What is a quite pickleball paddle?

What Constitutes a Green-Zone Approved Pickleball Paddle?

A quiet pickleball paddle or a Green-Zone approved pickleball paddle was originally one that had successfully undergone the rigorous noise assessment conducted at the Sun City Grand Pickleball Club. This evaluation was developed by the Board of Directors at the Sun City Grand Pickleball Courts, who designed a comprehensive test to rank paddles based on the level of noise they generate.

This evaluation categorizes paddles into three distinct groups: green, yellow, or red. Paddles designated as “red” are prohibited from use on SCG PB Courts and by many other organizations following similar noise guidelines. Paddles in the “yellow” category are at risk of being banned in the future, prompting the SCG to discourage the purchase of Yellow-Zone paddles. In contrast, Green-Zone paddles have successfully passed the acceptable sound testing, granting them approval for use on SCG courts.

This testing and approval was the go to standard for communities and clubs right across North America,

In September of 2023 the USAPA introduced its own testing standards for quiet paddles and developed a special paddle classification for quiet paddles. This is an additional test that paddle manufacturers can opt for during the paddle certification process for an additional cost.
USA Pickleball’s Quiet Category for equipment is designed to promote products that deliver essentially 50 percent or less of the acoustic footprint of equipment commonly sourced and used in community parks. This includes both paddles and balls.

This created two separate USAPA paddle certification categories. Under quiet paddle certification, paddle requirements for performance are relaxed and so paddles listed under this designation, do not necessarily meet the standards required for playing USAPA sanctioned tournaments. Paddles still have to be listed on the USAPA website as approved for tournament play.