Orange County Community in a Pickle over New Pickleball Courts
Pickleball is all the rage these days, but community members of one Orange County town aren't thrilled with the location of a new court coming to the area.
The History of Pickleball
If you haven't been paying attention Pickleball has made a splash across the US in the last year or so. The game combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong that make for a fast pace, competitive game for the whole family.
According to USAPickleball.org, the game was created in 1965 near Seattle, Washington when 3 dads were trying to remedy their kids boredom. The site explains:
Three dads – Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum — whose kids were bored with their usual summertime activities — are credited for creating game. Pickleball has evolved from original handmade equipment and simple rules into a popular sport throughout the US and Canada.
The site adds that there around 8.9 million players in the U.S. over the age of six, and that's a huge increase from 4.8 million in 2022.
Pickleball Makes a Splash in Hudson Valley
Pickleball courts have been popping up all over the Hudson Valley as of late as well as pickleball lessons and pick-up games. However, one Orange County community is none too pleased with the newest pickleball court location.
On Saturday, May 20th 2023, Orange County Government announced on Facebook that construction has begun on "four new pickleball courts at Thomas Bull Memorial Park in Montgomery and they should be ready to play on by mid-August."
The announcement was then hit with backlash in the comment section over the location of the new pickleball courts. Apparently the courts will be built around the area of the horse ring, which is worrying the equestrian community. One community explained it's a safety issues writing:
This is a significant safety issue for the horses as so many equestrians have pointed out in this thread. Clearly the horse community was not asked for input on this. Horses are NOT big dogs. We should all screen shot this post and the comments so when something happens (and it will) we can tell Orange County "we told you so". OC should stop construction and get input before continuing with construction. This is BAD.
Many believe one of the bigger safety issues is the pickleballs rolling into the horse rings. Another community member wrote:
This was obviously planned by people who don’t know or own horses. Trailer parking lost, riding field lost, threat to the safety of riders in the rings — this was suppose to be the horse area. Seems like they are trying to get rid of equestrian activities!!
Others seem to be excited with the new addition to Thomas Bull Memorial Park and hope this leads to other additions like basketball courts and walking trails.
We'll keep an eye on the to see when and if they respond to the situation.