a man playing pickleball on a tennis court

Can You Play Pickleball On a Tennis Court? Answered!

How often does this happen when you and your friends plan to play pickleball but can’t find a pickleball court nearby?

Sounds familiar, right?

We all know that pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sport around the globe, especially in the USA. But unfortunately, there are only 30,000 pickleball courts, as compared to the 250,000 tennis courts. So, one of the questions we get asked very often is: can I play pickleball on a tennis court?

In this article, we will discuss whether you can play pickleball on a tennis court and if playing pickleball damages the court.

Table of Contents

Can Pickleball be Played on a Tennis Court?

Yes, you can play pickleball on a tennis court, but with some adjustments. To play pickleball on a tennis court, you’ll have to lower the net and mark the pickleball lines. There are several sports facilities where both tennis and pickleball are played on the same court. So there’s nothing wrong with it.

Can Pickleball Damage a Tennis Court?

Tennis courts are very rigid and won’t damage easily, at least not by playing pickleball. But, why do some tennis court owners complain that pickleball players have damaged their court?

By damage, the court managers refer to surfaces damaged by using tape or additional painted lines. When you remove the tape, the adhesive will attach to the court’s surface, and then the dirt will stick on it.

Instead, you can use pickleball marking sets to avoid damaging the court.

How Many Pickleball Courts Fit In A Tennis Court?

Considering the tennis court is 60’ by 120’, you can easily make four pickleball courts in it. According to USAPA, a pickleball court should be 20 feet x 44 feet.

However, most players who regularly play pickleball on a tennis court prefer to fit two pickleball courts in a tennis court to avoid any confusion between the tennis and pickleball lines.

Transitioning from tennis into pickleball? Here are the top pickleball paddles for tennis players.

How to Play Pickleball On A Tennis Court?

If you have a tennis court nearby, you can play pickleball with your friends and family with minor adjustments. This includes lowering the net to 34” and adding the pickleball lines.

Installing/Adjusting the Net

To make sure that the net is 34”, you can either lower the tennis net or use a portable pickleball net. Let’s discuss both of these.

1. Lowering the Tennis Net

One of the easiest ways to convert a tennis court to a pickleball court is by using a tennis net. This way, you don’t have to carry a pickleball net with you every single time.

A tennis net is 36 inches high, 2 inches higher than a pickleball net. You can simply reduce the length of the tennis net if it contains a slider, or you can also use an adjuster for reducing length from 36 to 34 inches. You can read our article on lowering a tennis net for pickleball to get detailed instructions.

2. Installing a Pickleball Net

If you already have a pickleball net, there is no point in buying a separate adjuster. Portable pickleball nets also make your work much more manageable.

There is one more benefit of carrying a portable pickleball net with you, and that is whenever you are playing on a tennis court, the actual tennis net will act as a barrier between two pickleball courts. If you’re making a single court only, it can still act as a fence.

Adding Pickleball Lines to the Court

As a pickleball player, you probably know that lines on pickleball courts and tennis courts are entirely different, and just changing or lowering the net won’t be enough to get started.

If you plan to play frequently, you can convert a tennis court into a multipurpose court. But marking lines properly is crucial. Otherwise, it will confuse both tennis and pickleball players.

You can use paint or thick tape to draw lines (20’×44′) on a tennis court. We recommend you use tape instead of paint to avoid any miscalculation. Make sure that the color of the tape is slightly different from the tennis court lines color, so you won’t face any difficulty while playing.

How To Play Pickleball On A Tennis Court Without Pickleball Lines?

Not all court owners/managers allow drawing separate lines for pickleball. It’s indeed a common problem, but you can get around it.

For playing pickleball on a tennis court without lines, you have to use a flat cone or vinyl strip to mark the lines. The vinyl stripes are used to mark the pickleball lines temporarily, and the good thing about them is that they won’t leave any marks.

Using these strips or cones, mark the lines according to the USAPA guidelines. This way, you can still play on a tennis court without marking permanent lies and irking the managers.

Which Part Of The Tennis Court to Use For Pickleball?

The answer to this question depends on the number of pickleball courts you plan to make on one tennis court. That’s why there are three different parts upon which you can play depending upon the number of courts you have planned to make.

  • If you are planning to make one pickleball court, you can use the tennis court center. A pickleball court is two feet larger than a service box on a tennis court. Don’t forget to lower the net from 36 to 34 inches, and after drawing lines, you are good to go.
  • If you plan to make two pickleball courts, you can use each side of the tennis court. Because you are using each side of the tennis court, you will need a separate pickleball net and the tennis net act as a barrier between two pickleball courts.
  • If you plan to make four pickleball courts on a single tennis court, make two courts on each side of a tennis court. Leave four feet between the two courts on the same side. Similarly, leave eight feet between the net and pickleball baseline.

For further guidance, check out USAPA’s guidelines.

The Bottom Line

It can be really frustrating when you can’t find a pickleball facility near you. But you can still play pickleball on a tennis court.

As a pickleball player, you only need a pickleball paddle and a pickleball, and you are good to go to play on the tennis court. You can use a marking set to make your court. Try not to damage a court by using paints or tapes.

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