Open Letter: Is Popular Pickleball Just ‘Too Darn Noisy’ For Colorado?
It's like pickleball has become the new thing to hate in Colorado. It's easy, great exercise, and a great way to hang out with friends/family. Why can't Colorado embrace it?
Some days it feels like the Centennial State itself has a case of the "Karens," as pickleball enthusiasts are being all but ostracized in their communities. A sport that dates back to the mid-1960s could exit Colorado before long.
Though pickleball has been around for decades, it seems that only in the last few years has it begun to take off in Colorado. There's even a new indoor pickleball gym that has opened in Loveland.
Some paddles, a ball that's like a Whiffle ball, a court. That's about all you need to start embracing pickleball. "Embracing" seems to be a hard thing to do when it comes to pickleball within more and more Colorado towns/cities.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN REASONS TO HATE PICKLEBALL IN COLORADO?
- "It's not really a sport. It's more of an activity; a game."
- "It's too trendy. If everyone's doing it, I'm out."
- "It's an old people's game."
WHAT IS THE MAIN COMPLAINT ABOUT PICKLEBALL IN COLORADO?
Clearly, people are "raising issues" with the noise of pickleball. To me, it's just so silly to get all worked up about the sound of people enjoying themselves, without hurting anyone else.
In September of 2023, the city of Centennial initiated an ordinance that puts a six-month ban on the construction of any new pickleball courts within 500 feet of homes.
I can hear someone chiming in:
Not in my backyard....
According to CBS Colorado, the sponsor(s) of the ordinance stated that pickleball poses an immediate, real, and unreasonable risk to public health and safety.
In addition, Centennial's ordinance mandates that the noise level of pickleball cannot exceed 47 decibels. Yale's Department of Health & Safety states the following activities/things and their decibel level:
- City Traffic: 85 decibels.
- Normal Conversation: 60-70 decibels.
- Household Refrigerator: 55 decibels.
- Suburban Area at Night: 40 decibels.
So, if pickleball in Centennial reaches almost a refrigerator's noise level, is it over? Seems vague. Are they talking about all the courts in an area together or just one court? Will they begin banning conversations?
WHAT ARE OTHER COLORADO CITIES DOING ABOUT PICKLEBALL?
In April of 2023, Denver put an end to pickleball at Congress Park because of noise complaints.
I just don't get it. It's not like people are playing pickleball at 11 p.m.; this is a daytime game/sport/activity. Will these ordinances take all of the courts that we currently have, away?