Written by: Doc Savarese Cartoon by: Peter Copen

Is wearing protective eyewear an important part of personal protection in pickleball? Recently, I encountered two of my pickleball colleagues who were exhibiting a black eye subsequent to being struck by a pickleball. This brought the question to mind whether protective eyewear should be considered I have always believed that as an active participator in sports, there is never enough protection. I wear a back brace, knee pads, wrist brace, kinesthetic tape for pickleball and a helmet, gloves and safety goggles for biking

“Prevent Blindness America” reports that emergency rooms treat 40,000 eye injuries per year which are sports related. Basketball, baseball and softball are the most numerous followed by projectile sports such as hockey, tennis, racquetball and badminton. Many of these sports might seem harmless but they all involve projectiles moving over 60 mph and some up to 200 mph. While there is little data on protective eyewear in pickleball since it is a relatively new sport, there is little doubt it will soon be included in emergency room visitations.

If you are one of the unfortunate ones struck in the eye during pickleball play while not wearing protective eyewear, there are certain symptoms which most likely will require medical attention:
• Pain
• Eyelid selling or bruising
• Cuts on eyelid or eyebrow
• Light sensitivity
• Double vision
• Blurred or loss of vision
• Eye immobility
• Vision impairment such as dark spots or flashing lights

Today, sport’s eyewear can be spotted on almost anyone who picks up a ball, bat, racket, or stick; particularly those involving a projectile. There are a lot of sports that mandate protective gear, but I, for one, am not advocating that. Maybe you are even one of those who feels resistant to protective eyewear, maybe because you feel that you will look funny. But if you choose to consider wearing protective eyewear, be aware that sport goggles come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. Polycarbonate lenses are highly recommended since they are shatter and break resistant. Remember: you can bite into an apple with false teeth; you can run with an artificial leg; but you can’t see with a glass eye.

“See” you on the courts.

Featured Paddle

The Engage Pursuit MX paddle has recently been added as a demo paddle for Oakmont Pickleball Club members. The combination of graphite surface and core technology makes this paddle one of the most responsive paddles available.

Shape: 16 ½” X 7 ½” with a 5 ¾” handle length

Specifications: ½” core, 4 ¼” grip, graphite surface, polymer composite core.

Weight: 7.85 oz (liteweight). Also comes in featherweight (7.1 to 7.4 oz) or standard (7.9 to 8.3 oz)

Cost: Retail: $209.00 (club members get a 25% discount)

This paddle fits most playing styles.

New Player Orientation (Tuesdays 9:00 – 10:00)
Arrangements can be made by contacting Nancy Lande at 707 978-2998 to schedule a session.

Demo loaner paddles are available by


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