Tennis players gain the upper hand as pickle ball complaints grow in Newport

Newport – Tennis fans are now level 1-love in the fight against it pickle Players on the playing field as the city imposes stricter restrictions on Blackpool hours after several noise complaints from residents adjacent to Hunter and Vernon Parks.

“It’s like being in the locker room,” Hunter Park Contiguous Warren Garner said in city ​​CouncilRegular Wednesday meeting. “(The noise) is coming from the windows, it’s coming from the doors and there’s virtually nowhere in the house to avoid that.”

The City Council unanimously adopted a new ordinance at its regular meeting Wednesday night that will add recently limited hours of pickle ball playgrounds in Hunter and Vernon Parks to the city code, making it easier for the city to enforce it. Tennis courts would also have the same limited hours under the new law until the council voted to remove them from the restriction.

Newport has the only dedicated blended ball fields in Newport County in Hunter Park, although there are more of them in the works.

Newport has the only dedicated blended ball fields in Newport County in Hunter Park, although there are more of them in the works.

In addition to restricting the opening hours of blackball courts, the law also prohibits nightball players from drawing temporary blackball court lines at other tennis courts. Both restrictions come in response to noise complaints from park neighbors.

“Most of the discussion has been about the impact of the blackball game on parks and playground sharing, so I think just imposing restrictions on the blackball pitches makes sense to me,” said council member Jimmy Bova.

despite The entertainment division of Newport General Services It set tighter operating hours for Newport’s pickle ball and hybrid tennis courts in 2021, and city employees have recently become aware of players ignoring restricted hours and receiving noise complaints from nearby residents. In addition, employees have also received complaints of pickle ball players temporarily installing lines on tennis courts throughout the city as the sport’s popularity has led to overcrowding of the few pickle ball facilities in Newport.

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“I think Newport is one of the first communities to have these pickle ball courts, you know, we’re learning as we go forward and maybe, as we go forward, we need to move them out of residential areas,” council member Lynn Underwood Sigley said. “We are working to improve things.”

Newport resident Mona Barbera, whose home abuts Hunter Park, thanked the city council for their consideration of the ordinance. She said the noise issues she was experiencing were unique to Blackpool, both in terms of its gameplay and the reactions of the players themselves.

“The culture is similar to that in the stands, but in this sport the shouting comes from the players,” Barbera said. “It’s just like the grandstands where people feel completely free to express their joy and despair in a vocal ring production.”

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School committee nominee Kendra Mointer, along with fellow Newport resident and tennis player Amy Machado, came forward to thank the city council for sparing tennis courts the restrictions of the law due to the difference in noise generated by the two sports.

However, two pickle ball players raised objections to the decree. Portsmouth resident Matthew Yates said the pickle ball restrictions were unfair, because playing tennis also creates noise and suggested the city consider a different enforcement tactic to reduce noise. Newport resident Libby Gill said the courts are overcrowded and need more courts away from residential areas.

Recreation Director Eric Rees explained that the current standard distance to reduce the impact of noise on residential communities severely reduces the plots of pickle ball fields due to the density of Newport’s population. Joseph Nicholson, city manager, said the city is keeping a close eye on opportunities but is waiting to see what land might be available after the Bell Bridge remodeling project.

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“I don’t want to sound flashy here, but it took about five years to find a spot for the basketball court,” Nicholson said sarcastically. “We manage what we have.”

This article originally appeared on the Newport Daily News: Pickleball players in Newport impose curfew after noise complaints