Years ago David wrote this article for the USA Pickleball Association’s newsletter. We’re getting more and more questions on how to convert tennis courts to pickleball courts, so we thought we’d reproduce David’s article in our blog.
If you have underutilized tennis courts – or basketball courts for that matter – you might want to turn to an up-and-coming sport that is uniquely suited to adding new life to old courts, pickleball.
- They have lots of free time and can use the courts in peak as well as off – peak hours
- Many former tennis players find pickleball a good “step -down” sport when tennis becomes too demanding
- Pickleball is easy to learn so new players can be introduced to it and playing in minutes
- Because the pickleball court is considerably smaller than a tennis court more courts can use the same space, allowing for more players at one time.
Court Conversion – One Pickleball Court Per Tennis Court
There are two paths to converting existing courts to pickleball courts: shared use and 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. The center strap could be used to bring the net down to 34 inches in the center. If the tension on the net cord is very tight, the tension might have to be loosened slightly by adjusting the ratchet on the net post. Another option is to purchase a Tennis Net Adjuster to lower the net for pickleball or you can do it yourself using two eye hooks, two expandable sleeves and some tie down straps, but first make sure and you have permission to drill a couple of holes into the court surface .
Lines can be painted on the court for pickleball. Then the court can be used for both tennis and pickleball very easily. Because of the size of the tennis court, you might want to have some sort of temporary barrier for the balls so that they don’t have to be chased the full length of the tennis court.
The diagram above shows 2 pickleball courts laid out on a tennis court. A standard tennis court pad is 60’x120′. The minimum recommended size for a pickleball court is 30’x60′. That is exactly one fourth the size of a standard tennis court pad. Therefore, it is possible to put 4 pickleball courts in the space of a tennis court except for the possible existence of angled corners that are on some tennis courts.