The resounding thwacking of a pickleball against a paddle may be silenced by municipal regulation in Chilmark, at least for now, after the town planning board moved to enact a moratorium on building new pickleball courts at their meeting on Monday.

Pickleball is played on a smaller version of a tennis court, with paddles instead of strung racquets. As the sport has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, concerns have cropped up in Chilmark (and across the country) about the impact of noise levels on residential neighborhoods. The planning board took up the issue this week after receiving a flood of correspondence asking them to ban building new courts, currently allowed via a zoning board special permit.

“We haven’t heard one thing of support for pickleball,” said planning board member Peter Cook.

Chilmark resident and comedian Amy Schumer was among those who wrote a concerned letter to the board.

“Our town has long been cherished for its tranquility, allowing residents and visitors alike to connect with nature and enjoy a calm environment,” she wrote. “Introducing pickle ball courts could compromise this peaceful atmosphere and create a stressful environment that can deteriorate the mental health of Chilmark residents.”

At the meeting on Sept. 11, board member Ann Wallace suggested a six-month moratorium on building new courts, modeled on an action taken by the city of Centennial, Colo.

“I don’t think we know enough about it to do a bylaw right now,” she said. “It’s a very new problem.

Ms. Wallace also raised concerns about potential legal risks to the town if pickleball were to be played on town land, citing a recent case in Falmouth where a judge ordered a halt to pickleball playing at a school court after neighbors sued over the noise.

According to board member Richard Osnoss, the sound produced by striking a pickleball can be considerable, 70 decibels on average compared to 40 decibels from a tennis ball, with pickleball paddles also producing higher frequency sounds than tennis rackets.

Enacting a moratorium, he said, will give the board more time to investigate further possible action the board might take, while also giving the pickleball industry time to develop quieter equipment.

“I think pickleball people want to resolve this problem,” he said. “People love the game, it’s a social game.”

The board resolved to draft a letter to the town select board, consulting them on actions required to put a moratorium in place.