Having a hard time finding a pickleball court in your area? Some people opt for a tennis court in this situation. But can you play pickleball on a tennis court?
Pickleball is a relatively new game. Although the sport’s popularity and the number of courts are rising quickly, players still have difficulty finding the pickleball courts due to a massive gap in demand and supply. However, some people find a middle way by playing pickleball on a tennis court as it is very similar. But can you actually do it? How does it affect the game and its rules?
In short, yes, you can play pickleball on a tennis court. You will have to adjust the court’s dimensions and net to bring it closer to a pickleball court. A quick fix is to change the net height and service areas and create a non-volley zone to adhere to the pickleball rules.
Ironically, tennis courts being converted to pickleball courts is nothing new. Since many tennis players are switching to pickleball, several tennis courts are being converted to pickleball courts to meet the demand, as one tennis court can house four pickleball courts.
We are a bunch of pickleball enthusiasts and have been playing pickleball on tennis courts for over a decade and know all about it. We have put together this guide to help you understand the science of playing pickleball on a tennis court.
How Can You Play Pickleball on a Tennis Court?
Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines tennis, badminton, and table tennis elements. It can be played indoors or outdoors, on a court similar to a tennis court. The game is usually played with four players, although doubles and singles games are also common. Pickleball is a relatively new sport, but it has quickly gained popularity due to its simple rules and easy-to-learn gameplay. Many people enjoy pickleball because it is a low-impact activity that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy.
While pickleball can technically be played on a tennis court, it is important to note that the two sports have different court dimensions. In addition, pickleball paddles are smaller than tennis racquets, and the pickleball itself is noticeably smaller than a tennis ball. As a result, playing pickleball on a tennis court can be challenging for beginners. For this reason, many Pickleball clubs and facilities have dedicated courts. However, if you don’t have access to a dedicated Pickleball court, improvising with a tennis court is certainly an option. Just be prepared for a bit of a learning curve!
Pickleball Court Dimensions vs. Tennis Court Dimensions
It is vital first to know the differences in the dimensions of both sports’ courts to understand how you can play pickleball on a tennis court.
Pickleball Court Dimensions
Pickleball court dimensions are critical when playing the game. The size of the court will dictate how the game is played and how many people can play at one time. There are four main pickleball court dimensions: length, width, net height, and service line distance. Each of these dimensions is important to the game and must be adhered to for the players to play pickleball correctly.
The length of a pickleball court is 20 feet (6.1 meters). The width of a pickleball court is 44 feet (13.4 meters). The net height is 36 inches (91.4 centimeters) high at the center and 34 inches (86.4 centimeters) high at the sidelines. The distance of the service line is 7 feet (2.1 meters) from the net.
These are the standard pickleball court dimensions used in tournaments and competitions. You can also use these dimensions or adjust them to fit your space if you are playing at home.
Tennis Court Dimensions
The tennis court has larger dimensions than a pickleball court, as one tennis court takes the place of four pickleball courts. A regulation tennis court is 39 feet wide and 78 feet long. The doubles alley, the area between the baseline and the service line, is 21 feet wide. The service line, located 21 feet from the net, marks the beginning of the singles alley.
The singles alleys, located on either side of the singles sideline, are each 27 feet wide. The centerline divides the width of the court in half and extends the entire length of the court. The baselines, which are located at each end of the court, are also 39 feet wide.
Several other lines are used to mark specific court areas, such as the service box, hazard lines, and out-of-bounds lines.
Converting a Tennis Court Into a Pickleball Court
Fortunately, you can quickly convert the tennis court into a pickleball court without changing around the court too much. However, this way does not meet the official requirements of a pickleball court, but it is a good solution to play pickleball when you can’t find a pickleball court.
The Quick Fix
There are a few things to keep in mind when converting a tennis court into a pickleball court. First, the net must be lowered to 34 inches at the center and 36 inches at the posts. The court size can remain the same, but the service boxes should be shortened to 7 feet by 10 feet. The non-volley zone should also be marked out with lines or tape. Finally, any raised features on the court, such as steps or ledges, must be made flush with the rest of the surface to prevent injuries.
Converting a Tennis Court to a Pickleball Court According to Official Requirements
If you want to play on a court with the exact dimensions and requirements of a pickleball court, you will have to change more than just the net and service boxes. This is an easy but extensive process and can cost you a bit of your money.
Below, we discuss the process of converting a tennis court into a pickleball court.
Measuring the Court
To covert a tennis court into a pickleball court, you will need to measure the playing area and adapt it to the dimensions of a pickleball court.
To do this, you will need to measure:
The length of the court: This is the distance between the baselines. In a Pickleball court, this is 21 feet.
The width of the court: This is the distance between the sidelines. In a Pickleball court, this is 44 feet.
The height of the net: The net in a Pickleball court is 34 inches high at the center and 36 inches at the sides.
Once you have measured the playing area, you can adapt it to fit the dimensions of a Pickleball court.
Marking the Lines
You’ll need to mark the lines to convert a tennis court to a pickleball court. This can be done with painters’ tape or chalk.
First, delineate the non-volley zone on both sides of the net. This is done by placing a line seven feet from the net perpendicular to it. Then, place a line parallel to the net 15 feet away from it. Finally, connect the two lines on each side with a third line - the sideline, measuring 44 feet.
That’s it. You have yourself a new pickleball court on a tennis court.
About THE AUTHOR
It is a privilege to have been able to play pickleball multiple times a week for the last several years. I’ve played thousands of pickleball matches, and taken just about every lesson that is available. I love mentoring others wherever they are in their pickleball journey.Read More About Nancy Stevens