So, you want to start playing pickleball? Awesome, pickleball is such a great sport! It keeps you fit, it’s fun, and it helps you make new friends! However, do you only have a tennis court available? Don’t worry, this is a common issue! You may be wondering, “can you play pickleball on a tennis court?” Yes, you can! However, it’s important to keep in mind that your options for setting up your pickleball court on a tennis court will depend on whether you can install permanent or semi-permanent equipment or if you have to set up equipment and then take it all down. Keep reading to find out how you can play pickleball on a tennis court!
Before you do anything, please make sure that you clear your plan with the owners of the tennis court! Also be sure you’re using the proper equipment like outdoor balls if you’re playing outside and indoor balls if you’re playing indoors.
Option 1: Playing Pickleball with a Tennis Net
If you’re looking to play pickleball with a tennis net you’ll first need to set up the net so that it’s at the right height. The standard height for tennis courts is a couple of inches higher than the standard height of pickleball nets. So what you’ll need to do is lower the center of the tennis net to 34 inches, to clarify this means at the center of the net it should be 34 inches tall. Then, you’ll want to adjust the sidelines to be 36 inches tall using a temporary adjuster. These can be found in several places, including Amazon.
There is one major downside of playing pickleball with a tennis net. When you play with a tennis net, you will have a large space to travel if the ball gets by you. It can quickly get annoying if you have to keep going all the way to the fence from the baseline.
Option 2: Playing Pickleball with a Pickleball Net
I have a fun fact for you, did you know that most tennis courts are aligned so that you avoid staring directly into the sun when you’re playing? Take advantage of this! When you set up your pickleball court on a tennis court you should orient it in the same direction to avoid the sun.
If the tennis court you’re using is going to continue to be used as a tennis court, you’ll want to either get a temporary or portable pickleball net and posts or build removable posts that you would imbed into the ground.
One positive of setting things up this way instead of the first option is that the tennis net and the fence that are already there are not moved and they act as barriers so the ball never gets too far away from you.
Pickleball Court Dimensions
According to the USAPA (United States of America Pickleball Association), a regulation size pickleball court has to be a rectangle that’s 20 feet wide and 44 feet long, which is the same size as a badminton court.
This size court allows for single teams (2 players going against each other) or for groups of two (four people total – 2 per side).
Pickleball may have the same size court as badminton, but the net requirements are different. The pickleball game requires the net to be lower, at 36 inches on the ends, and 34 inches at the center.
In addition to the court size for gameplay, it is also a recommendation that you provide adequate room for the out-of-bounds area.
The pickleball court size should be 24 feet wide by 54 feet long, including the sidelines and end courts (all out of bound areas).
If possible, a court that is 30 feet long by 60 feet wide is the best outcome. This size would provide enough room for the players to move around and prevent damage from missed or wild balls.
It’s also a recommendation that you add a 10-foot margin to your court’s measurement, possibly expanding the court size to 40 feet by 64 feet. But this isn’t a requirement for regulation size courts when there is limited space.
Pickleball Court Lines: Should They be Taped, Painted or Chalked?
This part of the setup definitely takes the longest, however, it’s vital that this part is completed because you can’t play if you can’t tell whether a ball is in or out! If the tennis court is still going to be used to play tennis you’ll need to set up blended lines.
Blended lines are lines that are painted a different color than the tennis court lines. I’ve never done this myself but I have heard that playing on a court that is setup this way can cause some confusion since you’ll have both tennis and pickleball court lines visible.
You can use whatever color you want for the blended lines obviously just be sure that you don’t use white to limit confusion between the pickleball and tennis court lines.
If you don’t want to use paint you can also use tape. It’s especially great for those not looking for a permanent solution. You will need about 200 feet of tape to fully lay out the court.
If you aren’t keen on using paint or tape you can also use some chalk. This is the easiest and fastest option listed here. All you’ll need is some chalk and a measuring tape to measure the lines and draw them out.
Pickleball is a unique sport that is more accessible to a broader audience than other forms of exercise. This sport combines elements from badminton, tennis, and ping-pong in an easy to understand manner. This makes it suitable for those in a wheelchair, mature adults, and families with members of all ages.
Hopefully this guide helped answer your question of “can you play pickleball on a tennis court?” The good news is you can and once you know how to set it up it’s pretty straight forward! Have you ever played pickleball on a tennis court before? If so, what setup method did you use? Please let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!
Looking for more? Here are some other articles I put together:
Learn: About Pickleball, Why is it Called Pickleball?, Basic Pickleball Rules, Pickleball Court Dimensions, What is Pickleball?, Pickleball Singles vs Doubles – Strategies and Rules, Pickleball Strategy – Advanced, and What is the Most Aggressive Shot in Pickleball!
Equipment: What Type of Pickleball Paddle is Best?, Best Pickleball Shoes, Learn More About Pickleball Equipment and Where to Buy It, Best Pickleball Clothes for Men and Women, Best Pickleball Accessories And Must-Have Gear, and Best Pickleball Paddle.