Pickleball courts need to be tactfully disclosed by home sellers nearby.

Jaye Gleyzal moved to the Sea Cliff gated community in Carlsbad six years ago. She enjoyed exploring its many walking paths and listening to the gentle buzz of busy hummingbirds on her patio.

But that idyllic tranquility didn’t last.

“Two years ago, they started pickleball,” she said with an exhausted laugh. “Oh my God, it changed my life overnight.”

Even if you haven’t played pickleball, you’ve probably heard about it from a fanatical uncle or roommate who says you’ve just got to try it. The game is similar to tennis, but it’s played with paddles and a hard plastic ball.

The Sea Cliff Homeowners Association painted pickleball lines on one of the community tennis courts, which is about 60 feet from Gleyzal’s bedroom window.

The sound — “POP, POP, POP,” as she describes it — is a nuisance that’s frayed her last nerve. Unlike tennis, where players rally a fuzzy ball across an 80-foot court, pickleball involves rapid-fire points exchanged at the net.

“It can be up to eight hours a day, seven days a week,” she said.

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America. According to many who live near courts, it’s also one of the loudest. People in the San Diego region and across the country are increasingly taking legal action to resolve pickleball noise disputes. There’s now a cottage industry of attorneys and consultants ready to jump in, and in some cases, pickleball has been banned outright in specific locations.

After Gleyzal wrestled with the Sea Cliff HOA for years, and after mediation didn’t yield an acceptable compromise, she took the HOA to court.

She recognizes a lawsuit is an extreme step — one she didn’t anticipate at the dispute’s outset — but she argues the sound is more than just an annoyance. Gleyzal works from home in the evenings and tries to sleep during the day, but the endless pop-pop-ing often keeps her awake. If games are still going by the time she starts work, Gleyzal has to wear noise canceling headphones to focus. On days off, she’ll often leave the house to escape the din.

She claims the noise has even started affecting her health.

“I would get these splitting headaches,” she said. “And then, my blood pressure started going up, and this was the only consistent irritation in my life.”

Her lawsuit aims to ban pickleball from the community tennis courts and seeks $300,000 in damages for the distress she’s experienced.


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