USA Pickleball, the National Governing Body for the sport in the U.S., has announced the introduction of its Quiet Category for pickleball products.
Reducing Acoustic Output
This initiative aims to diminish the sport’s sound output during recreational play, addressing the growing popularity and the opening of new outdoor courts.
The Quiet Category will highlight products that reduce acoustic output without compromising performance. USA Pickleball is also expanding its Facilities Development program to continue its support of noise-reduction solutions for potentially sound-sensitive venues.
“A Pivotal Step”
Mike Nealy, CEO of USA Pickleball, spoke enthusiastically about this development, stating, “We are excited to introduce the new Quiet Category for pickleball equipment and related initiatives as a pivotal step in the evolution of pickleball.”
Nealy emphasized the importance of addressing noise concerns to maintain positive relationships between communities and facility operators: “With the sport’s growth, addressing noise concerns is essential to maintain a positive relationship between residential communities and facility operators.
“We are continuing to develop guidance and resources that offer short- and long-term solutions that continue to enhance the sport. By working with manufacturers and the entire industry, we can develop quieter options that benefit everyone.”
The Quiet Category sets a standard for equipment, promoting products that produce 50 percent or less of the acoustic footprint commonly found in community parks.
Extensive Research And Study
Over the past 15 months, extensive research and study have been conducted to understand and address the acoustic challenges within the sport. USA Pickleball has collaborated with acoustic experts to gain valuable insights.
The Quiet Category will offer specific guidance to manufacturers, providing test fixture requirements and procedures to facilitate innovation while preserving the essence of the game.
This category will encompass a range of products, including paddles, balls, paddle covers, and noise mitigation screens.
USA Pickleball is also launching an incentive program to encourage manufacturers to deliver noise-reduced solutions in the Competition-Certified Category.
Excited to announce our Quiet Category for pickleball products, a revolutionary initiative to reduce the sport’s sound output during rec play.🏓— USA Pickleball (@USAPickleball) September 25, 2023
USAP has invested in the research & creation of solutions to enable more communities to enjoy the sport. More: https://t.co/VW4Hukugm0
Addressing Noise Concerns
USA Pickleball will expand its site design, evaluation, and acoustic mitigation services to address noise concerns in local communities within its Facilities Development program.
These services will assess key variables affecting acoustic propagation throughout the development process.
Carl Schmits, Managing Director of Facilities Development and Equipment Standards, acknowledged the challenges brought about by the sport’s rapid growth.
He stated, “Due to the unprecedented levels of growth we are seeing in pickleball across the country, communities are now being faced with pressure to provide places to play.
“This overwhelming demand has driven municipalities and HOAs with limited resources to seek support in meeting these needs.”
“We have spoken with hundreds of facilities and concerned stakeholders over the last 15 months and gathered considerable data related to this topic. We’re now well-equipped and ready to launch this program.”
Uniform Lab Tests
Future initiatives include facilitating test installations, conducting uniform lab tests, and integrating solutions when simulating facilities in the planning and development stages.
The organization plans to continue investing in acoustic research and programs, aiming to enhance evaluations, provide materials guidance, and offer input for evolving codes and ordinances.
More information about USA Pickleball’s acoustic programs will be announced in the coming months.
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