Pickleball Playing Leads to Noise Complaints in Berkeley

NBC Universal, Inc.

A fast-growing sport is causing some consternation in an East Bay city.

Pickleball, a mashup of regular tennis and table tennis, is popular among cooped-up seniors and millennials, but a lot of fed up neighbors in Berkeley say it’s just too noisy.

During play, a whacking sound is created when a player uses a paddle to hit a plastic ball with holes.

"I understand. It's noisy," Michael Aviles of Oakland said.

Pickleball is what keeps the 67-year-old Aviles active, even after two hip replacements.

But it’s where the pickleball courts in Berkeley are located — sandwiched between two apartment complexes along Hopkins Street — that’s causing frustration for residents like Ingrid Crickmore.

"It's just very wearing on your ears," she said. "It's just bang, bang."

DeAnn Horn is also among those frustrated.

"It's seven days a week, 12 hours a day," she said.

Horn said weekends are the worst. She shared some photos showing people lining up to wait for their turn.

The noise motivated neighbors to organize. A total of 86 people, who live on both sides of the courts, signed a petition, urging the city to transform the courts back into one tennis court.

The City of Berkeley, the city’s parks department and the councilmember for the district did not immediately respond to NBC Bay Area's request for comment.

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