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.