Pickleball is a sport that can be played on a tennis court. Yes, I am sure as a pickleball lover you heard that right. If you are a beginner in pickleball, the one question that always comes to your mind is how to play pickleball on a tennis court.
One of the sports that are growing quickly in the US is pickleball. It is an excellent game to keep in shape and enjoy some fun at the same time. It combines elements from tennis and ping-pong and is suitable for players of all ages and abilities.
Pickleball as compared to tennis is relatively easy to play but with so much popularity and demand, finding a pickleball court to play on is not that easy. One thing that is quite similar between pickleball and tennis is the playing courts. This led to my next question:
Can you play pickleball on a tennis court? Well, to get an answer you have to go through the following article where I have explained the steps of converting a tennis court into a pickleball court.
Can Pickleball be played on a Tennis court?
The simple response to this query is yes. You can easily use a tennis court for playing pickleball. Just change tennis balls with plastic balls and a paddle replaces the tennis racquet. There you go; your makeshift pickleball court is ready.
A tennis court is the most common choice for playing pickleball. Even basketball and badminton courts are sometimes used as pickleball courts.
Tennis courts are usually flat and rectangular, with a net on one side of the court. Pickleball courts are also very much similar in shape and design to tennis courts. The net is not an issue when playing pickleball on a tennis court because it only takes up about 10% of the court’s surface area.
Tennis courts are wide enough for people of all sizes and the ball will not bounce off the walls as it does on a regular paddleball court. It is also much easier to see where you are going when playing pickleball, which makes it more enjoyable for everyone.
How do you convert a Tennis court into a Pickleball court?
Pickleball may be played on a tennis court without any issues. You just need the right type of instruments along with some change in rules, and then you can transform a tennis court into a pickleball court.
Compared to pickleball courts, tennis courts are significantly larger. A pickleball court comes with dimensions of 44 feet long and a width of 20 feet. While a typical tennis, court measures 78 feet in length and a breadth of 36 feet. Unlike tennis, the dimensions of a pickleball court remain the same for singles as well as for doubles games.
As you can see from the dimensions the tennis court, is very large compared to the pickleball court. So now, the question arises how can pickleball be played on a tennis court?
A single standard tennis court with such a large area can place four pickleball courts in it. If it is a single pickleball game, then this 4-in-1 combination can manage eight players at the same time on a makeshift tennis court.
However, if you are playing a doubles pickleball game on a tennis court then there will be chances of things getting out of hand. There will be 16 players present simultaneously on a transformed tennis court. This will create a lot of confusion in the minds of players as well as there will be no fun for the crowd.
Therefore, to avoid such clumsiness, the better option is to have two pickleball courts per tennis court. In that way, there will be more space for seven or eight players to play and the spectators will have more fun and less confusion in watching the games.
Tools required for Converting a Tennis court into a Pickleball court
Before playing pickleball on a tennis court, it is important to have the entire equipment ready, which is required for designing a transform pickleball court. Below is the type of tools needed for playing pickleball on a makeshift court.
- Measuring tapes
- Chalk or Temporary marker
- Painter’s tape
- Pickleball net
An existing tennis net can also be used if it is easily movable in case you do not want to use a temporary pickleball net. Keep in mind that, as compared to a tennis net, a pickleball net is about two inches shorter.
Another important consideration when transforming a tennis court into a temporary pickleball court is the usage of temporary markings. Once you are done playing pickleball, you can easily remove the temporary marks and a tennis court can still be used as a tennis court.
How to play Pickleball on a Tennis Court
Now that you have all the required tools and materials necessary for playing pickleball on a transform pickleball court, it is time to learn how you play pickleball on a tennis court.
Four main areas need to be considered in a typical pickleball court. Those are
- Non-volley zone (also called the kitchen)
- Center lines
Steps of Playing Pickleball on a Tennis Court
If you want to learn how to play pickleball on a tennis court then the following are the steps, which need to be considered in setting up a pickleball court using the dimensions given by USAPA.
Step 1: Setting up the net
First, you need to go to a nearby tennis court and take permission from the owner to convert it into a pickleball court.
As I already mentioned, pickleball courts are smaller than tennis courts. Therefore, in setting up the net you need to divide the tennis court surface at the center by placing two movable pickleball nets. The position of the pickleball nets should be perpendicular to the tennis net.
What that means is there will be a pickleball court on one-half side of the tennis court and the same on the other side as well.
Step 2: Sideline Measurement
After setting the net, the second step is to measure the sideline. In this step, the pickleball net must remain fixed at its point. The net will serve as a reference point for the sideline measurements, which is the motivation.
After doing that, take out the measuring tape and start measuring from one foot inside the pickleball court up to the 22 feet mark. Using chalk or a temporary marker to mark that point right along the edge of the line. On the opposite side of the improvised pickleball court, repeat this identical process.
Step 3: Baseline Measurement
Once the sideline measurement is done, it is time to measure the baseline. To determine the baseline, set the 22-foot mark as your base. Now, increase the baseline point to 20 feet and mark it. Similarly, when you get to the halfway point, (10 feet) mark that point as well with a marker near the sidelines.
With that being done, now you are in a position to draw the first pickleball line with the help of measuring tape. To ensure the line is straight, you have to follow the path of the measuring tape.
Once done, repeat the process on both sidelines of the court. In the end, connect the 20-foot baseline points using chalk. This will complete the outlining process.
Step 4: No-Volley Area Measurement
The no-volley zone in pickleball sports is defined as the area near the net where a player cannot play a volley. This step includes the marking of the no-volley area also known as “the kitchen”.
For that, take out the measuring tape, place it on the base of the pickleball net, and extend it to the service sideline. This measuring distance will be 7 feet.
Mark it with chalk and you have to repeat the step by going to the other side of the service sideline. Similarly, connect the 7-foot spot where the service box sidelines intersect. In doing so, keep in mind that you also need to mark the 10 feet point (halfway).
Finally, make sure that the 10-feet mark should be connected with both the baseline and the non-volley zone.
Step 5: Finishing Touch
After doing all the measurements, it is time for the last step. For finalizing the lines, you need to tape the lines by holding the tape at one end and dragging it to the other end. You can also use chalk to make lines more prominent during playing.
Again, do this step on the other side of the court to complete a makeshift 44-foot pickleball court. There you go! A fully designed temporary pickleball court for you. Now get up, and ready yourself to play pickleball.
Pickleball courts are very similar to tennis courts in terms of shape, design, and sometimes in dimensions as well. Therefore, there is no harm in playing pickleball on a tennis court. With pickleball courts fewer in number, a tennis court can be a great option to practice for a pickleball player.
In this article, I have explained the process of converting a tennis court into a makeshift pickleball court. Read the steps completely so there will be no confusion in your mind about how to play pickleball on a tennis court. Just grab the plastic balls and paddles and start playing this beautiful game.