Dutch anti-noise campaigners, the Tennis and Padel association of the Netherlands and builders of sports complexes have reached a mutual agreement regarding new building regulations for padel courts in the country. The rules came into force following noise-related complaints by citizens.
According to the new regulations, new padel courts in the Netherlands must be built a minimum of 100-160 metres away from residential areas, depending upon the location. The main problem is outside courts. In padel, unlike tennis, solid rackets are used to play the game, which generates more noise.
Noise laws implemented on sports
The Netherlands has strict laws that impose restrictions on the amount of noise generated by businesses, trains and other forms of traffic. For instances where national law does not provide for such noise standards, local authorities are vested with the power to make necessary regulations. NSG, which is a Dutch anti-noise nuisance group, told DutchNews.nl that “dozens” of court cases have reportedly been registered all over the Netherlands regarding the alleged nuisance caused by padel courts around residential areas.
‘‘The racket used to play padel is much harder than a tennis racket and makes much more noise when it hits the ball,” repeated Erik Roelofsen, spokesperson for the NSG to DutchNews.nl. Roelofsen refused to speak with the GO on this issue in English and then did not answer any more calls from our Dutch speaking journalists.
Concerns among padel players
“Personally for me, the noise isn’t an issue. It’s the same as living close to a train station, you just get used to the noise from trains after a point,” says Julia Bakker, secretary of the local student sports association in Groningen.
Ids Hannema, a professional padel player based in the Netherlands has concerns related to accessibility, with the new rules coming into force. “Building padel courts far away from residential neighbourhoods may have an impact on sports enthusiasts, especially younger ones being able to access them with ease. But hopefully, in the next ten years when the sport is recognised more widely, residents may stop complaining about the noise,” says Ids.
Padel is a racket sport of Mexican origin which is similar to tennis and mostly played in doubles, but it is played in an enclosed glass court and the balls can be played off them. It has gained significant popularity in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands is experiencing a very rapid growth in locations (200), courts (400) and licensed players (27000) according to the Royal Dutch Lawn Tennis Association , the governing body of padel in the Netherlands.