If you have underutilized tennis courts – or basketball courts for that matter – you might want to consider converting those courts to accommodate one of the fastest growing sports in America. (Sports Interiors has even added a pickleball court to our own warehouse)
Pickleball is a fun court sport played on a badminton-sized court with the net lowered to 34 inches at the center. A perforated plastic ball like a whiffle ball and wood/composite paddles about twice the size of ping-pong paddles are the type of equipment used. It can be played indoors or outdoors, is easy for beginners to learn – but can develop into a fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players. In addition to being fun, the game has developed a reputation for its friendly and social nature.
Pickleball can be played as singles or doubles. New players can learn the game quickly in a single session. No special apparel is needed – just something comfortable and appropriate for a court sport. Equipment is inexpensive and easily portable. The game can be played by all ages and is particularly popular in school P.E. programs and senior citizen hangouts.
There are two paths to converting existing courts to pickleball courts:
- shared use
- dedicated use
With shared use, simply add pickleball lines to an existing court and players of both sports can use the facility. This may cause some initial confusion, but players quickly get accustomed to the lines. The simplest way to add one pickleball court is to just lower the tennis net to 34" in the center. Lines can be chalked, taped or painted on the court for pickleball. Hold-down arrangements can be used at the ends of the net to bring the net down to the correct height for pickleball (34 inches in the center, 36 inches at the sidelines).
Regarding permanent conversion, the diagram below shows two tennis courts converted to 8 pickleball courts. Angled corners are squared off if necessary. If the tennis court is a standard dimension of 60'x120', that only allows 5 feet between the pickleball sidelines and the fences. That should be considered the minimum dimension. If space and budget allow, add some additional overall width. That will offer the more active players additional room and provide seating on the courts.
The USA Pickleball Association has over 300 local ambassadors who are ready and willing to assist with the development of more pickleball courts and community involvement efforts. Contact us with any questions about our experience working pickleball facilities as we’re here to help you!