Communities Adding Pickleball Should Consider Mitigating Noise Disruptions

Laura Manning-Hudson
November 13, 2023


Powered by the Community Associations Institute, is one of the most comprehensive and insightful online sources for helpful news and information for leaders of homeowners and condominium associations. One of its most recent articles is on the growing popularity of pickleball in communities across the country, and it discusses how some associations are responding to issues related to the noise that the sport generates.

A recent survey of nearly 700 community association managers and board members conducted by the Foundation for Community Association Research found that more than 66 percent of the communities represented in the survey already have or are committed to building pickleball courts. However, of those communities that are embracing and incorporating the fast-growing sport, nearly 58 percent have implemented limitations and restrictions. These include court reservations, scheduled open-play sessions with paddle racks for player queues, and set schedules for when courts are available for play during the week and on weekends.

“As the popularity of pickleball continues to soar, so do concerns over the noise,” reads the article by CAI contributor Hazel Siff. “The sound of pickleballs hitting paddles and bouncing on the court, often described as a distinct ‘pok,’ has become an issue within some community associations. Residents living near pickleball courts are citing significant noise disturbances.”

The key for associations is to find the right balance to satisfy the sport’s enthusiasts while also mitigating any impacts on residents’ quality of life.

Designated playing hours for pickleball courts is probably the most common approach. By setting specific times during which a community’s courts are open for reservations and/or open-play sessions, residents of units that are impacted by the noise will know when to expect to hear it and when it will cease.

Noise dampening wall and fencing systems for pickleball courts are also now beginning to become available. Several new offerings are now starting to appear in online advertisements, and communities that are considering the addition of pickleball but are concerned by the potential noise disruptions for residents should research these options and consult with knowledgeable and reputable vendors.

It would also be advisable for boards of directors to present and discuss their options with all the interested unit-owner members at their board meetings prior to taking any votes on bringing pickleball to their community. By including all the pertinent voices in these discussions and taking their input into account, directors and property managers will be able to add this fast-growing and popular new recreational amenity to their communities as smoothly as possible.

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