On one hand, when pickleball is growing with such a dramatic increase, the need for more and more pickleball courts is necessary. To build one near you, the first thing you need is the area dimensions, and to help you with that; here I’ll talk about pickleball court dimensions given by the USA Pickleball Association, inclusive of the playing area, the boxes, and the odds of how the calculation works when building a court.
You can often easily find the pickleball court size that is 20 by 44 feet. But knowing that won’t give you a fully functional court. You’ve to break down the compartments. The net area, court structure, and what about the fence and taping lines? I bet you missed that. You can hire a court contractor to build you a court from the scratch too, however, if you’re all on your own, let’s discuss how that 20 by 44 feet works in a pickleball court.
Pickleball Court Dimensions:
A pickleball court is 20 feet wide and extends to 44 feet in length, which looks rectangular. This measurement goes for both singles and doubles play. In that whole area, there are 3 compartments: the kitchen and 2 service areas. The kitchen or NVZ line stretches from the net to 7 feet on both sides, taking 14 feet from 44. Now, from the 30 feet left area, there’ll be 2 equal service areas measuring 15 in length. As for the width, if the court is for singles play, both will have 20 feet; otherwise, a partition is to take place, dividing the area into 10 feet for each compartment.
- The official pickleball court dimensions are 20 by 44 feet in feet.
- 14 feet (7 feet from both sides of the net) for the Non-Volley zone. This area is also called the kitchen.
- For singles play: 2 compartments measuring 15 by 20 feet.
- For doubles play: 4 compartments measuring 15 by 10 feet.
- Diagonally, the court will measure 48 feet and 4 inches.
Did anything click in your head? Yes! It’s the same dimension as the badminton court has. In fact, pickleball was first played on a badminton court when the three dads invented this game. As its roots are connected with tennis, volleyball, and soccer, pickleball can also be played on different courts. By making these compartments, you can draw the lines in a 20 by 44 feet area, and Voila! It’s a brand new court. Saving around 50k dollars. Whoosh!
Pickleball playing area:
Playing area is the entire area of the court where you’ll play pickleball. It’s important to mark the playing area markings when converting an existing sports court because you don’t want to jump into each other. Also, there’s an out-of-bounds area, the space for keeping your stuff, so extra space is needed.
Per the official rulebook of the USAPA, the playing area is 30 by 60 feet. However, when you include the out-of-bounds, fencing, and so forth, the measurement gets altered to 30 by 64 feet. Any inch more than that will be considered illegal. Around that 30 x 64 feet area, you can have your fences installed if you’re building a dedicated standalone pickleball court. The fences can be 10 feet max in height. However, it can also be 4 or 6 feet unless the fences are padded.
Note: Make sure you’ve permission from the area council if you’re turning any public place into pickleball courts. This also applies when installing lights. Night play is banned in many residential areas throughout the US.
Pickleball court lines and layout:
Along with all the measurements, the lines also count as 2 inches, as described by the USAPA. The 2 inches of the line measurement alters the overall area allowed to play. So, let me break down the types of lines in pickleball, starting with the…
- Baseline: It’s parallel to the nets and is 20 feet on both sides of the court.
- Sideline: This is the line perpendicular to the nets and is 44-feet. Both baseline and sidelines make a pickleball court boundary.
- Centerline: Centerline is a compartment’s division line and draws from the center of the court from the NVZ to the baseline.
- Kitchen Line: the 7” line that I talked about earlier. It’s the kitchen line, which also consumes 2” from both sides individually.
- Service court: now, the remaining area from the baseline, sideline, and the kitchen line makes up the service court.
As a result of the alterations that these lines cause, the rulebook has given line tolerance.
- Net line to outside of NVZ line: 7-feet +/- 1⁄8”
- Net line to outside of baseline: 22-feet +/- 1⁄4”
- Outside sideline to outside sideline: 20-feet +/- 1⁄4”
- Outside sideline to centerline: 10-feet +/- 1⁄8”
- Diagonal dimension to out of lines: 48-feet 4” +/- 3⁄4”
Now let’s talk about the nets:
Well, the pickleball net height and length go hand in hand when the talk is about pickleball court size and dimensions. The pickleball net is curvy; the sides measure 36” while the center is 34” and the pickleball net length is 22”. The rulebook mentions the 2.C.5. Clause, which says:
“A center strap is recommended for permanent net and must be placed at the center of the net to enable easy adjustment to the 34-inch (86.36-cm) requirement at center. The top shall be 36 inches (91.44 cm) high at the sidelines.”
Also, ensure your net is durable and made of fabrics, and the ball doesn’t pass through it.
Pickleball Court Dimensions vs Other court dimensions:
Per my survey, many pickleball courts are converted tennis or badminton courts. This is because pickleball can be played on any rigid surface, which opens the door to many sports courts. Here’s the guide for your alternate option and how many pickleball courts you can fit in 1 of them.
|Sports court (1):||No. of pickleball courts that fit in:|
Other than these, you can play pickleball, following the standard dimensions anywhere, whether it’s the grass on your nearby part or your driveway. That’s just how accessible pickleball is to everyone.
Pickleball Court vs. Tennis Court
Pickleball is a friendly game that can even be played on grass (informally). Using the pickleball Court Dimensions, many players have turned courts of other sports into pickleball. You may see badminton courts, indoor soccer courts, and volleyball courts filled with pickleball players. The most converted courts, however, are the tennis ones.
Maybe it’s because of the similarity of pickleball with tennis or the new game has many former tennis players that an enormous amount of public tennis courts have been converted to pickleball in just the last 5 years. The problem with converting the tennis court was okay until the number rose to 100+ which lit a fire among tennis players to go against pickleball. Of course, anyone would retaliate if their place of play is been taken off. I mean, playing on an empty place and turning a less-utilized court is okay, using the dimensions, but if your community is larger and your play timings are regular, then you should consider building your own courts.
Arguments about pickleball court Dimensions:
The court dimensions of pickleball are one of the catalysts that are turning into a major factor in the tennis vs. pickleball war. The leftists argue the court being 20 x 44 feet makes 4 courts of 1 and in a dual tennis court, there are 8 pickleball courts, and when all of the 8 courts play doubles, that is 32 players with 32 paddles making extremely mind-numbing noises in the whole area. Let’s not forget, their court has been taken as well. There are pickleball lawsuits as the issue goes on the rise since there are a number of complaints by the locals regarding pickleball noise.
Other than the legal concern, the pickleball court dimensions also limit the spin serve. In the pickleball rule changes in 2023, spin serve has been completely banned and one of the reasons behind it is the limited court area. The receiving team predictably can’t return the spin serve or return it so weak they unfairly benefit the serving team. All of it can be minimized if the court has an expanded area.
Countering this, there’s a positive side of this small and limited court size.
First, it’s easy to play for agile players. The movements are quick and injury free and it’s scientifically more healthy playing on a smaller court than on the large one. Also, the smaller court makes the game friendly for kids and senior players alike as they can make the most of it without much effort. Last, a smaller court is financially well-budgeted, even if you build it from scratch
Planning to build a pickleball court?
As you how big is a pickleball court, you can head towards making your own with the help of the pickleball court dimensions I just guided you about. Building a court can be anything between building from scratch and 5-minute DIY, turning any existing 20 by 44 feet area into a playing ground. It depends on how you decide to invest in the pickleball court. Until you can have a good 30 minutes of your day, there’s no need to have full-fledged construction. However, if tournaments play and commercial setup is your aim, I suggest looking out for an authority that builds you one. I recently renovated a court in LA near Chatsworth Recreation Center by Sportsmaster. They did an amazing job, though. Also, I’d recommend you read how to build a pickleball court if you’re all on your own.
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