Noise pollution from padel courts: a growing problem

Imagine this: you are relaxing in your garden, enjoying the sunshine and peace, and suddenly there is loud shouting and dull thudding of rackets. This is a scenario many people face these days, as more and more tennis and padel courts are being built in residential areas. The result is increasing noise pollution for local residents. In this blog, we discuss the causes of noise pollution from paddle fields and what can be done to reduce it.

What are the causes of noise pollution from padel courts?

Padel is a fast and energetic sport. This is because padel courts are smaller than tennis courts, have a hard surface and play is allowed with and on the sides. This makes the game fast-paced and challenging for practitioners! Due to the smaller playing area and sidewalls, noise is often concentrated in a particular area, increasing its nuisance.

Compared to tennis noise, which local residents generally find less disturbing, sounds coming from padel courts are very different in nature in 2 ways. First, the sport is much more dynamic than tennis due to the short duration and intensity of the game with cries of joy or loud conversations between the four players each time, reflected off the side walls of the court. Second, one also captures a much lower frequency range of racket sound: much heavier low tonality (lower frequency) that spreads much better than the sound of a regular tennis racket. Compare the diagram of the sound signature of padel relative to tennis: (note: insert diagram).

We have noticed that residents of tennis clubs that have recently invested in padel courts experience a large increase in nuisance. People used to be comfortable with the tennis courts in the immediate area, but suddenly the nuisance increases to a great extent when the padel courts are put into use. Resulting in several neighbor complaints.

What can be done to reduce noise pollution from padel courts for neighbors?

There are several ways to reduce noise pollution from padel courts. Sometimes new municipal regulations have come into effect that require padel clubs to address this problem and take measures in the form of acoustic perimeter protection or even relocate the padel courts.

In France, there are examples of clubs that have covered the padel courts with a canopy in order to reduce noise transmission to the surrounding area. These semi-open canopies had a moderate effect on noise pollution but were required by the municipality. (note photo semi-open padel canopy)

Experience has shown that the best solution is a sound wall placed directly near the padel court. It does need to be quite high, with a recommended height of 4 meters given the nature and intensity of the noise. This arrangement is usually placed in U-shape, between the field and the immediate neighbors. This allows one to keep the noise produced by padel play as local as possible and to absorb some of it into the wall. As a result, sound absorbing panels are highly recommended.

In most cases, such construction is the solution to reconcile you with the neighbors: their complaints are listened to and action is taken after which the noise coming from the playing fields is attenuated.

Depending on the standards, according to each country or region, such a construction allows to reduce the noise level within the applicable legal standards and thus solve the problem. A blog article about these standards will follow later!

There are metal cassettes from NoiStop or other manufacturers or elegant alternatives of wood panels with an absorbent side such as our SonoWall Absorb. Since the cages of padel courts are usually black, these solutions can be built with black panels, either by painting them afterwards or not.

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