Ahh pickleball, the hottest thing going with senior citizens, Tom Brady’s retirement sport of choice, and an unlikely candidate for the second-most controversial story of the decade in Arlington.
As ARLnow was first to report last year, many neighbors of Arlington’s recently-established pickleball courts have come to vehemently oppose it, owing to the loud “pop” the ball makes when it hits a paddle. The percussive sound can be heard within nearby houses, at all hours of the day and — in the case of lighted courts — into the night.
It’s so infuriating to some neighbors, that there have been organized efforts against the pickleball courts, including threats of lawsuits, in at least two Arlington neighborhoods.
That culminated last month in a campaign of dueling pro- and anti-pickleball flyers and posters distributed around Penrose and the Walter Reed Community Center, where the county is planning to build a sizable cluster of dedicated pickleball courts.
From ARLnow’s Feb. 13 story:
In a flyer that’s now being disseminated around the neighborhood, opponents are leveling accusations of “bullying of our children by pickleball players,” “public urination on playground and sensory garden,” and causing “excessive continuous noise from dawn to 10 p.m. every day.”
If more pickleball courts are added, it will even be more of a “public nuisance” the flyer says. It does not go into greater detail about the accusations.
“Arlington County is giving away our rights to Walter Reed Community Center (WRCC) to build a dedicated Pickleball Cluster,” it reads. “Current issues will get worse with conversion of 3 tennis to 9 pickleball courts.”
The fracas was noted a few days ago by Axios, which led to a lampooning last night on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. (See 0:52)
#Meanwhile… Turf battles over space for pickleball courts have erupted nationwide, and England’s new king is opting for a cruelty-free coronation. #Colbert pic.twitter.com/JftwGXyJGV
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) March 8, 2023
Arlington is not alone in stirring up a full-blown pickleball controversy.
In the Boston ‘burb of Wellesley, Mass., news crews descended last week as townsfolk near pickleball courts rattled their sabres against the infernal pop, a matter of civic concern for at least a few months. Pitched pickleball opposition over in Cape Cod prompted the hiring of noise-control consultants and a Wall Street Journal article last summer.
Pickleball players, of course, are inclined to defend their sport, which is rocketing in popularity as a recreational activity and attracting the attention of celebrities, pro athletes and large companies. There are hopes that pickleball paddles and balls will evolve and become quieter. But that’s not going to stop people from playing and there’s an argument to be made that the noise isn’t that bad all the way across the street from a court.
For the time being, though, it’s undeniable that outdoor pickleball can be loud and annoying to at least some neighbors. Which side of the proverbial net are you on?
Hat tip to Flood Czar
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Synetic Theater Camps are a wildly fun, highly accessible choice for young people who love moving, playing games, and making memories. Registration is open now for Summer Camps (sessions June 20-August 25) and there are even a few spots left for Spring Break camp, April 3-7.
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Most first-time campers are new to the performing arts, and teaching artists are well-versed in engaging students at all levels. Parents and campers report that one of the best parts of Synetic is the community, with many families returning year after year because they feel a strong sense of belonging.
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WHS Spring Festival
Join us at the WHS Spring Festival on April 22, 2023, from 10am- 3pm at Wakefield High School(main parking lot). Come out to shop, play, and eat!
Shop local vendors, arts & crafts, new and used items, food vendors/trucks, and
District 27 Toastmasters 2023 Virtual Conference
District 27 Toastmasters invites you to its annual conference where you can hear phenomenal speakers, attend professional development and personal growth seminars about leadership, negotiation, communication, teamwork, and mentorship. Learn how to develop your personal story and how to improve