Court battle at Seaside as pickleball, tennis players volley

The topic of pickleball packed another Rec & Parks meeting on Oct. 30, as the commission discussed converting more courts to allow pickleball.

People play pickleball at Seaside COURTESY PHOTO

“There were a lot of voices in the crowd,” Rec & Parks Commissioner Matt Martin told the Current. “We heard opinions from the tennis community, opinions from neighbors concerned about noise and opinions from pickleball constituents who are looking for more places to play.”

Pickleball players had asked to temporarily line courts three and four at Seaside Park for dual use for tennis and pickleball. 

“At first glance, we were all in. We have approval from the MIAA (Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association) for dual purpose on each court,” Martin said.

“But after hearing from a tennis coach and other tennis players — and even younger guys like high school kids… it’s really difficult to play a tennis match with multiple lines in the court… to know what’s in and what’s out.

“So I amended the motion to not put any lines on courts three and four, and put permanent lines on court two for dual purpose,” Martin continued. Until now, court two had temporary, taped lines, which sometimes blew up in the wind posing a safety hazard.

Marblehead High School tennis coach Tracy Ackerman spoke at the meeting, along with some of her players.

“We have tons of tennis players and we just want to keep the courts as they are,” Ackerman told the Current. “Pickleball took over three courts at Vets and one more court at Seaside.”

As a result of the meeting, there will now be two courts where pickleball can  be played at Seasdie and another six courts at Vets.

“It’s a mini victory getting painted lines on court two,” said Marblehead’s USA Pickleball Ambassador Lisa Spinale.

Spinale says she is “still pushing for pickleball programming, clinics and lessons” through the Rec & Parks.

For more information on pickleball in town, visit

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Editor Leigh Blander is an experienced TV, radio and print journalist who has written hundreds of stories for local newspapers, including the Marblehead Reporter.

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