Can You Play Pickleball On a Tennis Court? Everything You Need to Know
With pickleball demand rising daily, finding a reliable court or space to enjoy some pickleball can be increasingly challenging. Although many new courts are on the way, today, there aren’t many facilities dedicated solely to pickleball.
Thankfully, pickleball is a flexible sport that can be played on various surfaces. Today we’re exploring how pickleball can be played on tennis courts and giving you all the information you need to get started!
Can You Play Pickleball on a Tennis Court?
Yes, you can play pickleball on a tennis court. This is great news for pickleball fans nationwide because it gives them access to a vast selection of courts throughout the country.
According to the United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) latest statistics, there are approximately 250,000 courts in America.
In contrast, NPR reports that there are only about 10,000 places to play pickleball in the US.
With more than 4.8 million pickleball players nationwide, tennis courts are vital to ensuring players can enjoy the sport as much as they desire. Read on to learn everything you need to know about playing pickleball on a tennis court!
Pickleball Courts vs. Tennis Courts: Key Differences
Although it is possible to play pickleball on tennis courts, key differences distinguish each court.
Pickleball Court Size vs. Tennis Court Size: A pickleball court measures 44’ x 20’, whereas a tennis court is 78’ x 27’. Since tennis courts are much larger than pickleball courts, a single tennis court can fit up to four individual pickleball courts. If doubles is played on all courts, 16 people can play pickleball simultaneously on one tennis court. It’s worth noting that reducing this to two pickleball courts per tennis court provides a better playing experience.
Pickleball Net Height vs. Tennis Net Height: Compared to the pickleball net height, a tennis net is two inches higher in the center and eight inches higher on either sideline. For comparison, a pickleball net measures 36” high at the sidelines and 34” high in the center, while a tennis net measures 42” high at the sidelines and 36” high in the center. Our article on tennis and pickleball nets goes into more detail regarding these differences.
Pickleball Lines vs. Tennis Lines: Pickleball courts have a unique, 7-foot non-volley zone commonly called “the kitchen".
How to Play Pickleball on a Tennis Court
In the US, most tennis courts are hard court surfaces, a great surface for pickleball that offers excellent playability. You can enjoy hours of pickleball on tennis courts with a few simple modifications!
The first consideration when adapting a tennis court for pickleball is whether you will use the tennis net on the court or bring your own portable pickleball net. The net will determine whether you can configure a tennis court to accommodate either one or more pickleball courts.
If you only have the tennis net, you can use the full length of the court to make one pickleball court. Lower the tennis net height to 34” in the center following the correct pickleball net height guide below:
You can use the center strap in the middle of the tennis net to adjust the net to the correct height. Alternatively, if the net is very tight, you may need to use the ratchet on the net post to loosen it before adjusting it.
Setting Up More Than One Pickleball Court
If you have extra players or want to play multiple singles courts, you can also fit more than one pickleball court on a single tennis court. However, you’ll need to come prepared with your own portable net.
In a two-court pickleball configuration, you will keep the tennis net intact and set up a pickleball court on either side of the tennis net. For four pickleball courts, as long as the tennis court is not angled, you can have two pickleball courts on each side of the tennis net for a total of four pickleball courts.
Even though this can get a little tight, it’s a great compromise when you have a lot of players and not much room.
The benefit of using a portable pickleball net is you can be sure it’s the proper playing height.
How to Draw Pickleball Court Lines on a Tennis Court
Once you’ve determined which net to use, you’re ready to actually outline and create your pickleball court. Our diagram below is a helpful guide for the correct dimensions:
You’ll need a measuring tape and either chalk or temporary tape to draw the pickleball lines on a tennis court. Chalk is ideal for outdoor surfaces and Frog Green Tape or Painters Tape can be used either indoors or outdoors. Always check with the facility or court before drawing these lines, especially if you go for a more permanent solution.
The diagram above is a helpful guide for the correct pickleball court lines. Following that guide:
Start by placing your net in the middle of one side of the tennis court. Create a line that extends 22 feet away from the net. This is the first sideline.
From that first sideline, measure and create a line 20 feet horizontally for the baseline. Measure and mark the halfway point of the baseline (10 feet).
On the other end of the baseline, create the second sideline measuring 22 feet moving towards the net.
Measure 7 feet from the net on each sideline, mark it on each side, and connect those two points across the court connecting the sidelines. Mark the 10-foot halfway point as well. This 7-foot zone marks the kitchen.
Connect both 10’ halfway points to form an additional line (baseline to kitchen). This line separates the left service area from the right service area.
Repeat on the opposite side of the pickleball net to complete the pickleball court.
Now you have all the information you need to enjoy pickleball on tennis courts around the country! Enjoy!
Rather Not Create Your Own Court:
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