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London tabloid picks up story on pickleball conflict in Annandale

London tabloid picks up story on pickleball conflict in Annandale
London tabloid picks up story on pickleball conflict in Annandale

Pickleball players watch as a county-hired worker removes a pickleball net from Kendale Woods Park.

The pickleball dispute at Kendale Woods Park in Annandale has received coverage in the Washington Post, WUSA9, DC News Now, FFXnow and even the British tabloid Daily Mail since Annandale Today first reported the story on May 15.

Those stories describe how the pickleball players staged a sit-in to prevent the Park Authority from removing the pickleball lines and using the two courts exclusively for tennis courts.

In response to this action, the park authority has locked the gate, posted a guard on the field, and put up a “No Trespassing” sign. Violators can be fined up to $2,500 and jailed for up to 12 months.

Park Authority Director Jai Cole, who was introduced at a Park Board meeting as a “pickleball hater,” has removed pickleball lines from the courts due to a household complaint. Complainants have rejected every attempt at compromise.

The pickleball players fought to save their sport by circulating a petition, writing letters to the Park Authority and county officials, and seeking an injunction.

Related Story: Park Authority Removes Pickleball from Annandale Park

After the Park Authority repaved the tennis courts, they confiscated a pickleball net from one of the players.

The pickleball players are pleased with the Daily Mail’s reporting, although the story contains a few errors.

First, they call the community in “northeast Virginia” an “upscale suburb.” Broyhill Crest is a nice neighborhood, but not exactly upscale.

The article also states that “four angry female players” staged a sit-in “after the city hired security to prevent them from using their local tennis courts.” In reality, there were more than four people, and the Park Authority hired security after that incident.

Pickleball player Sarah Wysocki also criticized the Washington Post and other news organizations for failing to report that the Park Authority did not follow its own guidelines and policies in deciding to remove the courts. “That is the crux of this fight,” she said.

Related Story: Park Authority Shuts Down Pickleball Despite Injunction Filed By Residents

On July 4, pickleball players cornered Mason Supervisor Andres Jimenez at the local pool next to the tennis courts, where he had been invited to judge the children’s bike and scooter decorating contest.

They urged him to confront the Park Authority over the issue, something he had previously refused to do, saying the Board of Supervisors has no oversight over the Park Authority.

This time, Jimenez agreed to arrange a meeting with the pickleball players, although it has not yet been scheduled.