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The Great Debate: Should Music Be Banned from Pickleball Courts?

Heading to the pickleball courts is usually about enjoying some friendly competition, getting a good workout, and having fun. But what happens when someone decides to bring their favorite playlist to the game? Music on pickleball courts can be a contentious topic.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of adding a soundtrack to your serve.

Is Music Permitted at Public Pickleball Courts?

The allowance of music on public pickleball courts can vary significantly based on the specific rules and regulations of the location or municipality managing the courts. Here are some general factors to consider:

  • Local Rules and Regulations: Some public parks and recreation areas have specific guidelines regarding noise levels, which include music. It’s essential to check the signage at the court or visit the local parks and recreation department’s website for any specific rules.
  • Community Standards: In community courts within residential areas, music might be restricted due to noise ordinance laws designed to prevent disturbances in the neighborhood.
  • Event-Specific Rules: During organized events or tournaments, there might be specific guidelines about playing music to ensure a fair and distraction-free environment for all competitors.

The best approach is to always check local rules and be considerate of others using the space. If you’re unsure, you could also ask other players or court officials for their preferences or any unwritten rules.

To Play or Not to Play Music?

Music is often found at public pickleball courts, adding a lively vibe to the games. It’s common to see players enjoying a good rally with tunes playing in the background, boosting the overall energy.

However, not everyone appreciates having music on while playing. The main issue arises when the volume is so loud that it drowns out the score or makes it difficult to communicate with teammates. As one player put it, “Music is great, but not when it overpowers everything else we need to hear on the court.”

So, it’s all about finding that sweet spot. Music can definitely make playing more enjoyable, but it’s important to keep the volume in check so everyone can still enjoy the game and stay connected with their teammates.

Community Opinions on Court Tunes

Feedback from the pickleball community reveals a wide range of opinions:

  • Music Enthusiasts: Some players enjoy having music as it adds to the fun of the game. They feel it enhances their play experience and brings an extra layer of enjoyment. “I love a good beat while playing—it keeps the game lively!” says one enthusiast.
  • The Purists: Others prefer the natural sounds of the game—the pop of the pickleballs, the chatter among players. “I came from tennis and love to hear the sound of the ball off the paddle. Music just distracts from that,” one player commented.
  • Considerate Compromisers: There are also those who are fine with music as long as it doesn’t interfere with the game. They suggest a simple solution if the music gets too loud: just ask to turn it down. “We’re all adults here. A little consideration goes a long way,” a player suggests.

Music Etiquette and Compromise on the Court

Given the varying preferences, basic courtesy is crucial. This means playing music at a reasonable volume and being mindful of how it might affect other players’ ability to communicate and enjoy their game. One player advises, “If you love your music, consider using wireless earbuds. That way, you get your tunes without imposing on everyone else.”

For courts close to residential areas, it’s especially important to keep the volume down to avoid complaints from neighbors, which can lead to stricter regulations or even court closures. “It’s all about respect. We keep things low-key to stay on good terms with our neighbors,” another community member notes.

Creative Ways to Reduce Noise on the Court

When music becomes a point of contention on the pickleball court, some players have tapped into their sense of humor to find light-hearted solutions:

  • Singing Along Loudly and Off-Key: To subtly hint that the music might be too loud, try belting out tunes in the most gloriously terrible way possible; hopefully, the noise will encourage a volume reduction.
  • Playful Song Requests: Instead of directly asking to turn off the music, how about asking for tracks like “Silence is Golden” or “Enjoy the Silence”? It sends the message with a wink and a smile.
  • Humorous Misheard Lyrics: Changing song lyrics on the fly to something absurd or funny can draw attention to the music in a humorous way, sparking a laugh and maybe even a lower volume.
  • Pickleball Parodies: Creating pickleball-themed parody lyrics to popular songs can be a fun way to make light of the situation while showing off some creative flair.
  • Dramatic Conducting: Pretend you’re the conductor of an orchestra, giving exaggerated cues to “lower the volume” with big, sweeping motions—this can turn a moment of frustration into a bit of court-side entertainment.
  • The ‘Accidental’ Hero: Some players joke about ‘accidentally’ hitting the Bluetooth speaker with a pickleball to disrupt the connection, or playfully walking over to the sound system to ‘inspect’ it and sneakily turning it down.

When all else fails, a friendly and direct request to turn down the music usually does the trick, keeping the courts a harmonious place for everyone to enjoy their game.

Why I Prefer Silence Over Soundtracks on the Court

From my perspective, while the vibrant beats of a playlist can add a fun twist to a game, I personally choose not to play music on the pickleball court. For me, the essence of pickleball isn’t just in the play; it’s also in the camaraderie and the subtle communications between partners and opponents. Music, especially at higher volumes, can overshadow these crucial interactions and distract from the game’s strategic elements.

I’ve found that hearing the pop of the pickleball on paddles, catching the low murmur of a strategy discussion, or even just enjoying a laugh with my doubles partner, enhances the experience far more than any soundtrack could. It keeps me connected not just to the game, but to the people I share the court with.

So, while the decision to crank up some tunes can be tempting, I advocate for keeping the court a music-free zone where the sounds of the game and its players can shine.


Q. Is music allowed on all public pickleball courts?

The allowance of music on public pickleball courts varies based on local rules and regulations. It’s essential to check the signage at the court or visit the local parks and recreation department’s website for specific guidelines.

Q. How can I find out if music is permitted at my local pickleball court?

You can check the signage at the court, visit the local parks and recreation department’s website, or ask other players or court officials for their preferences or any unwritten rules.

Q. What should I do if the music on the court is too loud?

If the music is too loud, you can politely ask the person playing the music to turn it down. Alternatively, you can use humorous or creative methods to hint that the volume is too high.

Q. Are there any alternatives to playing music on the court?

Yes, you can use wireless earbuds to listen to music without imposing on others. This way, you can enjoy your tunes while keeping the court environment pleasant for everyone.

Q. Why do some players prefer not to have music on the court?

Some players prefer the natural sounds of the game, such as the pop of the pickleball on paddles and the chatter among players. They feel that music can distract from the game’s strategic elements and the camaraderie between partners and opponents.

What do you think?

Written by Billy Pickles

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