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Understanding the Dimensions of a Pickleball Court - PAKLE

Understanding the Dimensions of a Pickleball Court

Pickleball is a unique sport with several fans all over the world. The origin of this sport can be traced back to the late 1960s in the United States. Over the years, this sport has become more popular, and many other countries have adopted it.

If you take a quick look at pickleball, you might see similarities between this sport and tennis/badminton. However, there are several features that make the sport completely different, such as the rules, pickleball paddles, pickleball court size, pickleball net, and several other aspects.

 

Standard Length of Pickleball Court

The pickleball court might be similar to that of tennis or badminton, but they are very different in dimension and layout; the pickleball court size is much smaller.

The officiating organization for pickleball, USA Pickleball Organization, states that the pickleball court measurements should have a total length of 44 ft. and a width of 20 ft. The net should measure 36 inches from the ground at the sidelines and 34 inches from the center of the court.

We’ll further discuss the different layouts of the court and how they make up the pickleball court size.

Pickleball Court Layout

The pickleball court is divided into different sections called layouts. These layouts are carefully measured and have specific dimensions. You must know the layouts to understand the rules of the game.  

The Middle Line (Pickleball Net):

Let’s start with the center line (net), which divides the court into two halves. Each half has the same layout with the exact dimensions.

The Non-Volley Area:

Each half of the court is divided into the non-volley area, which comes immediately after the net.

The Service Area:

The service area comes immediately after the non-volley line and is divided vertically into the left and right service areas. The service areas are divided by the center line.

A Little Comparison With Tennis and Badminton Courts

Pickleball, tennis, and badminton appear similar in court dimension and playing style, but is there a difference?

The tennis court is entirely different from the pickleball court in terms of dimension. The tennis court measures 27 ft. in width and 76 ft. in length, while the pickleball court has a width of 20 ft. and a length of 44 ft.

As for the badminton court, there are two types involved. Badminton has a dimension of 17 ft. by 44 ft. for singles court, and a dimension of 22 ft. by 44 ft. for doubles court. The singles badminton court is smaller in width than the pickleball court size, while the doubles are 2ft than the pickleball court.

So, you can use your badminton doubles court to play pickleball; all you need are slight adjustments to the layout.

Key Areas of a Pickleball Court

Let’s discuss the key areas of a pickleball court and how they affect the game.

The Non-Volley Zone/ Kitchen

We described the non-volley area as the section immediately after the net, but there’s more to this section.

The non-volley area, also known as the kitchen, measures 7 ft. away from both sides of the pickleball net.

The rules of the game forbid players from making volleys in this area. This rule increases fairness because a volley from that range will be difficult to return.

Before we continue, let’s do a quick explanation of what the term volley means. A volley is when the ball is hit directly from the air without allowing it to bounce. Volleys are common in pickleball, tennis, and badminton but have different rules governing their use.

On the other hand, a groundstroke is the opposite of a volley. Groundstrokes occur when the ball is allowed to bounce before hitting with the pickleball paddle.

Some Common Rules In the Non-Volley Zone

There are some other rules associated with the kitchen aside from the general no volley rule.

  • Your body must not be inside the kitchen during a volley.
  • Your feet must be out of the kitchen before and after a volley.

Baselines and Sidelines

The baseline is the horizontal edge of the court, and it is parallel to the net. The baseline is the same width as the court, 20 ft., and serves as the outer boundary.

Players must serve from behind the baseline. Also, any ball that lands outside the baseline is counted against the player who made the play.  

The sideline is similar to the baseline, however, it serves as the vertical boundary. The sideline shares the same length as that of the court, 44 ft. The sideline forms a 90-degree angle with the net. Any ball that falls outside the sideline is a point against the player.

Service Area and Centerline

The service area comes after the non-volley line, and is separated by the centerline. Each service box has a dimension of 10 ft. by 15 ft. and is demarcated by a sideline, baseline, centerline, and non-volley line.

The centerline is 15 ft. long.

The pickleball rule states that the ball must be served into the opponent's service boxes. Also, volleying is allowed inside the service box.

The Importance of Court Markings

After looking at the different sections of a pickleball court, we’ll now talk more about the markings and how they affect the game.

There are different markings on the pickleball court that play a crucial role in the style of the game. You’ll notice different calls being made by the referee based on where the pickleball ball lands and the markings on the court.

Out-of-Bound Marking

The markings start from the outer boundaries of the court. This marking can be called the out-of-bound mark, and it measures 30 ft. in width and 60 ft. in length. The out-of-bound marking includes the out-of-bounds section of the court, and gives players enough playing space.

Sometimes, the pickleball ball lands on the edge of the baseline, and players will need to move back to make a return; the out-of-bound markings give the player that space. However, while the player is allowed within the out-of-bound marking, any ball within this space is considered an out-ball.

Baseline and Sideline Markings

The next markings are the baseline and sideline. The baseline and sideline markings are the boundaries for the ball and measure 22 ft. and 44ft. respectively. Any ball that falls outside these markings is an out-ball and will count as a point against the player.

Centerline Marking

After the baseline marking is the centerline marking, which is 15 feet long and divides the service boxes into left and right.

After the centerline is the horizontal non-volley line separating the service and non-volley area. The non-volley marking is the same length as the width of the court, 20 ft. This marking is important to avoid volleying too close to the net.

These markings appear on both sides of the court and serve the same purpose.

Visibility and Maintenance of Lines

Maintaining fair play with these lines will be easier, so the USA Pickleball Organisation emphasizes the need for clear lines.

All the lines of a standard, recreational, and professional pickleball court must be painted brightly. The markings' colors must differ from the main color of the court surface; if the court is red, the markings must be a different color, like white or green.

Also, you’re advised to maintain the visibility of the markings. You will need to repaint your markings more often if you have an outdoor court due to exposure to sunlight and other factors.

Variations for Indoor and Outdoor Courts

Most pickleball courts are made from tennis, basketball, and badminton courts. Your driveway can also serve as a pickleball court.

The dimension of the pickleball court will always be the same irrespective of the type of court, whether indoor or outdoor. What matters is the type of ball you’ll use; indoor pickleball balls are best for indoor games, and outdoor pickleball balls are suitable for outdoor games.

Most indoor pickleball courts are made from wood and asphalt, while outdoor pickleball courts are often made from concrete or grass.

Outdoor courts are best designed with tough materials like concrete due to the environment and the weather conditions. Concrete is more durable and better able to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Most professional pickleball courts are made with materials similar to tennis courts: concrete, asphalt, or wood. Sometimes, the court is adapted from a tennis court, and new markings are drawn to demarcate the pickleball court.

You can easily convert your driveway into a court if you want to enjoy pickleball for recreational purposes. You only need chalk or paint to draw your markings, pickleball paddle set, and pickleball net.

Conclusion

Pickleball is a more recent sport, and part of its origin can be traced to tennis, badminton, and earlier variations of the game. We’ve discussed the uniqueness of the pickleball court from these other sports.

The pickleball court has a dimension of 20 ft. by 44 ft. divided by the pickleball net. It is further divided into the non-volley area and service boxes. We’ve also examined the different markings and how they affect the game.

With this knowledge, you can enjoy pickleball better with your friends and family. You can also improve your experience with the right paddle and ball.

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