RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A sport that is growing in popularity is ruffling some feathers in one New Jersey village.
On Sunday, CBS2’s Nick Caloway went to Ridgewood, where pickleball is creating quite the pickle.
It’s a fun game with a funny name.
Pickleball is sort of a combination of several sports all wrapped into one.
“Racquetball, paddle tennis, ping pong and tennis,” said pickleball player Jeff Pfeffer.
“Pickleball is like tennis, but for older people who don’t run as well and move as well,” Lillian Blood added.
It is popular with all ages.
“It’s a camaraderie, and we’re all looking to have a good time,” Barbara Parker said.
But in the quiet village of Ridgewood, the constant back-and-forth sound of paddles hitting the pickleball has gotten some complaints from people who live near a court at the Glen School.
Ridgewood Mayor Susan Knudsen spoke about it at a council meeting last week.
“The pickleball courts are impacting multiple neighbors, their families, their young children, senior citizens. It is a noise issue that is not easily remedied,” Knudsen said.
Caloway did speak with several people who live near the court, but none wanted to go on camera. One did say the constant sound of pickleball play is making her life miserable.
But several others said it didn’t bother them at all.
Noise barriers were installed and muted paddles are now required to help bring down the decibels.
And in March, Knudsen and the majority of the Village Council voted to limit hours and days when pickleball is allowed.
Permits are also required and are only available to residents.
Last week, they voted to extend the time restrictions until October.
Councilmember Pamela Perron voted against that extension, because the time limits don’t allow for early-morning play.
“We are ruining the whole season for the pickleball players because they’re forced to play in the heat of the day, which just is medically bad for them,” Perron said.
Those restrictions angered players, forcing some, like Pfeffer, to go play in other, neighboring towns.
“For them to just close us out, shut people out during the pandemic, is totally unconscionable,” Pfeffer said.
As fast as the sport is growing, pickleball is not going anywhere.
So, that relentless, seemingly never-ending pop-pop sound, will endure.
Whether you like it or not.
Some players are asking Bergen County officials to allow for pickleball play at county parks, to accommodate all the new players.
CBS2’s Nick Caloway contributed to this report.