Parents Furious As Pickleball Players Overtake Playgrounds

Two multi-ethnic senior  men playing paddleball. They are a doubles team. The African-American man, in his 70s, is concentrating as he reaches to hit the ball with his paddle.  His partner, in his 60s, is watching and smiling.

At a glance

  • Parents and pickleball lovers are sparring over turf in city parks. The racket sport has exploded in popularity — it has grown by 40% in the last two years and now has 4.8 million players nationwide, according to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association.
  • NYC players are desperate for more courts, so much so that they’re bringing their own nets and chalking their own lines to make temporary DIY courts in city parks, alongside those officially designated for them.
  • Moms and dads are not having it, fights are erupting, Parks Department staffers are being called and even the City Council is getting involved.

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