Whilst pickleball may seem like a fairly new sport it has actually been played for decades since its invention in Washington in the mid-1960s. In more recent times the family-friendly sport has seen a major boom in popularity and participation, and it is now one of the fastest growing sports in America.

If you are looking to join the pickleball craze, then you’ll need to know the markings and dimensions of a pickleball court in order to fully understand the rules of the game. In this guide we’ll cover everything there is to know about pickleball courts, including information on court sizes, dimensions, surfaces, how to convert a tennis court or your backyard into a pickleball court, and all the equipment you’ll need!

Pickleball court dimensions

What are the dimensions of a pickleball court?

Pickleball court dimensions are unique to pickleball with the official court measurements differing from other sports courts or playing areas. In this section we’ll cover the regulation sizes of a pickleball court as well as other pickleball court measurements, such as the ‘non-volley zone’ and the ‘service areas’.

USA Pickleball state that a regulation pickleball court should be a rectangle measuring 20ft (6.67 yards/6.10m) wide and 44ft (14.67 yards/13.41m) long. The size of a pickleball court in square feet is 880ft² which provides players with enough room to move around the court safely. A minimum of 10ft at either end of the court and 5ft at each side of the court should also be included beyond the court lines (clear of any objects) for players to use during rallies should they need to do so.

Pickleball court layout

Pickleball courts are split into two halves with the net running across the width of the court. Each half is split into three zones. The ‘non-volley zone’ (also known as ‘the kitchen’) extends 7ft (2.33 yards/2.13m) either side of the net and spans the full width of the court. As the name suggests, players can’t volley (hit the ball without it bouncing first) from this area of the court.

The remainder of each half-court is split into two equal ‘service areas’ that measure 15ft (5 yards/4.57m) in length and 10ft (3.33 yards/3.05m) in width. Players serve from behind either service area, hitting the ball diagonally across into the opposite service area. Only once the ball has been returned can players attempt volleys in the service areas.

What is the height of a pickleball net?

The pickleball net height is slightly lower than tennis nets. USA Pickleball state that the net should be 34in (86.36cm/2.83ft) tall at the center and 36in (91.44cm/3ft) tall at the sidelines.

Another net dimension that is important to note is the net length should measure at least 21ft 9in (7.25 yards/6.63m) extending from one net post to the other. The net should be edged with a 2-inch-tall white tape binding over a cord or cable.

Pickleball Court Surfaces

Pickleball can be played on a variety of surfaces although they are most commonly made from concrete, asphalt, clay, wood and grass.

One of the only differences between playing pickleball indoors or outdoors is the court surface. Most indoor pickleball courts will be made using a specially made polyurethane sport surface which feature a sturdy rubber mat built over a flat surface to provide cushioning for players joints when playing. On the other hand, most outdoor pickleball courts are made from concrete, asphalt or clay, although polyurethane can also be used as an outdoor pickleball court surface.

Pickleball modular court tiles on a concrete base are a great choice for those who don’t want a permanent pickleball court marked out. The tiles can also give extra grip and reduce the impact on the lower body.

Whilst pickleball courts are played on a lot of different surfaces, when designing or making your own court, factors such as your budget, the weather and the frequency of court usage need to be considered. It is also important to make sure the surface you choose is smooth and flat in order to get a consistent bounce, so the flow of play isn’t affected.

Pickleball Court Dimension vs Tennis Courts

Pickleball courts are a lot smaller than tennis courts and have different markings. Tennis courts are 36ft (12 yards/10.97m) wide and 78ft (26 yards/23.77m) long, whereas pickleball courts are 20ft (6.67 yards/6.10m) wide and 44 ft (14.67 yards/13.41m) long.

Tennis courts also have different markings to pickleball courts. The service areas in tennis are directly on either side of the net, whereas in pickleball they are deeper in the court with a no volley zone either side of the net.

Tennis courts feature distinct sidelines for both singles and doubles games, resulting in a narrower court width of 27 feet (9 yards/8.23 meters) for singles games, whereas doubles courts are wider at 36ft (12 yards/10.97 meters). In pickleball, singles and doubles games are played on the same size court.

Use our table below to see a full comparison of pickleball courts and tennis courts.

Pickleball Court Vs Tennis Court Comparison Table
Pickleball Court Tennis Court
Court Length 44ft (14.67 yards/13.41m) 78ft (26 yards/23.77m)
Court Width (Singles) 20ft (6.67 yards/6.10m) 27ft (9 yards/8.23m)
Court Width (Doubles) 20ft (6.67 yards/6.10m) 36ft (12 yards/10.97m)
Net Height (Centre) 34 inches (2.83ft/86.36cm) 36 inches (3ft/91.4cm)
Net Height (Sideline) 36 inches (3ft/91.44cm) 42 inches (3.5ft/106.68cm)
No Volley Zone 7ft (2.33 yards/2.13m) from the net None
Service Area Width 10ft (3.33 yards/3.05m) 13.5ft (4.50 yards/4.11m)
Service Area Length 15ft (5 yards/4.57m) from baseline 21ft (7 yards/6.40m) from the net
Total Surface Area (Singles) 880ft² 2,106ft²
Total Surface Area (Doubles) 880ft² 2,808ft²

Can you play pickleball on a tennis court?

It is possible to play pickleball on a tennis court and you only need a few pieces of equipment to do so! It’s quite common practice for temporary pickleball courts to be set up on tennis courts using temporary lines and portable pickleball nets.

Most outdoor tennis courts are set up in a north/south orientation to avoid the sun getting in the players eyes during play. This means you ideally won’t want to set out the pickleball courts horizontally, and instead should follow the same alignment as the tennis court. The best way to lay out a pickleball court onto a tennis court will depend on the amount of pickleball courts you need. This section will detail how best to layout different numbers of pickleball courts onto a tennis court.

Marking out one pickleball court onto a tennis court

1 pickleball court on a tennis court

Providing you have permission to, you can lower the tennis court net to the height required for pickleball and mark out the rest of the court on either side of the net.

Perpendicular to the net, measure 22ft (7.33 yards/6.71m) on either side of the net to establish the length of the court. Then mark out your first sideline using temporary court lines or chalk. Again, make sure you have the court owner’s permission before using chalk.

Using the tennis court’s center line (the line that separates the left and right service boxes) measure 10ft (3.33 yards/3.05m) either side of this center line in order to determine the width of the pickleball court. Then from one end of the first sideline, mark a line that is perpendicular to the first sideline. This forms the first of your two baselines and should run the full width of your pickleball court. Repeat this on the other side of the net to form your second baseline.

Once you have the court width and have marked both of your baselines, join the ends of the two baselines together with a second sideline that should be parallel to the first sideline drawn, and perpendicular to the two baselines.

This is the most straightforward way to mark out a pickleball court onto a tennis court. However, this will restrict the number of games you can play to one per tennis court.

Marking out two pickleball courts onto a tennis court

2 pickleball courts on a tennis court

By using the centerlines on both sides of a tennis court as the centerlines for the pickleball court, you are able to mark out a pickleball court on each side of the tennis net. This is another easy and popular way of using tennis courts to mark out pickleball courts.

Start off by measuring 10ft (3.33 yards/3.05m) either side of the tennis court center line to determine the width of your pickleball court. You can then use this existing centerline on the tennis court as the centerline on your pickleball court to separate the two service boxes.

You will then need to mark out your first baseline. To do this, you will need to leave a gap of 8ft (2.67 yards/2.44m from the tennis net. Then parallel to the tennis net, mark out your baseline that should run the full width of the pickleball court that you have already measured.

Then measure 44ft (14.67 yards/13.41m) from your first pickleball baseline to work out the full length of the court and mark out your second baseline for your pickleball court. You will then be able to join up the ends of both baselines to form your two sidelines.

To mark the position of where the pickleball net should be, measure 22ft (7.33 yards/6.71m) from one of the baselines and then position your temporary net parallel to both baselines. From there you can measure 7ft (2.33 yards/2.13m) from the net to mark out your ‘no volley zones’ on either side of the court. You can then repeat this whole process on the other side of the tennis net to get your second pickleball court.

Marking out four pickleball courts on a tennis court

4 pickleball courts on a tennis court

The most efficient way to make maximum use of the space available on a tennis court is by marking out 4 pickleball courts on 1 tennis court.

Start off by using the outside edges of each service box on the tennis courts to determine the width of the pickleball courts. These outside edges of the tennis boxes can be used as the centerlines of the pickleball courts, and you can measure 10ft (3.33 yards/3.05m) either side of your new centerlines to establish the width of the court.

You can also use the centerline on the tennis court to gauge the width of the court and where to mark your pickleball sidelines. Measuring 3.5ft (1.17 yards/1.07m) each side of the tennis court centerline will give a safe gap of 7ft (2.33 yards/2.13m) between the two pickleball courts on each side of the net.

Next mark the first baseline of each pickleball court 6ft (2 yards/1.83m) from the tennis net. You can then mark the first pickleball sideline from the end of the baseline you have just marked. The sideline should run for 44ft (14.67 yards/13.41m) parallel to the tennis court centerline.

Now you have marked out your first baseline and sideline you can follow the pickleball court dimensions we have already mentioned in this guide to mark out the rest of the courts, such as, the second baseline, second sideline, service boxes and no volley zone.

How do you make a backyard pickleball court?

pickleball court on grass

If you’re looking to create a backyard pickleball court at home, it’s recommended that you have a flat space that is at least 30ft (10 yards/9.14m) wide and 60ft (20 yards/18.29m) long. Your D.I.Y pickleball court can be smaller if you don’t have the space, however, it is important to ensure there is sufficient clearance between your court and anything that can be potentially collided with when playing in the backyard.

The ideal surface for your backyard pickleball court will be concrete although it is possible to use grass. Concrete is a better option all-year round as even during inclement weather in the winter you will still get a consistent bounce. Grass will give you a similar bounce during the summer months in better weather but in wetter, colder conditions the ground will become soft, affecting the bounce and causing you to cause damage to the turf.

Marking out your own pickleball court in your backyard will also require the following equipment:

• Line marking equipment – line marking tape, chalk, or rubber line markers for a temporary court

Line marking paint and a line marking machine for a more permanent court

A tape measure

A pickleball net

The best way to begin laying out your court is to position your pickleball net as it will act as your central reference point for marking the court. Measure out the available space for your backyard court and place your net in the middle. For example, if you have the recommended 60ft long area available, place your net at 30ft (10 yards/9.14m) across the width of your backyard space.

Next you can mark your two baselines, which should be 22ft (7.33 yards/6.71m) away from the net on each side. The baselines should span 20ft (6.67 yards/6.10m) which is the full width of the pickleball court.

Once the baselines have been drawn, you can outline the two sidelines. They should be parallel to one another, 20ft (6.67 yards/6.10m) apart and extend 44ft (14.67 yards/13.41m) in length.

Next you should mark out the ‘non-volley zone’ or ‘kitchen’ on either side of the court. This line should be 7ft (2.33 yards/2.13m) from the net on each side and extend the full width of the court.

To complete your backyard pickleball court you will need to draw the centerline to split the left and right service area on each side of the court. This line should run from the end of the non-volley zone to the baseline and should be 10ft (3.33 yards/3.05m) from each sideline in order to ensure the line is central. The centerline shouldn’t run into the non-volley zone.

We’ve now covered everything you need to know about pickleball courts. From pickleball court dimensions and net heights to playing surfaces and marking out your own court, you are now ready to set up your own pickleball court with confidence, whether that be at home, at a local tennis court or somewhere else.

At Net World Sports, we carry a wide variety of the highest quality Vermont pickleball court equipment, including pickleball nets and posts and line marking equipment. We also sell a selection of USA Pickleball regulation size indoor and outdoor pickleball balls and pickleball paddles so you’ll find everything you need to play pickleball here.