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SMPA Directors Zoom to Olympia for Senate Hearing on SB5333

Three SMPA directors are testifying via Zoom before the Senate Transportation Committee on Monday February 6th in support of the State Sport special license plate bill. Joining them are Nancy Purcell, president of the Mukilteo Everett Pickleball Club, Rose Jones of Pickleball Playground in Spokane, and Pablo Granados, who is representing the Marysville Pickleball Assn, the Lake Stevens Pickleball Assn and the Snoco County Pickleball Assn. Pablo Granados is also the executive director of DUPR in Washington State. We are excited to have them join us in presenting compelling arguments in support of the first pickleball license plate in the U.S. The hearing begins at 4 pm. Five items are on the committee agenda. The scheduled start time for SB5333 is just after 5 pm, with live video feed provided by the legislature on TVW.

The Seattle Metro Pickleball Association serves the Seattle Metro area, a population base of 3.5 million people within Seattle, King County and portions of Snohomish and Pierce Counties. The board members are unpaid volunteers committed to developing the sport and pickleball facilities not just in the Seattle Metro area but throughout the state. The SMPA is working with the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office on a large statewide grant program for athletic facilities. SMPA is working to make pickleball an official school sport in Washington through its sponsorship of pickleball leagues in schools.

Pickleball continues to grow at an accelerated rate. In 2023 the Association of Pickleball Players released a YouGov report stating that 36.5 million adult Americans played pickleball in 2022, 10 million more than tennis participation, which per the United States Tennis Association is 23.6 million. The SMPA is working hard to find solutions to meet the increasing demand for pickleball courts, including being the non-profit sponsor of this bill.

If passed, the state sport license plate will be the first pickleball license plate in the U.S.

Proceeds from State Sport license plate sales are to be used solely for the construction and maintenance of dedicated pickleball courts and are available to be used throughout Washington. The Seattle Metro Pickleball Association is happy to partner with any Washington parks and recreation department, city or municipality which has fast-tracked the construction and maintenance of dedicated pickleball courts.

The presence of pickleball plates on vehicles will increase awareness of the state sport. The license plates will be roaming advertisements for pickleball, leading to opportunities for education about the state sport as well as more pickleball courts throughout Washington. Most importantly, it will allow pickleball players to proudly display their love for the state sport.

You can help make an impact by supporting the bill. Fill out the electronic form here. Your support will be submitted directly to the Senate committee on the day of the hearing.

Please join us in the effort to pass the bill by indicating your support today!

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It’s official! The State Sport special license plate bill has been filed

The first day of Washington State’s 2023 legislative session began on Tuesday, January 10th, and Senator John Lovick wasted no time filing the State Sport special license plate bill on Wednesday, January 11th. The State Sport license plate bill recognizes the state sport of pickleball and is named Senate Bill 5333. Information about SB 5333, including status updates and the full text of the bill, is available on the Washington State Legislature website at leg.wa.gov. Proceeds from license plate sales will be used for the construction and maintenance of dedicated pickleball courts throughout Washington.

In March 2022, pickleball was officially designated the State Sport of Washington. Not long after, the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) decided that our State Sport deserves a state license plate and became the bill’s non-profit sponsor. After Senator Lovick gave his support as the bill’s legislative sponsor, SMPA began the process of collecting the necessary documents and signatures required by the Department of Licensing. The official signature launch began in September at Mariners Pickleball Night. With the help of volunteers and clubs throughout Washington, 3,855 signatures were obtained by December.

148 pages of paper petitions and over 1,200 online petition signatures exceeded the 3,500 requirement by 10%.

SMPA enlisted the help of four designers, and a poll let the public choose a favorite from eight designs. With over 50% of the vote, Pickleball Rising was the clear favorite. SMPA must still obtain Department of Licensing approval of the proposed plate, which must pass certain specifications.

The Pickleball State Sport license plate was designed by Jason Laramie of Laramie Studio in Seattle. His design was inspired by the ferry ride from Bainbridge Island, the birthplace of pickleball. The view is towards the east, where a pickleball rises like the sun over Washington State. The pickleball paddles at left are based on the commemorative OneShot paddles signed at the bill signing ceremony on Bainbridge Island.

If the bill passes during the 2023 legislative session, State Sport license plates will be available near the end of the year. The approximate cost of the pickleball license plate is $157.25 for passenger vehicle, with a $30 annual renewal fee. The display of Pickleball State Sport license plates throughout the state will be a great way to help grow the sport and attract the attention needed to build more pickleball facilities in your community and throughout Washington.

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Pickleball State Sport license plate bill ready to go to Olympia!

Signature goal met, Pickleball Rising design wins poll vote

The Seattle Metro Pickleball Association is thrilled to announce that a Pickleball State Sport license plate bill will be part of Washington’s 2023 legislative session! The minimum requirement of 3,500 signatures has been collected. The design Pickleball Rising won the poll vote, and after additional feedback, the adjusted design shown above will be submitted to the Department of Licensing.

This is Washington’s second pickleball bill in two years, and the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association is honored to participate as the bill’s non-profit sponsor. Our legislative sponsor, Senator John Lovick of Mill Creek, will be moving the bill through the legislature.

Celebrating Washington’s State Sport at the Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic tournament on July 23, 2022.
From left: Frank Chiappone (SMPA President), Kate Van Gent (SMPA Director), Senator John Lovick (sponsored SB5615), Chuck Wright (proposed pickleball as the state sport), and Anna Copley (co-founder of Pickleball Central).

The Pickleball State Sport license plate was designed by Jason Laramie of Laramie Studio in Seattle. His design was inspired by the ferry ride from Bainbridge Island, the birthplace of pickleball. The view is towards the east, where a pickleball rises like the sun over Washington State. The pickleball paddles at left are based on the commemorative OneShot paddles signed on Bainbridge Island in March 2022, where the State Sport bill was signed into law. Of eight poll designs, Pickleball Rising received over 50% of the votes.

Collecting 3,500 signatures since the official petition launch on September 10th at Mariners Pickleball Night was no easy feat. SMPA enlisted many volunteers to reach folks all over Washington State, from Bellingham to Spokane. We would like to thank our volunteers and our partners who participated in collecting signatures, including Pickleball Central, Pickleball is Great, Eastside Tennis Center in Kirkland, Gorin Tennis Center in Redmond, Harbor Square Athletic Club in Edmonds, Skagit Valley College/Blackburn Pickleball Pavilion, Pickleball Playground in Spokane, and the many statewide clubs who hung our banners and posted our petition.

A very special thanks goes to volunteer John Rankin, who drove statewide to pickleball tournaments and pickleball events to gather signatures. We are firm believers that bills like this are needed to encourage the development of dedicated pickleball courts throughout Washington State.

SMPA volunteers, David Yamada and John Rankin, petitioning at T-Mobile Park before the Mariners vs. Astros playoff game.

Do you want to help build more pickleball facilities in your area but don’t know how? Become part of our movement by buying a Pickleball State Sport license plate when it becomes available! Every time you drive, your community and municipal leaders will be reminded that pickleball is here to stay. Proceeds from the purchase of every plate will support the development of dedicated pickleball courts. The display of Pickleball State Sport license plates throughout the state is a great way to help grow the sport and attract the attention needed to get more pickleball facilities built in your community and throughout Washington.

See you on the courts!

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News Volunteer

Volunteer and up your game. It’s a win-win.

The pickleball license plate is on track to become a reality and you can participate in the process. We only need less than 800 petition signatures to reach our goal of 3,500 by December 19 (Mon).

SMPA has pickleball instructors excited about the license plate who are donating their time to give free clinics as a thank you to any volunteers helping with the final push to get petition signatures. Volunteers will be eligible for a FREE Intermediate/Advanced Skills and Drills Clinics to be taught by prominent pickleball instructors in April or May 2023 (Dates/location TBD) for every 50 petition signatures.

Requirements

  • First 16 people to turn in 50 petition signatures (2 full sheets) will get a FREE spot in a 90-minute clinic.
  • Every 50 signatures guarantees a FREE spot.
  • Collect 100 signatures and bring a friend to the clinic for FREE!

Bring the petition sheets, a clipboard and pen to your favorite hangout, family gathering, tournament, league, or club event! Please keep the originals and email photos of completed petition sheets to amy.greger@seattlemetropickleball.com by 12/19/2022.

Volunteer Opportunities

Please sign up for a shift on SignUpGenius to collect petition signatures at the 2022 ETC/Kirkland Holiday Pickleball Smash!

Over 400 players are registered for this tournament on 12/15 to 12/18 (4 days). It’s the easiest way to hit the 50 signatures and secure a FREE admission to the Spring 2023 Pickleball Skills clinic. Sign up for 2-hour shifts now!

Draft Plate Design and Online Petition

The online petition is available for signatures from anywhere! Check out the draft designs and vote for your favorite before the poll is closed.

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State Sport Pickleball License Plate Poll

If you haven’t already signed the state sport license plate petition, now is the time!

The graphic designers have submitted their drafts. Which one of these designs will be on the pickleball license plate? You decide! Click on the poll to select your favorite design and submit your comments.

These are rough drafts and can be altered. The letters SMPLE mean SAMPLE. When the plates are made, each plate will be assigned an individual number taking the place of the temporary word SMPLE. Submit your comments at the bottom of the poll to provide any feedback on the designs.

SMPA is 65% of the way to the goal of 3,500 signatures. If you’re excited about getting one of these designs on your car, spread the word and ask your friends to sign the petition! Feedback on any of the designs can be posted in the poll.

Displaying a pickleball license plate on your vehicle is a great way to celebrate and share your pride in the sport you love. Your community and municipal leaders will be reminded that pickleball is here to stay, every time you drive. It is a great way to help grow the sport and attract the attention needed to get more pickleball facilities built in Washington. Proceeds from license plate sales will be used for the construction and maintenance of dedicated pickleball courts throughout Washington.

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Pickleball License Plate Design Phase

License Plate Designs

SMPA has narrowed down to a short list of graphic designers. We requested draft designs of the pickleball license plate by October 8, 2022. Pickleball players throughout Washington have been asked to view and vote for the best design by the end of November.

What’s the Goal?

To build a dedicated pickleball facility capable of hosting regional and national tournaments and establish dedicated pickleball courts throughout Washington. A dedicated regional facility capable of supporting large tournaments will attract players from across the state and the country, contributing to the state’s economic growth. Each purchase of a State Sport special license plate supports the construction of dedicated courts in cities and towns throughout Washington.

The approximate cost of the pickleball license plate is $157.25 initial fee and $30 annual renewal fee. Special plate fees increased as a result of the $17 billion transportation bill. The funds collected will go into a Trust account and used solely for the construction and maintenance of dedicated pickleball courts throughout Washington.

We Still Need Your Help!

Thank you to everyone who has already signed the petition. With your help, we reached 25% of our goal in just two weeks and are currently 65% of the way there. However, we must collect 3,500 signatures by the end of November to meet the deadlines necessary for the next legislative session in January 2023.

We are asking each of you to reach out to your family, friends, and fellow pickleball players. Encourage them to join you in supporting the pickleball license plate petition. If everyone can get just four signatures, we will reach our goal.

Together we will build and maintain dedicated pickleball courts throughout Washington.


Department of Licensing (DOL) design guide and specialty color palette restrictions must be followed.  The only requirement SMPA has is the words “State Sport” must be on the plate.

DOL Plate Design Requirements

  • Design the proposed plate. See the Specialty Plate Design Guide for more information.
  • Plate colors:
    • The specialty color palette shows colors that currently pass the DOT infrared camera tests.
    • Passing colors have a green check mark.
    • Failing colors have a red ‘X.’
    • Many shades of blue aren’t recognized by infrared. It’s recommended if you use a blue background that you use a darker shade with white lettering.
    • DOL and DOT can’t guarantee which colors will pass.
    • DOT camera testing will determine the readability of the plate design. If a plate fails the readability test, you’ll need to make changes and retest until it passes.

Any questions regarding specific design requirements can be addressed to DOL by email.