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03/08/2024

Everything You Need To Know About Pickleball Court Dimensions

pickleball court dimensions

As you may have noticed, there are pickleball courts popping up all around the country. From your local parks to your next-door neighbor’s backyard, the fastest-growing sport in America has seen an eruption of shiny, new pickleball courts. In this article, the Paddle Experts at JustPaddles explore the importance of understanding pickleball court dimensions and everything that goes into ensuring you’re playing on a regulation size. We will also discuss the benefits of understanding these dimensions, such as improving your game strategy and ensuring fair play. Finally, we will provide a step-by-step guide to setting up your own pickleball court and offer tips for avoiding common mistakes in court dimensions. Let’s dive in. 

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What are the dimensions of a pickleball court? 

A tennis court’s dimensions are pretty hefty, coming in at 78’ long and 36’ wide, not including the extra space needed for players to return serve and be mobile outside of the doubles lines. On the contrary, a pickleball court size is 44’ long and 20’ wide, not including the extra space needed behind or outside the sidelines. However, the extra space needed for pickleball courts is about ⅓ of what’s needed in tennis. This court size has been optimized over time to provide an enjoyable playing experience for both beginners and experienced players.

To ensure fair play and consistency in pickleball, the court has specific dimensions that must be followed. Understanding these dimensions is crucial for players, organizers, and those setting up their own courts. Let's dive deeper into the standard dimensions of a pickleball court to gain a better understanding of its design and how it impacts the game.

pickleball court dimensions

How high is a pickleball net? 

A pickleball net is 36” at the posts, and falls to 34” in the middle. One of the less-known characteristics of pickleball is that the net is a different height than a tennis net. A tennis net has a height of 42” at the posts, and lowers to 36” in the middle. Although it may not seem like a big difference, 2” in the middle and 6” near the posts make a huge difference during play. The lower height at the center creates a slight slope, which prevents players from hitting powerful serves that are difficult to return. The height of the net adds an additional challenge to the game and requires players to be precise with their shots.

The net height in pickleball has been carefully determined to encourage skillful play and strategic shot placement. The slightly lower height at the center of the court forces players to be more accurate with their serves, as hitting a powerful serve that clears the net and stays within the boundaries becomes more challenging. This design element adds an exciting element of precision to the game, as players must carefully calculate their shots to gain an advantage over their opponents.

Non-volley Zone, aka “The Kitchen, Dimensions

The non-volley zone, also known as the kitchen, is a seven-foot area on both sides of the net. Players cannot volley the ball while standing within this zone. This rule prevents players from standing close to the net and smashing powerful shots, resulting in unfair play. The non-volley zone acts as a neutral area where players must rely on their skills and strategize their shots.

The inclusion of the non-volley zone in pickleball adds an interesting dynamic to the game. By restricting players from volleying the ball within this area, it encourages players to focus on strategic shot placement and finesse rather than relying solely on power. This rule promotes longer rallies and requires players to think tactically, leading to a more engaging and enjoyable playing experience. The seven-foot dimensions of the non-volley zone strike a balance between allowing players to approach the net for quick volleys and preventing them from dominating the game with overpowering shots.

Pro Tip: Get To The Kitchen In Pickleball

How many pickleball courts fit in a tennis court? 

One of the many reasons for pickleball’s popularity boost is the size of the court and the ability to repurpose already existing tennis courts. If your local park has tennis courts, you might see at least a few of them become permanent pickleball courts. Why? You can fit as many as 4 pickleball courts on 1 tennis court, making it possible for 12 players to play at one time on the same size space as a tennis court that can only accommodate 4. 4 is definitely aggressive, as the courts would need to be very tight with not as much space in between, limiting the potential for fun and competitive play. You’re more likely to see a tennis court being converted into 3 pickleball courts, giving players more space to move around outside of the court. Even with 3 courts fitting into 1 tennis court, you’re hosting 3 times the amount of players! 

tennis court dimensions

Can I play pickleball on a tennis court? 

The short answer is yes, but…not really. On many tennis courts that aren’t ready to fully transition into permanent pickleball courts, you’ll see taped lines that allow you to play perpendicular to the tennis court. (All you’d need is a portable net, which can often be found at these local parks.) If there are no taped lines and you’re staring at a true tennis court, you’ll have a tough time dealing with the width and length of the court, and the height of the net. Thankfully, a quick Google search should help you find a more appropriate court to play pickleball in no time! Or, you can download the ultimate pickleball app PicklePlay. PicklePlay is a pickleball community mobile app that helps you to find pickleball people, courts, events, and clubs. 

Step-by-step Guide to Court Setup

  • Start by measuring and marking the boundaries of your court. Use tape or chalk to create clear lines that define the court's dimensions.
  • Once the boundaries are marked, set up the net in the center of the court. Ensure that the net is at the correct height – 36 inches at the sidelines and 34 inches at the center.
  • Next, mark the non-volley zone on both sides of the net. Use tape or chalk to clearly indicate the seven-foot area where players cannot volley the ball. This zone is crucial for fair play.
  • Finally, gather your pickleball paddles and pickleballs, and you are ready to start playing on your very own pickleball court.

Avoiding Incorrect Measurements

When setting up a pickleball court, it is important to avoid common mistakes that could lead to inaccurate dimensions. One common mistake is failing to measure and mark the court accurately. This can result in a court that is not the correct size, leading to unfair play and difficulties for players. Always double-check your measurements before setting up the court to ensure the dimensions comply with the standard guidelines.

Tips for Accurate Pickleball Court Setup

  • Use a measuring tape or a ruler to ensure precise measurements for the court boundaries and the non-volley zone.
  • Take your time when marking the lines to ensure they are straight and clearly visible.
  • Consult official guidelines or seek advice from experienced players to ensure your court dimensions are accurate.
  • Regularly check and maintain the net height to ensure it remains consistent throughout your games.

Understanding the dimensions of a pickleball court is essential for players and organizers alike. By following these standardized dimensions, players can enjoy fair and consistent play, while organizers can ensure that their courts meet the necessary requirements. So, the next time you step onto a pickleball court, take a moment to appreciate the thought and consideration that went into its design, and let the dimensions guide you to an exciting and competitive game!

Just because your court has gotten smaller doesn’t mean your game has to suffer. Shop at JustPaddles and find the best pickleball paddles for tennis players. If you have any additional questions, please contact our Paddle Experts. They’re available via phone at 866-382-3465, email at experts@justpaddles.com, or you can click here to live chat on the website. We're JustPaddles, and we are here for you from Click To Court!

 

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