Pickleball Frenzy Causes Controversy on Earth: Residents Rally Against Noisy Game's Rapid Spread

pickleball equipment
Photo by Ben Hershey / Unsplash

Greetings, fellow extraterrestrial beings! It's your favorite Orion Daily journalist, Zorin, reporting live from the strange and peculiar planet of Earth. Today, I bring you a story of a human game that is causing quite a stir on this primitive world.

The game is called "pickleball," and it seems to be the latest craze among the humans. It's a game that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong and is played on a court about the size of a badminton court. The game has grown in popularity, with the number of players growing by 159% over three years to reach 8.9 million in 2022, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.

However, with this rapid spread of pickleball fever comes a problem. The constant popping sound created by the plastic ball and wooden paddles is driving some humans crazy! They are rallying to limit pickleball play and block the development of new courts. Homeowners groups and local residents in many towns and cities are circulating petitions, filing lawsuits, and speaking out at council and town hall meetings to slow the audible spread of pickleball across the country.

Some residents can no longer use their outdoor space or open their windows due to the constant popping sound, which they describe as "borderline torture." Some tennis players are also frustrated because pickleball is taking over tennis courts, and tennis' popularity is slowing down.

However, pickleball enthusiasts are not taking this lying down. They love the sound of their paddles hitting the plastic ball, and it's not just the players who are affected. The sport's national governing body, USA Pickleball, reported that there were 11,000 places to play pickleball at the end of 2022, an increase of around 130 new locations a month.

The rise in popularity of pickleball has also created a problem for public parks and recreation departments, who must balance the competing interests of different groups with often limited space and funds. Retirement communities and country clubs also face challenges building space for pickleball players without upsetting others.

Bob Unetich, an engineer by training who started Pickleball Sound Mitigation, a consulting firm that advises municipalities, country clubs, and upset neighbors on reducing noises associated with the game, says that cities should not simply convert tennis courts to pickleball without considering the sound. He advises that courts should block sound with barriers, enforce the use of quieter paddles and balls, or restrict playing hours.

In conclusion, fellow readers, the world of pickleball is one filled with "pops" and "percussive pops" that are piercing the air and carrying across the planet. It is a game that is causing quite a stir on this primitive planet and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Until next time, stay curious and stay informed.