SINGAPORE: Pickleball, described as a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping pong, has many fans in the US, and the craze has begun to spread to Singapore. However, the loud noise produced by the hard plastic ball-hitting rackets has made people wonder if Singapore isn’t the best place to play it, considering how closely people live together.
Last month, a man took to social media saying that after three years of renovations in his area, he had hoped they would finally sleep better. However, “end up a bunch of people started playing don’t know what sport … every single morning. (Ok, found out it’s called pickleball). And the sound of the ball is really penetrating and loud. Plus their cheering…,” wrote a netizen who goes by Toh Ray on the Complaint Singapore Facebook page on Aug 16.
He added that the players are not residents and that he doesn’t know what to do, especially because he works at night, but sleep is impossible after 9:00 am as people come every day for sports.
If they had been playing badminton, this would have been better as the game only has “minimal” sounds.
“One of the biggest obstacles to the growth of the sport of pickleball is the noise that results when a paddle hits a pickleball. Although most pickleball players may love to hear that sound, neighbors of the courts do not always agree…
The sound of a pickleball hitting a paddle reaches a decibel level of 70 dBA when measured 100 feet away from the court. This is higher than tennis (at 40 dBA), city noise (at 55 dBA), and a whisper (at 25 dBA). But, this is lower than a vacuum cleaner (at 75 dBA).
However, what may be more striking than the decibel level, is the frequency. Pickleball has a high pitch, with a frequency of about 1.2k Hz, which is similar to the beeping noise that a reversing garbage truck makes. The garbage truck is intended to be loud and ‘annoying’ in order to catch your attention on the roads. So, this ‘annoying frequency’ is an issue for pickleball,” reads The Pickler, a site dedicated to the sport.
On Tuesday (Sept 11), crowdsourced news site STOMP posted a story from a contributor named Roland, who said that the pickleball games near Block 636A Choa Chu Kang North have been so noisy that he’s been trying to get the Marsiling-Yew Tee Town Council (MYTTC) to do something for the past few months.
While the games are allowed until 10 pm, Roland is trying to get an earlier cut-off time of 8 pm.
More on the noise from pickleball below.