On Thursday, the New York Post reported that New York City has banned adult pickleball players from a children's playground, after a "turf war" that saw them setting up athletic equipment where children are supposed to be allowed to play.
"The fad racquet sport has been banned at a West Village playground, where parents complained for months that adult pickleball fans were hogging up all the blacktop space and making it impossible for kids to have fun," reported Jesse O'Neill and Georgette Roberts.
"Corporal John A. Seravalli Playground in Manhattan’s West Village had designated two courts solely for the tennis-lite game, but many adults were so desperate to get their pickleball fix they put up their own nets and courts on kids’ play spaces," said the report. "Up to 12 matches had been going on at a time on nice days and some frustrated parents instructed their kids to run through the illicit games to reclaim their park space, The Post reported in October."
A new sign placed by the city states, "Pickleball is no longer allowed in Seravalli Playground."
"[One] nanny, Helen Chicklas, 27, told The Post that children in the park are much happier now that they aren’t being bullied by adult pickleball players," said the report. Speaking to the paper, she said: “I saw them yelling at kids when the kids’ balls would go onto their court. ‘Watch where your ball is going,’ one of the players shouted. The kids were old enough not to cry but that was wrong. They felt like they were entitled to the space. I don’t think they care about the kids.”
Children's play spaces are often threatened by adults encroaching on their space, and not only to play sports but to cause harm to the children. Last year, an arrest warrant was issued for an Indiana woman after a video appeared to show her chasing a Black child around a playground with a knife, screaming the N-word.