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 www.pickleballtournaments.com.

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 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 www.playtimescheduler.com 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 (infoseattlemetropickleball.com). 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 volunteersseattlemetropickleball.com and we promise to get back to you quickly and find a good fit for your skills.