RANDOLPH. NJ- Randolph Parks and Recreation Department met to discuss the care and maintenance of various fields. The most debated topic on this day was whether or not it was possible to convert tennis courts into space to play pickle ball.
When the floor opened to the public, Norman Kalina and Nicole Gilbert introduced the pickle ball idea to the committee. The tennis courts in question are located at Brundage Park. It was their hope that a tennis court could be made into at least two or four pickle ball areas. “I think it would really be great if one or two of them could be made into pickle ball courts,” said Kalina.
Kalina and Gilbert are part of about 30 to 35 avid pickle ball players within Randolph and the surrounding community. It is a year long sport that has yet to find a more permanent home. The YMCA has been a consistent home for the sport, but by summertime, it is set aside.
The increasing popularity for the game was cited. Some examples included how well received it is in Florida and around the Jersey Shore. “It’s the sport of tomorrow,” said Gilbert.
One of the problems of setting up pickle ball was how it would permanently affect the tennis surface. Also, these courts are heavily used for the County Tournaments.
One suggested solution was to have the pickle ball built into basketball courts. “These courts are already under heavy use though. I can tell you that by the number of water bottles that are there in the morning,” said Parks and Recs Director Russ Newman.
The committee promised to look into it more. They hoped a low-cost, temporary solution could be found i.e. alternative boundaries drawn for pickle ball on the tennis courts or having the necessary equipment in storage for such opportunities. “I have a feeling they’re going to go for it, albeit a temporary one. It was positive,” said Kalina.
Parks and Recreations continued their meeting by discussing last month’s activities including maintaining the various sports fields and refilling sand for the beach. The department also plans to continue updating public spaces to the American Disability Acts’ standards.
Security is an ongoing important issue. There are plans to install cameras at Randolph Park and to install more public in public areas.
“The town is in very good shape,” said Councilwoman Joanne Veech.