Pickleball is a fast-paced, exciting game with relatively simple rules, so it’s a great option for a wide range of players.
The game has steadily gained popularity in the United States, which has led many people to wonder if they could build their own pickleball court in their backyard or community.
If you love the game, installing a pickleball court is the best way to bring the fun home.
Before you decide to make a pickleball court, however, it’s important to ensure that you have enough room.
Pickleball Is an Exciting Game For All Ages
If you have never played pickleball, you need to know this game combines some of the elements of tennis, ping-pong, and badminton. This game can be played indoors or out and with singles or doubles.
Pickleball is a game invented in 1965. This game was developed one summer by then-congressman Joel Pritchard. Interestingly, this game came about because Pritchard’s children wanted to play badminton on an old court but they did not have the proper equipment.
The children improvised by using a perforated plastic ball and a couple of paddles. As they continued to enjoy the game, Barney McCullum came along and wanted to play, eventually creating the rules of pickleball. The original premise of the game was to offer family fun for those who are bored.
The First Pickleball Court
In 1967, the first pickleball court was constructed in the backyard of one of Joel Pritchard’s friends. This permanent court was the start of something big for the game. In 1972, they formed a corporation to protect the ownership of the game. In 1975, The National Observer wrote about pickleball for the first time.
1976 brought about the first pickleball tournament. Held at South Center Athletic Club in Tukwila, Washington, this was the beginning of many more tournaments.
Pickleball Court Dimensions
If you plan to construct a pickleball court indoors or out, you need to know the regulation size of the court first. A regulation-sized pickleball court will be the same size, whether you play singles or doubles.
A standard pickleball court is 20 feet or 6.096 meters wide. The total length of the court is 44 feet or 13.4 meters. The court is divided into two halves, with a net running down the center.
If you have ever played badminton, you may recognize the size, as it is the same. The only difference between the two courts is the net height.
Each section has a non-volley zone near the net, running the width of the court. This zone is often referred to as the kitchen, and it has a depth of 7 feet or about 2.13 meters.
Net Size and Height
A standard pickleball net is between 20 and 22 feet or 6.096 to 6.71 meters long. Many players prefer that the net slightly overlaps the edges of the court, which makes scoring clearer and helps keep the ball in play and within reach.
The pickleball net dips slightly in the middle due to weight, so it has a height of 34 inches or about 0.86 meters at the center and 36 inches, which is equal to 3 feet or about 0.9 meters, at each side.
How much space do you need for a pickleball court?
Now that you know the regulation size of a pickleball court, it is time to figure how much space you need in total. You cannot simply figure in the regulation size of the court because you need play room.
The exact dimensions of a pickleball court are 40 by 20 feet, giving the court a total size of 800 square feet.
If you want extra space for the net to overlap the edges of the court, you’ll need to add another 2 feet to the width of the court, giving the court a total size of 880 square feet.
You’ll need a minimum area of 800 to 880 square feet, therefore, to build a pickleball court.
There are other considerations to take into account when thinking about building a pickleball court, however. For example, you’ll need to provide room to walk about the edges of the court so that players can reach their areas.
It’s also a good idea to provide large margins around the court to give the players more freedom for leaps and stretches to hit the ball. In general, most courts provide margins of at least 5 feet or 1.524 meters along the length of the court and 10 feet or 3.048 meters at each end of the court.
This means that the court will have a length of 60 feet and a width of 30 feet for a total square footage of 1,800 square feet. This is often the size allowed for a pickleball court that has been converted from a tennis court.
If you can, it’s best to provide even more room to maneuver by increasing the margins along the edges to 7 feet or 2.13 meters in depth and the margin at each end to 12 feet or 3.66 meters.
This gives a total length of 64 feet and a total width of 34 feet, for a total size of 2,176 square feet. The more space you can offer your players, the better.
A pickleball court takes up a great deal of space, so many people choose to build a half-pickleball court instead. This is a court that, as the name suggests, is half the size of a standard court.
The court itself should be 10 feet or 3.048 meters wide and 20 feet or 6.096 meters long. This type of court also utilizes a smaller net. A half-pickleball court somewhat limits play and doesn’t allow for a game that’s quite as dynamic or exciting as one played on a standard pickleball court.
However, if you only have limited space and want to get some exercise or practice your serves, a half-pickleball court is an excellent option.
Convert a Court
If you plan to build a pickleball court, you can save time and money by simply converting a tennis court or badminton court. With a few modifications, you can easily create a pickleball court.
What Equipment Do You Need to Play Pickleball?
If you are just getting started playing pickleball, you likely have a lot of questions. Aside from knowing about the regulation court size, people also want to learn about the equipment they need to play the game. Aside from the court, you only need two pieces of equipment.
- Pickleball Paddle
- Pickleball Ball
A pickleball paddle is a cross between a tennis racket and a ping-pong racket. In the past, these rackets were made of wood only, but they are now made of many materials, including composite. You will also find pickleball paddles made of aluminum and graphite.
The standard pickleball paddle dimensions are 16 inches long and 8 inches wide. These dimensions allow for the perfect level of power, control, balance, and reach.
Some paddles are available with longer handle lengths. Those who use two-handed backhands prefer these paddles with longer handles. Any handle over five inches is considered long.
The official pickleball ball is made of plastic and has holes. These balls have dimensions of 2 7/8 inches to 3 inches. Pickleball balls are lightweight, weighing only .08 to 1.02 ounces.
This makes them easy to store, so if you’re making a pickleball court, you won’t need to worry about having a large shed or closet to store heavy equipment.
For regulation play, there are no requirements on color other than the entire ball must be
What else should I know about building a pickleball court?
When building a pickleball court, after you’ve determined how much space the court will take up, you’ll need to decide what type of material you want the court to be.
Concrete is one of the most popular options, as it’s relatively inexpensive and very durable. Asphalt is another common option. Asphalt is even less expensive than concrete, and it looks stylish.
However, asphalt requires a bit more care and may sometimes require patching. A plastic court surface is another great option. Many plastic surfaces snap together and can be easily removed, which means you can simply take it away if you decide you want to use the area for something other than pickleball in the future.
You may also want to consider fencing. Fencing helps to keep the court clean, as it keeps out any wild animals. It also helps to keep the ball within reach during play.
Most pickleball enthusiasts prefer a fence that’s at least 10 feet high, as this helps to contain any wild serves or hits.
The Rules of Pickleball
Pickleball is a fun and exciting game for people of all ages. Families love playing, which is likely why you want to add one to your home. The following are some of the rules of this sport.
Rule One: The ball must stay inbounds.
Rule Two: There should be one bounce on each side.
Rule Three: You must serve the ball at the baseline.
Rule Four: No serve can land in the no-volley zone.
Rule Five: The game will end at either 11 or 15 points. (The winning team must win by two points, which could cause the end score to go to 15.)
Pickleball Is Fun Inside Or Outdoors
Now, you have all the information you need for constructing the perfect pickleball court for your family to enjoy this summer. This game is simple for almost every person to understand. Even children can play.
To ensure the game is fun and fits regulation guidelines, make sure to construct your court using the dimensions above. For safety and full playability, make sure you have at least a 30′ x 60′ space.