Learn to Play & Love Pickleball

Should Pickleball Crowds Be Quiet?

by Stacie Townsend 5 Comments

Should Pickleball Crowds Be Quiet? | Pickler Pickleball

Although sporting events have returned, the fan experience for baseball, basketball, soccer, and other sporting events is certainly not the same without the live crowd. Crowds that inject roars and cheers for their team, and even the occasional jeer (in good fun) to the opposing team, are what help build intensity and excitement and send electricity ripping through the sports stadium. Without the rowdy fans in the stadium, the viewing experience is awfully silent (and the ability to "people watch" is certainly sorely missed), despite broadcasters efforts to pack stadiums with cardboard cutouts and to even pump fake crowd noises into the empty stadiums. 

With that said, not all sports experience the constant roar of fans. Some sports, like golf and tennis, shush fans during play, as chair umpires and organizers exclaim, "Quiet please." This culture of silence stems from golf's and tennis' long tenure and historical beginnings. Golf originated in the 15th century as a "gentlemen's game" that valued etiquette, respect, and silence in all backswings, while tennis, which began in the 12th century, was reserved for the very few people of affluence - kings, queens, and other aristocrats. Tennis did not originate as a sport for the public, which would have led to large groups of boisterous fans (with some encouraged on by drink). As a result of these historic beginnings, the silence in golf and tennis stands in strong contrast to the shouts of baseball fans to distract a pitcher or the waving arms, balloons, and other shenanigans to distract a basketball player during a free throw or soccer player during a free kick. 

Regardless of the Coronavirus putting a stop on spectators for pickleball, pickleball seems to be following tennis and golf, where silence is the norm during rallies and play. Should the sport of pickleball continue down this path, encouraging silence from all fans during all rallies and play? Or, should the sport of pickleball follow sports like football, baseball, basketball, and soccer, which encourage cheering, yelling, dancing, and even some banter at all times? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!




Stacie Townsend
Stacie Townsend

Author



5 Responses

Ann Shaw
Ann Shaw

August 28, 2020

PICKLEBALL SPECTATOR ETIQUETTE, WHERE DO WE WANT IT TO GO
By, Ann McKellar Shaw

SIMONE JARDIM the worlds number one womens pickleball player loves spectator involvement. She had this to say, “I love when fans get excited after points. During the point not so much but that’s probably because I come from tennis.
But the energy from fans always brings the best out of me as it fires me up to play better and harder”.

I myself am one who also enjoys having a dog in the fight. I think most people do. When watching a close pickleball match the energy level for the spectators rises, especially when there are strong rivals or you have a dog in the fight. Being able to support your team or both teams whether it’s a close match or not is important to the enjoyment of the sport.

Clear 1 in Orlando Florida held the best pickleball tournament I’ve attended, including but not limited to , all the Naples US Opens. At the event we were given thunder sticks when we arrived. They were a lot of fun and not horribly loud. A bit louder than just clapping. I enjoyed supporting my favorite teams by clapping the sticks between points. After a while we were asked to move because the clapping was near the live streaming camera. I did not see anyone commentating so I don’t know how the clapping interfered but we were fine with moving away. BTW modern technology should be capable of handling this issue.

At this tournament we continued to support our favorites from the far end of the facility. Eventually we were told we were not allowed to use the thunder sticks at all. When the few of us who were enjoying the riveting play stopped clapping with the thunder sticks, the energy in the room fell to zero. We could’ve very easily been at a funeral instead of an exciting sporting event. Is this what we as spectators want for pickleball? Do the players want this?

TONY GIANNONI a tennis player and now pickleball player and coach of some of the best pickleball players in the world also loves loud support from the spectators.

An international badminton umpire, a player and a national referee for badminton THOMAS SHEK had this to say, “Do you want Pickleball to make it worldwide… Then the fans need to be involved. Cultures abroad are accustom to loud energetic support of their players.”

Another quote, this from the Quora stated, “A lot of the quietness in tennis and golf is down to a long standing history of etiquette and tradition. These sports were traditionally sports played by the upper class who prided themselves on manners and etiquette. This gives us the basis of quietness in tennis and golf.” Hmmmmm. Thought provoking? Is this the direction for pickleball that enjoys being played by every class?

DEKEL BAR, a pickleball national champion stated, “I like it when the crowd gets involved and is loud in between points. During the points it’s nice to have quiet from the crowd so we can concentrate but after that it’s fun when the crowd gets loud and pumped up. It helps me get positive energy from the crowd and creates a great atmosphere!”

In conclusion it is my opinion (and only my opinion counts in this editorial😂) but also the opinion of many patrons and players that the fans who support Pickleball want to have fun. The players want our support. We want to cheer. We want to shout. We want to clap.
WE WANT OUR THUNDER STICKS BACK!

Ann McKellar Shaw….
Just another pickleball addict
Just another pickleball fan
Just another crazy loud pickleball supporter

Please let me know your opinion at Choko.ann@gmail.com

Waiste management Phoenix Open rowdy

Just a few sentences about how quiet or rowdy or whatever you prefer pickleball spectators to behave at a tournament. I will quote you so if you want to include your credentials or rank that will be included too.

Dekel Bar a pickleball National champion stated, “
I like it when the crowd gets involved and is loud in between points. During the points it’s nice to have quiet from the crowd so we can concentrate but after that it’s fun when the crowd gets loud and pumped up. It helps me get positive energy from the crowd and creates a great atmosphere!”
There’s no official rankings yet unfortunately so you can write “pickleball pro” “National Champion” or whatever you think is best.
I hope this helps. If you need a few more sentences let me know! I hope you are both doing great!

Chris G
Chris G

August 24, 2020

Bottom line upfront: More GIZMO Pickleball (seriously, look up his Facebook profile, he’s awesome!) and less Wimbledon.

TL;DR version: Keep it fun, keep it loud, and encourage (respectful) light-hearted trash talk and belly laughs. I’d rather see pickleball, even for tournaments with cash on the line, move to more places that add a little food and music (and 🍺) like Pickleballerz and Chicken N Pickle and away from country clubs. Yes, this is a serious sport at the top levels, and even 3.0 players are playing to win, but we won’t sustain pickleball’s status as the world’s fastest growing sport if we don’t keep it fun, inclusive, and a little silly. It is named “pickleball” after all 🤣🤷🏽‍♂️

Patrick Long
Patrick Long

August 23, 2020

I like the ice hockey model with lots of cheering—maybe even allow free substitution!

Jerry Thomas
Jerry Thomas

August 18, 2020

Just please, don’t let us have fans like those morons in golf that yell You Da Man! After every tee shot and Get In The Hole! After every putt.

Debbie
Debbie

August 17, 2020

If I have to be quiet, I can’t play! I want to be able to encourage my partner, acknowledge good shots from either side, etc

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