Come celebrate Mariners Pickleball Night with your host Seattle Metro Pickleball Association at a Mariners game! The Mariners play against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday, September 10th at 6:10 pm at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.
For one night only, pickleball fans can watch the game and cheer from their own special sections when Riley Newman throws out the first pitch.
Bring your friends and family! Come have some pickleball fun and cheer on the Mariners at T-Mobile Park. Hope to see you there!
Seattle Parks insists on having two pickleball courts per tennis court at the most. On August 11, five pickleball players addressed the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners to plead their case for painting 6 pickleball courts on the two Miller tennis courts.
You answered dozens of surveys from the Seattle Parks Department and some from the Seattle Parks District. You sent emails to Seattle Parks, the Seattle Parks Superintendent, the Seattle Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners, the Seattle City Council, and Seattle’s previous and current mayors. You attended in person and online meetings. It is all slowly coming to fruition as Seattle Parks works on a new plan to expand the number of outdoor locations where you can play pickleball throughout the city.
Seattle Metro Pickleball Association, SMPA, turns four later this spring, and as with any organization, we evolve to stay in the game and serve our members. We will lose two Board members this year, and at the Annual Meeting that we hope to have sometime in the months to come, members will be allowed to vote on the new Board members recommended by a selection committee. We will have a change of officers as well, since at least one of the termed-out Board members will vacate their “offices.”
SMPA plans to make long-overdue changes to the website, and abandon the occasional newsletter in favor of a blog. And while we’ve pleaded with members for photos and news, we want to encourage members to take advantage of the means of commentary on our actions through our Facebook page, email, and yes, even Twitter.
Grab a Squeegee, Bring a Towel
Winter’s rains will soon drift into spring rains, and while we can’t go indoors to play, SMPA is committed to doing all we can to keep outdoor play a reasonable option for area players. Do make use of the pickleball venue scheduling site, PlaytimeScheduler, to learn about scheduled games all over the metro area, or set up closed play groups.
Following on the successful distribution of court rain shuttles, that is big squeegees, to pickleball courts around Seattle, SMPA expanded the distribution to include more courts. You can now find the squeegees locked near the courts at Green Lake, Bitter Lake, Kirkland’s Everest Park, and soon at Luther Burbank pickleball courts on Mercer Island. All locks will eventually be word locks that you can open with the code “DINK” – and take a moment to make sure the squeegee is locked when you are the last one to leave the courts.
Each squeegee cost SMPA just under $200, and as of early February, we have distributed nine, with a tenth one generously donated by North Seattle pickleball fanatics Patti and Gary Hackenberg.
Want more nets?
As pickleball players flock to Green Lake and Shoreview courts, where there are semipermanent nets in place, not all know how those nets came about. There have so far been two methods for acquiring and placing the semipermanent nets as a means of improving access for those who don’t own portable nets and to increase play opportunities.
This is how the semipermanent nets came to be, and how SMPA works with members to get them in place.
Seattle Neighborhood Matching Grants, or SPRKs grants, helped provide the nets for Miller Playfield courts and Green Lake pickleball courts. In brief, a local play group initiated the grant process, SMPA signed on as the required fiscal sponsor, the city approved the grant and purchased the nets, and SMPA and local players satisfied the “matching” portion by holding player events and clinics. This program was suspended in 2020 as the pandemic drastically limited tax revenues and Seattle struggled to meet other demands for city funds.
Local players in Shoreline acquired semipermanent nets for Shoreview pickleball courts through a more direct fundraising effort. Shoreview players started collecting donations, then partnered with SMPA to make use of our Association’s IRS 501c3 status. This allowed a broader array of players to make donations to SMPA that were earmarked specifically for the Shoreview nets. From start to finish, the fundraising effort took 3 months, SMPA purchased the nets with a generous discount from Pickleball Central, and the courts have remained packed ever since. The SMPA Board is creating a set of guidelines and a process for those metro area groups interested in following the model of the Shoreview players to acquire nets or other equipment that support the SMPA mission of improving play opportunities for players of all ages and abilities.
2021 Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic Tournament
Until we know what Washington State and City of Shoreline Covid-mitigation constraints will be in place, the SMPC tournament planning committee asks that you continue to save the tournament dates, July 22 to July 26, 2021. The tournament committee hopes to announce registration and formats and later, you can sign up for a volunteer slot on the SignUp Genius page.
Many courts are sticking with local requirements for mask wearing and physical distancing, so do pay attention to the rules when you’re heading out to play. The consequences can be locked courts or play limited to singles only.
While indoor play isn’t available for now, where there is indoor play, at Gorin Redmond Tennis Center, masks are required in addition to strict limits for numbers of players in the facility. None of this is news to most players. For the sake of us willing to follow rules as long as we can play pickleball, we encourage you to be a part of the solution and help knock down this virus so that we can all return to unrestricted play.
The internet is loaded with video instructions for every shot in the book. When it comes to footwork drills, there’s little to go on. This footwork drill gem popped up, and looks to be a great warm up in addition to helping improve your agility on the court. Check out Footwork Drills.
The city of Shoreline has yet to reopen their reservation system for courts, so for now, use of their courts is on the first-come, first-served basis.
Improving Pickleball Skills during Lockdown with Jeff Jolly
Let’s face it, the one-two punch of COVID restrictions that have forced us to play outside during the winter monsoons have left most of us with severe pickleball withdrawals. Withdrawal can lead us to binge watch British Antique Road Show. While sitting on the couch, we can feel our pickleball skills atrophy with each “The ugly vase you bought for 5 pounds is worth 12 million.” What is a pickleball player to do? The answer is amazingly simple, and can be done almost anytime except for when driving or performing surgery. The answer is visualization. That’s right, using one’s imagination to practice the perfect serve is almost as good as actually doing it. That’s because your brain doesn’t know the difference between actually seeing something or imagining it. Professional athletes such as Tiger Woods have been using this technique since his teen years to perfect his swing. That seems to have worked pretty well for his career.
How can you use visualization to improve your skills? Visualization lets you take the action from a conscious action to a unconscious reaction, a reaction of your choosing.
Find a comfortable and quiet place (that sofa, for example) and take as little one minute up to as long as 30 minutes. The amount of time is completely up to you, but note that it’s better to do a small amount every day rather then 3 hours on a Saturday.
Close your eyes and think of a specific skill you want to improve, like serving the ball hard and fast. Or, maybe blocking a hard drive to just drop in the non-volley zone (NVZ).
With your eyes closed, take a couple of deep breaths and imagine yourself on a pickleball court.
Visualize this as a movie script. What sensations are you feeling? Is there a light breeze? Is it sunny or cloudy? Can you feel the pressure as you stand on the balls of your feet? What other muscles are contracted and ready?
When you are ready, see the ball coming at you as if in slow motion.
Feel your muscles contract as you swing the paddle and make contact with the ball.
See the ball going where you want it to go.
Get back in your ready position.
Try this and see how much you can improve instead of worrying about your return to play. What do you have to lose, except another game?
We keep asking you to join SMPA and to encourage your pickleball playing friends to do so as well. Why? The growth of pickleball created long waits for court time, with many local cities too caught up in dealing with budget shortfalls and managing homelessness to proactively answer to the demand for pickleball courts. That’s where SMPA comes in. We have worked hard over the past four years to be the voice of pickleball in dealing with Seattle Parks and Rec, and have put our membership clout to good use when we speak for all players in the metro area.
Our membership fee is low, while our reach grows with each new member. Jump in and join SMPA or renew your SMPA membership. Use this Join or Renew button, to redirect you to the MemberPlanet website. MemberPlanet securely manages our membership database so that 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 throughout the Seattle metro area. Your membership qualifies you for a discount on gear with Pickleball Central and Smash Pickleball.
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.”
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You’ve no doubt heard through the pickleball grapevine or by way of social media that the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) Annual Member Meeting and Play day at Rainier Community Center has been cancelled due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) concerns.
We value the health and safety of all of our pickleball community members, and at this time take the prudent step to not hold an in-person meeting for 2020. There are, however, business items still in need of resolving, and to that end, we will hold an online election for our returning and new slate of SMPA Board Members who are replacing retiring Board members. Please check your email inbox next week for the online Election Ballot.
If you haven’t looked at your membership information lately, you might want to check on your status. As most members are set for autorenew, actually looking at your membership information takes a few minutes of looking at Member Planet to review.
Our Pickleball Community Speaks Up
SMPA members and other pickleball enthusiasts turned out in force on Monday, March 2nd, for the Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) Parks District public meeting on March 2nd. Space was limited to standing room only! Kudos and thanks go out to Jimi Vernie, Sandy Goldade and Jean Crowhorn for a fantastic job of getting the word out to local pickleball players.
A huge thanks goes out to our own Board member, Miguel de Campos, who sounded the alert to all by Facebook and email. Superintendent Jesus Aguirre spoke about the six-year budgeting process that was underway and invited input from the attendees regarding things they wanted considered in the Parks budget.
Everyone was asked to share their thoughts at their respective tables. A Parks District representative sat at each table, noted the ideas and requests from each person and then presented a summary of the recommendations from each table to the entire group.
The predominant request from every one of the seven tables was to provide more pickleball opportunities in the form of increased community center staffing and hours, outdoor courts, and dedicated indoor year round facilities.
Your voice was heard, but it remains to be seen whether the city will act on it. Nonetheless this is a very important time to speak out about our goals because the City is making long term budgeting decisions for at least the next six years.
The Parks District 2020 Planning Timeline for 2021 is as follows:
February through May 2020 – Park District Oversight Committee holds planning meetings, briefs and receives input from Council Members
March – Park District holds public meetings
May – Park District Oversight Committee presents to the Mayors’s Office recommendations for six year spending plan
June to July – the Mayor’s Office works on the budget
August – the Mayor transmits the Proposed Park District 6 year spending plan to the City Council
September through October – Park District review and public hearings
November – Park District votes on 6 year spending plan and adopts 2021/2022 Park District budget.
Mr. Aguirre confirmed that the most important time for public input about what should be considered in the Parks budget is now through April 2020. Our SMPA member and pickleball community action? Continue to provide input.
That means we need to ready our pens, pencils, keyboards, and any other means of communicating to the Seattle City Council’s and the Finance and Housing committee. Take a few minutes to let them know that it’s time to put pickleball into the budget as a line item and not leave us begging for Seattle Parks and Rec (SPR) leftovers.
Ask themto treat us as a viable sport, and request that they line more courts, make more indoor time available, and work toward dedicated pickleball facilities.
SMPA President’s March 2020 Message
Greetings all pickleball players of Seattle and beyond,
As you read in the leading topic this month, the SMPA Board cancelled the Annual Membership Meeting set for March 29th due to the uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus and concern for the welfare of our members and citizens of the greater Seattle community. One of the key purposes of the Annual Meeting is the election of Board members who are replacing retiring SMPA Board members. Instead, election of board members by the members will be conducted online later this month. Ballots, and the slate of the Board’s recommended candidates will be sent out shortly. The Board is considering a possible Association event for members later this summer in lieu of the play opportunity which was scheduled at the Annual Meeting. Please watch for the ballots and submit your vote according to the instructions provided.
On Tuesday March 3rd, I along with two other members of the Life Long Recreation Advisory Council met with City Council Member Debora Juarez. We urged her to favorably consider a Parks budget that first, increases community center staffing to allow for longer hours, particularly nights and weekends, and second, specifically make seniors social and recreation activities an express priority in the City Strategic and Spending Plan for the next six years.
We also planted a seed and asked that Juarez and other council members favorably consider any public/private proposal the council received and on which they would vote for the purpose of funding a dedicated year round pickleball facility similar to the Amy Yee tennis Center. At a public meeting with SPR Superintendent Jesus Aguirre that afternoon, Ms. Juarez pressed Supt Aguirre to include senior activities in the Parks Department’s Strategic Plan.
We are continuing to explore developing a dedicated pickleball site on SPR property which could include a public/private joint venture. Plans for further discussions with SPR representatives on this subject are in process. We are hearing about growing numbers of pickleballers in the greater Seattle area interested in creating a dedicated pickleball facility. This past week, two members of the SMPA Board and a SMPA volunteer met with a representative of a group from the Eastside to explore possible collaboration about development of potential dedicated pickleball facility sites. We agreed to pursue this common goal on parallel tracks and to mutually share information.
Ball machines were delivered to South Park and Hiawatha community centers. At this point, they are being used for instructional purposes by the skills-and-drills classes. It would be wonderful if use of these machines could be expanded and made available at specific times for practice by others not enrolled in the classes but for the time being, priority is to those who can be trained in operating the ball machines.
The coronavirus has put a damper on pickleball play. Although drop in pickleball at several community centers continues on schedule, some centers have decided to close this activity. Several informal community leaders are in regular contact with community centers in an effort to learn of changes in scheduled play and to keep players posted by email of any cancellations. We are grateful for these efforts. In addition, we encourage everyone to check timeforpickleball.com for changes in pickleball schedules. Miguel is doing his best to post changes when he learns about them. You can also call the community centers directly to see if they are open and offering drop in play.
Kudos to all of you who’ve written and emailed SPR! If you were unable to attend the Parks District meeting you can send any thoughts or comments about the Park district planning process to PDplanning@seattle.gov. You can also participate in the Park District online survey. We encourage you all to continue to express what pickleball services you want included in the 6 year budgeting process.
Until next time, keep those hands washed, and be cautious but play hard and have fun on the courts.
The City of Seattle announced effective Friday, March 13, 2020 at 6 PM, all SPR recreation facilities and programs, as well as facility rentals and permitted events, will be canceled until at least April 13. Any dates mentioned in this newsletter may be subject to change based on availability of facilities.
Free Family and Youth Pickleball Clinics
Want to get your kids playing pickleball? Come to Shoreview Park, 700 Innis Arden Way in Shoreline on Sunday, April 26, 2020 from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM.
This clinic is only for families with kids ages 10+. No experience necessary, all equipment is provided. Registration is required as there is only 16 spaces available.
SPR announced that they will be adding pickleball lines to the Bitter Lake, East Green Lake and Magnolia tennis courts as part of the scheduled resurfacing of those courts. Unhappy that they aren’t maximizing the layout to fit in as many pickleball courts as possible? We are dismayed that again the City is imposing the will of the tennis community on these shared outdoor courts.
What’s Open and What’s Closed Now
Our intrepid Miguel is constantly updating Time for Pickleball, so you can check there or let us know if you don’t see your favorite facility listed.
For Seattle, for now, this is what we know: all Seattle Pickleball classes are canceled at least through Saturday, April 13. All Community Centers will be closed from Saturday March 14 until at least April 13, 2020.
You can also check the Parks Department’s blog for more information. When you read the information available on the blog, keep in mind that drop-in pickleball is no longer part of Lifelong Recreation. That is why, even though all Lifelong Recreation drop-in programs have been canceled for a few days now, drop-in pickleball had still been available until and including Friday March 13.
Be sure to check and use Playtime Scheduler to set up or see who’s setting up play groups in the Seattle metro area outside of scheduled drop in times.
SPR Spring Indoor Pickleball Tournament
Until we hear otherwise, Seattle Parks and Recreation still has on the schedule its spring Men’s and Women’s Doubles tournament. The tournament is scheduled for Saturday, April 18, 2020, at Rainier Community Center, 4600 38th Avenue South, Seattle, 10 AM to 4 PM. They’ll open the gym at 9 AM for practice. Be sure you check for possible cancellation due to COVID-19 concerns.
With skills division for women rated 3.0 and under (UTPR or self-rated) and 3.5 to 4.0, and as well a men’s skill division of 3.0 and under and another 3.5 and 4.0, you’ll see some good play. Be sure to register and pay ($20 per team) by April 10th. Use the activity codes listed here when you register online, or call Adult Sports at 206-684-7092.
Activity codes and ratings, either UTPR or self-rated skills divisions:
Hello everyone and welcome to our first newsletter. We are excited for the opportunity to introduce our recently formed nonprofit organization, Seattle Metro Pickleball Association. We urge you to join the SMPA. You can do so by clicking on the big green button below. Our goal is to build an organization comprised of pickleball players interested in promoting the sport of pickleball, expanding available facilities and playing times, and some day hosting a variety of events, clinics and tournaments in the Seattle area. Through building a large membership we hope to be able to represent and meet the needs of all players in the Seattle metropolitan area more effectively than has been done to date.
We plan that this newsletter will become a regular publication and be devoted to informing the pickleball playing public about recent and upcoming activities on the Seattle pickleball scene, and goals we have for adding pickleball facilities and activities to our area. We intend to provide status reports on our progress and other information of interest.
We have been busy over the last year. We have applied for a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS. That application is pending and should be approved within the next several weeks. We have collected a comprehensive list of pickleball venues in the Seattle Metro area to help you find more opportunities to play. We have participated in several meetings with Seattle Parks and Recreation representatives. Because of these meetings and efforts of many pickleball enthusiasts, several existing outdoor tennis courts have added pickleball lines. The Parks department has worked with us to provide outdoor nets and balls at many community centers. We have also been working to obtain additional courts. This is a start. Our long-term dreams are to develop dedicated pickleball courts all over the greater Seattle Metro area. To accomplish this, we will need support of players throughout the greater metropolitan area. We are excited about the future of pickleball for Seattle. Come join us!
To achieve our goals of increasing the number of players and places to play pickleball in the Seattle metro area, we need to strengthen our organization and continue to be a unified voice with governments and decision makers. We must reach out to our communities and introduce the game to others and teach them to play and love the sport as we do. We need your energy, your voice and your support.
Thank you for subscribing and staying up to date on our progress. We invite you to officially become a member of the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association with either a 1-year $20 membership, or a lifetime $500 membership. Your dues will support SMPA initiatives and entitles you to SMPA member benefits .
Join now and contribute to an association where all members share the same vision. There will also be opportunities to help us fundraise, spread the word, or volunteer your time and talents to that end.
To achieve our goals of increasing the number of players and places to pickleball in the Seattle metro area, we need to strengthen our organization and continue to be a unified voice with governments and decision makers. We must reach out to our communities and introduce the game to others and teach them to play and love the sport as we do. We need your energy, your voice and your support.
Seattle Parks and Rec Pickleball Conversion Pilot
Seattle Parks and Rec’s (SPR) Pickleball Pilot Project is in full swing throughout the metro area! This is an opportunity to show the SPR leadership that pickleball players are out there; we are growing in numbers and we need more venues and more opportunities to play.
The 24 courts are lined on tennis courts in 7 parks. You can find the list here .
The success of the pilot program will be determined by several factors including how often the courts are reserved and how frequently the equipment is checked out (information below). There will also be random site checks to monitor use of the courts.
SPR is encouraging feedback from players. Helpful information would include` safety issues, courts in disrepair, difficulty checking out equipment or simply not enough courts to accommodate all players. Send your feedback by email or call 206-233-0063
Here are the instructions from SPR on how to check out equipment:
Pickleball equipment is available for free check-out at the front desks of the following community centers:
Delridge Community Center
Discovery Park Environmental Learning Center
Green Lake Community Center
Miller Community Center
South Park Community Center
To reserve the equipment:
Fill out the equipment check-out form with your information. You do not need to leave an i.d. or any form of collateral with community center staff.
Please note that the equipment is heavy (approx 25lbs) and cumbersome. SPR staff can only assist with exchanging the equipment at the front desk. Staff are not available to transport equipment.
As part of the pilot program overnight check-out is available. Equipment checked out overnight must be returned the next day (the center is open) within an hour after the center has opened to allow the equipment to be available for other users. Should the equipment not be returned, the user will be responsible for the cost of replacement.
SMPA members Sean Oldridge and Frank Chiappone have volunteered to host drop in play at the Green Lake Park courts every Saturday and Sunday from 9am – 12pm. They’ll get to the courts early and have the nets set up and ready to go so all you need to do is show up and play!
We are looking for volunteers to organize and host drop in play at other pilot locations. If you’re interested, or just want more information, post a message for Sean and Frank on the North Seattle Pickleball Players Facebook page.
The Pilot Project comes to an end October 31, 2018. Go out and play, have fun, and let’s make this pilot project a big success.
Jerry took up pickleball in the Summer of 2016 after retiring from the long-time practice of law in the Seattle area. Pickleball is his new passion.
Jerry is married to Marcia, and they have a grown married daughter, Kerry. He and Marcia play pickleball several times a week at various venues in Central and South Seattle.
He is one of the founders of the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association along with several other enthusiasts who are interested in expanding available pickleball facilities and events and introducing this fantastic game to others.
Theresa Haynie, Vice President/Secretary
Theresa took up pickleball after a summer of being net hauler and line-painter for the pickleball courts on Orcas Island. Married to an avid pickleball player, Theresa accompanies her wife Kathy to the occasional tournament, and makes certain the paddles are always packed for any and all travels.
Theresa schedules her technical writing workday around pickleball play at various Seattle community centers. As one of the SMPA founders, she believes strongly in giving back to the sport by working to improve playing opportunities throughout the Seattle metro area. Favorite outdoor venues: Green Lake and Buck Park on Orcas. Favorite indoor venue: Pickleball Station in Kent.
Drew Thoresen, Treasurer
Drew retired in 2007 and currently lives in West Seattle.
He is one of the founders of Seattle Metro Pickleball Association and first played pickleball in the early 1980’s, took it up again 3 years ago and now plays mostly in West Seattle.
He previously worked as a CPA, Controller, CFO and a founder/co-owner of two small businesses.
Sandra Goldade, Director
Sandra currently works at Boeing but will be retiring in a few months. She has one son, Max.
Sandra has been playing pickleball (and volleyball) for 15 years, first starting as a way to spend more time with her 94-year old dad. There is some humor in hearing a 60-something woman yelling “Dad!” in a group of people over 55.
An SMPA founder and part of the membership committee, Sandra plays several times a week at 3 gyms in West Seattle.
Jimi Vernie, Director
Jimi is a retired teacher who left small-town eastern Washington life and moved to Seattle with her husband in 2000. They started playing pickleball to get acquainted with the community. They were quickly hooked and now play 4 to 5 times a week.
Jimi has a daughter, step-daughter, a step-son, 5 grandchildren, and as of 6 months ago, a great-grandchild!
Jimi enjoys helping people make connections to other people and to our pickleball community. A founding member of the SMPA, she played a key role in the SPR Pickleball Pilot Project.
Stan Jonasson, Director
Stan is a retired Seattle small businesses owner. He moved to Seattle in 1980 from his native state of Idaho, and has been here ever since, except for one year living in New Zealand.
Stan and his wife, Linda, live in Ballard. He has two adult daughters and a step-son. Three years ago, Linda took Stan to a pickleball class and he was smitten. He is a founding member of SMPA and sits on the membership committee. Stan also volunteers for several environmental organizations.
Miguel de Campos, Director
Miguel must have been a dog in one of his previous lives because when he sees a moving ball he has to go fetch it and return it to wherever it came from.
When he is not coaxing pickleballs with a paddle, you might find him kicking them with his foot or trying to trap them with his chest, both old reflexes from his soccer playing days
When no balls are around, Miguel enjoys programming computers, keeping timeforpickleball.com up to date, listening to music and visualizing achieving world peace through pickleball, a key reason he helped found the SMPA.
Miguel’s wife, who does not share his canine ancestry, prefers yoga, tai chi, and qigong to pickleball.