The complaint has been heard around the country -- from Florida to Washington State and even right here in Washington County.

The pop-pop-popping of pickleball being played at all hours of the day and night can be, well, annoying to people who live near the courts.

“With the sport's growth, addressing noise concerns is essential to maintain a positive relationship between residential communities and facility operators. We are continuing to develop guidance and resources that offer short- and long-term solutions that continue to enhance the sport. By working together with manufacturers and the entire industry, we can develop quieter options that benefit everyone.”

That's USA Pickleball CEO Mike Nealy. He says in an effort to keep the peace -- and quiet the pop-pop-popping -- USA Pickleball is announcing a new "Quiet Category" for all pickleball products.

Nealy calls it a pivotal step in the evolution of pickleball.

USA Pickleball’s Quiet Category for equipment will promote products that deliver essentially 50 percent or less of the acoustic footprint of equipment commonly sourced and used in community parks.

Over the past 15 months, USA Pickleball has researched and studied the acoustic output within the sport, making considerable investments to lead the application of resulting data.

Collaborating with acoustic experts, USA Pickleball said it has gained an understanding and ability to address the challenges posed by noise pollution in pickleball facilities in sensitive locations.

“Due to the unprecedented levels of growth we are seeing in pickleball across the country, communities are now being faced with pressure to provide places to play. This overwhelming demand has driven municipalities and HOAs with limited resources to seek support in meeting these needs,” said Carl Schmits, USA Pickleball Managing Director of Facilities Development and Equipment Standards. “We have spoken with hundreds of facilities and concerned stakeholders over the last 15 months, and gathered considerable data related to this topic. We’re now well-equipped and ready to launch this program.”

The new officially endorsed "Quiet Category" seeks to keep the pickleball quality where it is as far as game play, but bring the sound level down by by half or more.

USA Pickleball is focused on court improvements (design, surface, location), but also sees manufacturers making major sound improvements in balls and paddles.

A lot of industry experts believe sound improvements will be the key to pickleball's growth around America.

Pickleball USA execs hope its new Quiet Category will promote the development of products that “deliver essentially 50% or less of the acoustic footprint” of the equipment that players at community parks typically use.

The category includes “specific guidance” to help manufacturers produce quieter products.


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