Pickleball Became the Official State Sport of Washington on June 9th, 2022
Outstanding! What a way to bring recognition to not only our great game, but the state in which it was created over half a century ago.
Filed for introduction to the legislation on December 29th of 2021, Washington SB 5615 goal was to designate Pickleball as the state's official sport. It took a month (January 2022) to pass through the Senate before taking another month (February 2022) to pass through the House. The bill then got the appropriate signatures and was delivered to the Governor on March 9th of 2022. It was signed by the Governor on March 28th, and will become effective on June 9th, 2022.
We owe our thanks to Governor Inslee, as well the state Senate and House of Washington, including bill sponsors, Lovick, Hunt, Hasegawa, Honeyford, Lovelett, Nobles, Pedersen, Randall, Rolfes, Wellman for making this happen. It wasn't without opposition though, as 15 people were against the bill in the House.
SB 5615 Bill Sponsor Senator John Lovick's Thoughts
One excited person, Senator John Lovick, one of the main sponsors of the bill, had this to say, "From youngsters and college students to the senior sporting community, people from all walks of life can play pickleball ... When I first introduced this bill through to passage, from the very beginning until today, I have met just about everyone you could think of on the pickleball courts. Pickleball is for everyone."
Why Washington's State Sport is a Good Choice
It seems that the Evergreen State did the Pickleball world a solid when it got the bill passed just before National Pickleball Month. For those that don't know, April is National Pickleball Month.
It is fitting for the state of Washington to codify Pickleball as the sport of record, given that the sport's origins come from Bainbridge Island, where Congressman Pritchard and Bill Bell helped create the sport after a Saturday golf outing.
You have to wonder just how many of USA Pickleball's Membership class of 50,000+ come from Washington state. And with 8,500+ pickeball playing locations, it might not be long before another state - looking at you, Arizona - also passes a bill designating Pickleball as their official sport as well.
What we do know so far is that Pickleball is not an olympic sport. But, that could change prior to the 2024 or 2028 Olympic Games.