Get low and keep your paddles in a defensive position because pickleball is facing continued challenges and criticisms.
The New York Post published a scathing write up about how Pickleball is becoming a menace to society and bringing out the worst in seniors.
The article leads with a handful of stories where pickleball players are at odds with either tennis players or the cities they live in. Players in Denver were reported to be fighting for space on their local tennis courts and some New Yorkers were at odds with locals by painting lines in a local park.
One thing in common with all these tiring “turf-war” stories is that people just want space to play.
What was missing from the report, though - is any mention of the attacks on pickleball itself. A couple weeks back, news broke that arsonists had attacked the Pickleball court sheds in Santa Monica, California. The motivation for the fire is still unknown but the evidence of batteries wrapped in copper wire led us to believe this was far from an accident.
Fortunately, a fundraiser and donations from Selkirk and others have allowed the club to fully replace their stock within HOURS (Says a lot about how fast the pickleball community can come together).
You may also recall back in April of this year vandals cut up local pickleball nets in Needham, MA after a verbal altercation between tennis players. This led the local mayor to describe it as a war: “There's no question and if you go online and you see on Twitter and Facebook, people are at each other's throats”.
So let’s set the record straight - there's two sides to every story and pickleball players across the country are not going out en masse to ruin the lives of tennis players or their local communities. They are trying to make the best of a situation where there are so few courts compared to the demand.
A Noise Issue?
The New York Post then went on to discredit the sport by highlighting how loud it is, referencing the “dozens” of lawsuits sweeping the nation because of it.
Personally, we think the only thing more grating is the sound of these tired and sensationalist articles. Plus, have you ever experienced the sound of the ball hitting your sweet-spot on an overhead put-away? chefs kiss.
Nevertheless, we think everyone would agree that the loudness of pickleball isn’t ideal when courts are in people’s backyards. But again - this is all an issue of court availability with the fastest growing sport in America.
Over the coming years, we predict we’ll hear less and less of this complaint once more indoor facilities are built.
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The Brighter Sound of Pickleball
If we could make a suggestion to the New York Post, it would be to consider writing about all the good that Pickleball is doing for Americans. Suddenly, millions of people have access to something that gets them up and moving, making friends and building community, while having the best time.
Last month, we wrote about how Pickleball took one man from incarceration to mental health practitioner:
“Pickleball has been an outlet for joy for me as I manage a mental health practice that deals with suffering every day. It’s helped me manage my own stresses and hardships as an individual, and it’s helped me connect with more pickleball obsessed folks around the country. I’ve even lost 30lbs (and counting) to improve my singles game, using primarily pickleball for cardio and healthy eating!”
This sport has the power to transform lives, and has!
The Bottom Line
We’ve heard the same story about turf wars and noisy pickleball too often now, it’s getting stale. There’s plenty of room for pickleballers, tennis players, and local communities to live in harmony — we just have to build it! In the meantime, let’s be kind to one another and share the joy of pickleball with all.