Further evidence of the rift between tennis players and pickleballers was clearly visible after an incident in Norfolk County, Massachusetts.
The Needham police are investigating an attack by vandals on Mills Field pickleball courts in Needham. The first incident involved someone slashing the nets, and in the second, the nets were thrown out of the courts. On Monday morning, players noticed that four of the six had been shredded.
The pickleball nets are set up on the tennis courts and are on rollers, and players have permission from the town to move them to the side when tennis players are using the courts.
Several players reported an argument over the weekend with tennis players about sharing the facilities, but they don’t know if it relates to the vandalism. Pickleball has become hugely popular in Needham, with the number of players growing exponentially over the past year.
Pickleball Vandals:— David Wade (@davidwade) April 24, 2023
Someone slashed four Pickleball nets at Mills Field in Needham. I shot some video on the way to work.
Some Pickleball players said there was an argument this weekend with tennis players about sharing the courts.
Police tell me they don’t know the motive. pic.twitter.com/vuUHpxQn9R
Pickleballer Lisa Rhoades said, “We were more than happy to coexist with tennis players and share the facilities as needed, but someone had this rage inside of them to take it out on us.”
“Apparently, over the weekend somebody came by and cut four of the nets right down the middle. So, they’re completely unusable,” she added.
“We started a year ago when there were five of us. Now it’s close to 1,100. It’s just exponentially blown up,” according to pickler Paul Pasquarosa.
The neighbors paid for the nets themselves and were willing to share the facilities with the tennis players.
The vandalism occurred between two other incidents: a verbal spat between tennis and pickleball players on Saturday and the nets being thrown and trampled on Monday afternoon.
Another pickleball player Chrissy Silverman said, “Today, when I came down, someone had basically dissembled them and bent some of the poles and left them in a heap. It just looks like a pile of trash.”
Monday’s damage occurred at the same time as a local girls’ high school were in the middle of a tennis match. The superintendent of Needham schools has confirmed to WBZ-TV they’re increasing their local presence and investigating this “unacceptable adult behavior.”
Former tennis pro and Olympic silver medalist Tim Mayotte commented, “It’s a war. There’s no question, and if you go online and see on Twitter and Facebook, people are at each other’s throats.
“One of the big problems is that on two tennis courts, you might have 25 or 30 pickle players,” Mayotte said. “But then there’s always people waiting. In tennis, you used to have space and quiet. The two peoples really don’t get along at all.”
We have featured other articles talking about the differences between pickleball and tennis. Click here to read an example.
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