Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the United States. The sport is estimated to have more than 4.8 million players nationwide, a 40 percent increase since 2020. The rise in the popularity of pickleball can be attributed to the pandemic, as people set up pickleball courts in their driveways and sidewalks during the lockdown.
More parks and recreation departments are adding pickleball courts into their community or are getting requests from their community to add some, so this blog will touch on what to consider before installing a pickleball court and your options.
What is Pickleball?
Three friends invented pickleball in the summer of 1965 in Washington, USA. They created the game to entertain their families, who wanted a change from their usual summer activities.
All you need to play is a net, paddles, and a ball. The sport is easy to learn and appeals to all ages, but the game is still engaging and can develop into a competitive match. It is thought of as a combination of badminton, ping-pong, and tennis. The plastic ball gets passed from one player to the other’s side of the net until one player fails to get it back over the net.
Pickleball Courts Design
A standard pickleball court measures 20 feet wide and 44 feet long and is divided into two halves by a net hung in the center. A pickleball court has specific lines, including a centerline, a non-volley zone extending 7 feet from the net on both sides and a baseline at the back of each side.
Many parks and recreation departments are simply adding pickleball lines to tennis courts or converting them solely to pickleball courts. Even though this seems like a simple project, there are factors to consider before installing or converting courts.
Considerations Before Installing a Pickleball Court
Space Required for Pickleball Courts
To accommodate overruns, each court should feature a solid playing area measuring no less than 30 feet by 60 feet.
Foundation for Pickleball Courts
For outdoor pickleball courts, the foundation can be constructed using either concrete or asphalt.
Coating for Pickleball Courts
Agencies should use 100% acrylic coatings for pickleball and athletic courts as they maintain their integrity in varying weather conditions.
Pickleball Court Fencing
Opting for a chain link fence is a cost-effective option for fencing pickleball courts. The ball is 3 inches, so the fencing openings should be 2 inches wide or less.
Depending on the location of pickleball courts, agencies may opt to incorporate additional amenities, including:
- Court benches
- Water fountains
- Seating for spectators
- Shaded area
Pickleball Installation Options
Creating New Pickleball Courts
When installing a pickleball court from scratch, park agencies must ensure proper grading, draining, excavation, clearances, and permits. A new court is the most expensive option and can be challenging to install if space is limited, but you will not encounter any issues with converting an old court.
Converting Tennis Courts into Pickleball Courts
There are some tasks required to convert a pickleball court into a tennis court:
- Removing tennis posts and anchors
- Capping the post holes
- Installing a pickleball net post sleeves in the footer
- Resurfacing the area
- Restriping the court
- Installing pipe anchors
Adding Pickleball Lines to Tennis Courts
Combing tennis and pickleball courts are the most affordable options, especially if the tennis court is in good condition. To accommodate both tennis and pickleball, consider adding pickleball lines to your tennis courts, allowing for flexibility in court usage. Be cautious when planning multiple pickleball courts within a tennis court, as it can result in significant overruns, potentially leading to safety concerns. Also, choose a distinct color line to prevent confusion with tennis court markings.