Absolutely Ludicrous


Here's part of an e-mail I received today:

Park Superintendent: Timothy Gallagher:
timothy.gallagher@seattle.gov , Deputy Superintendent: Christopher Williams Christopher.Williams@seattle.gov , Board of Park Commissioners: Sandy Brooks brooks@seattle.gov and the Manager of Citywide Athletics: Dennis Cook: denniscook@seattle.gov, Sandy Brooks@seattle.gov

It's very difficult to find open courts in Seattle Parks for tennis. Many of the courts need repair. We can't allow non-tennis players to come in and ruin the courts and take away your court time.

Letter from Roger:

To All Tennis Enthusiasts: I am contacting you to alert you about a Dodgeball movement that is claiming outdoor Tennis Courts for it's games. See Seattle times article: NW Life, August 12, 2008, or online at : http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/othersports/2008106538_dodgeball12.html ) If you look at the Seattle times Article you can see players wearing Patrol Boots, and numerous Black Skid marks on the courts currently making the court unplayable. This is a currently prohibited use of public tennis courts according to Seattle Park Department Policy: 060-P7.3.1 Section 4.1.6 "tennis courts are to be used only for tennis or other Dept. Approved Activities." Somehow they have the backing of Seattle Parks Department City Wide Athletics, they are proposing to conduct a one year "Pilot Program" at the Cal Anderson Park/Bobby Morris ( Broadway) Tennis Courts. They have close to 100 players and they are only getting charged $10 for 1.5 hrs of court rental ! Regardless of the revenue being generated or not being generated this activity effectively ruins the tennis court and if permitted to continue with the blessing of the Seattle Park Department will spawn more players and along with it the potential for conflict with tennis players and the damage to our city courts will be beyond control. Imagine you go to the new courts at Lower Woodland Park and you can't play because a mob of 100 people are playing dodgeball on the courts ? The Seattle Park Department will vote on the Pilot Program August 28th. We have a deadline to respond by e-mail by Wed 5pm, August 27th. I believe we should emphasize three salient points.

1. A strong, emphatic NO to allowing Dodgeball to be played on Seattle Public Tennis Courts !! We are experiencing a viable tennis court shortage in the Greater Seattle Area. Now we must compete with a mob of Dodgeball Players for usable courts ? This type of activity along with skateboarding and bike riding damages the court making them unplayable. Enforce Department Policy 060-P7.3.1 Section 4.1.6 As a solution to the needs of this mob of 100 dodgeball players I suggest High School gyms, YMCA's or even renting out the indoor "rainy day" Playfields that every Elementary School has and where Dodgeball is actually played !

2. Seattle Area Tennis Courts need to be resurfaced, relamped and maintained. It took twenty-one years for the Seattle Park Department to resurface the "showcase of local park tennis" , Lower Woodland Park. Courts #1-#6 were virtually unplayable with massive cracks and chips. You risked rolling your ankles or blowing out your ACL playing on those courts. During this time we saw Lower Woodland upgrade the Baseball and Softball Diamonds, add a Dog run area, and a million dollar skateboard park. During this time the decrepit Lower Woodland Park courts hosted the High School Metro Championships, the Seattle City Tournaments and numerous local tournaments. The tennis courts at Ravenna, Magnuson, Lohman Beach, Beacon Hill, Van Asslet, Dearborn Park, Southshore, Mt Baker, Volunteer Park, Howe Park, and now Cal Anderson/Bobby Morris Park are all in desperate need of resurfacing, and Laurelhurst, Lincoln Park, Hiawatha, Upper Woodland, Magnolia, are not far behind. All of the above courts that have lights need them to be relamped so regular night play can commence. Tennis as a sport is on the upswing. The 2008 Wimbledon Final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal electrified the world. The Pacific Northwest rates in the Top 5 for tennis players per capita. The PNW has 18,876 players in the United States Tennis Association League. The Western Washington area contributes 4000 players to the league. Overall the USTA has 637,400 players nation wide playing in it's leagues. Nationwide tennis ball and racquet sales are up. It's a shame that you can go to almost any park or school in the Bellevue or Shoreline area and they will have tennis courts superior to what we have in Seattle.

3. Seattle needs more Public Indoor facilities. Only two Seattle Park Department Facilities are making revenue in these recessionary times, the Amy Yee Tennis Center and the Seattle Aquarium. With Indoor Tennis Courts at a premium why not add another Facility or more Indoor Courts ? Portland has the Portland Tennis Center and the huge Tualatin Hills Sports Complex. They support tennis with Public and Private facilities, they even hosted the US Davis Cup matches last fall !

If you love tennis please take 10 minutes from your busy day and let your voice be heard. If you are part of the tennis community and are sick of being treated like the ugly stepchild then send out an e-mail before Wed 5pm. If you are passionate about tennis and are tired of seeing the Soccer players, the Bird Watchers, the Dog run people, the Skate Boarders, the Softballers, the Ultimate Frisbee, the Hacky Sackers, and the Dodgeballers take up the Revenue from the Seattle Park Department General Fund then speak up. Collectively our voices can be heard. ( your e-mails actually saved the Shoreline CC Tennis team from getting the budget axe ! ) Please forward this e-mail to all Tennis Players and Friends of the Tennis Community. Let's take it right to the top: E-mail: Park Superintendent: Timothy Gallagher:
timothy.gallagher@seattle.gov , Deputy Superintendent: Christopher Williams Christopher.Williams@seattle.gov , Board of Park Commissioners: Sandy Brooks brooks@seattle.gov and the Manager of Citywide Athletics: Dennis Cook: denniscook@seattle.gov LET THEM HEAR YOUR VOICE !! Remember the Deadline for e-mails is 5pm, Wednesday, August 27th.

Summary- They're using tennis courts for dodgeball at reduced court time rates.