How to Play Pickleball on a Tennis Court: A Complete Guide (2023)

A tennis court in the background with a pickleball paddle and ball in front

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Do you love playing pickleball but don’t have enough courts in your city? Well, did you know that you can play pickleball on a tennis court?

Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport over the last two years according to the SFIA’s 2022 Topline Participation Report.

So getting creative and learning to play pickleball on a tennis court means you’ll have a lot more options to play your favorite sport. 

Luckily, pickleball is a fun and fast-paced game that can be played on many surfaces, including tennis courts.

It might seem tricky, but with the right instructions, you can do it! 

In this blog post, I will teach you everything you need to know about playing pickleball on a tennis court. 

After this, you’ll be able to play pickleball anywhere, anytime!

In this article:

What’s the difference between a pickleball court and a tennis court?

There are a few main differences between pickleball and tennis courts:

Size – a pickleball court is much smaller than a tennis court.

Net height – the net height for pickleball is 34 inches at the centre, while the net height for tennis is 36 inches at the centre

Boundaries and lines – the lines of a pickleball court are different than those of a tennis court.

Most notably, pickleball courts have a line near the net, the ‘kitchen’, which acts as a non-volley zone unless the player has let the ball bounce first.

The difference between a pickleball court and a tennis court
The lines are different on a pickleball court and a tennis court

What equipment do you need to play pickleball on a tennis court?

To play a game of pickleball on a tennis court, you will need:

How do you mark pickleball lines on a tennis court?

I recommend using a pickleball court marker kit to quickly and accurately add pickleball lines onto a tennis court. 

This pickleball court marker kit makes it easy to transform a tennis court into one for pickleball

I use this set to mark the lines for playing pickleball. The instructions are easy to follow

The kit has four L-shaped and eight T-shaped court markers in bright colors to create court lines. 

You can also use white painter’s tape, chalk, or paint to measure and mark the dimensions of a pickleball court yourself.

But if you’re looking for accuracy and easier visibility, I recommend using an actual court marking set

What are the lines for pickleball?

To properly set up a tennis court for pickleball, it’s helpful to know the key locations on the court.

The baselines are found at both ends lined up parallel with the net while sidelines run down both sides of it. 

On either side of the net is an area known as the non-volley zone (NVZ) (seen in red in the image below) which extends 7 feet from the net and runs in line with the net itself.

This boundary is divided by a centerline down the middle of the entire court.

Finally, there’s also something called the Service Area which is found beyond the NVZ and includes the centerline, sideline and baseline areas. 

the measurements and dimensions of a pickleball court
               The dimensions and key locations on a pickleball court

What are the dimensions of a pickleball court?


The surface area of a pickleball court should be about 30 feet by 60 feet

According to USA Pickleball standards, the exact lines of a pickleball court should measure:

  • Net line to outside of NVZ line: 7 ft
  • Net line to outside of baseline: 22 ft
  • Outside sideline to outside sideline: 20 ft
  • Outside sideline to centerline: 10 ft
  • Diagonal dimension to out of lines: 48 ft 4 in
  • Net height at center: 34 in
  • Net height at sidelines: 36 in

Can you use a tennis net for playing pickleball?

A tennis net is higher than a regulation pickleball net should be. 

So to play pickleball on a tennis court, you will need to adjust the net height.

Tennis nets are 36 inches tall at the center, while pickleball nets should be 34 inches at the centre and 36 inches at the sideline. 

One option to shorten the net is to use ties to lower it. Another option is to use a portable pickleball net in place of a tennis net on the court. 

Once the court lines and the net are set up, you are ready to start playing! 

a tennis net from a low side angle

How is pickleball different from tennis?

Pickleball is similar to tennis, but the equipment and rules are slightly different.

Pickleball is played with a paddle and a pickleball. Pickleballs are like large ping-pong balls with holes—very similar to wiffle balls. 

The game is played similarly to tennis, but with a few different rules.

For example, in pickleball, your serve must be underhand and must bounce before it is returned, and then bounce once more on the next return.

In addition, players can only enter the ‘kitchen’, a short area near the net, once the ball has already bounced.

The game can be played with two or four players and is won by either winning two out of three sets, or by scoring 11 points first.

Click here to learn the rules for serving in pickleball.

How to get better at pickleball 

If you’re looking to improve your pickleball game, there are a few things you can do. 

First, practice your serve. A good pickleball player has a consistent and accurate serve. 

Second, work on your footwork. Good footwork will help you get to the pickleball quicker and make it easier to hit the ball. 

Finally, try to keep your pickleball rallies going for as long as possible. The longer you can keep the rally going, the better chance you have of winning the point.

With these tips in mind, you’re ready to go out and play pickleball on a tennis court! 

If you give it a try, let us know in the comments how it goes.

And if you’re looking for more information about pickleball, be sure to check out our other posts including the BEST Gifts For Pickleball Players in 2023.

Happy playing!


FAQs

Is a pickleball net the same height as tennis?


No, a pickleball net is not the same height as a tennis net. A pickleball net is shorter by two inches, so it is 34 inches at the center instead of 36 inches.

What is the correct net height for playing pickleball?


The correct net height for playing pickleball is 34 inches at the center and 36 inches at the sideline. 

What are the proper court dimensions for playing pickleball?


According to USA Pickleball standards, the proper court dimensions for pickleball are as follows:

Net line to outside of NVZ line: 7 ft
Net line to outside of baseline: 22 ft
Outside sideline to outside sideline: 20 ft
Outside sideline to centerline: 10 ft
Diagonal dimension to out of lines: 48 ft 4 in
Net height at center: 34 in
Net height at sidelines: 36 in

How wide are pickleball court lines?


Pickleball court lines should be 2 inches wide.

Is pickleball easier than tennis?


Yes, pickleball is easier than tennis for beginners to learn. It requires low-impact movement and minimal strength to play.

Pickleball also uses a lighter ball and paddle than tennis, making it easier for beginners to learn to hit the ball.

Does pickleball damage tennis courts?


No, pickleball should not damage a tennis court if proper equipment and rules are followed. Learn how to minimize the risk of pickleball on a tennis court in this article.

What color are pickleball court lines?


Pickleball court lines can be any color, especially if they are temporary and placed on a tennis court.

Usually, white lines are used for pickleball, but as long as you can easily see the boundaries, any color is fine. We like to use bright yellow lines for high visibility.

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