Pickleball is a fun, family sport and one of the fastest-growing sports in America. Still, you may need help locating a pickleball-specific court in your town or city. If your city or town doesn’t have a specific pickleball court, you repurpose a basketball, volleyball, or outdoor court for the game. All you need to bring is a portable net, some tape if you want to make the boundaries, paddles, and a ball, and you have a temporary pickleball court!
So, is a pickleball court the same as a tennis court? What is the size difference between a pickleball court and a tennis court? How do you create a pickleball court size on a tennis court, and how should you play the game on a tennis court?
Here is the complete breakdown of using a tennis court to play pickleball.
Is a Pickleball Court the Same as a Tennis Court?
A pickleball court is quite different from a tennis court. Aside from the courts’ size, you need to know a few other differences.
The net is slightly lower in pickleball – 34 inches in the center, and 36 inches at the post. A pickleball court has a no-volley zone or non-volley zone (NVZ) (also known as a kitchen), a seven-foot area around the net from which players are not allowed to volley shots. A pickleball court also lacks a service line (the pickleball baseline is used for serving) and a tennis court’s “no man’s land” or service box.
Because of these differences, the pickleball court is also marked differently, so the standard tennis court lines will not work for playing pickleball.
What is the Size Difference between a Pickleball Court and a Tennis Court?
Pickleball courts are much, much smaller than standard tennis courts. A classic tennis court is 78 feet long by 27 feet wide for a singles court and 36 feet wide for a doubles court.
In contrast, the pickleball court comes in at 44 feet by 20 feet for both singles and doubles play. That means you can hold almost four pickleball courts in the area of a tennis court!
How to Create a Pickleball Court Size on a Tennis Court
Because the pickleball court dimensions are much smaller, you can easily create your own pickleball court on a tennis court. In addition, you don’t need two pickleball courts to accommodate singles and doubles; they both use the same court! First, the net must be lowered a hair – a tennis court net is 36 inches in the center, while the official Pickleball net height is 34 inches in the center.
Next, paint the pickleball court lines onto the tennis court. Alternatively, if you do not own the court, see if you can secure permission to lay down the tape to mark the outlines. According to official pickleball rules, the lines should be two inches thick. While the play area is 44 feet by 20 feet, the full court is 34 by 64 feet; however, pickleball rules indicate that 30 by 60 feet is acceptable when converting a tennis court.
Mark these court outlines first, as well as the play area, and then continue to the inner court markings. The non-volley zones are a seven-foot area on each side of the net, running parallel to the court to the sidelines. Next is the centerline, which is exactly ten feet from each. The centerline runs from the baseline (the back end of the play area) to the non-volley zone, dividing the service areas in half.
How to Convert a Tennis Court to a Pickleball Court
If you are looking to convert a tennis court entirely to a permanent pickleball court, you should also note that there is a difference in the width of the net. A standard-sized tennis net is 42 feet (this is a standard doubles net, but most tennis courts will be equipped with this type of net); a pickleball net is just under 22 feet.
In addition, though the posts are the same dimensions in both sports, they are closer together on a pickleball court – precisely at 22 feet. In the end, you may want to play both sports on the court (or you may not own the court) – lowering the net to 34 inches in the center is sufficient according to official pickleball rules.
How to Play Pickleball on a Tennis Court
Pickleball uses different balls and rackets than tennis matches. A tennis ball is just over 2.5 inches in diameter and has some green fuzz that changes the play’s aerodynamics. The pickleball ball is about three inches in diameter and is a plastic ball. The rackets are different, too – a pickleball paddle looks akin to a ping-pong or table tennis paddle. Without these basic but necessary tools, it is just not pickleball.
And, of course, the play is different. One of these differences is the non-volley zone, where you cannot volley the ball. Also, unlike tennis, you can only score during your service and play to 11 points. If you are a beginner, you should peruse a rule book before playing.
Can You Play Pickleball on a Badminton Court?
A Badminton court is always an excellent choice if you want to play pickleball there. After all, the invention of pickleball took place on a badminton court. Along with that, it kept the exact dimensions when it became an official sport.
However, the main difference that will be apparent is the difference in net height between the two sports.
Conclusion: Can you Play Pickleball on a Tennis Court
Suppose you cannot find a pickleball court near you. In that case, official pickleball rules recognize tennis courts as an acceptable expedient, with modifications (though, please remember to check with the owner before making any structural changes to the tennis court). Aside from marking the correct dimensions, remember to get the proper equipment and lower the net in the center to 34 inches in height.
What are the Pickleball Serving Rules?
What is Stacking in Pickleball?
What are the 5 Rules of Pickleball?
Can You Play Pickleball in the Rain?
What is the Kitchen in Pickleball?
Can You Play Pickleball with 3 Players?
What is an Erne in Pickleball?
Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Pickleballs
How Big is a Pickleball Court?