Well, if you have found yourself here at 585 Pickleball you’re probably wondering what the dimensions of a pickleball court are. Pickleball combines several sports to create its unique style, exciting gameplay, and quirky rules. I’ll identify all the dimensions in this post to get you back on the court fast! Here’s the short answer, though:
Pickleball court dimensions – the overall playing area is 44 feet long by 20 feet wide. (There are some more details and nuances below)
We will give you a little history and some great tips to DINK like a pro. Let’s jump in!
The History Of Pickleball
It all started in 1965 with three dads looking for a way to entertain the kids after a day on the golf course. Bainbridge Island, in Washington state, was very quiet and didn’t have a lot of family activities at the time. Joel Pritchard, a US congressman, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum created pickleball to entertain the kids and have family fun.
Since their property had a badminton court, they thought it could be used for the new game. While hunting for some old rackets, they discovered they didn’t have a complete set. Ultimately, they started experimenting with ping pong paddles and found it fun. Initially, the thought was to set the net height to 60,” but I found it was too high, so it was adjusted to 36″.
Albeit, through a lot of trial and error, rules were made, net heights adjusted, and the paddles developed. Down the road, associations were formed to protect the integrity of the new game, and over time the game has grown into a very popular sport.
Check out our full article on the history of pickleball.
The Dimensions Of A Pickleball Court & Other Facts
Like racquetball, tennis, and badminton, pickleball needed a standardized court size. For the most part, the original game is still intact today, and except for the net dimensions, that court size has remained throughout its history.
Court Dimensions – the overall playing area of this game is 44 feet long by 20 feet wide.
The Service Areas – there are left and right service areas for both sides of the court, and they measure 15 feet long and 10 feet wide each.
What is the Kitchen?
Non-volley zone measures 7 feet long and 20 feet wide, also called the kitchen.
Although people say the courts are the same size, there are some slight differences between badminton and pickleball courts. For instance, a singles badminton court, the size of singles is 17 feet wide, and the front short service line is only 6’ 6” long.
Lastly, while the court is 20 feet wide, 3 feet is divided into two parts for doubles play.
What Are The Dimensions of Pickleball Equipment?
Every sport has its equipment. To keep play fair, there are rules governing the equipment’s height, width, and other dimensions. As we will talk about, these requirements can be very detailed without rounding up to the nearest inch or ounce.
The Net – The game started with a 60-inch high net, like badminton. However, when the game’s inventors saw that the ball could bounce quite well on asphalt, they lowered the net height.
The official net height is 36 inches (a minimum of 30 inches), and it spans the width of the court just like tennis and badminton nets do. The net has to be at least 21 feet 9 inches in length.
(Read the Tennis vs. Pickleball Post Next)
The ball is similar to a whiffle ball in that it has lots of holes over its body. Its diameter needs to be between 2.87 inches and 2.97 inches in size. Plus, it needs to weigh between 0.78 and 0.935 ounces.
Then when dropped from a height of 78 inches, the ball needs to bounce between 30 and 34 inches to be eligible for play. As for the holes, the number of holes must be between 26 and 40.
Furthermore, the construction material must be made from durable plastic with a smooth surface. No texture that will alter the ball’s flight path is allowed.
The Paddles – Even though the homemade models are no longer allowed, there were some entertaining designs people came up with (spend some time googling). To play in official games and tournaments, you must buy one commercially made and meet all the requirements laid out by the two playing associations.
Generally, the construction of the paddles needs to be done with safe materials, and they cannot have any texture or other alterations that put an excessive spin on the ball.
Paddle Size Rules
Official rules state the size of the paddle overall is a maximum of 24 inches. That is the combined length of the width of the paddle, butt cap, edge guard, and so on. The maximum size of the hitting surface cannot be greater than 17 inches.
Another critical point is the standard size for paddles is 8 inches wide and 15 inches long. There is the possibility of using an oversized paddle, as manufacturers have lengthened the face size while shortening the handle length.
The good news is that there are no official restrictions on the weight of the paddle or its thickness.
Who Are The Pickleball Associations?
There are two governing bodies for pickleball. There is the IFP or The International Federation of Pickleball which handles the official games and tournaments around the world.
Then there is also the USAPA which governs and sanctions games and tournaments in the USA. These two associations use the same rule book and court dimensions to control the sport.
These two governing associations also use the same equipment standards manuals. Pick up an official rule book where all the dimensions for the courts, nets, paddles, and balls are laid out in precise detail. While there should be no disagreements, it inevitably happens to the best of us. Lastly, all the rules for play and equipment are published yearly, including any new changes.
Some Final Thoughts On Pickleball
Pickleball had a humble start, which usually makes for some of the best sports. While only in existence for less than 60 years, it has amassed worldwide participation that rivals tennis and badminton. It’s one of the fastest-growing sports of all time, and you can see why!
Pickleball is super fun! If you want plenty of exercise, exciting gameplay, or just some time with your family, this is your sport.
(Here is how to find pickleball courts near you! Read our latest post on the best courts in Utah)