Can You Play Pickleball on a Tennis Court? [Detailed Guide 2023]

If you’re a tennis player looking to try the hot new sport of pickleball, you may be wondering – Can You Play Pickleball on a Tennis Court?

This common question arises because while pickleball’s popularity is surging, dedicated pickleball courts are still limited in many areas.

The good news is that yes, you can absolutely play pickleball on a tennis court!

However, there are some important considerations around court markings, dimensions, equipment, and etiquette to make it work smoothly.

Keep reading to learn the key factors around successfully sharing a tennis court for pickleball so you can join in on this fun, fast-paced game without needing to find a specialized court.

Court Dimensions and Layout

The dimensions of a regulation pickleball court are smaller than a regulation tennis court. A pickleball court is 20 feet wide by 44 feet long, while a tennis court is 36 feet wide by 78 feet long. However, the layout of the two sports’ courts are quite similar.

Both pickleball and tennis courts are divided into two halves by a net and both have doubles sidelines and baselines. The main difference is that the pickleball net is hung at 34 inches in the center while a tennis net height is 36 inches.

So technically the space exists on a tennis court to fit a pickleball court inside of it. The challenge is dealing with the different court markings that would be present.

Dealing with Different Court Markings

Tennis courts have their own lines for singles and doubles play. These extra markings can make it challenging to play pickleball on the same surface. There are a few ways players can deal with this:

Use Tape or Chalk

Masking tape, painters tape or chalk can be used to temporarily cover the tennis court lines not needed for pickleball or create/enhance the pickleball-specific lines needed. This would be the most affordable and quickest solution.

Use Portable Pickleball Net System

Portable pickleball nets and court boundary systems are available for purchase. These systems can convert a tennis court into dedicated pickleball courts within minutes. The downside is the cost of purchasing the equipment.

Reserve Time on Dedicated Pickleball Courts

More and more public tennis centers and country clubs are dedicating some of their tennis courts to permanent pickleball-only use. Calling ahead to reserve a dedicated pickleball court would eliminate any line confusion.

Wait for Tennis Court to be Empty

Playing pickleball on a tennis court when no tennis players are present would avoid conflict from tennis players wanting to use the court. Pickleball players would have full access without impacting others.

Modify Tennis Court Net Height

As mentioned previously, there is a 2 inch difference between a regulation tennis net height (36 inches) and pickleball net height (34 inches).

On a tennis court being shared for pickleball, players have a couple options:

  1. Use the tennis court net height as is. The 36 inch height will impact the pickleball play slightly but is still very playable. The higher net makes it a bit tougher to hit low shots and prevents the ball bouncing as high on shots close to the non-volley zone.
  2. Lower the center of the tennis net to 34 inches using a pickleball net system or other contraption. This would provide regulation pickleball net height. Care must be taken not to damage the existing tennis net when modifying the height.

Court Surface Considerations

Tennis is traditionally played on three types of court surfaces – hard court, clay court, and grass court. Pickleball can be played on any of these surfaces, but there are some advantages of certain surfaces over others.

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Hard Courts

Tennis hard courts are ideal for pickleball. The smooth, flat surface allows for true bounces and good ball movement. No modifications are needed to play pickleball on hard courts. Public tennis courts are typically hard courts.

Clay Courts

Tennis clay courts work for pickleball but the soft surface does impact the speed of play and movement of the ball. The ball slows down more quickly. Permanent pickleball lines would be difficult to maintain on clay. Overall hard courts are better suited for competitive pickleball play.

Grass Courts

Grass tennis courts are rarely used for pickleball. The uneven and unpredictable bounces make sustained rallies difficult. However, grass would be a fun and unique surface to play recreational pickleball on. Portable pickleball net systems work great on grass.

Noise Considerations

One potential issue to be aware of when using public tennis courts for pickleball is the noise generated from pickleball play. Pickleball can be a loud sport due to the nature of the paddle striking the ball.

Nearby residents may complain about the noise when tennis courts convert over to pickleball use. Playing during normal daylight hours and keeping volley sessions short are some ways pickleball noise can be mitigated when sharing a tennis court.

Is it Legal to Play Pickleball on Tennis Courts?

In most cases, yes it is perfectly legal to play pickleball on an available public or private tennis court. That said, it is always best to check with the property owner, homeowners association (HOA), or facility manager when using tennis courts for pickleball.

They may have established rules or restrictions against using tennis courts for other sports without authorization. Assume permission is needed before proceeding if the owner is not known.

Pickleball Court Etiquette on Tennis Courts

To minimize conflict when tennis and pickleball players share the same courts, basic court etiquette should be followed:

When others are waiting, limit pickleball games to a reasonable time to allow tennis players an opportunity to use the court

  • Be mindful of pickleball noise when tennis players are on adjacent courts
  • Avoid damaging the court surface or tennis net
  • Never make permanent pickleball markings on tennis courts without permission
  • Leave the court ready for tennis play when pickleball time is over


Can you turn a tennis court into a pickleball court?

Yes, a tennis court can be converted into dedicated pickleball courts. This is commonly done at tennis facilities looking to accommodate pickleball’s growth. Painting permanent pickleball court lines, installing a pickleball net system, and designating the space for just pickleball play are key parts of officially turning a tennis court area into usable pickleball courts.

Can you play pickleball on a tennis court surface?

Pickleball can be played on any of the main tennis court surfaces – hard court, clay court, or grass court. The smooth, consistent bounce of asphalt or concrete hard courts are ideal for pickleball. Clay and grass are usable but slow the ball more compared to hard surfaces.

How many pickleball courts fit on a tennis court?

Most commonly, one tennis court can fit 2 or 4 pickleball courts. On a 36′ x 78′ tennis court, you can fit 2 larger 30′ x 60′ pickleball courts. Or 4 smaller 20′ x 44′ pickleball courts can occupy the same space as one tennis court.

Can you play pickleball on a mini tennis court?

Mini tennis courts are too small for official pickleball play. However, portable pickleball nets can be set up on a mini tennis court or driveway for casual games with modified rules, taking care to allow room for safety around the lowered net.

The Bottom Line

So, Can You Play Pickleball on a Tennis Court?

Yes, Pickleball can absolutely be played on a tennis court. The similar layouts and markings allow the sports to coexist in the same space. That said, some equipment modifications, court prep, and cooperation between the players is ideal for a smooth experience.

With pickleball’s popularity exploding, more and more public tennis facilities are permanently converting some courts to accommodate the growing pickleball demand. But when tennis-only courts are the only option, temporary pickleball play is very feasible.

Walter Hendricks

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