Newly created Westside Pickleball League turns Sundays and Mondays into fun days for more than 100 players

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

It’s not just the official Washington state sport. It’s not just a hobby. Pickleball is an addiction.

That’s what we heard multiple times this afternoon while visiting the weekly Westside Pickleball League takeover at the Chief Sealth International High School gyms.

This league is only two months old, yet it’s a smashing success. 120 players get together at two locations every week to play indoors and socialize. They range in age from college students to late 70s.

88 of them play Sunday afternoons at Sealth, in two gyms, and another 32 at SeaTac Community Center on Mondays. Not only is it a win for the players, but also for the school – so far their $10/week fees have raised more than $9,000 to both support Sealth athletics and to grow a fund to support pickleball elsewhere in West Seattle.

Their sport is so hot, it’ll be the subject of a State Senate hearing in Olympia tomorrow (Monday, February 6), as legislators consider whether to authorize a custom license plate for pickleball via SB 5333. (We told you about the campaign last September.) One of the Westside Pickleball League’s three administrators, Amy, will be testifying in support of it. In the first year, sales of the plate could raise an estimated $50,000 to support pickleball around the state.

(Westside Pickleball League admins Nancy, Amy, Rosina)

Here in West Seattle, the league is self-sustaining. They use portable nets, stored at Sealth, and more than 30 people arrive early on Sunday afternoons to set up the net and tape off their courts on the gym floors, modifying badminton lines. Sandwiched between the setup and breakdown are two hours of playing time. Each player gets to play three games a week; it’s a “ladder” league, so people rotate who they play with.

Another of the admins, Rosina, says she just started playing a year and a half ago. “It doesn’t take long to get addicted.” (There’s that word again!) Amy too has been playing about that long. Since then: “It took over our lives!” She’s a board member and officer with the (corrected) Seattle Metro Pickleball Association as well as helping run the Westside league.

Besides a wide age range, the players span a wide motivation range too – some are there just to have fun and socialize, others, we’re told, are “super-competitive.” But whatever level they’re at, they’re just happy to have a place to play – and looking for more options. Along with lobbying for the pickleball license plates, the Westside Pickleball League is advocating for more places to play in West Seattle. They’re trying to get Seattle Public Schools approval for pickleball lines on the district-owned tennis courts west of Southwest Pool; the league would cover the cost, they just need permission.

Meantime, they’ll be registering players soon for the next sessions, which start in March and May. The current players don’t have automatic dibs, but if they fill up before you get in, they do have a waitlist and “sub list” – if someone can’t play on a certain date, they give their spot to a sub. Registration information will be here.

7 Replies to "Newly created Westside Pickleball League turns Sundays and Mondays into fun days for more than 100 players"

  • mem February 6, 2023 (5:31 am)

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU Nancy, Amy and Rosina!!! You gals have done a fabulous job of organizing the league from scratch while coordinating with the high school to provide court time.  I’ve had a blast! Job well done.

  • Pelicans February 6, 2023 (7:59 am)

    This sounds like so much fun!  Fun! What a concept!

  • Amy Nelson February 6, 2023 (7:59 am)

    A big shout out to our three rock star creators and administrators of the  league!  Amy, Rosina and Nancy all volunteer their time unselfishly to provide this amazing opportunity for players as well as support our pickleball community and Chief Sealth  athletics. We are lucky to have these amazing women among us!

  • Pam February 6, 2023 (10:25 am)

    What are the start times?

  • Pickball February 6, 2023 (11:39 am)

    Good idea to set up the courts near the child playground at the Westwood post office.Play at the empty parking lots 

  • Erin98126 February 6, 2023 (11:55 am)

    This is a GREAT idea! As a tennis player, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find available courts because tennis courts are also used by pickleball and BOTH sports are growing immensely. Thank you for thinking outside of the box to find alternate locations to play pickleball. The parks department should think about opening up their gyms to pickleball, too!

  • Monica Lundberg February 8, 2023 (10:48 pm)

    Yes, a big thank you to Rosina, Amy and Nancy for putting in countless hours to create this amazingly fun ladder tournament! 

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