Judkins Park is poised to become the headquarters of bike polo in Seattle after a decision the city’s parks board decided last week to run an 18-month trial allowing “emerging sports” like polo and dodgeball on the city’s sports courts.
The Judkins courts join one court at Cal Anderson as the only parks locations in the city that will officially allow the wheeled sport.
Organized bike polo matches already take place at Judkins as well as TT Minor Elementary School and at the Green Lake park and ride. Players gathered recently at Judkins Park for the Emerald City Open.
While the trial seems to represent an embracing of alternative sport uses of the facilities, the actual logistics for players to utilize the courts is looking a little fuzzy, SeattleBikeBlog reports:
The plan would also create a permit process that any non-tennis use would have to go through in order to use the courts. Organizers would propose their use to Parks, Parks would determine if it is “suitable” for the courts, Parks would post a public notice of the change-of-use, the public would have 30 days to respond to the proposed use, comments would be reviewed, then a decision would be made about whether that use can occur.
A bigger issue is the lack of lights at Judkins. With a parks department that is already struggling to make ends meet, there is unlikely to be a solution for that put in place any time soon.
Here’s the announcement on the decision from Parks.
SEATTLE PARKS TO ALLOW DODGEBALL, BIKE POLO
AT ONE CAL ANDERSON PARK TENNIS COURT
Bike polo to be allowed at Judkins Park courts
Following a public process and a recommendation from the Board of Park Commissioners, Seattle Parks and Recreation Acting Superintendent Christopher Williams has decided to allow dodgeball and bike polo at one of the two Cal Anderson Park tennis courts for 18 months starting today.
The second court at Cal Anderson Park is for tennis only, and Parks will post signage stating that. Bike polo and dodgeball are also allowed at the two concrete courts at Judkins Park, 2150 S Norman St., for 18 months. The Judkins Park courts are not separated by a fence.
“We believe we’ve forged a reasonable compromise that will accommodate both tennis players and people who participate in newly popular sports and need a place to play,” Williams said. “In the coming weeks we will work with representatives of all these groups to draft a courtesy code that will make sure all players show each other mutual respect and that they care for this public property.”
At the Cal Anderson Park tennis court, 1635 11th Ave., and at Judkins Park, dodgeball and bike polo play will take place on a first-come, first-served basis. Players can call the Parks Athletic Office at 206-684-4062, to reserve the courts at either park. All other tennis courts are for tennis use only.
At the end of the 18-month period, Parks staff will conduct an evaluation of the success of the arrangement, and will make a recommendation to the Park Board on whether to continue it.