My thanks go to the helpers and players who participated – 64 in number.
Although not complete as this test did not isolate one paddle versus another, it did give South Surrey rec center a noise report of a typical day of Pickleball with 8 full courts full of players using all paddles and balls at once.
BC Pickleball Association will test the difference between different paddles in the future. Here are the results:
Sylvia Kim’s Report: The Hearing Station: Unit 103-20457 Fraser Hwy, Langley, BC 604-560-5330
Re: Noise Level Assessment for Pickleball Games
l Venue: Pickleball courts, South Surrey Recreation Centre
l Date and Time of Assessment: March 16, 2012 from 1:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.
l Assessment Tool: Sound level meter – Schosche SPL1000 (C weighted)
l Assessor: Sylvia Kim/Audiologist, M.Cl.Sc. R.Aud(C)
l Assessment Condition: Pickleball games being played in 8 courts at the same time, 4 in each side. Balls were changed from the hardest to softest every 15 min. Noise level assessed at the side centre of the courts and around the courts during the games.
l Noise level recorded in the sound level meter: Min 62 dBC Max 75 dBC
l Interpretation of the assessed noise level:
Noise is defined by the City of Surrey’s Noise Control By-law, 1982, No. 7044 as any sound in or on a public or private place which disturbs or tends to disturb the rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of any person or persons in the neighbourhood or vicinity. Such sounds can include loud music, animal noises (including barking dogs), street vendors or alarms.
While there is no numerical criterion for leisure noise, Canadian Government defines the occupational noise exposure limits in Canada. The criterion level is the steady noise level permitted for a full eight-hour work shift. This is 90 dB in most jurisdictions, but in some jurisdictions it is 85 dB. This includes British Columbia. The exception is in the Canadian federal noise regulations where criterion level is 87 dB.
Noise regulations in several jurisdictions treat impulse noise separately from continuous noise. A common approach is to limit the number of impulses at a given peak pressure over a workday. The exact figures vary slightly, but generally the regulations permit 10,000 impulses at a peak pressure level of 120 dB; 1,000 impulses at 130 dB; 100 impulses at 140 dB, and none above 140 dB.
Therefore, the noise level assessed within the Pickleball courts is not considered a threat hearing health nor disturbs the vicinity. Having said that, some people with hyperacusis have difficulty tolerating everyday sounds, some which may seem unpleasantly loud to that person but not to others. Use of ear protectors is recommended to those individuals.