Pickleballers Sound Test in Oak Bay, to Save North Saanich Courts

Pickleball Courts closed due to notice

North Saanich Courts were to be shut by the council last month(May). But the pickleball players prove the politicians wrong by adding science to it.

Dozens of pickleball players take part to measure sound level at Oak Bay’s, recently upgraded pickleball courts with fitted acoustic panels last year.

“What we’re trying to show is with acoustic paneling combined with the soft (pickleball) paddle, brings the noise level down to kinda regular ambient noise,” said Tessa Graham, vice-president of the Victoria Regional Pickleball Association (VRPA).

“Because that seems to be the main issue and reason why North Saanich council and mayor shut down the pickleball courts.”

Mikkers, who is responsible for collecting data, measures the frequency and volume of the sounds coming from the pickleball courts.

Using a top-quality microphone, he measured pickleball noise 1st with the court, and then outside the court. Combining them with and without acoustic panels.

Watson then used a regular paddle, before players could be used locally produced paddles, manufactured to be much quieter.

“You’ll see the difference,” said Watson.

Quieter paddles reduced 50 percent of noise on the court without the noise-mitigating curtain. “Mikkers notice”

Using the quieter paddles on the side of the court with the curtain, the noise reduction was significant – “80 to 90 percent,” Mikkers said.

Mikkers says the noise from the adjacent tennis court was louder than the pickleball court’s pops.

“Anybody can play and that’s the big draw,” said Trish Fougner, a board member with the VRPA.

Furthermore, the association funded $4,000 to mitigate Oak Bay’s noise curtain. However, the total cost was $30,000 for the project.

Fougner says the group would consider financially contributing to a similar project at the North Saanich court.

Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in North America, with the 18-34 demographic growing fastest.

“It’s just an interactive and social game,” said Frank Gee, a pickleball player from North Saanich.”

The next step is to collect data in Oak Bay to the North Saanich council. The group says. Hoping the municipality will look into the concern for installing a noise mitigating curtain on the Wain Road court, keeping neighbours happy and pickles flying.

The group says the next step will be to take the data it collected in Oak Bay to North Saanich council. It hopes the municipality will consider installing a noise mitigating curtain on the Wain Road court, keeping the pickles flying and neighbours happy.