February 2019 Newsletter

SPR Surveyed – You Answered

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) published a survey in November 2018 regarding pickleball in Seattle. More than 240 pickleball players took the survey, and they released the results in early January 2019. The survey doesn’t cover much territory, and there is no result that indicate SPR departmental plans for pickleball. You can click here to review the survey in Adobe portable document format (PDF).

SAVE THE DATE: Annual SMPA Member Meeting Sunday April 7, 2019

Yes, the SMPA Board plans to be out in force, paddles in hand, with a short meeting agenda to tell you about where we are and what’s ahead. The fun event is expected to include a couple of vendors, a raffle, food, and importantly, some play time for all who attend. Stay tuned, and with the March and April newsletters we’ll fill in the blanks and send out evites to all dues-paid SMPA members.

No News for Now on Pickleball Pilot Report

While we await the final SPR report on the 2018 Pickleball Pilot project, the Seattle Parks department’s planning process is underway. We expect there to be a period for public comments on the plan in the Spring. Meanwhile, if you want to let SPR know what you want for pickleball in Seattle, send an email to Christopher Williams, acting Seattle Parks superintendent, and also to the Board of Park Commissioners. While no single email is going to change their stance, the more they hear from pickleball players, the better.

So What if it’s Winter? Green Lake Plays On

SMPA has been organizing drop in play at the Green Lake Pickleball Courts throughout the winter from 9 AM – 12 PM every Saturday and Sunday. As luck would have it, the weather has been somewhat cooperative most weekends, despite our typical rain-filled winter months. The Green Lake players don’t really let a little rain get between them and a few rousing games of pickleball. Braving cold early morning temperatures and, at times, dense fog, most weekends have seen between 20 to 50 people enjoying the Green Lake outdoor pickleball courts. The high point to date came this past January 26th when a rare blue sky day and unseasonably warm temperatures drew more than 70 players out to the courts, the most ever for a single day at the Green Lake Courts.

To help ease the congestion at Green Lake, SMPA members Dorrena Ortega and Tim Williams started organizing drop in play Saturdays beginning at 9 AM at Shoreview Park in Shoreline. Shoreview Park has 6 pickleball courts lined out without nets, but Dorrena and Tim are committed to bringing nets and balls each Saturday, weather permitting. They had 5 courts going the first two Saturdays with about two dozen folks turning out to play.

There is no cost to play at either location, although we accept donations onsite to help defer the cost of reservations and supplies (think line tape and chalk and balls).

Pickleball Central Ad

Register in March – Play in July in our SMPA Classic Tournament

Sunshine, blue skies and majestic Mount Rainier on the horizon are all summer staples in Seattle. Against this backdrop, join us for the Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic, the largest outdoor tournament the greater Seattle area has ever seen. Set in a gorgeous park along the shores of the Puget Sound, this tournament features 16 courts, two practice courts, cash prizes for OPEN divisions, and competitive skill divisions ranging from 3.0 – 4.5 for ages 19+ and 50+.

This three-day tournament, celebrating our dedicated local pickleball community and benefiting SMPA, welcomes first-time participants, tournament veterans and our top local players and pros from across the northwest. Registration opens March 2, 2019 on Pickleball Tournaments website.

And in other news…

Eckstein Middle School Pickleball Update

URGENT: Community Meeting Wednesday, January 30th, 2019 from 6:30 to 8 PM at the Eckstein Middle School Library – 3003 NE 75th Ave NE, 98115

Seattle Schools Self Help office and Friends of Eckstein MS Pickleball urge Seattle pickleball players to attend a community meeting and design workshop for the proposed build out of pickleball courts on the Eckstein Middle School grounds. The landscape architectural firm and project leaders encourage local pickleball players to bring ideas and questions. They expect to have 1 or 2 final court layout scenarios at future meetings in March and April. Enter only through the school’s front door that faces NE 75th. Join their SMS mailing list for updates by texting the keyword EMSpickleball to 22828.

International Indoor Pickleball Championships

Registration is still open for the International Indoor Pickleball Championship (IIPC) at the NW Sports Hub, Centralia, Washington. This tournament draws players from US and Canada, and runs from Tuesday 03/26/19 through Sunday 03/31/19. This very fun, challenging tournament is a qualifying event for those who plan to play in the USAPA National Pickleball Championship in 2019. You can sign up by going to Pickleball Tournaments website until March 12, 2019. Join your local and Canadian pals for this great indoor event.

Now’s the Time: Join SMPA

If you haven’t joined SMPA yet, you can do that here, and with your credit card and by supplying some limited personal information become a member of the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association.

Winter Play in Seattle

Yup, still playing and going strong outdoors. Bundled up for the cooler weather, Green Lake pickleball courts often draw more than 50 players on Saturdays and Sundays. Barring a monsoon-level rain, the North Seattle pickleball players fill 6 to 8 courts. Too busy for you? There are pickleball lines painted at Soundview tennis courts, Discovery Park, Miller (where there is a semipermanent net available at all times), Delridge (West Seattle), South Park, and Georgetown. Further north, you can head to Shoreline and check out the nicely resurfaced courts at the south end of Shoreview Park just behind Shoreline Community College. Don’t let a little cold weather slow you down.

 SMPA members making good use of the new semi-permanent pickleball net on the Miller Playfield Pickleball and Tennis Courts.

Try out the Pickleball Scheduler App

Setting up play times around Seattle has gotten a little easier for pickleball players. Now you can go to and register, and select Greater Seattle as your area. Then, when you want to set up a pickleball game at Shoreview or Green Lake or SeaTac or at any of the indoor Seattle venues, you simply create a session, indicate the level you’re looking to play with, and make any notes (advanced, all levels welcome, and so on.) for all others who’ve subscribed to Greater Seattle. They’ll get an email notification of the session. This app comes to us from the Sacramento, California pickleball community, where they’ve been successfully scheduling pickleball matches for a couple of years now. Try it out and let us know what you think ( Let’s get out and play!

2019 Message from the President

Hello Pickleball Friends,

Bears may hibernate in winter, but not pickleball players, nor the SMPA Board. Let me tell you some of the happenings since our December 2018 Newsletter.

  • The Board completed the initial investigation of more than three dozen potential sites for developing dedicated pickleball courts, and has narrowed that list to eight for further research and evaluation. SMPA members Tim Williams and Mary Ann Benack have volunteered to assist with critical demographic analyses in the neighborhoods near the remaining sites. They are using the City of Seattle’s Racial, Equity and Justice tool kit as a model as well as many other resources. This work is time intensive and we expect to keep you informed as it progresses.
  • SMPA Board members have held several meetings with SPR representatives to both work with the City to obtain more pickleball courts and to improve communications between the City and the greater pickleball community. There have been some recent changes in responsibilities for SPR personnel with whom we have dealt in the past. We have met the successors and are confident that our relationships will continue to grow. We are hopeful that the City will soon announce plans for improving coordination and communication with the Seattle pickleball community, and we are working with SPR reps to facilitate that.
  • SMPA members Dan Magee and Tom Grubb are set to make a presentation on February 2nd to the Seattle School District’s annual regional BEST WEST conference for PE teachers. This even typically draws between 200 and 300 PE teachers. Dan and Tom’s presentation will include a lesson plan to enable PE teachers to teach students pickleball during 45 minute classes. Afterward Tom will provide skills assistance to the teachers during an open play period.
  • Conversations are ongoing with SPR to provide more pickleball courts at Green Lake to meet the very high demand. We are optimistic that accommodations will be forthcoming and will keep you posted as the discussions progress.
  • SMPA timely fulfilled all of its obligations for the $5000 grant we received last fall for the purchase of three semi-permanent pickleball nets. We are hoping to apply for similar grants in the near future depending upon demand.
  • SMPA members Larry Kirchner, Jeff Jolley and Drew Thoresen volunteered to conduct nine week “skills and drills” class at South Park. Registrants exceeded capacity and to date the class has received rave reviews. Hopefully similar classes can be offered in the Spring. If any members are interested in volunteering to hold classes on any aspect of pickleball this Spring please contact me.
  • We continue to plan for and explore more fun events for this year. Tournaments? Leagues? Clinics? Open Play? We’ll keep you apprised as they develop.
  • Our first SMPA Member’s Meeting is set for the afternoon of April 7th at the Rainier Community Center. There will be a very short business meeting in order to introduce our Board members, and all for member input. This will be followed with open pickleball play on courts reserved for dues-paid members who attend the meeting. Directors will be available to answer member questions throughout the afternoon. We look forward to seeing you all there.

Thank you for your continuing support of SMPA and for all that each of you do as ambassadors of pickleball! See you on the pickleball courts.

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association

Jerry Kindinger, President

Your SMPA Membership – Join and Volunteer

February 2019 marks the first renewal emails on their way to encourage our association members to re-up their membership. We’re Seattle METRO Pickleball Association because we promote and assist the growth of pickleball all around the Seattle area. You can help us grow.

The SMPA Board is made up of pickleball players who, like many of you, grow frustrated by long waits to play or by the appalling lack of courts in the Seattle area. We volunteer our time, energy, and money to build and sustain this organization with the mission of growing pickleball play opportunities in Seattle. We need your help, as a member of our still growing organization, to do the work required: hold play events, assist in membership drives, teach clinics, and help plan SMPA events throughout the year.

Want to do more? We’d love to get you involved with our ongoing activities. If you have marketing or event-planning, fund raising or other skills, send us a message to and we promise to get back to you quickly and find a good fit for your skills.


December 2018 Newsletter

What’s with the Pickleball Pilot Program?

The City of Seattle completed the Pickleball Pilot Program that ran officially from October 2017 to October 2018. During that period, they painted 24 courts at 7 different tennis courts around the City.

What we know is this:

  • Green Lake rocked, and continues to rock pickleball, what with 45+ players showing up on the weekends. That’s pretty incredible, considering that the Green Lake northeast tennis courts were painted for only two pickleball courts. Ever resourceful, the SMPA guys, Sean and Frank, who reserved the courts and managed them all summer and into the fall, simply taped out more courts as needed. We “built” ’em, and players came.
  • Miller Playfield had four pickleball courts painted out, and now have a semipermanent net there as well, and hosted a steady stream of players for Thursday night play under the lights. Yes, lights. Outside. Fun times, and as soon as the winter weather abates, we expect it to be a popular Central District pickleball hotspot to supplement their indoor play.
  • Soundview Courts in the Olympic Hills/Crown Hill area of northwest Seattle let us run a summer pickleball league as a pilot program. And we’ve heard anecdotally from players that live in that area that the courts have been a great addition to the park there. Quiet now, you can check out nets and start playing there on dry winter days.
  • Discovery Park was the site for our Seattle Metro Classic tournament, a fun couple of weekends that let us cut our teeth on running a tournament. Don’t let the lack of nets stop you: let the Parks Department know that we need more nets. Semipermanent ones would be great.
  • West Seattle, too, saw a steady stream of players making use of their outdoor courts to help manage the overflow at Delridge Community Center and to enjoy the lovely summer weather. Fun games, good friends, hot pickleball.
  • Georgetown drew some local players, and South Park is just too unhealthy to play at. Between basketball posts too close to the back line and Highway 99 trucks dumping diesel exhaust right onto the court, outdoor play there is not an option. However, indoors, Monday-Wednesday-Friday play is hotly competitive. Having outdoor courts for the overflow would be great. Someday.

And what the city of Seattle Parks knows now is that the demand for pickleball courts grows weekly and will only increase. If there are any limits at all, it’s the lack of courts. Indoor, outdoor, pickleball deserves a permanent place in their budgeting and long-term plans. SMPA meets with the project planners to stay on top of their plans, and to continue to press for courts.

Seattle Pickleball Players at USAPA National Pickleball Championships

For all who went to the desert to play or simply watch the Pickleball matches at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, the consensus is that it was a complete blast. The intense heat of the first few days was a sideshow to some really great pickleball. Imagine being at summer camp where all the cool counselors are the best pickleball players in the country, if not the world. Top professionals, local legends, players of all ages (amazing pre-teen players from Southern California), and abilities, with play starting at 3.0 level up to the professionals made for great games from dawn until the lights shut down around midnight. There were no losers here, as the USAPA created and managed a spectacular tournament.

John Lui reaches for a low shot while David Park defends his court in the 3.5 Men’s Doubles

Seattle and the metro area were well represented up and down the age and skill spectrum at the USAPA National Pickleball Championships in Indian Wells, California this past November. This isn’t a comprehensive list, so if we missed someone, please let us know.

  • Senior pickleball locals Gil Middleton and Yim Lee competed in the 80+ division men’s doubles, and Yim took home bronze in singles.
  • David Park and John Lui competed in the Men’s Doubles 3.5 and 35+, and while they didn’t win a medal, John took home Gold for his singles play.

USAPA deserves many kudos for a well run tournament that showcased the sport for a national audience and with free entry, let local fanatics fill the stands and crowd around the courts every day to take in the non-stadium court play. Stadium court, reserved for medal matches and celebrity play, sold out for the last few days of the tournament, and the fireworks on the court helped offset the cool night air. If you weren’t among those who took to the desert for the event this year, book your hotel now for next year. USAPA has a few registration changes in store, but there’ll be plenty of time to let that settle while those who want to play with their counterparts from across the US can start working on their pickleball games. You’ll want to be there.

Fran Myer inducted into the USAPA Pickleball Hall of Fame

Fran Myer likens her induction to the USAPA Pickleball Hall of fame to a Forrest Gump moment, because she feels like she’s been running around, learning how to play pickleball, dragging others onto the courts, building out a pickleball sales business, playing tournaments, organizing the first National Pickleball Tournament, and is still surprised to be honored for her work.

“I wasn’t an athlete,” says the height-challenged player, “and my background was in ballet from the age of 5 until 12, piano throughout high school. I had a lot of music in my background.” Fran attended the University of Washington, where she met her PE requirement by taking a swim test, which when she failed, meant she had to take swimming. Fortunately for the pickleball world, she passed up swimming post college and found another passion, pickleball.

“I was working at UW and they had a pickleball court at the IMA (intramural sports facility),” and Fran took to dragging her coworkers from the Urban Horticulture Center, now the UW Botanical Gardens) to play, “and I brought the paddles and the balls and got these people to come.”

Not much later, she gave in to the allure of tournament play. In fact, that’s where she met her husband Barney. Another Hall of Famer, Sid Williams, tagged Fran to play with some guy needing a partner. They played together, and then several tournaments later, played again. They met in 2000 and married in 2002. Together, they took Fran’s early work on and grew what she started as a website to offer up rules, how to build courts, and so on. “People would email me and ask me where to buy this (pickleball) stuff, and I’d send them to Pickleball Inc. This kept happening over and over. Eventually, I just started selling pickleball stuff myself.”

We went on to talk about the long nights packaging up equipment to ship around the globe. “We wound up selling to people all over the world, Guam, Singapore, Cypress, and even Fiji. And all the states.”

By the time Fran’s husband passed away in 2014, Fran and her pickleball venture, and her reputation as a teacher and organizer, were already Hall-of-Fame worthy. The first National tournaments existed because of the efforts of Fran and the handful of Seattle players working to grow the sport. But the bright lights of Indian Wells not only dazzled the 2000-plus players there, but shone brightly on Fran Myer as she was recognized for her work to develop pickleball.

When asked what she wants for pickleball moving forward, Fran said, “Where it’s headed, given the fact that it has grown so fast, it’ll become an Olympic sport. It won’t be very much longer before people will start lobbying for including it in the Olympics.”

Fran acknowledged, “The thing is, pickleball grew so quickly that it’s hard to keep up with it. Before we could even say we needed a computerized program to manage the tournaments, we were already getting so many people signing up for them, you just have to run to keep up.” She said that personally, she “wanted there to be pickleball no matter where (she) went…Hartford, CT, Ashland, OR, and California.”

She concluded that “I totally believe in this sport for the health benefits. You’re a winner because you’re out there playing.”

Registration is open for International Indoor Pickleball Championships

Calling all indoor pickleball players. Registration opened this weekend for the International Indoor Pickleball Championship (IIPC) at NW Sports Hub, Centralia, WA, Tuesday 03/26/19 thru Sunday 03/31/19. This excellent tournament is a qualifying event for those who plan to play in the USAPA National Pickleball Championship in 2019.

In the opening hours of registration, the tournament drew 160 players of what will likely wind up being around 500 or more participants. You can play, volunteer, referee, and otherwise meet and enjoy pickleball with an international crowd. This tournament tends to pull some of our Canadian pickleballers across the border, so come and join the fun, eh? See and navigate to the registration page to sign up for this great indoor venue.

And in other news…

Looking for games during the winter?

Seattle evening and weekend pickleball is being preempted by the children’s basketball season. There are still some options available, and here’s what we’re suggesting. send an email to Christopher Williams, the Parks superintendent, and also to the Board of Park Commissioners. No single email is going to change their stance, but the more they hear from pickleball players, the better.

Eckstein Middle School Pickleball Update

The organizers for this project to resuscitate the existing school courts for pickleball have scheduled a meeting for December 3rd (Monday) at 6:30 – 7:30 PM (meeting room open at 6:15) in the Seattle Public Library NE Branch (35th Ave and NE 68th St). The purpose of the meeting is to provide general information about what is coming in the months ahead, solicit initial project feedback and answer any questions.

Still More Seattle City Planning on the Horizon

Seattle Parks department’s planning process is underway. There should be an opportunity for public comments on the plan in the Spring. We’ll keep you posted if we learn anything new on this.

Holiday Gift Planning

We’re Seattle METRO Pickleball Association for a reason, and that means we want to promote and assist in the growth of pickleball all around the area. Help us grow and plan to get involved with our activities.

If you’re looking for a holiday gift for your favorite partner…

An SMPA membership makes for wonderful gift any time of the year. At twenty bucks (US) and no wrapping, you’ve checked off a gift and helped SMPA grow our membership.

Want to give something more?

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association is a registered 501c3 organization, yes, non-profit, and your year-end, tax deductible contributions would be both deeply appreciated and 100% used to promote pickleball in the area. And ultimately? Your gift will help SMPA in our important work of creating and increasing pickleball play opportunities.

Calling all wannabe refs

2019 promises more tournament action than ever, and therefore will require more refs for sanctioned and nonsanctioned tournaments alike. While we don’t have any specific workshops for refs on the schedule yet, we hope to get a series going early in the next year. Between the International Indoor Pickleball Championship in Centralia in March 2019, and a late-July regional tournament (details being ironed out) in Shoreline, the demand for referees is growing. Keep an eye on the SMPA website, follow the newsletter, and we’ll let you know as soon as something’s on the schedule.

Message from the President

Greetings all,

In the last two months, SMPA has been working to implement the board’s strategic plan goals set out in the last newsletter. Not always very visible to the members, our Board activities include:

  • Investigating several potential sites for dedicated pickleball courts. Our committee has begun to evaluate them using a common set of criteria approved by SPR. We are winnowing the list to focus on sites that will best serve the metropolitan area and the strong demand for more courts. All of this work is in the preliminary stages, but we will keep you informed of our progress as substantive recommendations evolve.
  • As part of the effort of engaging with the City of Seattle to help develop more pickleball courts, SMPA Board members received orientation from SPR on the use and application of the Racial, Equity and Justice tool kit which the City wants included in any analysis of potential courts on city property. The purpose of this tool kit is to provide a means of ensuring availability of city programs and facilities to persons of diverse demographic backgrounds and geographic areas. This intense work is something we gladly took on in the interest of developing pickleball for all.
  • SMPA accepted an invitation from the Seattle School District to make a presentation in February to an annual conference of physical education teachers in order to educate them about pickleball and suggest a format by which PE teachers of middle school students can teach and play pickleball in PE classes. This is part of our commitment to introduce our sport to others.
  • SMPA jumped in to help out the Green Lake Community Center when they started their “Introduction to Pickleball” Saturday classes without an instructor. A number of SMPA members filled in to make sure that the group will leave the 5 week class well grounded in pickleball basics.
  • We are exploring new and exciting pickleball events for next year and look forward to sharing these with you in the coming months as planning progresses and the events become more definite. Tournaments? Leagues? Keep tuned.

On behalf or our entire board of directors, I send you our best wishes for happy, healthy and safe holidays. We are looking forward an exciting 2019.

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association

Jerry Kindinger, President


Fall 2018 Newsletter

SMPA turns One

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) continues to work to grow pickleball in the wider Seattle metro area. We meet monthly with the City of Seattle to address the issue of outdoor court venues and access, and work where we’re needed to help surrounding areas as they, too, work with their local parks departments to develop access to more courts.

Meet our Board and check out the Action Alert page for ways to get involved and speak up when we need to show force and numbers of players. And consider joining! For a mere $20 a year, your annual membership will help us in our quest to drive pickleball as a sport to be reckoned with when we deal with local Parks folks.

Semi-Permanent Pickleball Nets

October 2018

Delivered just in time for the rainy season, SMPA applied for a grant from the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhood’s Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) to the tune of $5,000. With this money we ordered three sturdy, high quality Douglas pickleball nets and distributed them between Green Lake Pickleball Courts (2) and Miller Playfield outdoor courts. Yes, we know dedicated courts would be even better, however we also know that where there are nets up already during the playing hours, pickleball players will come and they will play. Check out this photo from the first games on Green Lake courts. Have paddle, will play. Are you with us? The last Saturday in October had 55 people at Green Lake vying for 6 courts.

Summer in the City: Teens, Leagues, Tournaments, and Pickleball in the Park

SMPA had a busy summer, offering the first of league play, a couple of tournaments, more Pickleball in the Park events, and a pickleball shootout on the 4th of July.

Pickleball in the Park

Following on a very successful Pickleball in the Park event at Green Lake pickleball courts in May 2018, SMPA held additional events at Miller Playfield and Delridge Courts (West Seattle). Pickleball players old and new turned out for the instructional clinic, skills contests, and open play. The SRO event helped grow the membership, introduce the game to some new players, and let some of the current players hone their skills. Overall a success, the Pickleball in the Park events showed that the work SMPA did with the city to get courts painted is paying dividends by giving us venues to showcase the sport.


Sixteen avid pickleball players turned up at Soundview courts in the Olympic Hills area of Seattle to play a weekly league in July. This first league event let the SMPA Play committee assess interest and work out the details of renting and using the city-painted pickleball courts in the shared-with-tennis world. Great play, improved skills, new friendships, and a determination to expand the offering resulted, so stay tuned to our SMPA website (and FaceBook) for more. Erin O’Rourke and Jeff Dye captured Gold, Stephanie Leeper and Frank Chiappone took silver and the Bronze went to Justine Park and Aaron Gooze. Thanks to all the participants for a fun summer event. And many thanks to Frank Chiappone for his hard work on organizing and managing the nascent league play.

Seattle Metro Classic Pickleball Tournament

This classic in the making was SMPA’s first step in providing tournament play in Seattle. Held at Discovery Park, the tournaments, with 3.5 and 4.0 skill level events, faced challenges from weather and last-minute signups to fill the brackets, but was a great success for all involved. Want more? Consider joining the Play or Events committees and help us do more of these. Oh, and you want to know the winners, too:

  • 3.5 Tournament:
    • Mixed Doubles: Gold: Justine Park and John Lui; Silver: Heather Carter and Mike Givens; Bronze: Ying Zhao and Frank Chiappone.
    • Women’s Doubles: Gold: Heather Carter and Cynthia Concannon; Silver: Ying Zhao and Erin O’Rourke;Bronze: Margo Huang and Patty Vanderhoeven
    • Men’s Doubles: Gold: Scott Smith and Jason Pauley; Silver: Mike Givens and Paul Matthewson; Bronze: John Lui and David Park
  • 4.0 Tournament:
    • Mixed Doubles: Gold: Karen Arango and Oscar Montes; Silver: Christie Gestvang and Seth Caswell; Bronze: Heather Carter and Walter Wiedeman
    • Men’s Doubles: Gold: Jason Pauley and Ryan Shipman; Silver: Paul Matthewson and Maurice Parobec; Bronze: Jeff Dye and Frank Chiappone

July 4th Pickleball Shootout at Green Lake

What a great way to work out before the holiday picnics, with a full morning of competitive pickleball play. A happy dozen or so players showed up at Green Lake Pickleball courts to play a shootout format. The winners and losers agree: a fun morning and a good template for future holidays. Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, Labor Day…you name it, and the Play committee will consider.

Teen Night at South Park

Led by SMPA member Dan McGee, with the able assistance from SMPA Board members Jerry, Frank, Sean, and Tom, we took over the Friday night teen play at South Park Community Center to introduce the game of pickleball. So maybe we had more fun than the kids, however we hope we showed them another way to make use of their gym time, and maybe there will be a future player or two who emerges from this group.

Pickleball in the National News Headlines

Pickleball is growing and growing and growing

The Outdoor Industry Association latest data ( shows that pickleball is growing at a rate of 10% or more per year, while tennis is flat or declining. If that trend continues, there will be about half as many pickleball players as tennis players in 10 years from now. We know it’s high time to start planning for pickleball complexes in the Seattle Metro Area! And we want your input, so please make any additions to our own growing list by sending a note to and we’ll add to our list. Don’t worry, we’ll share that information as we develop our criteria, so check back in the next newsletter or check the Seattle Metro Pickleball site.

Can pickleball help you live longer?

We know it, and we work hard at our games, and now Loma Linda has picked up on the trend and offers their proof of pickleball as a way of living, and staying healthy, for longer. View their report:

We see it as another good argument for Seattle Metro area pickleball complexes!

Out of Utah: Dedicated pickleball courts reduces crime

Utah enjoys St. George as a pickleball Mecca. Their neighbor to the north, Orem, Utah is reporting crime reduction as well.
Time for pickleball complexes around the Seattle metro area, don’t you think!

Around the Metro area

We adopted the name of Seattle METRO Pickleball Association for a reason, and that means we want to promote and assist in the growth of pickleball all around the area.

New pickleball courts in Shoreline

Shoreview Park has new play surfaces and with that, pickleball courts got painted. What’s next? You can haul nets there to play with a lovely water view. And, not to tip our hands, but there may be a major summer tournament brewing for that location. Stay tuned! And thank you to founding and former Board member Patrick Johnson for his work on developing this opportunity.

New pickleball complex in Sequim

Sequim’s pickleball community raised $216,000 to supplement city funding and took a couple of years to complete their beautiful pickleball complex. Their first tournament was hit by a rainy day, but they played anyway, as desperate pickleballers will do. Think it’s time for pickleball complexes in the Seattle Metro Area? We do!

And in other news…

URGENT – 4th Annual Pickleball Halloween Pickleball Play Day at Mercer Island

Mercer Island pickleball players aren’t always serious when it comes to court time. They can party, too! Mercer Island Community Center invites pickleball players to come to their Pickleball Play on Wednesday, October 31. They’ve scheduled:

  • Parade of costumes at 11:15 AM
  • Costume awards ceremony at 11:30 AM (Best costume, Best in play, Best pickle (people’s choice)
  • Open play as usual follows

Help the Friends of Eckstein Middle School Pickleball

If you’re on our mailing list or follow our our Facebook page or view Time for Pickleball, you’ve seen the requests from the folks who are trying to get some old tennis courts repurposed as pickleball courts. These planned pickleball courts will be off limits during the school operating hours, although available after school and on weekends, and likely all summer, and allow the school to develop a pickleball component in their program. Please take their survey here.

Seattle Pickleball Pilot Survey

Survey closed October 31, 2018

Thank you to the 246 of you who answered the Seattle Parks Department’s Pickleball Pilot Program Survey. Given that they aren’t otherwise collecting usage numbers at the venues where regular play is happening, the high number of respondents helped let them know just how many of us are urging them to move faster to get us more courts and more court time. Thank you to all who responded to our FaceBook link and emailed requests! Numbers count.

More Seattle City Planning on the Horizon

The city of Seattle Parks department is starting a new planning process. There should be an opportunity for public comments on the plan in the Spring. We’ll keep you posted. If you hear of other planning activities going on in or around Seattle, let us know.

Thanks and goodbye to Board members Stan and Jimi and welcome Tom!

Launching SMPA required pickleball players with vision, energy, and drive to meet and do the ground work to become the nonprofit metro association we are building. Stan Jonasson was one of the first local players to answer the call, and he brought business acumen and energy to launch the first membership drives. He leaves us with his move to Port Townsend, but never fear, he’s upping the level of play for everyone there. Thank you, Stan, for your early efforts to build SMPA.

Another person critical to our initial work and success is departing Board member Jimi Vernie, who’s leaving the board but not West Seattle pickleball so that she can handle a family issue. As the governmental liaison, Jimi was essential in building the great relationships we continue to enjoy with the City of Seattle. Look for her at Delridge when you play in West Seattle, and help us express our deep gratitude to Jimi for her efforts to grow pickleball.

If you attended a Pickleball in the park event, you got some great instruction from our newest Board member, Tom Grubb. He regularly teaches in Burien and plays all over Seattle and will be a key part of our efforts to develop more pickleball venues, particularly as we work to develop dedicated pickleball facilities in the metro area. Welcome, Tom, you’re a great addition to our Board of Directors.

Message from the President

The SMPA Board honored our first year as a nonprofit by adopting some specific strategic goals for the organization. Our mission of growing the sport of pickleball and increasing accessibility of venues, has not changed. To this end, we have committed to concentrate on the following areas for the next year, and invite everyone to help us in these efforts.

  • Dedicated pickleball courts — Ultimately, we seek dedicated outdoor PB courts as well as an indoor facility. We recognize that this goal may not be achieved in 2018, but we unanimously agreed to begin working toward this achievement now and to make future decisions with this goal in mind.
  • More pickleball play opportunities for all persons — We committed to explore ways to involve more play for existing PB players as well as to seek to introduce this sport to others. This is a multi-faceted undertaking. We intend to collect data from SPR and other sources in order to determine how and when and where most play is occurring and to identify areas of need to improve availability of courts throughout the Seattle metropolitan area at times useful to persons of all demographic backgrounds. We have discussed holding more open play and clinics in order to expand our PB reach to others who may not have (or know about) this opportunity.
  • Increase involvement and participation in SMPA — We have added additional committees in order to better serve our mission and invited SMPA members to serve on these committees. We also plan to expand our existing board and improve geographic and demographic representation. We intend to continue working on increasing our membership to ensure that SMPA speaks with the strongest voice possible in promoting our mission.

None of this is possible without the engagement and support of the Seattle metro area pickleball community. As you’ve read the newsletter, perhaps you have seen some area that calls out to you to be involved. We have a number of committees that do the work to promote pickleball and engage with the city departments regarding pickleball issues. Please let us know about any areas of interest to you. Email Any assistance is welcome and appreciated.

Paddles up, and we’ll see you on the pickleball courts!

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association

Jerry Kindinger, President


May 2018 Newsleter



President’s Perspective
Pickleball in the Park
Court News
New T-Shirts
Member Spotlight
New Board Members
Please Forward


President’s Perspective

Hello Metro pickleballers,

I want to share what the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association has been doing to promote the sport we love since last month’s newsletter.

In April, we added two new directors to our board, Sean Oldridge and Frank Chiappone. Both of these SMPA members are passionate about pickleball and have already made important contributions to our organization.

We are pleased to announce that on May 9, 2018 we received an official Internal Revenue Service notification that SMPA is classified as a public charity exempt from federal income tax. For our members this means that any donations, including annual dues, can be deducted on their federal tax returns. The effective date is retroactive to September 19, 2017, the date of SMPA’s incorporation.

We have organized weekly open play at Green Lake on Thursdays from 5:30 PM to sunset and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 AM to noon. This is a wonderful outdoor venue at which the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department has (with support from SMPA) lined for pickleball as part of a pilot program to gage the need for more courts. So please come play. No reservations are necessary. Just show up. Optional $2 donations are accepted to help defray permit costs.

From my personal experience I can say that this is a very fun experience and an excellent opportunity to meet new players. Directors Frank and Sean set up the courts each week and welcome all comers. SMPA is also working on establishing other open play venues. Stay tuned.

This month we are excited to sponsor two free play and learn events at different venues. The first of which was held Saturday, May 12th, at Green Lake where more than 100 pickleball players from the metro area gathered for four hours of fun on a beautiful sunny day by the lake. We had two free clinics, open play, and lots of discussion about how we can work together to get more courts and more play for pickleball in the Seattle area.

If you missed it, we’re hosting another Pickleball in the Park event on May 26th, this time at the Miller Playfield pickleball courts in the heart of Capitol Hill. You can read more about both events below.

Our membership is growing but we need your support, so if you haven’t yet done so, please join us! We have revised the application form on our website so that it is more user friendly. I look forward to seeing you all on the courts.



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Pickleball in the Park

SMPA is hosting another Pickleball in the Park event, this time at the Miller Playfield pickleball courts on Saturday, May 26, 2018 from 10 AM – 2 PM.

Grab your paddle, come play some pickleball, and learn about the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association!

There’ll be free pickleball clinics from IPTPA Certified Pickleball coach Tom Grubb with open play on the four Miller Playfield pickleball courts at 330 19th Avenue East, Seattle.

Learn more about SMPA, how you can become a member, and add your voice to the growing number of players working to promote the sport of pickleball and expand available facilities and playing times in the Seattle metro area.


  • Free intermediate player clinic at 10 AM
  • Free advanced beginner player clinic at 11 AM
  • Free drop in play (all levels) from 10 AM to 2 PM

These are outdoor courts, so check our Seattle Metro Pickleball Association Facebook page the day of the event for any weather-related changes.

Recap: Pickleball at the Park – Green Lake

Thanks to everyone who came out Saturday, May 12th to support our SMPA event at Green Lake.

Thanks as well to Tom Grubb who donated his time and energy to put on two fabulous clinics. He also hung around after to offer individual tips, and he was seen on the court getting a game or two. Well done Tom!

A score of volunteers made sure everything ran smoothly, and it would be a big miss if they didn’t get a shout out and huge thanks for their help and good cheer throughout the day.

Hopefully, those of you who were there learned something new, made some new friends, and played some exciting games.

There was some wait in between games, and we had to play shortened games, but that’s exactly the reason why we need to keep raising our voices (and our paddles) to let the city know we need more courts and more play.

Finally, welcome, to those of you who signed up as new SMPA members. We’re excited to have you as part of our growing community and join us as an agent of change for pickleball throughout the Seattle Metro area.

Check out the entire gallery of photos from this fun event here on the SMPA website.

For those who have not yet joined, if you believe that there should be more opportunities to play pickleball in the Seattle Metro area, then hit this button, have your credit card handy, and with a few simple steps, join.

Choose from either a 1-year $20 membership, or a lifetime $500 membership. Your dues will support SMPA initiatives and entitles you to SMPA member benefits. And it’s tax deductible!

By the way, we heard your feedback and have streamlined the sign-up process.

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Court News

Action Alert: Public input needed regarding dedicated outdoor pickleball courts in Bellevue

The city of Bellevue is considering converting the single Sunset Park tennis court into two or three dedicated pickleball courts. (Unfortunately, this tennis court is too small to comfortably fit four pickleball courts.) The city is seeking public comments by June 6 at which point we expect them to tally the votes “for” and “against” this project. We need pickleball enthusiasts to stand up and be counted. Please send an email to Lynde Wallick today to voice your support for this project.

Read more about this project and how you can help get more pickleball courts for Eastside play by visiting our Action Alert page.

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New T-Shirts Available

Many of you asked for an SMPA t-shirt in both men’s and women’s style, using a quick-dry material that would be better suited for summer play. Well, good news, the new t-shirts are here: new color (black), new material, and all new style for both men and women, same great SMPA logo!

The new shirts sell for $25. Look for us at events, community centers and courts across the metro area to purchase your new SMPA t-shirt.

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Member Spotlight: Meet the Donovans

Congratulations to SMPA members Roberta and John Donovan, Gold Medal winners in the 3.0 70+ mixed division at the 2017 USAPA National Championships. When home in Seattle for the summers, Roberta and John play at Jefferson Park, South Park and Pickleball Station in Kent and occasionally at Delridge and Hiawatha in West Seattle.

The Donovans got hooked on pickleball 5 years ago and started playing in tournaments just last year when John was asked to fill in for a sick partner. In addition to winning at Nationals, they claimed gold at the Grand Canyon State Games as well.

In their own words:
“We love the workout we get in pickleball both physically and mentally. We have found the mental game is much bigger than we originally thought during the first few years. There is a wealth of information on the internet regarding playing and thinking. One of our favorites is Sarah Ansboury, she offers great insight into the game.”

Paddle of choice: Selkirk. Roberta uses the Selkirk Omni Graphite (Chris Peterson signature design) 7.1 oz. John uses the Selkirk Omni Amped Fiberflex at 7.5 oz.

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New Members of the SMPA Board

Frank Chiappone
Frank Chiappone, Secretary

Frank is a former sports anchor/reporter at KOMO-TV in Seattle where he once won an Emmy for synchronized swimming although he didn’t actually synch or swim. Now at Microsoft, he helps teachers and students do great things using technology in their classrooms.

At home, He has a wife, Bert, and three college kids, Frankie, Alle and Ella, who encourage his pickleball obsession and will occasionally play with him.

Life before pickleball is a little hazy, but he vaguely remembers enjoying sports of all kind, cooking, DIY house projects and playing the ukulele.

He plays pickleball at least three times a week wherever he can, mostly in North Seattle, but has also played in Florida, Arizona, Texas and Hawaii, but not on the same day.

Sean Oldridge
Sean Oldridge,

Sean has worked at Microsoft for the past 26 years as a Software Engineer, most recently on the Office team.

He and his wife, Erin, have been married for 20 years and have a daughter in high school, and a son in college.

After playing soccer for over 25 years, his body was aching for a new sport. Sean was introduced to Pickleball almost a year ago, and has become infatuated with playing and promoting the sport since.

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Please Forward

Please share this newsletter with your pickleball friends.

If someone forwarded the newsletter link to you and you would like to be notified directly next time, ask us to put you on our contact list with an email to or, better yet, join SMPA.


April 2018 Newsletter


President’s Perspective
Membership Drive
Notes & Updates
Meet the Board

President’s Perspective

Hello everyone and welcome to our first newsletter. We are excited for the opportunity to introduce our recently formed nonprofit organization, Seattle Metro Pickleball Association. We urge you to join the SMPA.  You can do so by clicking on the big green button below. Our goal is to build an organization comprised of pickleball players interested in promoting the sport of pickleball, expanding available facilities and playing times, and some day hosting a variety of events, clinics and tournaments in the Seattle area. Through building a large membership we hope to be able to represent and meet the needs of all players in the Seattle metropolitan area more effectively than has been done to date.

We plan that this newsletter will become a regular publication and be devoted to informing the pickleball playing public about recent and upcoming activities on the Seattle pickleball scene, and goals we have for adding pickleball facilities and activities to our area. We intend to provide status reports on our progress and other information of interest.

We have been busy over the last year. We have applied for a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS. That application is pending and should be approved within the next several weeks. We have collected a comprehensive list of pickleball venues in the Seattle Metro area to help you find more opportunities to play. We have participated in several meetings with Seattle Parks and Recreation representatives. Because of these meetings and efforts of many pickleball enthusiasts, several existing outdoor tennis courts have added pickleball lines. The Parks department has worked with us to provide outdoor nets and balls at many community centers. We have also been working to obtain additional courts. This is a start. Our long-term dreams are to develop dedicated pickleball courts all over the greater Seattle Metro area. To accomplish this, we will need support of players throughout the greater metropolitan area.  We are excited about the future of pickleball for Seattle. Come join us!



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SMPA members play at Maple Leaf Par

Announcing the 2018 membership drive

To achieve our goals of increasing the number of players and places to play pickleball in the Seattle metro area, we need to strengthen our organization and continue to be a unified voice with governments and decision makers. We must reach out to our communities and introduce the game to others and teach them to play and love the sport as we do. We need your energy, your voice and your support.

Thank you for subscribing and staying up to date on our progress. We invite you to officially become a member of the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association with either a 1-year $20 membership, or a lifetime $500 membership. Your dues will support SMPA initiatives and entitles you to SMPA member benefits .

Join now and contribute to an association where all members share the same vision. There will also be opportunities to help us fundraise, spread the word, or volunteer your time and talents to that end.

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Pickleball at Yost Park in Edmonds

Notes and Updates

To achieve our goals of increasing the number of players and places to pickleball in the Seattle metro area, we need to strengthen our organization and continue to be a unified voice with governments and decision makers. We must reach out to our communities and introduce the game to others and teach them to play and love the sport as we do. We need your energy, your voice and your support.

Seattle Parks and Rec Pickleball Conversion Pilot

Seattle Parks and Rec’s (SPR) Pickleball Pilot Project is in full swing throughout the metro area! This is an opportunity to show the SPR leadership that pickleball players are out there; we are growing in numbers and we need more venues and more opportunities to play.

The 24 courts are lined on tennis courts in 7 parks. You can find the list here .

The success of the pilot program will be determined by several factors including how often the courts are reserved and how frequently the equipment is checked out (information below). There will also be random site checks to monitor use of the courts.

SPR is encouraging feedback from players. Helpful information would include` safety issues, courts in disrepair, difficulty checking out equipment or simply not enough courts to accommodate all players. Send your feedback by email or call 206-233-0063

Here are the instructions from SPR on how to check out equipment:

Pickleball equipment is available for free check-out at the front desks of the following community centers:

  • Delridge Community Center
  • Discovery Park Environmental Learning Center
  • Green Lake Community Center
  • Miller Community Center
  • South Park Community Center

To reserve the equipment:

Fill out the equipment check-out form with your information. You do not need to leave an i.d. or any form of collateral with community center staff.

Please note that the equipment is heavy (approx 25lbs) and cumbersome. SPR staff can only assist with exchanging the equipment at the front desk. Staff are not available to transport equipment.

As part of the pilot program overnight check-out is available. Equipment checked out overnight must be returned the next day (the center is open) within an hour after the center has opened to allow the equipment to be available for other users. Should the equipment not be returned, the user will be responsible for the cost of replacement.

Sign up and reserve your court time today! Reservations have priority over drop-in play. Information on reservations for outdoor courts can be found here:

SMPA members Sean Oldridge and Frank Chiappone have volunteered to host drop in play at the Green Lake Park courts every Saturday and Sunday from 9am – 12pm. They’ll get to the courts early and have the nets set up and ready to go so all you need to do is show up and play!

We are looking for volunteers to organize and host drop in play at other pilot locations. If you’re interested, or just want more information, post a message for Sean and Frank on the North Seattle Pickleball Players Facebook page.

The Pilot Project comes to an end October 31, 2018. Go out and play, have fun, and let’s make this pilot project a big success.

Drop in play at Green Lake Tennis and Pickleball courts every Saturday and Sunday 9am – 12pm

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Meet the Board

Jerry Kindinger, President

Jerry took up pickleball in the Summer of 2016 after retiring from the long-time practice of law in the Seattle area. Pickleball is his new passion.

Jerry is married to Marcia, and they have a grown married daughter, Kerry. He and Marcia play pickleball several times a week at various venues in Central and South Seattle.

He is one of the founders of the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association along with several other enthusiasts who are interested in expanding available pickleball facilities and events and introducing this fantastic game to others.

Theresa Haynie, Vice President/Secretary

Theresa took up pickleball after a summer of being net hauler and line-painter for the pickleball courts on Orcas Island. Married to an avid pickleball player, Theresa accompanies her wife Kathy to the occasional tournament, and makes certain the paddles are always packed for any and all travels.

Theresa schedules her technical writing workday around pickleball play at various Seattle community centers. As one of the SMPA founders, she believes strongly in giving back to the sport by working to improve playing opportunities throughout the Seattle metro area. Favorite outdoor venues: Green Lake and Buck Park on Orcas. Favorite indoor venue: Pickleball Station in Kent.

Drew Thoresen, Treasurer

Drew retired in 2007 and currently lives in West Seattle.

He is one of the founders of Seattle Metro Pickleball Association and first played pickleball in the early 1980’s, took it up again 3 years ago and now plays mostly in West Seattle.

He previously worked as a CPA, Controller, CFO and a founder/co-owner of two small businesses.

Sandra Goldade, Director

Sandra currently works at Boeing but will be retiring in a few months. She has one son, Max.

Sandra has been playing pickleball (and volleyball) for 15 years, first starting as a way to spend more time with her 94-year old dad. There is some humor in hearing a 60-something woman yelling “Dad!” in a group of people over 55.

An SMPA founder and part of the membership committee, Sandra plays several times a week at 3 gyms in West Seattle.

Jimi Vernie, Director

Jimi is a retired teacher who left small-town eastern Washington life and moved to Seattle with her husband in 2000. They started playing pickleball to get acquainted with the community. They were quickly hooked and now play 4 to 5 times a week.

Jimi has a daughter, step-daughter, a step-son, 5 grandchildren, and as of 6 months ago, a great-grandchild!

Jimi enjoys helping people make connections to other people and to our pickleball community. A founding member of the SMPA, she played a key role in the SPR Pickleball Pilot Project.

Stan Jonasson, Director

Stan is a retired Seattle small businesses owner. He moved to Seattle in 1980 from his native state of Idaho, and has been here ever since, except for one year living in New Zealand.

Stan and his wife, Linda, live in Ballard. He has two adult daughters and a step-son. Three years ago, Linda took Stan to a pickleball class and he was smitten. He is a founding member of SMPA and sits on the membership committee. Stan also volunteers for several environmental organizations.

Miguel de Campos, Director

Miguel must have been a dog in one of his previous lives because when he sees a moving ball he has to go fetch it and return it to wherever it came from.

When he is not coaxing pickleballs with a paddle, you might find him kicking them with his foot or trying to trap them with his chest, both old reflexes from his soccer playing days

When no balls are around, Miguel enjoys programming computers, keeping up to date, listening to music and visualizing achieving world peace through pickleball, a key reason he helped found the SMPA.

Miguel’s wife, who does not share his canine ancestry, prefers yoga, tai chi, and qigong to pickleball.