th, so pick a partner and your favorite paddle and head to Kirkland.

Looking further afield, Pickleball is Great (P.I.G) is also presenting the 2020 Olympic Pickleball Tournament at the end of February in Port Angeles. You can view the flyer for more information.