For those who are new to pickleball, you want to make sure you get the rules and game parameters right so that when it comes down to the competitions you are playing within the laws and rules of the game.
All the rules and games’ parameters are decided by the USA Pickleball Professional Association, and they also dictate the net heights.
Net height is something many people forget but is key to the game being different to other paddle or racquet sports like tennis. Having the right net height is really important but can be confusing without someone who used to setting the game up.
In any case we are here to set the record straight, so here’s the bottom line when it comes to net height in pickleball. Keep reading to learn more about pickleball!
How High Should A Pickleball Net Be?
Both the posts and center height of the net is important to pickleball, and with other paddle sports. So at least two measurements need to be effected in line with the game’s specific rules.
The posts of the net should be 36 inches on the sides, while the center of the net actually needs to be 34 inches. This droop or sag is really important as this is where most of the action occurs, as is the same for any racquet or paddle sport, even in tennis.
This sag is important as when you learn to play any racquet or paddle sport you are taught to aim down the center and the sag is really important for that and is an important detail across all racquet and paddle sports.
Often, if the net isn’t going to stay the same height in the middle, a post is occasionally added in the center to maintain this sag height.
How Wide Is A Pickleball Net?
As you may have already gleaned from playing pickleball, the pickleball court is also quite a bit smaller than other courts common for paddle or racquet sports. As the court is smaller the actual net width becomes smaller too.
A tennis court is twice as wide as a pickleball court, usually 42 feet wide for a doubles game, or 33 feet wide for a singles game.
On the contrary a pickleball court is actually 21 feet 9 inches wide for both singles and doubles game, and doesn;t change no matter how many players.
Can You Use A Tennis Net For A Pickleball Game?
Unfortunately, a tennis court and its net is not really appropriate for a pickleball game.
While some pickleball players who play in countries where the sport isn;t so popular, and struggle to find courts big enough, tend to create their own pickleball courts within a tennis court.
As a tennis court is wider and higher as we identified, this is an issue.
While tennis nets can be made higher or lower with a cinch mechanism on the side, usually, the width of the tennis court poses an issue as the pickleball court is smaller in both width and length.
In this case, some people twine a post through the net where the width of the pickleball court would be, and then add a pole in the center at the height of the pickleball net sag.
Often people buy their own court tape to create the outlines of the pickleball court and then play within these outlines instead.
This can be a little annoying to set up before you play every game, and take down of course, but it is a way you can still play pickleball no matter what court you have.
How To Find Regulation Pickleball Courts
While pickleball remains one of the fastest growing sports in the US, it’s a little less popular in other countries, and in certain states.
Often, finding your local pickleball community can be hard at first, but once you have met a few people, who you will need to play and learn anyway, you will soon learn where all the good courts are located, both free and paid, drop-in and booked.
If you are totally unsure, go to your local sports centers, or where you go to the gym and enquire. Often there may have been one set up, or they may know where one is at least.
Facebook groups are always helpful, look one up for pickleball in your area and try to join, they will likely be able to tell you where the best are.
Beyond this one cool app that can help is the USA Pickleball community sourced app. The app is called ‘Places2Play’ and looks to solve the issue of finding a regulation pickleball court.
It’s community sourced which is great, and people add little notes on the app about which courts are best and even categorize them as being free, pay per hour, whether they require booking, or are a drop-in type of court.
It’s a really great way not only to find courts but to find your local community of players, no matter where you are.
If you have no local pickleball courts in your area, one way to get one put in is to simply ask your local ambassador or councilor.
This is exactly what these local politicians are for, and as long as you can prove you plan to start your own community, or that a community already exists who this public fixture would serve, there’s no reason why they can’t plan one to be set up.
So, a pickleball net is much different to a tennis net (Also check out How Is Pickleball Different From Tennis?). A pickleball net needs to be 36 inches on the posts and 34 inches in the sag. The court is smaller than a tennis court, so the width is also changed.
A pickleball net should be 21 feet and 9 inches long to meet regulation standards. Finding courts isn’t always easy but getting involved in your local community is the best way to find courts as well as players of the game.