SAN DIEGO– The city of San Diego is asking for national help to resolve the battle between pickleball and tennis, and where each sport should play.
“It’s just been an evolving issue regarding facility and activity,” said Jim Brown, a pickleball player.
John Broderick, the president of the San Diego District Tennis Association, said “I agree they don’t have a lot of dedicated courts, nobody is saying that they don’t. It’s that trying to take one sport away in order to take over another, when that sport is already doing well, that’s why there is a problem.”
Tennis players and pickleball players say they want both sports to thrive. But where, that’s the battle.
Brown said “one solution is some of those dedicated tennis courts that are under utilized and are gonna have to become co used courts. And then you can use time or zone management to separate the conflicting activities.”
The City of San Diego doesn’t have a dedicated pickleball court. There are some tennis courts with pickleball lines, like at Gershwin Park. A group of neighbors starting drawing lines with chalk before talking with the city for a year on permanent pickleball lines.
However, the tennis community said that’s not the best solution. Broderick said more tennis courts are actually needed in the city.
“Just because this surface works for you and it’s a different sport, doesn’t mean you can take it over,” Broderick said.
“Pickleball if you’re sharing a facility with it, its very loud. The paddle on the ball when you hear that sounds is very distracting, when you are trying to play tennis,” Broderick said.
“Since we have nothing, we’d be happy to share. I don’t honestly believe that you can look to folks who don’t have anything and ask them for compromise. As opposed to looking at the folks who have virtually everything. I think that’s where the compromise has to come,” Brown said.
The City of San Diego has asked Jodie Adams, a fellow with the American Academy of Parks and Recreation Administrators based at Missouri State University.
“We just need to see a little better spirit of when it comes to accommodating both groups of the public,” Brown said.
“I think she’s coming at it from both sides. I’m happy to see what happens, to see with what she uncovers,” Broderick said.