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Monday, May 20, 2024

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In Avalon, Tennis Community Pushes Back Against Losing Courts to Pickleball

Mayor Martin Pagliughi

By Vince Conti

AVALON – When Mayor Martin Pagliughi announced that Avalon would host an Association of Pickleball Professionals tour stop in 2023, he did so at the borough’s sports complex on Eighth Street. The complex boasts ten state-of-the-art pickleball courts.
When Pagliughi made his October announcement that the professional tournament is coming to town in September, he also spoke of the borough’s intent to double the number of pickleball courts before the professionals arrived in town.
At the borough council meeting Dec. 14, Recreation Director Chuck McDonnell said the number of new pickleball courts planned for the Eighth Street complex is now six, not 10. In order to construct 10 new courts, the borough would have had to remove adjacent tennis courts with the intention of relocating them elsewhere in the complex. The town’s tennis enthusiasts pushed to ensure that tennis would still be an option at 8th Street and Pagliughi said that was never in doubt.
Even the New York Times has picked up on what many media sources are calling the turf war between tennis and pickleball. The dramatic growth in pickleball has put many communities in a bind as they try to apportion space for both sports. While McDonnell provided no details, he said “the taking away of tennis courts in that area would not work with what we are trying to accomplish.”
As it now stands, the tennis courts will not be disturbed and the new pickleball courts will be added to the complex, in space that is not adjacent to the existing ones. 
McDonnell did point out that six, rather than 10, new pickleball courts will allow more space between the courts, which is desirable for more accomplished players and certainly for professionals.
Email: vconti@cmcherald.com

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