North Salem Recreation Department considering pickleball courts for Joe Bohrdrum Park


Photo by Joan Azeka on Unsplash

The North Salem Recreation Department is in talks to add pickleball courts to Joe Bohrdrum Field Park in North Salem. If preliminary plans are approved at Tuesday evening's Town Board meeting, work would begin to prepare the courts over the coming weeks.

Pickleball, which is a cross between ping-pong and tennis, has seen a dramatic rise in popularity over the past several years. Pickleball grew in 2021 to 4.8 million players in the U.S., per the USA Pickleball Association. The sport has grown 34% in the past three years, making it the fastest-growing sport in the United States, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s (SFIA) 2022 Topline Participation Report.

The game is played on a badminton-sized court with a 34-inch high net in the middle. Players use paddles that look like oversized ping-pong paddles and play using a wiffleball. The game can be played on an existing tennis court, using different lines that demarcate a smaller field of play.

The North Salem Recreation Department is already planning routine maintenance, including crack repairs, to J.B. Park’s existing tennis courts. That work is expected to be completed by Brewster-based Sport Tech Acrylics. Following repairs, the Town would likely also contract with Sport Tech Acrylics to add line striping for pickleball courts. The company quoted the Town a rate of $1,300 to stripe two all-weather pickleball courts.

Lauren Rosasco, Recreation Department leader, said that the department is meeting Monday night to finalize its plans, and added that should the courts go forward, the department would aim to offer an introductory class or a ‘try it’ day for interested residents. Class details have yet to be worked out. “It would depend on the date the project is completed and the courts are ready to be used,” Rosasco said.

Pickleball is already being offered by several neighboring towns’ recreation departments, including Ridgefield, which offers indoor court times, Somers, Lewisboro, Pound Ridge and Yorktown.

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