How to Handle Pickleball Noise Complaints (in 2023)

How to handle pickleball noise complaints

Do you love playing pickleball, but find that noise complaints from your neighbors can be a nuisance?

Pickleball is an increasingly popular sport, but with its popularity comes a whole host of noise complaints from neighbors. If you play pickleball in your backyard or community and have received noise complaints, it can be difficult to know how to handle the situation.

Don’t stress — this blog post is here to provide helpful advice on how to deal with pickleball noise complaints and how you can prevent them.

Here are some tips on how to resolve this issue and avoid a pickleball noise lawsuit (yes, it is possible to be sued for playing pickleball).

Be Respectful

The first step in resolving any neighborly dispute is respect. When you receive a complaint about the noise from your pickleball playing, make sure that you remain respectful throughout the conversation.

Even if your neighbors are rude or unkind, it’s important to remember that they have a legitimate concern and should be treated with kindness and understanding.

Keep Your Play Times Reasonable

Pickleball is an enjoyable game, but when it’s played outdoors it can be quite loud. To avoid too much disruption in your neighborhood, try to limit your play times to reasonable hours.

For example, try not to play before 8am or after 8pm. This will help ensure that you don’t disturb your neighbors unnecessarily and minimize the number of complaints you might receive.

Pickleball noise complaints can be prevented with quiet hours of no play

Use Sound-Reducing Equipment—Quiet pickleball paddles, balls, and court panelling

There is a variety of sound-reducing equipment available for pickleball courts that can help reduce the noise coming from your court, including quiet pickleball paddles, foam balls, and sound-dampening court paneling or netting.

I wrote an entire blog post on how to play ‘picklesoft’ AKA quiet pickleball. Read it to learn the type of foam balls and quiet pickleball paddles that you’ll need to play, along with the rules and explanation of the game!

Sun City in Surprise, Arizona, created a list of “green” or quiet pickleball paddles for their players to use. This is not an official list of quiet paddles from the USAPA, but it might help you in choosing a paddle that won’t make a lot of noise.

Most big pickleball paddle manufacturers (Selkirk, JOOLA, Onix) have at least one paddle on this list. We also have a detailed article with a full list of best pickleball paddles if you’re looking for something different.

My favorite quiet pickleball paddle from the list is the Onix React paddle. I’ve used this paddle in the past, and while I never noticed it as being quieter than other paddles (I’m not typically concerned with that aspect of my game), I do find it to be a lightweight, quality paddle with a good grip.

Our Pick
Onix React Pickleball Paddle - Quiet Paddle
  • Fusion Core technology combines polypropylene and nomex cores for powerful control
  • Increased paddle size means an easy transition to pickleball with Tennis Handle and Widebody shape for increased paddle size
  • Fusion core and graphite face intensify power and sweet spot while maintaining control
  • Paddle Dimensions – 15.5" L x 8.3" W x 1.5" H; Heavy-Weight 7.9-8.3 oz
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
05/30/2023 10:30 pm GMT

Some pickleball balls are made of foam or a softer plastic. These are usually practice balls, and are great for avoiding noise complaints while playing for fun. But they’re not a great solution for regulation play.

Until a high-quality, regulation pickleball is designed for quieter play, we might be stuck using the usual loud, hard plastic balls and attempting to quiet down the game in other ways.

Tourna 12-Pack Foam Pickleballs
  • Cheaper than being sued by your neighbor
  • Pickleball-sized foam balls are great for indoor and outdoor play
  • Simulates the actual bounce of a regular ball
  • The bounce is soft and quiet so it won't make a loud noise when hitting the court or wall.
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
05/30/2023 08:12 am GMT

Netting around the perimeter of the court and acoustic panels on walls or fences surrounding the court, like Acoustifence noise curtains, can also help. These products can significantly reduce the amount of noise generated by your games and help keep your neighbors happier.

Our Pick
48-Pack Acoustic Panels Soundproofing Foam Wedge Tiles
  • Made of polyurethane foam, an ideal material for sound insulation, sound absorption and heat insulation.
  • Easy to set up
  • An affordable option compared to other noise-dampening panels
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
05/30/2023 11:28 pm GMT

What you can do about Pickleball Noise Complaints

No one wants to deal with upset neighbors, especially when it comes to something as fun as pickleball!

But if you find yourself dealing with frequent noise complaints from nearby residents or businesses, there are several steps you can take to resolve them peacefully and amicably without having to give up on playing pickleball altogether or getting pickleball banned.

By being respectful of others’ concerns, limiting play times within reasonable hours, and investing in sound-reducing equipment for your courts, you should be able to keep everyone happy while still enjoying a great game of pickleball.


How many decibels is pickleball?

The sound generated from a pickleball game can range from around 65 to 75 decibels.

This is equivalent to the noise level of a vacuum cleaner. To put this into context, the World Health Organization (WHO) sets 70 dB as the maximum level for any workplace noise, so pickleball is considered relatively quiet.

At moderate levels, the loudest sound a pickleball player will make is when they hit an overhead shot. However, the noise can become louder if multiple players are close together and playing with power shots or serving frequently.

The noise of pickleball can also depend on the location.

For example, when playing on a concrete court, the decibel levels will be higher than when playing on a wooden court due to sound reverberation. In some cases, this can reach up to 85 dB, which would be considered too loud and potentially irritating in a residential area.

How far does pickleball noise travel?

Pickleball noise may travel up to several hundred yards, depending on the environment where it is being played.

Winds can also have an impact on how far the sound carries and can amplify or reduce its reach. For example, if there are buildings or other structures nearby, they can act as a barrier and muffle the noise.

On the other hand, if there is minimal wind, the sound may carry farther than expected. Playing outdoors will also increase the noise level and transmission distance.

It’s important to bear these environmental factors in mind when considering how far pickleball noise travels and work to avoid potential noise complaints.

Which pickleballs are the quietest?

The quietest pickleballs are made of a softer material, such as rubber or foam.

These pickleballs are designed to absorb the shock of hitting the court and reduce the noise that is generated. Pickleball players can also choose to use noise-dampening paddles which have specially designed grips to minimize the sound created when striking the ball.

The overall sound of a game can be reduced by adding netting or other acoustic materials near the court, and playing with quieter balls as well as quieter paddles will help ensure that matches remain at an acceptable volume for all involved.

Is pickleball a noisy game?

Pickleball is considered to be a noisy game as it involves a lot of rapid back-and-forth action with paddles striking the hollow plastic ball. The sound of the ball hitting the paddle and then the court surface can create an echoing effect that many people find irritating.

Additionally, players sometimes engage in a friendly (or not-so-friendly) form of banter while playing which can also contribute to the noise level. Although there have been complaints about the sound coming from pickleball courts, it’s important to note that it is usually not excessive or overly loud.

With proper court design, such as using baffles or other acoustical treatments, the noise levels can be managed and kept within acceptable limits.

How do I make my pickleball quieter?

One way to make your pickleball game quieter is to use noise-canceling equipment.

This could include playing on a court with sound-dampening materials, such as rubberized mats or specially designed pickleball nets. Additionally, you can invest in low-noise paddles and balls that have been designed to reduce noise levels.

It’s also worth considering the type of surface you’re playing on – hard courts tend to produce more noise because of the higher impact between the ball and the court surface. In general, it’s best to try and play on softer surfaces whenever possible.

You should also pay attention to the technique used when hitting the ball – using forehand topspin or backspin instead of slapping shots can help reduce noise levels significantly.

Playing at a slower pace can also help keep things quiet even if you don’t have access to any specialized quiet equipment.

How much louder is pickleball than tennis?

Pickleball is significantly louder than tennis, primarily due to the difference in the type of equipment used.

Pickleball uses a softer, lightweight ball made from plastic and polymer materials that produces a higher-pitched and sharper sound when it strikes the paddle.

Tennis, on the other hand, uses a heavier, hard-felt material for its balls and racquets that creates more of a thud sound with less vibration when hit. This makes pickleball much easier to hear and typically twice as loud as tennis games taking place on an adjacent court.

On average, people can expect to hear pickleball at around 75 decibels while tennis normally sits around 60.

Additionally, because of the smaller court size used in pickleball matches, there is often less space between players and spectators than in regular tennis matches which can amplify the sounds even more.


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