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Community in a Pickle – Over Pickleball!

Category: Health and Wellness Issues

June 3, 2015 — It is one of America’s fastest growing sports, attracting legions of new players from baby boomer ranks. Compared to tennis it is easy to pick up, doesn’t require as much stamina or range of motion, and is fun from the get-go. Yet all is not perfect in the state of pickleball.

Symptoms of the fallout occured in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat recently, which recounted issues concerning expansion of pickleball facilities at the large (3000 unit) Oakmont active adult community there. The article, “Oakmont in a Pickle over Pickleball“, chronicles the troubles that occurred as the community hoped to expand facilities for the fast growing sport.

The problem is a combination of the usual NIMBY issues with one inherent aspect of pickleball – the noise (Thwack!) that happens when a paddle hits the whiffle-like ball used in the sport. Nobody wants to have new courts located near their home, or near common facilities like swimming pools where residents go to relax. The problem is mostly noise, combined with possible unsightliness of the facilities. Officials have suggested that unused tennis courts could be converted to pickle ball courts and solve the problem, but advocates are not satisfied. As of the middle of May, the issue was still undecided.

More about pickleball
Pickleball definitely seems here to stay. It has so many attributes attractive to baby boomers. Here is more about the sport: “And the Newest Craze Is…Pickleball

Courtesy of Wikipedia and Thelyonhart

Courtesy of Wikipedia and Thelyonhart

Comments? Have you tried pickleball yet? Do you enjoy it? Would you mind having a pickleball court near your home or swimming pool? Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

For further reading
Crazy for Pickleball – And Not Just Retirees

Posted by Admin on June 2nd, 2015


  1. Took up pickle ball last year and love it because of the exercise and socialization. There are many tennis courts in 55+ communities that are not being used while there are lines for the pickle all courts. It makes sense to transform these courts to pickle ball courts with little expense.

    by Deb M — June 3, 2015

  2. Pickle ball is very social but it is not easy. My sister has played for years and loves it. On a visit I tried it but as a tennis player I found it difficult to adapt to the nuances. I have a great respect for the players. Maybe if I kept at it I might come to enjoy it. But at this point I prefer tennis.

    by Mejask — June 3, 2015

  3. great sport for an old tennis player, who has slowed down, something about ageing involved. wife and i got hooked NOV 2013. a lot of fun and good social mixing. noise can be a factor, depending on the facilities location. learned on an outdoor court, but play mostly indoors now. hope differences of opinions can get worked out, peacefully. yes we are addicted to the game.

    by david — June 3, 2015

  4. There will always be whiners, especially in retirement communities.
    They have nothing better to do than annoy other people who are actually having fun and enjoying themselves.
    Maybe they’re just jealous.

    by Denny — June 3, 2015

  5. Why is it called Pickleball?

    by Rocky Raccoon — June 3, 2015

  6. Mejask, don’t give up on pball. I played racquetball for years so had to adjust too. For one thing it has a stupid net in the middle of the court – ha! I’ve met other former tennis players who have made the adjustment after a little time and now love it! The main thing is keep active as you are doing.

    by Deb M — June 3, 2015

  7. The man that invented pickleball 40 years ago had a dog named “Pickle” that kept chasing the ball…hence, the name Pickleball. Yes 40 years ago. I think it started in Washington State.

    by Morris — June 3, 2015

  8. Very actice sport at RV RESORTS/ PARKS. It is noisy and although I enjoy it, would not want to renting or owning a lot near the court.

    by Rick — June 3, 2015

  9. Am President of Pickleball Club in Del Webb Sun City Huntley IL. Have zero problem with noise. By sharing the courts with the current tennis club during normal daily hours and only one evening on Thursday, we do fine. We even are growing to possibly building our own courts near the Softball Field on the current horseshoe pits, which do not have much business. All the homes are satisfactorily distances apart from any noise. The issue is moot here with all ages from 55 to 85, and we have 5500 homes.

    by Russ H — June 3, 2015

  10. Paddle Tennis (also called Platform Tennis) is a better sport and more fun as it is enclosed and you can play off the back and side walls. But it is hard to find courts in the West. Often played in the winter at ski areas as the courts can be heated to eliminate snow and ice.

    by Chuck — June 3, 2015

  11. @Rocky Racoon: “The game started during the summer of 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington, at the home of then State Representative Joel Pritchard who, in 1970, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for the State of Washington. He and two of his friends, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum, returned from golf and found their families bored one Saturday afternoon. They attempted to set up badminton, but no one could find the shuttlecock. They improvised with a Wiffle ball, lowered the badminton net, and fabricated paddles of plywood from a nearby shed.[2][3][4]

    Although some sources claim that the name “Pickleball” was derived from that of the Pritchard’s family dog, Pickles, other sources state that the claim is false, and that the name came from the term “pickle boat”, referring to the last boat to return with its catch.[2][4] According to Joan Pritchard, Joel Pritchard’s wife, the name came “after I said it reminded me of the Pickle Boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats. Somehow the idea the name came from our dog Pickles was attached to the naming of the game, but Pickles wasn’t on the scene for two more years. The dog was named for the game.”[5]”

    Source Wikipedia

    by art bonds — June 4, 2015

  12. It is hard to believe that people are that concerned about the noise as the paddle strikes the ball. I live across the street from a golf course and you hear the noise every time they “tee off”. I am not a golfer but it doesnt bother me. Often they cut up, laugh and joke which is fine with me. I am glad to see them enjoy themselves. I got talked into pickle ball while i was serving on the HOA board and i think its great exercise and fun. I see older player ( i am in my early 60’s) that are nearly as mobile as I but they have better game skills, better strokes, and they can put strategy into the game without stopping to think. As i improve the above i will pass them in my game level but for right now they usually get the best of me over the course of a game. This is not bad, this is good ! When i am in my 70″s i look forward to outplaying some people in their 60’s or younger who are still sharpening their skills. There should be something to look forward to as we age and not just focus on what we can do.

    by Colonel Mike — April 16, 2019

  13. My husband and I have played pickleball several times and enjoyed it to the point where we bought a set of paddles and balls. Even so, we rarely bother because most players are much too competitive for our comfort level. Being in our mid 60s, our goal with any sport is to get in a little fitness time, laugh a bit, and have fun. We don’t bother to keep score.

    I have no interest in smacking a ball to a place where my opponent cannot get to it, or in injuring myself in an attempt to hit something beyond my own reach. When it’s just the two of us on a court, inevitably a couple of others show up and want to play as a foursome, or shout out
    “helpful” instructions on the nuances, rules and strategies of the game.

    We explain that we know the rules, but are just a couple of duffers and are happy to be so. Serious players find it difficult to imagine people whose enjoyment comes from simply volleying the ball. We prefer playing over competing.

    As I said, we rarely play – not because we don’t like the game, but because too many in the pickleball playing community don’t make room for players who are merely there for the fun and exercise.

    by JCarol — April 17, 2019

  14. Totally agree with you JCarol! Golf is the same way….too competitive, not enough fun. Maybe someone should design a “duffers” league.

    by Chris — April 18, 2019

  15. My husband and I started playing PB in June 2019. We are so hooked on the game that we are planning to move to a community that has Pickleball courts. Our group of players here in Georgia number 20+ and we are all social players from 50-80 years old. We have a group message system and when weather is looking good, we all meet up and play for hours. I think if you start a group who are only interested in exercise, socialization and fun, you will never quit playing. Now the challenge is to find an active adult retirement community that has plenty of PB courts. And we don’t mind the noise of the PB and players. We’ll be glad to start a fun group of players where ever we land. Competitive players can have their own group! That way everyone is happy! Our motto: It’s always a good day to play pickleball! Dink on…….

    by E Eastepp — February 5, 2020

  16. Hi E Eastepp
    Pickleball is fun and definitely growing!!
    You can find communities with pickleball courts by clicking on the website at the bottom of this page. From there, in the drop down menu in the upper right corner, you’ll see Search. If you scroll down you’ll find—-
    Search Communities by Amenities and Much More
    Pickleball is one of the choices you can select.
    Hope this helps with your search!!
    Good Luck!

    by Moderator Flo — February 6, 2020

  17. Like JCarol, I find pickleball fun and too many players far too competitive. My local HOA clubhouse has pickleball courts and everyone there is so competitive. I play at the local community center instead where people are more interested in learning and just having fun. I have also taken lessons for the past 6 months, which is mostly just good practice rather than learning anything new. When the gym at the community center was closed last week, I ended up at the HOA courts because I wanted to play – I was nervous (which I never am otherwise) because the people were so deadly serious about it. Even so, I will probably go back because (a) I want to play during hours when the community center isn’t open, and (b) I refuse to let the pickleball snobs determine whether or not I will play at the courts that my HOA dues pay for. While I was waiting to rotate into a game last week, I was talking with one of the guys who plays there regularly and told him that the people who play at the clubhouse courts have a reputation at the community center for being unfriendly. He laughed it off, but I hope he took it seriously, and maybe even mentioned it to some of the others.

    by JoannC — February 6, 2020

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