There’s no denying the growing popularity of pickleball. Whether you’re a casual player or a daily devotee, it’s hard to ignore the growing number of players, both young and old. Nowhere is this surge more noticeable than on local pickleball courts at parks and communities across the country.
Much like our sport’s community, pickleball courts come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. But not all courts are created equal. So just because a court is your favorite it doesn’t mean that it’s a regulation USAPA-approved pickleball court. Here’s a quick refresher on what is and is not considered an official pickleball court.
What size is a pickleball court?
A regulation pickleball court measures 20 feet wide by 44 feet long (including lines) according to USAPA guidelines. It’s also recommended that permanent pickleball courts include 10 feet of additional space around the outside of the court. Court lines should measure 2 inches wide and all be the same color, contrasting with the primary color of the court.
If you are thinking of constructing a pickleball court or overseeing the layout for your city, school, or community, consider facing the court north to south to avoid players staring directly into the sun.
There are three unique areas on each side of the pickleball court that must meet specific measurements to be considered an official court.
The non-volley zone (NVZ) is 20 feet wide and 7 feet long. It runs the entire width of the court and measures exactly 7 feet on either side of the net, for a total length of 14 feet. Also called the kitchen, the NVZ should be painted a consistent color on both sides of the net, but usually contrasts slightly with the rest of the pickleball court.
Left Service Area
The left service area is made up of the left sideline, the baseline, and the centerline. It also sits directly underneath the kitchen, however, the kitchen lines are not considered as part of the service area. Both the left and right service areas measure 10 feet wide and 15 feet long.
Right Service Area
The right service area is made up of the right sideline, the baseline, and the centerline. It measures 10 feet wide and 15 feet long, including lines.
Both sides of the pickleball court are symmetrical and have the exact same measurements. Similar to tennis, it’s common for competing teams to switch sides of the court during a pickleball match to ensure no team has an advantage due to sun, wind, or other court factors.
Pickleball Net Dimensions
The final piece of the pickleball court that makes for such a unique and engaging sport is the pickleball net. Similar to the other areas of the court, pickleball nets have very specific requirements they must meet to be considered official. The requirements are as follows:
Height - The net must be suspended over the center of the court and measure 36 inches as the edges and 34 inches at the center.
Material - The net can be made of any mesh fabric material that does not allow the pickleball to pass through it.
Size - The length of the net should be 21 feet 9 inches, and at least 30 inches tall.
Posts - The posts holding up the net should measure 22 inches apart and no more than 3 inches in diameter.
If you’re wondering how to build your very own pickleball court, then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s examine the most popular materials for constructing your court and the costs associated with them.
How to build a $100 Pickleball Court
- Time-to-Build: 10 minutes
- Cost: $102.96
- Durability: Temporary
|Zeny Portable 36 in Pickleball Net||x1||$89.98|
|2 in Duck Blue Painter’s Tape||x3||$12.98|
Step 1 - Clear the Area
The success or failure of this least expensive pickleball court depends largely on the space you choose for it. Since this will likely be a temporary court, you have a lot more options in terms of location. Whether it’s a backyard concrete pad, a gym surface, or a driveway—make sure it’s clear of dirt, rocks, and Razor Scooters.
Step 2 - Mark the Court
Use your measuring tape and 2 in Duck Blue Painter’s Tape to mark a 20x44 foot long rectangle. Remember that this measurement includes the lines. The painter’s tape we’ve chosen for this project is almost exactly 2 inches wide, so it’s perfect for pickleball lines. Marking your four corners and midpoints initially will help keep all of your lines nice and straight. There’s nothing worse than a wavy baseline or off-center centerline.
Step 3 - Tape the Lines
With the help of a friend, lay down your exterior lines followed by the kitchen and finally the centerline. It might take a few tries to get each of these lines right, but it is worth the effort to make sure the measurements are correct.
Step 4 - Assemble the Net
The Zeny Portable 36 in Pickleball Net only takes a few minutes to assemble. The pieces quickly pop into place and the net slides on. At 36 inches, this net is the perfect height (and price) for multiple seasons of competitive backyard games.
Now it’s time to play pickleball. This temporary court works well in the summer but might not hold up in inclement weather. If you know it’s going to rain, store your net in a secure, dry area like a garage or shed. The lines typically hold up okay even in bad weather, however, it’s recommended to remove and reapply them occasionally to avoid staining concrete surfaces.
How to build a $1,000 Pickleball Court
- Time-to-Build: 6 hours
- Cost: $783
- Durability: Semi-permanent
|White Line Paint||1 Kit||$99|
Step 1 - Clear the Area
Picklepave is a 100% acrylic-textured coating perfect for concrete or asphalt. It should only be applied to flat dry surfaces free of cracks and debris. Before you begin the application you’ll want to use a leaf blower or broom to clear the area of dirt.
Step 2 - Mark your lines
Using painter’s tape or sidewalk chalk mark the corners of the pickleball court as well as the kitchen and centerlines. In addition to the actual lines, it’s important that you make some marks outside the court for reference, so you don’t cover them up during the application process. Don’t worry about getting the picklepaver to the absolute corner of your court. You’ll go back and add white lines all the way around the court once you finish the application.
Step 3 - Apply Picklepaver
Now comes the fun part. Pour the well-mixed Picklepaver in a line several inches inside the edge of your court. It’s best if you start at one end and work your way back to the other end of the court, to avoid painting yourself into a corner. This works best with a 3/4 inch paint roller or squeegee. The manufacturer recommends applying two coats and allowing 24-48 hours (depending on humidity) of curing time between applications.
Step 4 - Taping Lines
Once you’ve applied the Picklepaver and allowed it to cure, you’re ready to add in your lines. In Pickleball the lines are in, so you have to keep in mind that the measurements in the diagram at the beginning of this article are inclusive of the 2-inch lines. If you’re planning to create a semi-permanent court, then you’ll want to paint your lines on using white line paint, which means you’ll need to tape out the edges and cut the intersection of lines so that you’re left with a seamless white border all the way around your court, and a kitchen and centerline on either side of the court.