Pickleball’s rising popularity has people all over the world scrambling to learn more about pickleball courts.
We’re seeing the same questions over and over again:
What are the dimensions of a pickleball court?
Are pickleball courts the same size as tennis courts?
How do you measure and draw your own pickleball court lines?
Today we’ll cover the dimensions of a pickleball court and explain the boundary lines of pickleball courts.
We’ll also dive into how to measure and mark pickleball lines, so you can create your own pickleball court in minutes.
Given pickleball’s popularity, chances are there’s a place you can play in your area.
What are the Dimensions of a Pickleball Court?
The dimensions of a pickleball court are the same dimensions as a standard doubles badminton court. The United States of America Pickleball Association (USAPA) regulation pickleball court size is 20 feet (6.10 m) wide by 44 feet (13.41 m) long.
In pickleball, the same sized court is used for singles and doubles play. The rulebook states that the total minimum play area is 30 feet (9.14 m) wide by 60 feet (18.29 m) long when out-of-bounds areas are included.
To visualize the size, consider this: You can fit 4 pickleball courts into the size of one tennis court.
People often mark their own temporary lines on tennis courts with tape or chalk. We’ll talk more about that later.
Pickleball nets should be 34 inches tall in the center and 36 inches tall at the posts. (You can learn all about the pickleball net size, from its history to its effects on strategy, here).
Pickleball Court Terms
These pickleball court terms will help you understand the dimensions of a court, as well as the valid play areas:
- Baseline: The baseline is the line at the back of the court, parallel to the net. You serve from behind the baseline.
- Kitchen: The “kitchen” is the nickname for the Non-Volley Zone that extends 7 feet from the net on either side. The kitchen is unique to pickleball. You may also see this referred to as the Non-Volley Zone or No Volley Zone.
- Centerline: The centerline divides the court in half and runs from the baseline to the kitchen.
- Sidelines: Sidelines run perpendicular to the net and form side boundaries of the court.
- Service Areas: Service courts are the areas on either side of the centerline. Two box-shaped areas created by the centerline, baseline, sidelines, and kitchen line.
The kitchen is one of the most distinctive parts of a pickleball court. The kitchen is the nickname for the Non-Volley Zone that begins at the net and extends 7 feet away towards the baseline and all of the way to the sidelines.
You cannot stand in the kitchen or touch any of its boundary lines while volleying the ball. Your momentum after volleying the ball also can’t carry you into the kitchen!
This discourages players from standing too close to the net, which could result in constant downward spikes that are impossible to return.
How large should pickleball out-of-bounds zones be?
The USAPA rulebook states that players should consider the minimum pickleball total play area to be 30' by 60' (9.14m by 18.29m), but that a 10-foot surrounding margin is ideal. That would make the preferred total playing surface dimensions 40' x 64' (12.9m x 19.51m).
This extra space gives players plenty of safe space for when the ball goes out of bounds. But it’s not a strict requirement.
Many players find themselves playing on tennis courts or in gyms where the out-of-bounds space is dictated by their surroundings. Ensure you have margin space whenever possible, especially if multiple pickleball games are happening side-by-side. You don’t want players accidentally running into their neighbors.
Likewise, if side-by-side courts don’t have enough of a margin between them, you’ll end up with balls from one court landing in a neighboring court when they’re hit out of bounds.
The USAPA rulebook also offers alternative suggested pickleball playing surface dimensions for additional situations:
How to Measure Out Pickleball Court Dimensions
If you want to mark your own pickleball court lines, you’re in luck. It’s not difficult, especially after you’ve done it once. You’ll need measuring tape to accurately measure pickleball court dimensions as well as chalk or tape to mark the measurements.
- Measure the first sideline: Start your measuring tape against the net, a foot from either the left- or right-hand edge. Measure out a 22-foot line extending perpendicularly away from the net. Mark it with chalk.
- Measure the baseline: From your 22-foot sideline mark, measure out 20 feet horizontally, running parallel to the net. Mark the halfway point at 10 feet, too.
- Measure the second sideline: As before, start at the net, one foot away from the opposite edge. Connect a start 22-foot line out to meet the baseline, running perpendicularly to the net.
- Mark the Non-Volley Zone (The “Kitchen”): Measure 7 feet from the net on each sideline and mark it. Connect those two points across the court. Mark the halfway point, too (10 feet.)
- Connect your two 10-foot halfway points you’ve marked (one on the baseline and one at the kitchen line). This creates the two service boxes.
Check out this explainer video from Pickleball 411 for instructions of setting up your own temporary pickleball court:
And, if you want to paint permanent pickleball lines on a surface you own or have permission to alter, you can also use pickleball court stencil products, like this set on Amazon. Pickleball stencils work best with inverted striping paint. When using a stencil, you of course don’t have to make measurements yourself.
How to Draw Temporary Pickleball Lines
Once you’ve your dimensions measured out, there are a few good ways to draw your temporary pickleball lines.
- Tape: To apply tape lines, stretch the tape from each base point to the endpoint. Then, gently press it down so it applies straight and evenly. Use easily removable tape, like painter’s tape.
- Chalk: If you’re using chalk, it’s much easier to draw your lines out as you’re measuring. So, you can trace along the measuring tape to get a straight, smooth line.
As for the lines themselves, official rules state that all lines should be 2 inches (5.08 cm) wide and the same color, clearly contrasting with the color of the playing surface.
Dimensions of a Pickleball Court: The Bottom Line
Now that you know the dimensions of a pickleball court, you’re ready to go! If you’ve got access to a playing surface, measuring tape, and some tape or chalk, you’ve got everything you need to set up a pickleball court.
As of this writing there are nearly 5 million pickleball players in the United States alone, and there’s a reason the sport is growing so rapidly. Hit the court for yourself and see what it’s all about.
Pickleball players: Tell us about where you play! What’s your “home court” like? Do you play at a local park or gym? Does your neighborhood have its own courts? Do you play as a part of a local pickleball organization, or casually with friends?
And new players: What’s stopping you from taking the first step? When’s the last time you tried out a new hobby? Try something new, and you might just surprise yourself.