Have you decided to build an outdoor pickleball court for your recreation center, school, or club, but don’t know where to begin to set up a pickleball court? If you have ever built a tennis court, then you have won part of the battle as the techniques for constructing pickleball courts are practically identical to those used for tennis.
Whether you coach pickleball for league play at a recreation center, a country club, senior living community or a school team, the following guide will help you understand the basics of constructing a pickleball court.
STEP 1: Determine Your Space
Will you be converting a tennis or badminton court to play pickleball? Are you building a multi-court complex? Are you starting a new pickleball court from scratch? Whatever your situation, it’s important to keep in mind the standard size of pickleball courts, and then adjust according to your unique program needs.
For example, if you need to use a tennis court to play pickleball, it can be easily divided into four pickleball courts so multiple games can occur simultaneously. Or, if you are building a multi-court pickleball system, the overall construction and dimensions would be the same as a single court. The only difference is that you will be building multiple courts on a larger scale, and will need fences with padding between each pickleball court.
- Pickleball Court Dimensions: 20 by 44 feet, for both singles and doubles play
- Pickleball Net Height: 36 inches at the sidelines, 34 inches in the middle
- Pickleball Playing Area:30 by 60 feet is the standard when converting a tennis court, but 34 by 64 feet is preferable for tournament play or if you will have a standalone pickleball court.
STEP 2: Choose Court Surface Materials
If you are building your outdoor pickleball court from scratch, or if you have an existing court that needs revamped, you will need to choose what type of court surface is best for you. Common types of court surface materials for pickleball include the following:
- Concrete: This type of outdoor court surface is good in terms of both durability and value.
- Asphalt: This can be a good option if you want to go a more affordable route, but it can require additional upkeep.
- Snap-Together Plastic: Snap-together court surfaces can be applied over asphalt or concrete which can be helpful when you don’t want to permanently alter the surface of a multi-use court. It’s stable and convenient.
STEP 3: Pick Out Perimeter Fencing
Fencing is crucial for multi-court pickleball as it contains the ball within the playing area and provides security for players as well as spectators. There are a variety of different types of pickleball court fencing to choose from, but fences made from wire are the most common as they allow players and spectators to see into and out of the court. They also allow light to pass through easily. A contractor who is familiar with building pickleball courts can help you choose and install pickleball fencing. Just be sure it is covered with rust-resistant materials to keep players safe from injury.
Pickleball Fencing Dimensions: 10 feet high is preferred, but 4 feet can also work as long as the top of the fence is padded.
STEP 4: Equip Your Court With Light
Lighting for pickleball courts follows a fairly standard protocol. All pickleball courts should include a two 1,500 watt light poles. You will want to ensure that each pole is 18 to 20 feet high and mounted in the center, at least 24 inches back from the court.
STEP 5: Shop Pickleball Net Systems
After determining your space, surface and court materials, contacting an expert to help you find the right pickleball net system for your program is the next logical step. There are many types of pickleball poles and systems to choose from, and all have different characteristics. Outdoor pickleball poles, however, are specifically designed to withstand the elements of being outdoors for long periods of time. A complete outdoor pickleball net system includes the following:
- Two poles
- One ratchet
- One outdoor pickleball net
- Sleeves (may or may not be required).
STEP 6: Set Up Your Pickleball Court
After the pickleball surface, fencing, lighting and other materials are picked, it’s time to set it all up. The following tips can aid you in the building process:
- Hire a professional contractor. While installing a pickleball net system may be a simple process if you’re placing a net and painting the surface for just one court for your own yard, hiring a professional contractor can help ensure everything is built and set up to code for recreation centers, clubs, and school pickleball play.
- Orient your court north-south.Outdoor pickleball courts are exposed to mainly environmental elements that can obstruct players’ vision (position of the sun, shadows cast onto surface of court, etc), so it’s important to orient your pickleball court north-south.
- Court lines should be white and 2 inches wide. Wanhe Sport helps our customers to paint court lines. The standard lines for a pickleball court include:
- Baselines: These run parallel to the pickleball net on both ends of the court.
- Sidelines: These run perpendicular to the pickleball net on both sides of the court.
- Non-Volley Line: These lines should be 7 feet from the net and located on each side of the net between sidelines, running parallel to the net.
- Non-Volley Zones: These are areas of the pickleball court surrounded by two sidelines, the non-volley line, and the net.
- Centerlines: Located on each side of the net running between the non-volley line and baseline.
- Service Courts: Run on either side of the centerline, surrounded by non-volley line, sideline, and baseline.
How Many Pickleball Courts Fit On A Tennis Court?
Question: How many pickleball courts fit on a tennis court?
Answer: You can fit four standard pickleball courts on a tennis court, as long as the corners are square and it is regulation size (60′ x 120′). Each pickleball court should consist of the playing area of 20′ x 44′, and the total recommended size of each court with overrruns is 30′ x 60′.
If you picture a standard size tennis court and cut it in half at the net line, each half of the full tennis court can have two pickleball courts on each end.
Converting A Tennis Court To Pickleball Courts
If you are considering completely converting a tennis court into multiple permanent pickleball courts, here are some items you will need to address:
- Removal of the existing tennis posts, which are usually in a concrete footer / sleeve & removal of the pipe anchor. The pipe anchor is cemented into the base, directly under the tennis net at center to hold the net center strap.
- Since the net posts are in the center of the old tennis court and between the two sets of new pickleball courts, you may be able to cap the holes if sleeves were installed in the concrete post footers. This would minimize the need for removal and surface repair.
- Installing new pickleball net post sleeves in footers for all 4 courts. The pickleball posts can be placed and removed as needed, with the sleeves installed.
- Pipe anchors will also need to be installed at the center of each net. This should be installed in a small concrete footer and will provide a tether point for the net center strap
- Resurface the tennis court as four independent pickleball courts, utilizing Wanhe Sport pickleball court surfaces& stripe accordingly.
Adding Pickleball Lines To A Tennis Court
If you still want to play tennis on your court, you should consider adding pickleball lines to a tennis court. This is also known as “blended lines”. The tennis court lines will remain and pickleball court lines can be added in a different color. Generally, the tennis net will remain and you can use portable net systems for pickleball. There are a few common variations of blended pickleball lines, but most of them consist of adding 2 pickleball courts, per full tennis court. Customization service of multi-use lines is also provided by Wanhe Sport.