In a move that will sanctify an iconic part of Capitol Hill’s nighttime play and attempt to legitimize an athletic activity known for its rebellious image, the Seattle Parks Department is preparing to establish new sports court classifications that will make it no longer against the rules to play dodgeball at Cal Anderson. We have bad news for the Hill’s bike polo players, however. Those same classifications will also prohibit ‘wheeled and stick sports’ on color-coated courts with asphalt like those along Nagle Place.
The details of the new plan come from a recommendation memo prepared for superintendent Christopher Williams and the board that will make the final decision on the emerging sports proposals. The board will discuss the proposals at their Thursday, October 28 meeting.
The recommendations call for the creation of three tiers of classifications for sports courts in the city based on how many courts are at a location, the surface at the location and whether area high schools use the court for match play. The first tier courts such as Lower Woodland and Lincoln Park would not allow alternative uses while second tier courts including Cal Anderson and Green Lake will be open to alternative uses not including wheels or sticks. The hockey and the polo crowd will have to stick to tier three courts with concrete surfaces like Judkins or Dearborn Park.
While the recommendations represent a victory for dodgeball organizers, the Capitol Hill bike polo crowd will either have to continue their rebel play or move on. These organized matches also take place at TT Minor Elementary School just up Madison from Pike/Pine and the Green Lake park and ride. Players will also be gathering this weekend at Judkins Park for the Emerald City Open.
Tuesday the 26th is the deadline for public comment on the proposals the parks department prepared in response to renewed tensions over the use of Seattle’s sports courts for activities other than tennis. A public hearing on the proposals drew a large crowd in September.
Though the new memo seems to indicate Parks athletics manager Dennis Cook has already finalized his thoughts on the situation, you can still add your $0.02 to the conversation by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. According to the latest memo, the department received 67 letters against alternative uses of the courts. Twice as many were sent in support. Parks also says it received a petition from alternative use supporters with 631 signatures. The tennis-only crowd only mustered 52.