A dispute has arisen between players and the city at one of San Jose’s busiest pickleball courts.
In Accordance With City Regulations
Citywide Sports, a branch of the San Jose Parks Department that manages field reservations, is urging pickleball enthusiasts at Paul Moore Park to dismantle their nets after the day’s sessions.
This move is aimed at ensuring court availability for all park visitors in accordance with city regulations and to prevent theft or damage.
The absence of a designated area within the park for storing nets has exacerbated the situation, especially when access to a shed suitable for net storage was removed. The upshot is that players have to dismantle and take the nets home at the end of every day.
More Permanent Courts
Chris Roth, a former San Jose Pickleball Club board member, has emphasized the necessity of establishing more permanent pickleball courts. He believes this would also alleviate conflicts over court space with tennis players.
Should permanent courts be unfeasible, Roth has advocated reutilizing the storage shed previously accessible to the club.
Roth was happy with the general atmosphere on the courts, telling the San Jose Spotlight, “It’s kind of a utopia, people just rotating and having fun and getting to know each other, especially after the pandemic.”
However, Kenji Miwa, co-founder and former president of the San Jose Pickleball Club, emphasized the logistical challenge: “There’s (sic) six heavy nets someone’s got to store in their garage or their car, and then they have to drive out there, set them up. That’s not trivial.”
Kenji posted this image on the San Jose Pickleball Club Facebook page.
“To Facilitate Access For All Users”
Addressing the issue, Daniel Lazo, spokesperson for the parks department, advises that the pickleball club was notified on July 17 to clear out equipment from the shed, which is intended for Adopt-a-Park gear.
While acknowledging pickleball’s rapid growth, the city’s priority is to ensure court availability as needed.
Lazo noted, “Our aim is to facilitate access for all users,” in conversation with San Jose Spotlight.
“Our aim is to facilitate access for all users.”Daniel Lazo
Roth criticized these measures as unjustified. He disclosed that players had sought a resolution by sending over 50 emails to the parks department, the mayor’s office, and Council member Pam Foley, representing the Paul Moore Park vicinity.
Foley recognized the sport’s positive influence on residents but emphasized the parks department’s obligation to enforce safety regulations. She hoped that ongoing discussions between park staff and the pickleball club regarding the shed and equipment storage would yield a productive outcome.
Since the end of the pandemic, Paul Moore Park has enjoyed great popularity as a pickleball destination, coinciding with the surge in interest in the sport.
The San Jose Pickleball Club reports the city boasts nearly 60 courts, with Paul Moore Park attracting approximately 100 visitors during daytime hours and around 60 at night.
Miwa highlighted the predicament of the lack of a central storage space. He explained, “We lack a headquarters of operations. We’re a nonprofit social club, all volunteers. None of us are receiving compensation. Yet, we believe we’ve contributed significantly to the community.”
The parks department has initiated an internal team to devise plans for additional pickleball courts, as confirmed by Lazo.
San Jose Pickleball Club
San Jose Pickleball Club’s website is at sanjosepickleballclub.org.
They say, “Come out early between 4:30 and 5 pm to help set up nets and get some personal drill time with our volunteers. This is open to the public and free for all to attend. Open play for all skill levels after 8 pm till lights out at 10 pm.”
Click here for more of our articles about pickleball in and around San Jose.
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