Parents have won the battle in the West Village playgrounds pickleball turf war at Cpl. John A. Seravalli Playground.

Months of conflict between pickleball players and area parents came to a head last week when a sign was posted on the fence at the 17 Horatio St. playground reading, “Pickleball is no longer allowed in Seravalli Playground. Nearby courts are located at: [James J. Walker] Park." The sign also mentioned new courts at William Passannante Ballfield on Houston Street and Avenue of the Americas as an alternative, along with Gertrude Kelly Playground on West 16th Street, west of 8th Avenue.

At a Community Board 2 Parks and Waterfront committee meeting, city Parks Regional Manager Terese Flores described the decision as a “win-win” intended to “balance access between all the different age groups and sports and people who enjoy” the park. She also said new pickleball courts were drawn on the handball courts at J.J. Walker Park because it was identified as an “underutilized space.”

A newly minted pickleball court is shown at James J Walker Park in the West Village.

West Village parents had been arguing that pickleball players had taken over the 1-acre asphalt area and brought their concerns to a public hearing last month, citing concerns about safety. They also started a petition to end all pickleball use of the space.

“I think that the two courts [are] an invitation for pickleball in the entire park and the challenge is, when those nets go up, they cut off the entire park,” mother of two Jennifer Gravel said at the October hearing. “Our children go into the park, they feel unwelcome and they walk away.”

But some proponents of the paddleboard sport who spoke on Wednesday said they were disappointed in the move and argued that more could have been done to mediate the situation at Seravalli, which had become a hub for the area’s pickleball community.

“It [was] this beautiful feeling that you get when you go into this playground and you're meeting the local community,” said West Village resident and pickleball player Ryan Shank, who lives near Seravalli and described it as a center of community. “What else is bringing us together in this type of way?”

Shank and other pickleball proponents said it was unfair to ban the sport from Seravalli altogether, and claimed that the source of the conflict occurred during a relatively short window of time after school, when kids and pickleball players’ use of the playground overlapped.

The idea of setting rules for pickleball players at Seravalli had previously come up at the meeting in October, but on Wednesday, Flores said the department didn’t have the resources to establish a formal system. She did, however, ensure that the department would be able to enforce the new pickleball ban at the playground.