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Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket: The Poetry of Empty Courts

Murmurs from the Losers' Bracket Frank Cerabino 07-11-2022

We here at Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket have become aware of a pickleball poetry situation at the Canadian border.

It turns out a justice of the peace named Mary Shelly – not to be confused with the English novelist who wrote Frankenstein – has banned outdoor pickleball play in the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, in Ontario, Canada.

Shelly ordered the public outdoor pickleball courts there to be padlocked for two years, and for the town and the local pickleball club to each pay a $1,000 fine for violating the local noise ordinance.

Monstrous, right?

The ruling was in support of a woman who lived near the courts and claimed that the daily sound of pickleballs thwacking on paddles was affecting her ability to enjoy her home.

The disappointed local pickleballers have been driven to play inside this summer, which has made them grumpy and, in one case, resort to poetic complaining.

The poem “Pickleball Karen” was posted in The Lake Report, the local newspaper. It’s a lengthy sonnet of questionable artistic merit.

Here’s a sample:

Though some folk had some misgivings,
most preferred to keep on living
So they modified their outdoor tennis space
Pickleball became the rage, a game to play at any age
And the P.B. Club was born there, just in case.
The game’s following increased,
Not one player grew deceased.
Courts were jammed,
though all the shops stayed mostly barren.
Then one woman took a stand,
she declared this must be banned
It was the hero that we needed, Pickleball Karen

To be called a “Karen” these days is not a compliment. It implies a level of unjustified whininess.

This, we think, causes an undue hardship on those women who, by no fault of their own, were named “Karen” by parents that had no inkling that the unfortunate name they had picked for their newborn daughter would be a yoke she would have to bear later in life.

Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket: The Poetry of Empty Courts | Pickler Pickleball

But moving on, it’s the pickleball poetry that intrigues us here at Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket, which has, perhaps, the most extensively staffed pickleball limerick department in the pickleball journalism universe.

So, we’ve let loose our poetry operation to give aid and comfort to the Niagara-on-the-Lake pickleball club at this tough time for them.

We offer the following emotional-support limericks:


It happened thousands of miles from Venice
Where a judge deemed picklers a menace
So they padlocked the gate
Said two years you must wait
Maybe you’d like to play tennis?


A woman at the mouth of the Niagara
Made pickleball anemic like pellagra
A judge helped her ban
The game for every man
So now they’re all taking Viagra.


They called her the Pickleball Karen
‘Cause she made the courts go barren
No more doubles stacking
Or pickleballs whacking
Just silence, and picklers’ despairin’


There is a quaint town in Ontario
A charming little lakefront barrio
Where pickleball all summer
Turned into a bummer
Over a courtroom scenario


Canadian weather gets an ovation
For summer pickleball in the nation
But playing conditions are poor
In one town driven indoor 
By a neighborhood noise violation


Closing courts in summer? Obscene
The judge’s ruling was mean
With no pickle to play
Outside every day
Canadians get fat on poutine


The pickleballers hearts did break
In a Canadian town on the lake
When a judge ruled no way
Could they continue to play
Over sound their paddle did make


Abuzz was the courthouse corridor
The ruling couldn’t be horrid-er
No outside pickle for years
Canadians burst into tears
While others left early for Florida


Read past editions of Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket, including:

Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket: The PPA, the APP and Monty Python | Pickler Pickleball

Frank Cerabino is a long-time columnist for the Palm Beach Post in Florida, a pickleball addict like the rest of us, and a newly published author. Check out Frank’s newly released book, I Dink, Therefore I Am: Coming to Grips with My Pickleball Addiction (available on Amazon and a great read (or gift!) for any pickleball player), for pickleball tips and laughs!

I Dink, Therefore I Am | Frank Cerabino


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