Dimensions Of A Pickleball Court (It Can Be Confusing)
Well if you have found yourself here at 585 Pickleball you’re probably wondering what are the dimensions of a pickleball court? 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 so you can 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. Together Joel Pritchard a US congressman, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum created pickleball as a way to entertain the kids and have some family fun.
Being that 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 full set. Ultimately, they started to experiment with ping pong paddles and found it was really fun. Originally, the thought was to set the net height to 60″ but 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 developed into a very popular sport.
The Dimensions Of A Pickleball Court & Other Facts
Just like racquetball, tennis, and badminton, pickleball needed a standardized court size. For the most part, the original game is still intact today. 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 is a left and right service area for both sides of the court and they measure 15 feet long and 10 feet wide each.
What is the Kitchen?
Non-volley area (or The Kitchen, there are two of these, one on each side of the playing area) measure 7 feet long and 20 feet wide.
Although people say the courts are the same size there are some slight differences between badminton and pickleball courts. For instance, in badminton courts, the size of the 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. The serving line is shortened for doubles play as well. That line is a full 2’ 6” in from the end.
What Are The Pickleball Equipment Dimensions?
Every sport has its own equipment. To keep play fair, there are rules governing the height, width, and other dimensions of the equipment. As we will talk about these requirements can be very detailed with no rounding up to the nearest inch or ounce.
The Net – The game started with a 60-inch high net, just like badminton. However, when the inventors of the game saw that the ball could bounce quite well on asphalt, they lowered the net height.
The official net height for this game 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.
The ball – 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 a durable material that has 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 really fun designs people came up with (spend some time googling). To play in official games and tournaments you have to buy one that is commercially made and meets all the requirements laid out by the two playing associations.
Generally, the construction of the paddles needs to be done with safe materials. 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 length of the hitting surface cannot be greater than 17 inches.
Another key 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 govern the sport.
These two governing associations, also use the same equipment standards manuals. Pick up an offical rule book where all the dimensions for the courts, nets, paddles, and balls are laid out in clear 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 every year including any new changes.
Some Final Thoughts On Pickleball
Pickleball had a very humble start, and that 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. Just stick to the official pickleball court dimensions so you don’t get called out by your opponent.