Pickleball on a Tennis Court: Simple Modifications to the Court

October 29, 2021
Pickleball on a Tennis Court

Tennis and Pickleball Pickleball have a lot in common. They both employ net courts that are longer than their width, with service areas split into two equal parts, and play is very similar. Players who don’t own a portable PickleballPickleball net system and a designated court nearby can utilize Tennis courts. However, there are significant and minor differences regarding the dimensions and net specifications between the two sports.

Pickleball and Tennis Court Dimension Differences

A tennis court stands 78 feet long. For Doubles, the court is 36 feet wide, 27 feet wide for singles competition. The net’s height at the center of a tennis court should be 36 inches from the ground. One of the reasons why many people prefer Pickleball over tennis is because of its smaller size, a boon to those 50 and over players who are not as mobile and flexible as they used to be. Compared to a tennis court, a pickleball court is only 20 feet wide and 44 feet long.

Modifying a Tennis Court for Pickleball Play

Even with these differences, you can turn your local tennis court into a Pickleball center with some slight modifications. Much like a tennis ball, the ball for Pickleball requires a hard surface. It allows the ball to bounce, extending the intricacies of play than those of an in-air sport like badminton. Many tennis players also enjoy Pickleball, so it just makes sense to use a handy tennis court for pickleball matches.

To convert a single tennis court to Pickleball, you need to add the appropriate lines.

Measuring from the center of the net on the tennis court, draw baselines (end lines) 22 feet from the net. Moving from the center of the net, measure 10 feet in either direction towards the side of the tennis court to form your sidelines. Once you have this basic rectangular design, you need to draw up the kitchen. The no-volley zone measures 7 feet away from the net on each side. Finally, draw a centerline that divides the non-kitchen area on each side of the net into two service courts.

The next step involves lowering the net. The center of the net in Pickleball should be just 34 inches from the ground. If your tennis net has a good tensioning system, it should be easy enough to release tension from both sides of the net to achieve this height. However, nets on a dedicated pickleball court are taught. This allows you to make plays off of the net. Depending on the net system of the tennis court you are using, you may or may not be able to achieve a taut net.

If this is the case, portable net systems are available online at retailers like Amazon. You can then release the tennis net from one side of the court or the other, placing your portable pickleball net system in the middle of your court. As you can see, with a minimum of 8 boundary lines drawn, you can quickly transform a tennis court into a pickleball court. For more guidance, refer to this link provided by the United States of America Pickleball Association for setting up a pickleball court.

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