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How to Make a Pickleball Court | Makeshift Court Guide

by Thomas Shields on

Pickleball's growth is insane. We all know that. As of 2021, there were 66 new courts added in the US every month.

Who knows what the number is now, but you can bet it's probably double or more. And here's the thing, that doesn't include makeshift courts: backyard courts, driveway courts...even ice pickleball courts!

Pickleball Court on a Froze Lake via @pickleballplaces on Instagram

Yeah, you can literally play anywhere. do you actually make a court? What do you need?

Makeshift Pickleball Court Guide

To make a pickleball court, you'll need to gather the required materials, choose a suitable location, mark the court dimensions, and set up the net. Here's a step-by-step guide:

1) Choose a location

Find a flat, level area that's large enough to accommodate a pickleball court. The official court dimensions are 20 feet by 44 feet, but you'll also need additional space around the court for player movement and safety.

Most facilities suggest 7ft between the baseline of the court and the wall or other barrier.

Ideally, choose a hard surface like concrete or asphalt for optimal play. A gym floor works great too.

Frequently asked question: What are optimal ceiling heights for a pickleball court? How tall should the ceiling be for pickleball?

Answer: ceilings are recommended to be at least 18 feet, and over 20 feet is optimal, for ideal pickleball conditions. Ceiling height for pickleball is ideally 20ft or more.

2) Gather materials

You'll need the following items to set up your pickleball court:

  • Measuring tape
  • Chalk or court marking paint (preferably a color that contrasts with the playing surface), or even just some scotch or duct tape
  • A straightedge - this can be a ruler, a hockey stick, or anything that is long and straight for making sure your lines aren't all crooked
  • A pickleball net and posts: if you don't have one, this Franklin net is a solid bet that also has wheels for portability. Use code 10DINK for 10% off. Here is a slightly cheaper option.
  • If you don't want to buy a net, you can repurpose a tennis court net (though this will limit around-the-post shots) or create a makeshift barrier out of cardboard boxes or other materials. Net height can be found below.

If you have any specific questions. Join our Facebook group and ask the community!

3) Mark the court dimensions

Use the measuring tape to mark the length (44 feet) and width (20 feet) of the court. Use the straightedge to mark the boundary lines with chalk, court marking paint or tape

Pickleball Court Dimensions, Diagram according to USA Pickleball Regulations

3a) Mark the non-volley zone (also known as the "kitchen")

Measure 7 feet from each net along the sidelines and mark this distance with chalk or paint. Then, draw a line connecting these two points parallel to the net. This creates a 7-foot by 20-foot zone on both sides of the net, which is the non-volley zone.

3b) Mark the centerline and service boxes: Measure the halfway point along the length of the court (22 feet) and draw a line from one sideline to the other, dividing the court into two equal halves. This is the centerline.

Next, draw lines parallel to the centerline on both sides of the court at a distance of 15 feet from the net. These lines create the service boxes, which are 15 feet by 10 feet on either side of the centerline.

Need some pickleball apparel? Check out our store.

4) Install the net and posts:

Follow the manufacturer's instructions to assemble and install the pickleball net and posts. The top of the net should be 36 inches above the ground at the sidelines and 34 inches at the center. If you're installing permanent posts, you may need to dig holes, set the posts in concrete, and attach the net with screws or nails.

Optional: If you want to make your court more professional, you can paint the lines with a high-quality court marking paint, which will be more durable than chalk.

5) Find some paddles and balls

Fromuth Pickleball has the best selection of pickleball paddles and equipment on the market (use code 10DINK for 10% off). If you're a former tennis player, here is a paddle guide for you.

Now that you have a court and equipment, it's time to improve your game. How do you do that? Great question.

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Thomas Shields

Thomas Shields

Founder of The Dink & Upswing Sports. Host of PicklePod with Zane Navratil. Sometimes commentator and show host.

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