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.