Today I met my friend Dave at Willow Pass Community Park in Concord to play pickleball. Dave and I live about 50 miles apart and Concord is located almost exactly halfway between my home and Dave’s home, so playing in Concord works pretty well for both of us.

During the COVID pandemic, the city of Concord is strictly enforcing their “singles only” pickleball mandate and banning the playing of doubles. This policy is quite unpopular because doubles is the most preferred form of pickleball. On several occasions during the last few months, Concord closed their pickleball courts when they discovered players were ignoring the “singles only” rule and the “masks required” rule. As a result of this strict enforcement of the COVID rules, the courts at Concord are not as busy as they usually are. When playing doubles is banned and players must choose between playing singles or going home, most recreational players will go home. Today, Dave and I obeyed the COVID rules and worked on some drills and played several games of “skinny singles“. I’m sharing a brief video clip from our play today. In the video, Dave is wearing blue and I’m wearing red.

In my opinion, the “singles only” rule is unnecessary and annoying. However, I understand that local authorities are taking extra precautions. I think it’s great to require all players to wear masks at all times, but I don’t see how playing doubles presents a greater COVID risk than playing singles. One could argue that singles is actually more risky than doubles because, when playing singles, your ball rolls on to adjacent courts more frequently. That can lead to more interaction and potential contact with the players on the adjacent courts.

Hopefully, we can resume playing doubles in Concord soon.