Pickleball is one of the nation’s most popular games, with over 35 million people across the country participating in the sport. While people play in their backyards and at parks and recreational centers, there are official pickleball court dimensions that help create uniformity for the game. You can still enjoy the sport without these dimensions, but it helps to know the basics to become proficient at the game.
The Basics of Pickleball Court Dimensions
If you want to master the sport of pickleball, you should play it on a court that follows the official rules and dimensions. USA Pickleball is the national governing body for the sport. A standard pickleball court is 44 feet long by 20 feet wide.
If you would rather play according to the regulations of the USA Pickleball organization, your playing surface must have a minimum measurement of 30 feet wide by 60 feet long.
The court should sit evenly within the space, giving you plenty of room around the court for safety and ease of movement. This allows for at least a 10-foot buffer around the court.
Ease of Setup
There are only a few inexpensive pieces of equipment necessary to enjoy a good game of pickleball. The game simply requires:
- A hard, flat foundation
- Pickleball paddles
- An opponent
- A net
- A ball
These impromptu games are often set up in parks and driveways and on tennis courts across the country because of the convenience of the location and available space.
Casual pickleball players often make use of available tennis courts because the access to a net makes for an easy game. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the standard dimensions of a pickleball court. The playing area on a tennis court is nearly three times bigger than standard pickleball court dimensions. Pickleball courts are closer in size to standard doubles badminton courts, but these are a lot harder to find around the U.S.
The Impact of Boundary Lines on the Size of Pickleball Court
Pickleball games rely on boundary lines around the court to determine points and allowable player movement. For official courts, a permanent solution like paint makes the lines, while players often mark temporary lines using chalk or tape in multi-use spaces like backyards, parks or gyms.
All pickleball court lines should be white and two inches wide. The width and color of the line help create a nice contrast to make it easier to call line balls and determine what is in or out. Necessary lines include:
- Baselines: lines running the width of the court parallel to the net
- Sidelines: lines running the length of the court that are perpendicular to the net
- Centerline: a line perpendicular to the net evenly diving the backcourt
- Non-volley lines: parallel lines on both sides of the court seven feet from the net
The parallel boundaries of the non-volley zones are set by the non-volley lines, designating an area where players can’t volley the ball. The area defined by these pickleball court dimensions is often called the kitchen and the kitchen line.
Behind the non-volley zone, the pickleball court has four service courts. The centerline establishes two equally sized service courts on either side of the court.
The Guidelines for Backyard Pickleball Court Dimensions
Many people like to play pickleball without having to travel to find a court. For those with a driveway or wide open space in their backyard, it’s possible to set up your own playing surface. The key is to have a surface that is flat and even. If you have the right setup, playing in your own backyard makes for a convenient game. You can also save money on court fees and eliminate travel time and time spent waiting for an open court.
You may have to worry about friends, family and neighbors wanting to come over to use your pickleball court. Limited space can often make the game more challenging and potentially less safe. You might have to adapt to your area by creating a smaller playing space and only allowing for a singles game. You must also ensure the playing surface isn’t slippery or too close to obstacles or hazards. But once you have solved those problems, who wouldn’t enjoy a day playing with friends and family?
If you have to create a pickleball court that doesn’t meet the standard pickleball court size, make sure you adjust the width and length proportionally. There needs to be an even playing area, so if you lower the width by 25%, you will need to do the same for the length. Unfortunately, adjusting your style of play to a backyard court that doesn’t use standard pickleball court dimensions will impact your performance on a traditional court.
The Court Dimensions for Singles and Doubles Games
Pickleball is an easy game to play individually and when joining up with a partner to play doubles. Another great thing about the game is the dimensions of a pickleball court don’t change between singles or doubles games. Both use a court that is 20 feet wide by 44 feet long with additional playing room around the sides.
For many players, singles games are the hardest because one player has to cover a lot more ground during the game. This is physically taxing. Working with a partner in a doubles game has some challenges, but it’s not usually covering the playing surface. It’s more about learning how to communicate and work together.
The Materials for a Pickleball Court
Now that you know the pickleball court dimensions, you can construct your own court. Whether you are planning a new development, are working with your HOA for an amenity to your neighborhood or simply want to spruce up your backyard, adding a pickleball court to the area will bring endless hours of fun and exercise to the community.
You can use many different materials to make a pickleball court, but asphalt and concrete are the most common. If you want to create an outdoor court, concrete is more durable and will hold up to climate conditions better than asphalt. Asphalt is usually more affordable than concrete if you have a small budget.
Based on your expectations for the court, you could be facing a significant investment in the chance to play pickleball. When you factor in the location, the size you choose and the materials used, you could have a price tag anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 to install the court alone. If you are fortunate to have a tennis court, you can convert it into a pickleball court. Simply add the new lines and necessary equipment.
Pickleball court nets also have a regulation standard. The height should be 36 inches high along the sidelines and 34 inches high across the middle. This is similar to the net used on a tennis court. The net has to be long enough to span the distance of the court, which is 22 feet.
The Reasoning Behind the Pickleball Court Dimensions
Pickleball has a different play style than tennis, which is why players use a smaller court. The fast pace of a tennis game, the trajectory of the ball and the distance the ball travels justify the larger size of a tennis court. A tennis ball also bounces higher than a pickleball, increasing the space needed to respond to a serve or during a volley.
Additionally, when pickleball was in its early stages, the game’s creators relied heavily on badminton rules and play to establish the game. This is why the court closely resembles a badminton court, except for the lowered net.
The Variations to Pickleball Games
While there are standard pickleball court dimensions for those playing both recreationally and professionally, there are some variations to the game that change how players use the court. Mini-singles pickleball is a new version of the game that resembles half-court singles. Players don’t have to cover the entire court, using only half of the court to score. You can also try cross-court singles pickleball to work on your doubles shots.
You can also find variations in the court size depending on the level of play. The new construction surface dimensions are 34 feet wide and 68 feet long, using the same dimensions for tournament play. Courts constructed for wheelchair use increase the dimensions to 44 feet wide and 74 feet long. Stadium play increases the dimensions to 50 feet wide and 80 feet long.
The Partner for Information on Pickleball Court Dimensions and More
If you are a part of the 159% growth the sport of pickleball has experienced over the last three years, you are investing in a rewarding and entertaining pastime. Whether you want to improve your play to the professional level or simply enjoy hanging out on the court with a few friends, there is always more to learn about the sport.
Pickleball Portal is the place to turn for more information on pickleball court dimensions. We also have resources on the latest equipment, regulation updates or notable events. Feel free to browse or leave a comment below!