6 Things to Know Before Building a Pickleball Court
In a pickle about what to do to stay active but also looking to enjoy time with your friends & family? Then you should consider trying out pickleball!
It has been reported that this trendy sport has increased in popularity over 85% in 2023. This is even after the sport saw major growth in 2020-2022. Now is the perfect time to learn more about the sport. In the guide below, we will walk you through everyting you need to know before building a pickleball court!
Whether you’re a homeowner looking to create a fun backyard activity or a business owner interested in offering pickleball to your customers, building a pickleball court can be a great investment. However, before you start construction, there are several important factors to consider to ensure that your court is safe, durable, and enjoyable to play on. In this blog, we’ll discuss six key things you need to know before building a pickleball court.
1. What is pickleball?
Pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong that can be played as doubles or singles. This sport can be played indoor or outdoor, and the only equipment needed is a court, net, paddles, and a ball.
It is typically played on a court that is similar in size to a doubles badminton court, with a net that is similar in height to a tennis net. The game is played with a lightweight paddle and a plastic ball with holes. The trending sport is often played as a recreational activity in parks, community centers, and other public spaces.
2. What are the dimensions of a standard pickleball court?
The court shall be a rectangle 20 feet wide (6.10 m) and 44 feet long (13.41 m) for both singles and doubles matches.
A total playing area 30 feet wide (9.14 m) and 60 feet long (18.28 m) is the minimum size that is recommended. A preferred 10-foot (3.05-m) surrounding margin measures 40 feet (12.19 m) by 64 feet (19.51 m).
Court measurements shall be made to the outside of the perimeter and non-volley zone lines. All lines should be 2 inches (5.08 cm) wide and the same color, clearly contrasting with the color of the playing surface.
Check out the graphic below to get a better idea of what the dimensions of a pickleball court look like!
3. What are the different types of Pickleball Court playing surfaces?
Asphalt courts are faster to construct, lower initial cost, and need more frequent maintenance. Concrete courts are more durable, low maintenance, and crack resistant. The biggest drawback to asphalt courts is that they crack (so may concrete). The difference is the concrete cracks don’t grow as wind as asphalt cracks. Asphalt can crack as wide a 2 to 4 inches. Post-tension will not allow the crack to widen, by keeping it compressed. An alternative playing surface to hard court surfaces that has gained popularity is an artificial turf-type surface. This option provides a crack-free surface that plays similarly to a real court, making it an excellent choice for those seeking an alternative to traditional hard courts.
If you are interested in learning more about the different types of pickleball court playing surfaces, you can read more in this blog we wrote.
4. How do you prepare the site for the construction of a Pickleball Court?
Before starting the construction of a pickleball court, it’s important to prepare the site properly. Here are some key steps to follow to ensure a successful construction process:
Evaluate the site: The first step is to evaluate the site where you plan to build the court. Look for a flat area that is large enough to accommodate the court size you desire. Check for any obstacles such as trees, rocks, or roots that may need to be removed.
Clear the site: Once you have chosen the site, clear it of any debris or vegetation. Remove grass and other vegetation from the site, and level the ground if necessary. This will ensure a stable and even surface for the court.
Mark the court boundaries: Use stakes and string to mark the boundaries of the court. Make sure that the dimensions of the court are accurate and that the lines are straight and properly aligned.
Prepare the base: The base is the foundation of the court, and it needs to be firm and stable. To prepare the base, first remove any soft or loose soil. Then, add a layer of crushed stone or gravel and compact it with a plate compactor. Finally, add a layer of fine gravel or crushed stone and again compact it.
Install the fencing: Once the base is prepared, you can install the fencing around the court. The fencing should be at least 10 feet high, and it should be made of a durable material such as chain link.
Install the court surface: Finally, install the surface of the court. There are several options to choose from, including asphalt, concrete, or specialized pickleball court surfacing. Make sure to choose a surface that is durable, slip-resistant, and provides proper ball bounce.
By following these steps, you can prepare the site for the construction of a high-quality pickleball court. With proper preparation, your court will be a safe, durable, and enjoyable playing surface for years to come.
5. What are the rules of pickleball?
Serving: The server must stand behind the baseline and serve underhand, with the paddle below the waist. The serve must land in the opposite diagonal court and clear the non-volley zone, which is a seven-foot area near the net.
Scoring: Points are scored by the serving team when the receiving team fails to return the ball or hits it out of bounds. A game is played to 11 points, and the winning team must win by two points.
Non-volley zone: The non-volley zone, also known as the kitchen, is a seven-foot area on each side of the net. Players cannot enter the non-volley zone to hit a ball unless the ball bounces first or the player is outside the zone.
Faults: A fault is committed when a player fails to serve the ball over the net, hits the ball out of bounds, or steps into the non-volley zone and hits the ball. A fault results in a point for the other team.
These are the basic rules of pickleball, but there are also more specific rules regarding line calls, double hits, and other aspects of the game. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the rules before playing to ensure a fair and enjoyable game.
6. What are common pickleball phrases?
Volley: A volley in pickleball is the act of hitting the ball in the air before it is able to bounce.
Fault: A fault in pickleball is an action that stops play because of a rule violation. Various faults can include when a ball is hit out of bounds, a ball bounces twice before it is hit by a player, and when a ball is hit into the net.
Kitchen: A kitchen in pickleball is the non-volley zone of the court. It extends 7 feet from both sides of the net.
Rally: A rally in pickleball is when there is continuous play from the time that the ball is served until fault.
Pickled: Getting “pickled” means losing a pickleball game 11-0.
Bonus: Why is pickleball called “pickleball” and why has it become so popular?
In 1965, Joel Pritchard, the inventor of pickleball, was vacationing at his summer home on the Bainbridge Island in Washington. Upon looking for a fun activity for their children, Pritchard, along with Bill Bell and Barney McCallum created the game of pickleball with some broken paddles and a whiffle ball. Pritchard’s wife, a fan of rowing, claimed that this sport reminded her of a “pickle boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats.” From there, the sport was named pickleball.
However, rumor has it that the game was named after Pickles, Pritchard’s dog that would chase after the ball during pickleball games.
Accelerated during the pandemic, pickleball has grown by 21.3% just in the past year according to the Sport and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA). A popular sport amongst older generations, this game is played on a smaller court compared to tennis, which allows for less movement. While this sport allows for less intensity than tennis, it is still a great way to exercise. Another appeal of this sport is the simplicity of the rules and ability to understand the game. Since one only needs a few pieces of equipment to play, this game opens itself to a window of people. People of all ages are able to find this sport enjoyable, and it serves as a great social activity.
Convinced to build a pickleball court? Give us a call at (314) 254-9766 or contact us here!