Skip to content

Guide to Building a Pickleball Court

Home | Athletics, Blog | Article Title

A pickleball racket and ball sit on a court.

A pickleball court is an excellent way to draw community members and guests to your business. This activity is a wonderful way to exercise in the sun while enjoying the fresh air with friends and family. Parks and recreation centers, resorts, club companies and many other types of businesses have created pickleball courts to encourage their community to get active and interact with local organizations.

Building a pickleball court takes time, preparation and knowledge of the proper dimensions and specifications. If you’re starting from square one, we’ve got you covered. Our guide to building a pickleball court will help you understand the process and how to create a fun and pleasant space for your community members.

How to Plan for Your Pickleball Court

Small pickleball courts could cost several hundred dollars, while competitive complexes could cost several hundred thousand dollars.

One of the first considerations you must make is determining the cost for the court. Small courts with minimal construction could cost several hundred dollars, while a competitive complex with evening lighting and stadium seating could cost several hundred thousand dollars.

If you want to offer a quality space for community members, you’ll likely find a compromise between the two. Additional features will raise your total, so consider the essential pieces of your court that will bring the most guest satisfaction.

In most cases, your pickleball court will need court tape or a net, court resurfacing and construction, lighting, and fencing. You may also want to provide seating for spectators, like benches with shade structures. Some businesses also offer equipment for rent, like paddles and balls, so that guests can play without needing to purchase their own equipment.

You’ll also need to determine the best space for the court and other factors that could affect the experience of guests, neighboring homes and businesses. For example, pickleball players can get noisy when they laugh, run, yell and smack the ball around. If your court is near a residential area or a space where other guests may be trying to relax, you could get some complaints.

Other considerations for your court include the following:

  • Court orientation: The court’s orientation can impact the players’ experiences. You want to ensure players have adequate light to play throughout the day. If you do not add lights, your court will need to be in a space that gets a lot of sunlight. A north-south orientation is best to avoid the sun getting in the eyes of either player. You should also consider the wind and shade in the area to make the most comfortable experience.
  • Branding: Consider whether you want to incorporate elements of your brand, like company colors or logos. These decisions can affect your overall cost but may draw new faces to your court. The surface material you choose can affect the color options available, so have a few ideas in mind.
  • Professional contractor or DIY court construction: Creating a basic pickleball court can be simple. If you have an existing pad, you could quickly transform a space into a court without much external assistance. However, requesting a professional service is the way to go if you want a more professional look, need to build a new court or want to resurface an old one. Doing so can help create a more welcoming space and ensure your business follows all community codes while considering other guests and neighboring businesses or homes.

Pickleball Court Dimensions and Specifications

Official pickleball courts like this one are 44 feet long and 20 feet wide.

Pickleball began on a badminton court with pingpong paddles and a plastic ball, but the first court was a backyard construction. Over a few days of playing, the creators lowered the badminton net and started using a wiffleball for gameplay. Given the homestyle feel of the game, an old basketball or tennis court or unused driveway could be the perfect setup for the start of a pickleball court.

Official pickleball courts are 44 feet long and 20 feet wide. There is also additional room for players to run off the court after playing the ball. An area that is 64 feet long and 30 feet wide is the most suitable for competitive gameplay. If you’re using an old tennis court to make your new space, you can fit about four pickleball courts into the existing area by creating 30 feet by 60 feet courts.

You’ll also need to determine the size of the net fixtures, especially if you’re considering implementing permanent fixtures. Regulation nets are 36 inches high on the sides and 34 inches high in the center of the court. Often, available nets are either 31 inches or 36 inches. Choosing the 31-inch option will allow players to roll the ball under the net, typically making it the better choice for most spaces.

It’s best to create nonpermanent lines on the court using tape or string before purchasing court materials. This way, you can evaluate how the ball bounces, whether there is adequate space for players and how large of an area you can dedicate to the court, players and spectators without impacting other guests or neighboring facilities.

However, be aware that some tape can cause permanent discoloration on the court by leaving small traces of residue. Evaluate whether this will be a concern by testing a small area on one side of the court. A regular string may be the best option for creating an outline of your court to avoid potential damage.

Steps for How to Build a Pickleball Court

Regardless of your reason for building a pickleball court, the construction process is a critical aspect. You must dedicate the proper resources to ensure you can create a welcoming space for fun and entertainment. The building phase can take a while to complete as your business must find the right space, evaluate material options and shop for the best fencing, lighting and additional structures. Below is all the information you need to build your business’s pickleball court.

1. Determine the Space

Single and double play is encouraged on a court that is 20 feet by 44 feet.

Finding the right space is the first step in building the pickleball court. Whether transforming an old tennis court, creating a competitive stadium complex or starting the process from scratch, you must remember the standard dimensions and specifications for pickleball courts. You can encourage single and double play on a court that’s 20 feet by 44 feet. The net should be 34 inches in the middle and 36 inches on the sidelines.

You can adjust these measurements based on your specific needs and maximize your space. For instance, one tennis court can create four pickleball courts, so be sure to maximize your resources and space by creating four courts that measure 34 feet by 64 feet. For large-scale complexes, you’ll need fencing to separate the various courts.

2. Choose the Court Materials

Concrete, asphalt, clay, snap-together plastic, and grass are common materials for pickleball courts.

After finding the pickleball space, you’ll need to find the right court materials. The project budget and design intentions can affect the materials you choose, so be sure to evaluate your options for a cohesive look your players will love. Whether you’re revamping an old court or beginning with a new one, it’s a great idea to evaluate which materials will best suit your needs and goals.

Common types of materials for pickleball courts include:

  • Concrete: This material offers exceptional durability and value. Concrete can provide an excellent slope for drainage and resist cracking. This material can create an even and uniform playing surface while requiring less maintenance to remain in excellent condition.
  • Asphalt: Asphalt is a great option for businesses looking to save on initial costs. However, this material can require more upkeep than other options, creating a larger total over the long run. Cracking can occur without proper maintenance, but consistent surface treatments can maximize the life span.
  • Clay: Many outdoor courts utilize clay, and your existing tennis courts could already be equipped with this material. Clay can keep the court cooler during the day for a more enjoyable experience during the game. Clay can also slow ball speed, allowing teams to enjoy more volleys for longer games. However, natural occurrences like wind and rain can cause the clay to erode.
  • Snap-together plastic: You can apply this material over existing concrete or asphalt. This is an excellent option for businesses that want to prevent permanent alterations on the court. Companies looking to use the same court for multiple sports can rely on snap-together plastic to create an enjoyable space without eliminating other play options.
  • Grass: Synthetic and natural grass options are another option for pickleball courts. Grass options can be more comfortable for players and offer a softer ground. Businesses that want a temporary pickleball court or a quick solution ready to play can use their natural grass for summer courts. This option offers minimal maintenance, although you will need to use another material to mark the sidelines and boundaries. You will need to ensure the court lines are vibrant and straight, which will likely require frequent visits to the court.

Indoor pickleball complexes often feature polyurethane sports surfaces. This material creates a cushion over flat surfaces, like concrete. This material works well for players because it can reduce the stress and impact on players’ feet and joints. You will likely need a licensed contractor to build an indoor court, and they can provide insight into the rules and regulations for your business’s court.

3. Find the Perimeter Fencing

Multicourt complexes will need perimeter fencing. This will ensure the players keep their ball within the play area without affecting other teams. Although there are multiple fencing options, many businesses use wire.

Wire fencing makes it easy for spectators to watch the game and for light to pass through to illuminate the court. Expect fences that are about 10 feet high to cover the play area. You can make the fence lower, but you’ll want to add padding to the top to minimize potential injuries for players and spectators.

4. Create the Right Lighting

A quality structure to protect watchers from the sun can help them enjoy the day.

Although the sun will provide ample light for pickleball players during the day, those late-night players will appreciate added light for extended gameplay. Depending on the number of courts and the space between them, you can expect to need a few lights.

Aim to have two lights at each court for ample light on both sides. The lighting poles will need to be about 18 feet to 20 feet tall to cover the majority of the court. They will also need to be about 24 feet behind the court to help keep light out of players’ eyes and ensure spectators can enjoy evening matches.

When thinking about lighting, it’s also worth considering daytime conditions. Although playing in the sun is a great way to enjoy fresh air, some shade structures can create a more pleasant environment. If you have seats or benches for watchers to enjoy the match, a quality structure to protect them from the sun can help them enjoy the day much longer. Additionally, a shade structure over a bench or two off the court can give players a great way to take a break from the game to hydrate between matches.

5. Shop the Net Systems for Pickleball

Outdoor pickleball poles will better withstand natural elements than indoor poles.

An expert can help you find the best pickleball net for your courts. There are many different types of nets, poles and similar equipment to choose from, which have many different characteristics. Here are the items you can expect to need for your business’s pickleball court and net:

  • Two poles
  • One ratchet reel
  • An outdoor pickleball net
  • Metal sleeves for the net posts

Outdoor pickleball poles will better withstand the natural elements than indoor poles, so evaluate your needs. Sleeves may only be necessary for some setups, and an expert can best tell you whether you need them. You can also consider getting a portable pickleball net if you need your court for multiple sports and want an easy transition from one sport to the next.

6. Finalize the Pickleball Court

Refer to USA Pickleball guidelines to ensure your business follows best practices in court preparation.

Once you’ve established the layout and picked out all the necessary equipment, it’s time to finalize the court. Here are some great ideas for finalizing the court and making sure you take the proper steps to ensure you have everything you need:

  • Hire a contractor: This will be the best way to ensure your business follows all of your local codes and ordinances for recreational play. A professional contractor can also complete tasks like helping set up the net and helping you find quality paint for the finishing touches.
  • Follow court guidelines: You can refer to the USA Pickleball guidelines for everything you need to know about the sport. Refer to this information and consult with your contractor to ensure your business follows the best practices for preparing your court.
  • Paint the court lines: The lines marking the boundaries and different areas of play are best in white. Plan to paint them roughly 2 inches wide, so players and spectators can easily determine when balls are out of play. Use marker lines to create the court outline before using permanent materials.

You’ll need to paint multiple types of lines. Baselines run parallel to the net on both sides of the court, and sidelines run perpendicular to the net on both sides. The non-volley lines are located between the sidelines and run parallel to the net. Place non-volley lines 7 feet away from the net on either side of the court. Centerlines run between the baseline and the non-volley line on either side of the net. The baseline, non-volley line and sideline surround the service courts, which run on either side of the centerlines.

Benefits of Incorporating Pickleball Shade Canopies

The benefits of pickleball shade canopies include increase comfort, sun damage protection, and more.

After finalizing your courts, it’s time to consider additional features. Before inviting players, friends and families to your court, consider creating a comfortable space with shade structures. Your business’s pickleball court shade structure offers a variety of benefits, including:

  • Increased comfort: Sitting in the stands, resting between matches and playing on the court can be more enjoyable with quality shade structures. These structures can keep everyone cool and prevent the sun from shining in people’s eyes. They also lower the likelihood of dehydration, sun damage and overheating.
  • Sun damage protection: Although your guests will love the decreased sun exposure, your equipment will appreciate it more. Seating, flooring and other equipment can crack and fade after being in the sun for prolonged periods. You can extend their life span and lower maintenance costs and requirements, saving money and time for your business.
  • Create new court life: Whether you’re reimagining an old tennis court or trying to revitalize your multiuse space, shade structures can add a new, exciting element to your area. Shade structures empower businesses to enhance their visual appeal and represent their brand with customized colors and unique designs.
  • Extend pickleball play opportunities: Your community can enjoy friendly competitions and competitive challenges throughout the year. Friends and family can spend even the hottest summer days on your court for a full day of fun.

USA SHADE had the privilege of covering the championship court in 2016 for the U.S. Open Pickleball Championship, so we know a thing or two about creating the best space for your court. We feel confident we can create a customized solution you and your community will love.

At USA SHADE, you can access a dedicated team with over 25 years of experience. Our long-lasting solutions help businesses create customized shade structures for their space to encourage more people to interact with their company.

Commonly Asked Questions About Pickleball Courts

During the planning and construction processes, it’s natural to have some questions. When you want to craft the best pickleball court for your business and community, it can help to have somewhere to turn for helpful suggestions. Below, you’ll find some commonly asked questions about pickleball courts.

What Kind of Base Does a Pickleball Court Need?

Asphalt and concrete are common bases for pickleball courts. Your business should always evaluate the surfacing requirements for any base before installing materials for a court. There are recommendations for drainage, slope, overall construction and surface finish.

What Are the Best Pickleball Court Color Combinations?

Any color can work for a pickleball court, and you can get creative or reinforce your brand by using unique combinations. Lighter colors can create a cooler playing surface because they won’t absorb as much heat from the sun. Darker colors will create a warmer play space, which can benefit some areas that experience a lot of rainfall.

If your business will provide pickleball equipment for players, choose balls that are the opposite color of the court surface. Selecting a similar color can impact gameplay and make it challenging to see the ball.

What Coating Is Best for Painting or Surfacing the Court?

Acrylic coatings are best for athletic courts because they allow vapor transmission and offer breathability. This is very important for outdoor courts as it creates an ideal, nonslip surface that allows the ball to bounce and creates minimal abrasion.

How Do You Clean Pickleball Courts?

Acrylic courts require minimal maintenance and don’t need much cleaning. You should clean the court if you notice debris, organic growth, dirt and similar spots. Surface pressure washers can clean the court surface. Avoid stiff-bristled cleaning brushes, as these can damage the surface. Use the appropriate amount of pressure to prevent discoloration.

How Can You Fix the Cracks on the Court?

A variety of treatments can help repair cracks. Coating only will not fill the cracks on the surface. However, you can fill hairline cracks with acrylic coating and sand. Most solutions will not wholly prevent cracking but can extend the court’s lifetime. Other solutions for crack repair include:

  • Multilayered fabric
  • Permanent reconstruction or overlay
  • Full-court overlay systems

Request a Quote for Pickleball Court Shade Structures

Request a quote for pickleball court shade structures today!

USA SHADE specializes in customized shade structures for businesses looking to create comfortable and welcoming spaces for guests. We have decades of experience in the industry, and we can bring your pickleball court to life. With a variety of shade structures available, you can find the perfect style, design and color for your business. Request a quote from USA SHADE to liven up your pickleball court.