July 2019 Newsletter

Smash(ing) Success

Filled with players of all skill levels, Smash Pickleball Pride Palooza took over Green Lake Pickleball Courts June 22, 2019

Pickleball players from the 2.0 level to the 4.0 level enjoyed a great Saturday of competition in June. The Smash Pickleball Pride Palooza featured nearly 100 players divvied up for the day into skills-based round robin groups. Each team got to play the others in their division 3 times, and by the sounds coming from the court and the satisfied players, yes, even those on the losing end of the matches, everyone enjoyed the event, with proceeds benefiting Lambert House in Seattle.

Organized by Smash Pickleball, a local pickleball company that runs leagues, tournaments, lessons, and also sells a great array of pickleball equipment, the day of play filled the Green Lake pickleball courts with many great matches. As players were eliminated from the brackets, the organizers encouraged them to continue playing, so that even with medal matches underway, there were seldom empty courts as each group played out their alloted time.

Just around the corner: Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic Tournament

The Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic expects to be the largest outdoor tournament yet in the Seattle metro area, with a projected 300 players ready for action on the Shoreview pickleball courts at Shoreview Park in Shoreline, WA. And there are still unfilled teams for female 4.5 and 5.0 Open play. Several male partners looking for mixed doubles partners. Check out the Players Needing Partners list on the Pickleball Tournaments registration page, and help make pickleball history. There are some great local and national players looking for a partner to get them to the medal stand. We know you’re out there.

The Tournament Committee can use every single volunteer available! All volunteer roles are important, and the Tournament team has made it easy to sign up as a volunteer through SignUp Genius.

Be sure to visit the Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic tournament Facebook page for more information about the tournament.

Camano Island Pickleball News

Want to spread your wings and get in some play just beyond the Seattle borders? The Camano Island Pickleball Club hosts several hotly competitive pickleball tournaments throughout the year at their courts and also at the local YMCA in Stanwood throughout the summer. Players attend from all over the region.

Camano Island pickleball players actively promote and participate in two large tournaments at Darnell’s Resort at Lake Chelan, WA. When you visit or play in a tournament on Camano, they make it clear that they enjoy the fun, exercise and the social aspects of pickleball, and that they’re all learning together. This summer, the club is hosting a series of Monday night clinics at the Camano Island courts.

The club plays on portable nets at the Island County Outdoor Tennis courts located at 141 N East Camano Drive, Camano Island, Washington 98282. Their play schedule of 5 to 7 days a week varies with the time of the year and weather, and play happens Sundays, then Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM. Every Saturday morning from 8:30 AM to 12 PM, they enjoy a friendly Round Robin Tournament as just another great way to get to know all the players. Check out the Camano Pickleball Facebook page.

Lastly, they invite you to sign up for the Camano Cup on August 16,17, and 18th, 2019, for a fun day of play and friendship, on top of the great competition. Details on their Facebook page.

Have you seen this on Facebook?

Seattle Parks and Recreation department has posted an informal Facebook survey asking “What recreation activities would you like to see more of in Seattle?” If you work, live or play in Seattle, this survey is for you.

We want pickleball to be well represented in the answers. So far, “roller derby” has the most support.

If you have a Facebook account, click to go to Facebook and

  • say you would like more indoor and outdoor pickleball,
  • say why you would like more indoor and outdoor pickleball,
  • “Like” the other comments that advocate for more pickleball.

If you don’t have a Facebook account, ask a friend to leave a comment in your name.

Bothell Parks and Rec’ 6-year Plan Survey

The Bothell Parks and Recreation Department is working on a new 6-year plan. If you live, work or play in Bothell, take their survey and tell them that you would like more indoor and/or outdoor pickleball.

SMPA President’s July 2019 Message

Pickleball Friends,

First the good news. The Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic Tournament is coming together nicely. As of now, 298 pickleball players have registered to play in all divisions, from 3.0 to the professionals. Over 650 matches will be played Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. There is still room in some brackets, although the deadline for registering and paying your fees is fast approaching. Don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of this great event.

Shoreview Park in Shoreline, WA hosts Saturday and Sunday pickleball

And now the more challenging news. Now through September is a crucial period for the near-term future of pickleball with the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department (SPR). SPR is tweaking the budget process, allocating funds, and making some schedule and program adjustments that are sure to affect pickleball, particularly for indoor pickleball next winter. Effective January 1, 2020, SPR plans to terminate all non-public programs that take place at various community centers throughout Seattle. That is, each community center has standard operational hours that may not be what you think; “non-public hours” are those times outside of the “standard operational hours.” Classes and activities such as yoga, Zumba, and pickleball, too, are considered non-public programs held “outside of published operating hours of the community centers.” What does that mean for pickleball? Most significantly, the available time for pickleball play will likely be decreased as other activities are squeezed into limited community center hours. In several community centers, pickleball typically happens during non-public hours. The fate of pickleball at some community centers is uncertain because those non-public hour policies go into effect as of January 2020, and some community centers will not open except for pay-to-play events. We are pressing for more information on this and expect to provide more detail after our next SPR-SMPA meeting.

What should you do? I urge every pickleball player to email SPR Superintendent Jesus Aguirre (jesus.aguirre@seattle.gov) and SPR Director of Recreation, Justin Cutler (justin.cutler@seattle.gov) . Tell them the importance of pickleball to you and all of your friends. Entreat them to add, not reduce, pickleball play opportunities both indoor and outdoors. Ask them to fund dedicated Pickleball courts at locations in the City where the number of people who play pickleball is high. Time is crucial. Decisions will be made in part based upon the input these folks receive. Importantly, after September, the City will make its budget decisions and the opportunity to effect near term change will be lost.

SMPA continues to meet every other week with SPR representatives to promote Pickleball play opportunities and to encourage addition of more outdoor courts and indoor play time. Progress with the city is painfully slow.

  • Still no final report on the results of last year’s pilot program under which several tennis courts were lined for pickleball. No report has been issued notwithstanding frequent promises that it will be forthcoming soon. We believe that this program demonstrated the significant popularity of our sport and justified not only additional outside lined courts, but creation of dedicated courts as well.
  • SPR communications regarding pickleball times for community centers remains uncoordinated.
  • In the last few days several dozen players appeared at Yesler to play only to be told they could not play and were turned away. At Loyal Heights, times were announced for play, but when players appeared, they were told time had been cut in half.

What is painfully clear is that SPR does not have its act together, and this is hurting play opportunities for many pickleball players. Your Seattle Metro Pickleball Association Board of Directors intends to stay engaged with SPR. This means that we have to broaden our contacts with the Seattle city representatives so that we can deliver our message to more people and achieve some meaningful changes for the benefit of the several hundred members of the pickleball community.

We have also begun exploring potential partnerships with third parties to explore the feasibility of developing dedicated courts available for year-round play. We plan to reach out to other cities that have taken the initiative to develop dedicated courts and gather information about their successes. We commit to keeping you posted on these efforts. In the mean time, I encourage each of you to share any ideas you have about improving pickleball opportunities in the City with me, and please continue to communicate your concerns to SPR.

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

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association

Jerry Kindinger, President

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