Did you know you can fit four pickleball courts into the size generally allocated to one tennis court? True! Pickleball courts are small! They are very close to sport-court and badminton court dimensions; only tiny differences. You should conform (if possible) to the USAPA standards, which are shown here:
The USAPA site generally is full of information, most of it good. In the above case, they are doing a good job of the actual dimensions of the court itself, but IOHO don’t focus enough on the surrounding areas, which can also be important, as we’ll discuss down the page a bit.
A decent .PDF for laying out the court is here:
A very nice guide for doing it yourself, including the use of temporary nets, is here:
As good as all that is, however, some of it is incomplete and should be discussed. For instance, how much space do you leave on the sidelines and baselines before you get to the fence, and how are those spaces compressed in the cases where you don’t have fences but you have multiple courts? (This is often the case where you are converting one tennis court to those four pickleball courts, or, worse, where you are trying to fit, say, three pickleball courts on one gymnasium floor indoors.)
Here’s our perspective on those issues:
Where you have fences or only one court, and you have choices, go for as much space as you can on the sidelines and behind the baseline. We like 7 to 9 feet on each sideline and we like 10-12 feet behind each of the baselines. Granted this makes a court seem huge compared to what most people have available to them or choose to do (for some reason). But it makes the courts play wonderfully well when you have that much space, especially in very competitive matches where people are likely to be way outside the edges of the courts. (Think competitive table-tennis and how far away from the table people are when they are playing? Pickleball is Table-Tennis on Steroids, as it’s often said.)
But what are the practical minimums? 5-6 feet on the sidelines or 7 if you have another court right next to you. And 7-8 feet behind the baseline is minimal but works. Even tighter spacing is virtually assured if you are playing indoors…you may only have a couple of feet between courts and maybe not even regulation depth at the back. In any event, going minimally, it’s guaranteed you will wish you had more space as soon as you have to drop way back for return of a deep, lobbed serve with topspin and it bounces up into you because you have a fence right behind you. This is one case where more is more.Overall Site Map
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