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How to Play Pickleball on a Tennis Court: Converting Spaces for New Adventures

The rising popularity of pickleball has many tennis enthusiasts curious about giving this paddle sport a try. However, not every community or sports center has designated pickleball courts. The solution? Transform your local tennis court into a pickleball haven! Here's how to play pickleball on a tennis court.

Understanding the Size Differences

Before diving into the conversion process, it's essential to know the size differences:

  1. Tennis Courts: Typically measure 78 feet in length by 36 feet in width.
  2. Pickleball Courts: Standard dimensions are 44 feet by 20 feet.

Mapping Out the Pickleball Court

  1. Using the Tennis Net: The net height for pickleball is 34 inches at the center and 36 inches at the sidelines. Adjust the tennis net height accordingly, which usually means lowering it slightly.
  2. Marking the Boundaries: You can fit multiple pickleball courts on a single tennis court. Using chalk, painter's tape, or temporary court lines, outline the pickleball court's boundaries.
  3. Service Areas: Mark the right and left service areas on each side of the net. Ensure there's a 7-foot non-volley zone (the "kitchen") on either side of the net.

Equipment Adjustments

  1. Paddles over Rackets: Swap your tennis rackets for pickleball paddles, which are solid and smaller.
  2. The Right Ball: Use a perforated plastic pickleball instead of a tennis ball.

Playing the Game

  1. Serving: Serves in pickleball are underhand and diagonal, starting from the right-hand side.
  2. Scoring: Only the serving team can score, and games typically go to 11 points, but you must win by at least two.
  3. Double-Bounce Rule: After the serve, each side must make at least one groundstroke before volleys are allowed, meaning the ball must bounce once on each side.

Additional Tips

  1. Protect the Court: If using tape to mark boundaries, ensure it's residue-free to protect the tennis court surface.
  2. Safety First: Ensure that there's adequate space between multiple pickleball games if you're accommodating several on one tennis court.
  3. Community Play: Introducing pickleball on tennis courts can be a fun community event. Organize mini-tournaments or teaching sessions to get everyone involved.


Converting a tennis court for pickleball play is a fantastic way to experience a new sport without the need for additional infrastructure. With minimal adjustments, you can easily enjoy the fast-paced fun of pickleball. Ready to serve up some new excitement on the old court?