The Difference Between Pickleball Court vs Tennis Court

Hey there, sports fan! Ever found yourself in a pickle over the whole pickleball versus tennis thing? Yeah, they both got balls, rackets or paddles, and nets, but boy, they're as different as chalk and cheese. So, let's dive into this, shall we? We're gonna break down everything from the size of the playground to that funky 'kitchen' zone in pickleball. By the end, you'll see what makes each of these sports games their own kind of special.

What is The Difference Between Pickleball Court vs Tennis Court?

Key takeaways:

  • Pickleball courts are smaller than tennis courts, making the sports game more accessible to a wide range of players.
  • The layout of a pickleball court includes a unique ‘kitchen’ or non-volley zone, while tennis courts are larger and more physically demanding.
  • Converting tennis courts into pickleball courts involves outlining the smaller court within the larger one.
  • Both sports offer health benefits and foster a sense of community, with pickleball being less strenuous and more social, and tennis being more competitive and physically demanding.

Pickleball Court vs Tennis Court

You can easily identify those differences. The first noticeable difference is the pickleball court vs tennis court size. A standard pickleball court is significantly smaller, measuring 20 feet wide by 44 feet long, which is the same size as a doubles badminton court. The smaller court size makes pickleball a more accessible sport for players of all ages and abilities.

Tennis courts, on the other hand, are much larger, measuring 78 feet long by 36 feet wide for doubles matches. The larger court size and the fast-paced nature of the sports game make tennis more physically demanding than pickleball.

Another difference is the layout of both courts. A pickleball court is divided into several sections: the serving areas, the non-volley zone (or kitchen), and the service courts. The net in pickleball is also lower, at a height of 36 inches at the sidelines and 34 inches in the middle.

Tennis courts are divided into the service boxes, where the ball must land for a serve to be valid, and the singles and doubles sidelines. The net in tennis is higher, at a height of 42 inches at the posts and 36 inches at the center.

The surface of both courts is one of the differences. Tennis courts can be grass, clay, or hard court like rubber, or dance flooring. Pickleball courts are usually hard courts like vinyl flooring or garage flooring, but you can also find them on grass or even gym flooring.

Pickleball Court vs Tennis Court Definitions

Differences Between Pickleball And Tennis Courts

When comparing pickleball courts to tennis courts, several differences stand out.

Court Dimensions

Standard tennis courts measure 78 feet by 36 feet for doubles, while a pickleball court is significantly smaller at 44 feet by 20 feet. Pickleball is played on a much smaller court, this smaller size makes pickleball a more accessible sports game, especially for beginners and older players.

Net of Pickleball and Tennis

Both sports use a net to divide the court. However, the net in pickleball is lower, with a height of 34 inches at the center, compared to tennis’s 36 inches.

Singles and Doubles Court Sizes

In tennis, the court size for singles and doubles differs, with the latter being wider. In contrast, pickleball uses the same court size for both singles and doubles play.

The Non-Volley Zone in Pickleball

Unique to pickleball is the ‘kitchen’ or non-volley zone. This 7-foot area on both sides of the net prohibits players from volleying the ball, adding a strategic element to the sports game.

Court Components

Court Layouts of Tennis Court and Pickleball Court

Fitting pickleball courts for playing tennis court is a practical way to maximize space and accommodate the growing popularity of the sport. Here’s how to fit one, two, or four pickleball courts into a tennis court:

  • One Pickleball Court: A single pickleball court can easily fit within a tennis court. The pickleball court measures 20 feet by 44 feet, significantly smaller than a tennis court’s 36 feet by 78 feet dimensions.
  • Two Pickleball Courts: Two pickleball courts can be placed side by side within a tennis court. This layout allows for simultaneous sports games without interfering with each other.
  • Four Pickleball Courts: Four pickleball courts can be fitted into a tennis court by dividing the tennis court into four equal sections. This setup is ideal for tournaments or group play.

Pickleball Courts Conversion

Converting to pickleball courts involves outlining the smaller pickleball court within the larger tennis court. Here’s a step-by-step guide for players:

  1. Measure and Mark: Start by measuring and marking the dimensions of the pickleball court on the tennis court. Use a measuring tape and chalk or temporary marking paint.
  2. Outline the Court: Draw the outline of the pickleball court, including the service areas and the non-volley zone (also known as “the kitchen”).
  3. Check Measurements: Double-check all measurements to ensure accuracy.
  4. Finalize the Lines: Once you’re sure of the measurements, finalize the lines using a line marking machine or permanent court paint.

The tools needed for this process include a measuring tape, chalk or temporary marking paint, and a line marking machine or permanent court paint.

Detailed Comparison of Pickleball Court and Tennis Court

Social Aspects

The social aspects of pickleball and tennis are equally important as the physical benefits. Both sports foster a sense of community and camaraderie among players.

  • Pickleball is known for its friendly and inclusive community. The sports game’s simplicity and fun nature make it a popular choice for social events and community gatherings.
  • Tennis, while also social, is often more competitive. Tennis clubs and tournaments provide opportunities for social interaction and networking.

In both sports, players can enjoy the thrill of competition, the joy of learning, and the satisfaction of improving their skills while making new friends.


Can you play pickleball on a tennis court?

Yes, pickleball can be played on a tennis court if the tennis net is adjustable, or even if there's a slight height discrepancy and the game is more of a casual one. Do note that a pickleball net is typically around 2 inches shorter than a tennis net at its center.

Can you play pickleball without a net?

A net is considered a fundamental piece of equipment for pickleball. Made of mesh fabric, a pickleball net bisects the court and prevents the ball from travelling through it.

Can you wear tennis clothes for pickleball?

Indeed, tennis attire is quite suitable for pickleball. Women could don tennis skirts, polo shirts, sports bras, tank tops, and comfy athletic shoes for an enjoyable and successful game. Men, on the other hand, can opt for tennis shorts or athletic shorts, along with a polo or a sweat-wick shirt.


In conclusion, courts tennis vs pickleball courts reveals interesting differences and similarities. From court dimensions to the type of workout each sport provides, each sports game offers a unique experience for players. Whether you’re a pickleball enthusiast or a tennis pro, understanding these differences can enhance your appreciation for these wonderful sports and help you choose the one that best suits your preferences and lifestyle. Start playing!

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