Pickleball Courts: The Right Dimensions and How to Build One

Tennis as we know it has its origins in the 16th century. This has given people around the world plenty of time to get accustomed to the sport and its rules. This is also why you can find more tennis courts in suburban communities and sporting complexes than playing fields for pickleball, which began in 1965.

There may be some similarities between how the two games are played, as well as where. However, although a tennis court could potentially be converted into a pickleball court, it cannot be a satisfying substitute for one. Here is some information on pickleball court dimensions, as well as some of the essential equipment needed for building one.


Checking the Specs of a Pickleball Court

Playing the sport on another type of court is almost as outlandish a notion as playing in a grassy field. Despite ostensible similarities, such as the presence of service areas and a net in the middle, there are significant differences between the two. Here is a deeper look at what makes a court suitable for pickleball.

Pickleball Court Dimensions

Compared to the measurements for tennis courts, pickleball court dimensions are extremely compact. The sidelines in the former stretch to 78 feet, while the baselines are 36 feet wide. Pickleball courts, on the other hand, only measure 44 feet in length and 20 feet in width — much less space for running around. If you intend to convert a tennis court, the result may be larger still: 60 feet long and 30 feet wide. Tournament pickleball courts may be even larger, if only slightly, with a length of 64 feet and a width of 34 feet. (For convenience, all mentions of court length and width will refer to the standard.)

Either way, the court has a smaller area than the type designed for tennis. This may throw off athletes who are more familiar with the latter sport. Complicating matters further is that unlike with tennis, singles and doubles pickleball are both played over the entire court. Still, there is no need for them to worry — even though they may embarrass themselves by running or hitting out of bounds at first. With enough time and practice, dedicated players will be able to adjust their playing strategies to the new playing area. It is all part of the learning process.

The Different Areas

Pickleball courts have five distinct areas. Each court comes with four service areas, two on either side of the net. Their dimensions are 15 feet in length and ten feet in width. The left and right service areas are parted by the aptly named centerline. This line does not bisect the entire length of the court: the middle 14 feet consist of a rectangle called the “Non-Volley Zone.” Naturally, the net is in the middle of this section, and rules forbid players from just standing there where they could easily return shots.

Anyone interested in building a pickleball court should note that certain sections in tennis courts are entirely absent in this kind of playing area. There is no equivalent to “No Man’s Land,” as the baseline serves as the border not just for the field, but for the service areas. Nor are there any alleys: there is only one set of sidelines, regardless of whether there are two or four competitors on the field.


The Required Equipment

Knowing the standard pickleball court dimensions is a good start, but you need more than an outline to build one. This is especially true if you intend to construct one from scratch, though converting a tennis court is no walk in the park either. Here are some of the resources and equipment you would need to make your pickleball dreams a reality.

Surface Materials

The court itself must be built out of a solid surface material that can endure the pounding of the pickleballs and running feet. Different materials offer different benefits. Asphalt costs less overall to apply, but concrete requires less work to maintain.

Whichever material you select for your court, just make sure that you apply enough to create a thick layer over the appropriate amount of space. The pickleball court dimensions need to fit over the material. You should also be prepared and have the right cleaning materials handy.

Perimeter Fencing

When the match gets going, the pickleballs start flying. It would be inconvenient if they flew too far, of course. Unless you enjoy grinding the game to a halt for minutes as someone fetches the lost ball, you will need fencing around the perimeter.

This fencing should be made from rust-resistant materials, especially if the court is outdoors. It should be between four and ten feet high. This should be tall enough to keep spectators separate from players, as well as dividing pickleball courts so that athletes do not disrupt other people’s games.

The Net

The court itself would be incomplete without the net, of course — it is arguably the spiciest of the sport’s elements. The net is what compels players to keep the ball in the air. It can make or break a round, a match, a tournament. In the interest of fairness, you need to make sure that the net is raised in the standard manner.

According to the rules and recommendations of USAPA, the net should hang exactly three feet off the ground at its sides. The center will naturally sag a bit, and at its lowest, it should measure 34 inches off the ground. If the court is outdoors, the poles should be able to handle nasty weather and resist rust.

With all of these materials and requirements to consider, hiring a pickleball court contractor may not exactly come cheap. However, it can be extremely rewarding. More and more people are finding joy in the sport, and any court designed specifically for it may be quite popular.

Pickleball Court Supply offers a wide variety of pickleball products for fans of the game. These include court benches, machines, trash cans, and many more must-have pickleball court accessories. Your field would not be complete without them. Pick them up today, look into a contractor, and start planning today.