LETTER: Tennis and pickleball incompatible on County courts

Let’s get the facts straight about the “vandalism” at the “Bloomfield pickleball court” (Picton Gazette, June 4, Vandalism at pickelball court in Bloomfield; Season to be delayed due to lines being painted over).

All of the courts in PEC were tennis courts NOT pickleball courts. Tennis enthusiasts in The County lobbied long and hard and for years to have the courts refurbished.

After a decade of working with council, funds were set aside and the courts were finally repaired. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from April to October tennis is played in Bloomfield and has been for decades. That group is responsible for having the tennis courts saved and not turned into parking lots as they have been in so many communities. It’s an inclusive group continually encouraging new players.

Then, without consultation, the pickleball lines were drawn all over the tennis lines. At first they were green but then I guess that wasn’t bold enough so bright yellow was painted on top of the blue tennis court, ruining sight lines that are necessary to play tennis. Under any circumstance it is very difficult to discern what the tennis lines are from the pickleball lines but add bright sun and it’s just about impossible.

Benson Park for instance is a disaster for tennis play. There are so many pickleball courts drawn over the tennis lines that tennis players can’t stand to play there. Picture playing pool on a table that has roulette wheels drawn all over it while shining a bright light in your eye. Oh and you have to run to hit the ball at the same time!

The lines that were painted over in Bloomfield were done last summer not “last fall or this spring” and the reason pickleball players don’t know that is because they never bothered playing in Bloomfield in 2019. We know that because we have it monitored. It was absolutely misleading in last weeks article to say “defacing the Bloomfield courts will create a shortage of courts” for pickleball. That was a political ploy to make the tennis group look like the bad guys. If they play pickleball there then why has it been almost a year since anyone noticed the lines painted out? So where does all this lead us? Tennis players need tennis lines only.

The two sports are not compatible although some people enjoy playing both; the courts need to be separate. The least that could have been done was to ask the local tennis group what they thought about bright yellow pickleball lines. That lapse of judgement and brutish attitude is the real problem. How about setting up curling lanes on the ice hockey surface and absolutely don’t ask the hockey organization?

Whoever painted out the lines didn’t do it in the spirit of vandalism; it was justice for challenging the dedication to a sport, ignoring an established tradition of local residents and the ruining of our game.

Shryl Nussey


(Submitted Photo)