Wellesley Neighbors Upset Over ‘Stressful' Noise From Pickleball Courts

The town's recreation commission held a hearing Friday morning to address the issue, hearing from pro- and anti-pickleball camps

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Some people in Wellesley are annoyed over the sounds of pickleball matches that are emanating from Sprague Fields, prompting the Boston suburb's recreation commission to hold an emergency hearing on Friday morning to hear more about the issue from residents.

"I find the noise for Pickleball very annoying, upsetting," John Maccini said during the meeting, which was held over Zoom. "I hear it in every room in my house. It’s stressful. They should not have those courts where they are now."

Pickleball combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. It's played on a badminton-sized court and with a modified tennis net. Players use paddles to hit a plastic ball back and forth, which creates the popping sound that some in Wellesley are upset over.

"It’s like hearing a perpetual game of ping-pong," Dr. Christopher Garris said, who was also upset about the noise. "Significant, chronic noise has an impact on health and well being."

As pickleball’s popularity rises, it’s catching the eyes of tennis players, including 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens.

Not everyone was against the game, and some were trying to serve up a compromise.

"I personally find the attempt to prohibit the pickleball at Sprague by a small number of people to be against the welcoming and inclusionary ideas espoused by most of Wellesley," Jim Garvey said.

Those who play the fast-growing sport hope the town will keep the courts where they are.

"I just hope that you consider not limiting such a great sport and activity in town," Christine Mizzi said, who plays pickleball.

After hearing from a number of people on both sides of the issue, the Wellesley Recreation Commission is expected to come up with some sort of solution.

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