CAN YOU PLAY PICKLEBALL ON A TENNIS COURT

Pickleball is a friendly sport with increasing popularity. It’s not always possible for a standard pickleball court to be available at all places.

But pickleball enthusiasts are indeed present who want to become pro picklers. We have to accept that pickleball is a popular game but it’s still a new one as compared to others like tennis, ping pong, and badminton.

I’d bet there are tennis courts easily accessible to you because the Tennis Industry Association estimates that there are about 270,000 tennis courts in the US alone.

It’s a great thing because you can play pickleball on a tennis court. Let’s dive into depth and understand how to play pickleball on a tennis court and other common questions revolving around it.

CAN YOU PLAY PICKLEBALL ON A TENNIS COURT

Yes, you can play pickleball on a tennis court with some slight temporary or permanent modifications.

This is good news for picklers and you might find some tennis courts having permanent pickleball lines as they are regularly used by pickleball players.

Are tennis courts and pickleball courts the same? Pickleball courts are very similar to that of tennis but not completely. However, you can convert tennis courts into pickleball courts with some temporary lines.

First, we will compare the courts of both, pickleball and tennis, determine the differences, and then proceed for converting a tennis court into pickleball.

TENNIS COURT VS PICKLEBALL COURT: THE DIFFERENCES

There are not many differences between pickleball and tennis courts except for the following.

  • Court Size: The size of pickleball court is 20″x44″ for both doubles and singles. While the size of a tennis court is 78″x36″ for doubles and 78″x27″ for singles.
  • Net Height: The pickleball net is 36″ high at the ends while 34″ high at the center. On the other hand, the tennis net is 42″ high at the ends and 36″ high in the middle.
  • Pickleball Lines: The middle, boundary, and sidelines are shared by tennis and pickleball but pickleball has an exclusive 7ft non-volley zone called “The Kitchen”.

Tennis CourtPickleball Court
Court Size78’27’44’x20′
Net Height42″ at the ends
36″ at the center
36″ at the ends
34″ at the center
The Kitchen(NVZ)NOYES
Double SidelinesYESNO

SIZE OF TENNIS COURT AND PICKLEBALL COURT

A common question is how many pickleball courts fit on a tennis court? A standard tennis court is four times larger as compared to a pickleball court. It means that you can easily fit four pickleball courts in a single tennis court.

This marks a great advantage as 16 picklers can play on only one tennis court.

CAN YOU USE A TENNIS NET FOR PICKLEBALL

Yes, you can use a tennis net for pickleball if the net is adjustable or you don’t mind the height difference. A pickleball net is a little lower than that of tennis.

Pickleball net is 36″ high at the sidelines while 34″ high at the center. On the other hand, a tennis net is 42″ high at the sidelines and 36″ high at the center.

This doesn’t seem a greater difference and you may ignore it but it makes a big difference in standard gameplay as each and every inch is considered strongly.


What if your tennis net is not adjustable? Adjustable nets do not come by default but you can buy tennis net adjusters which will help you convert the tennis court into a proper pickleball court.

PICKLEBALL LINES VS TENNIS LINES

In total, there are four sets of lines involved in pickleball and tennis courts. These lines are;

  1. The Sidelines
  2. The Service Lines or Baselines
  3. The Center Lines or Net
  4. The NVZ Lines or the Kitchen Lines

The Kitchen line or NVZ is exceptional for pickleball only. Other lines are present in both games but at different places.

Pickleball Court Dimensions
Pickleball Court Dimensions
Tennis Court Dimensions

HOW TO PLAY PICKLEBALL ON A TENNIS COURT

Playing pickleball on a tennis court requires a series of steps including making your own pickleball portable lines. 

We have discussed that a pickleball court is four times smaller than a tennis court, so, you will have to draw your own pickleball temporary lines as mentioned below.

REQUIREMENTS FOR PICKLEBALL LINES

Only a few things are required for drawing pickleball lines. These things may be already available in your home. You can also call it pickleball lines kit.

  • Measuring Tape for correct dimensions.
  • Any temporary marker for drawing lines.
  • Temporary Tape to lay the lines.

Now, that you have acquired all the necessary gear, get ready to embark on the journey of a builder making his own pickleball court.

HOW TO SETUP A PICKLEBALL COURT ON A TENNIS COURT

Follow the below-mentioned steps and you will form a pretty impressive temporary pickleball court over a tennis court.

  1. Setting up the Net: Take the adjustable pickleball net and set it up in the middle of any side on a tennis court. Make it 36″ high at the ends and 34″ high in the middle.
  2. First Sideline: Place your measuring tape a foot inside the net and then mark a 22-foot line extending away from the net.
  3. The Baseline: From the newly measured sideline, mark a 20-foot line horizontally for the baseline. Mark the halfway point at 10 ft, you’ll need it later for connecting.
  4. Second Sideline: Again, start measuring one foot inside the net but the opposite side and extend the second sideline to the end of baseline. This sideline will also measure exactly 22-foot.
  5. The Kitchen Line(NVZ): Now, mark the Kitchen line by measuring a 7′ on each side of the sideline and connect it. Again, place a mark at 10-foot.
  6. Connecting the Halfway Points: Till now, you should have two halfway points, one at the baseline and the other one at the kitchen. Connect these two marks across the pickleball court.
  7. Tapping: Get the temporary tape and stretch it across all the markings. Then, gently press it, so, that it applies evenly. For permanent tapping, painting pickleball lines on a tennis court would be enough.

At this point, we have placed the pickleball layout on tennis court and you are ready to play it!

For your convenience, here is a complete video about this whole process;

How to Create Lines for a Pickleball Court. Credit: Oncourt OffCourt (YT)

COST OF CONVERTING A TENNIS COURT INTO A PICKLEBALL COURT

We have already talked about the materials required. The cost may vary but all the items can be bought from 25$-600$ depending on the materials.

  • For Temporary Pickleball Lines: The cost of drawing temporary lines on a tennis court is much less. All the items including chalk, measuring tape, and temporary tape can be bought for less than 25$.
  • For Permanent Pickleball Lines: Making permanent markings of pickleball lines on a tennis court will cost anywhere between 200$-600$. You may hire professional painters to use DIY instead of tapes.
  • Complete Conversion: A complete conversion of tennis court into a pickleball court will cost tens of thousands of dollars but it is not a popular option.

WHICH ONE IS BEST?

We have mentioned all three possibilities of converting a tennis court into a pickleball court. It totally depends on you but if you ask me, I will recommend the temporary method.

The temporary pickleball lines do not cost much, they can be easily removed and done again. If at any point, you want to play tennis, it won’t be a problem as you can readily remove these temporary markings.


Disclaimer: Do not go crazy for pickleball. It’s illegal to add even temporary lines to any public or private property you do not have permission to mark! You may end up like Denver’s “mayor of pickleball” who ended up in jail for this.

TO SUM UP

Pickleball is a rapidly growing sport but it’s still far behind tennis. It will take some time for pickleball courts to be developed in every community. But you should not delay your enthusiasm for pickleball. Instead, get on a tennis court and follow the above procedure to make a temporary or permanent pickleball court on a tennis court.

HAVE FUN!

Can pickleball be played on a tennis court?

Yes, pickleball can be played on a tennis court with some slight modifications.

Is a tennis court the same as a pickleball court?

No, tennis court is not completely identical to that of pickleball but you can still play pickleball on a tennis court with some minor changes.

Does pickleball damage tennis courts?

No, pickleball does not damage tennis courts while playing on it.

Can you play pickleball without a net?

No, you cannot play pickleball without a net. Pickleball net is one of the necessary requirements for playing pickleball.

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