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Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket: Sign of the Times: Pickleball License Plates

Murmurs from the Losers' Bracket Frank Cerabino 01-23-2023

We here at Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket are applauding what promises to be the first-ever pickleball license plate issued by a state.

Naturally, it’s the state of Washington, which made pickleball the official state sport last summer. Now, state lawmakers there want pickleballers to have an opportunity to drive around with their own pickleball-themed specialty license plates.

At first blush, this sounds like a great idea. Even square dancers have their own license plate in Washington. So, why not offer pickleballers a plate of their own?

Well, it’s worth noting that Washington already offers the state’s tennis players a specialty license plate.

So, if history is a guide, it’ll just be a matter of time before we see road rage incidents between cars with tennis and pickleball license plates fighting for the same lane on the highway.

Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.

The pickleball plate is not a done deal. It’s just one of 700 bills offered during the new legislative session, and there’s a chance lawmakers may get sidetracked with other pressing needs.

For example, octopus farming. Seriously. I didn’t know that was a thing.

And apparently it’s not in Washington or any other state in the United States. But that isn’t stopping some lawmakers in Washington to push for a state law to ban octopus farming there. Just in case.

We here at Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket have no official position on octopus farming except to wonder how you do it when those clever cephalopods get all eight of their legs clinging to the branch. (*For those new to Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket, this is a (mostly) humorous tongue-in-cheek opinion piece – don’t take us too seriously.)

It’s a well known fact that octopi are smarter than people – and way smarter than pickleball players, especially the ones that backpedal for lobs even though they know it’s the easiest way to be seriously injured.

So, Washington state lawmakers could get sidetracked on octopi issues and never get to pickleball.

But we hope not.

Pickleball license plates would be consequential. That’s because they’re not only a way for residents to celebrate and raise money for their favorite sport. They are also safety devices – a kind of moving, flashing yellow light – that advises other drivers to be alert for distracted driving.

Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket: Sign of the Times: Pickleball License Plates | Pickler Pickleball

Chances are, if you’re driving behind a car with a pickleball license plate that person is either on his or her way to a game, or returning from a game.

If the pickleball drivers are on the way to games, they will be texting furiously on their mobile phones because there’s always one person in a doubles game who calls at the last minute to cancel.

“Oh, I forgot that it’s my golf day today,” they’ll say. Or, “I heard it might rain.” Or, “I’m getting an estimate on carpet cleaning.”

Or some other infuriating last-minute excuse.

And then the stranded players will be desperately trying to find a fourth so they don’t have to play “Canadian doubles,” or whatever it is they call it to put a happy face on the bad news that they don’t have enough people to play a proper game of pickleball.

Or maybe those drivers with the pickleball license plates will be on their way home after playing games. And they’ll be way too preoccupied to drive safely because they’ll be on the phone to one of the players they just played with in order to complain about the conduct of another player they just played with.

“Yes, I didn’t have my best game, but I don’t deserve the eye rolls from my partner. Next time that happens, I’m walking off the court or saying …. Ahhhh!” (followed by the sound of an automobile collision.) 

Identifying pickleball players by their license plates will allow other drivers to give them that extra cushion on the road they need. This will be especially necessary for the many pickleball players who exhibit poor vision when it comes to recognizing the placement of lines on the ground.

So, congratulations, Washington. We here at Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket celebrate your efforts to create a pickleball license plate … which, any way you shake it, makes far more sense than octopus farming.


Read past editions of Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket, including:

Frank Cerabino is a long-time columnist for the Palm Beach Post in Florida, a pickleball addict like the rest of us, and a newly published author. Check out Frank’s newly released book, I Dink, Therefore I Am: Coming to Grips with My Pickleball Addiction (available on Amazon and a great read (or gift!) for any pickleball player), for pickleball tips and laughs!

I Dink, Therefore I Am | Frank Cerabino


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