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Pickleball Court Vs Tennis Court - Differences Between the Two

by Pickleball Superstore August 03, 2023

Image of a tennis match being played. | Pickleball Superstore

Pickleball is a trending sport that has become very popular with all age groups. It is so easy; anyone can give it a go.

But can you play it on a tennis court?

Now, pickleball and tennis courts may look the same from a distance if you’re unfamiliar with one sport or the other.

But get closer, and you notice differences in court size and surface, equipment type, net height, and more.

Keep reading as we dive in and reveal all the differences between pickleball and tennis courts and where you can play.

Overview of Pickleball and Tennis Courts

Image of men playing pickleball. | Pickleball Superstore

Tennis is a racquet sport that involves hitting a ball over a net using a tautly strung racquet.

A newer entry to sports, pickleball involves hitting a ball over a net using a solid paddle.

Tennis is a more demanding and competitive sport, while pickleball is more relaxed and fun when enjoyed with a group. They also have different rules, serves, equipment, and courts.

Pickleball is best played on a hard court surface, while you can play tennis on various surfaces (grass, clay, synthetic, and hard courts).

But that doesn't mean you can't use a tennis court for playing pickleball. Let's learn about their differences in depth to understand how to make it work.

Key Difference Between Pickleball and Tennis Courts

Size of the Court

The most significant difference between pickleball and tennis courts is their size.

A pickleball court is 44 feet long and 20 feet wide, including the pickleball court lines. In contrast, a tennis court is 120 feet long and 60 feet wide (including the doubles alleys).

To put it into perspective, a single standard-size tennis court could hold up to four pickleball courts from end to end.

Both tennis and pickleball allow for singles or doubles games. In pickleball, the same court area applies for singles and doubles games. In tennis, doubles play has a 36-feet width, while singles only have a 27-feet width. The length remains the same for either.

Net Height and Placement

Pickleball nets are 34 inches in the center and 36 inches at the posts. Tennis nets are 36 inches in the center and 42 inches at the posts.

Pickleball courts have a seven-foot non-volley zone (also known as “the kitchen”) from the net. This zone is three and a half feet on either side of the net. Tennis courts do not have any such area.

Court Surface

There are four types of tennis court surfaces: clay, hard, grass, and synthetic. Each of these surfaces has its pros and cons.

Pickleball courts are mostly concrete or asphalt with a polyurethane or specialist acrylic coating. Although you can technically play pickleball on clay or grass courts, it isn’t often done because they produce a weaker bounce.


Image of a person with a  pickleball paddle and pickleball ball. | Pickleball Superstore

Tennis requires heavy racquets, whereas pickleball requires light paddles like those used in ping-pong.

Pickleball paddles have a high-tech composite construction and weigh between 6.5 and 9 ounces.

Modern tennis racquets have handles with fiberglass and graphite builds. Their stringed surfaces are made using natural gut or synthetic materials. Their string weight is around 11.5 ounces.

The balls used in both sports are very different.

A tennis ball has a rubber construction and a soft felt exterior. Regulation tennis balls weigh between 1.975 and 2.095 ounces and bounce 53 to 60 inches.

A pickleball ball is a low-bouncing perforated plastic ball. They are similar to wiffle balls but have only 26 holes. Pickleballs must weigh 0.78 to 0.935 ounces. When dropped from a height of 78 inches, a pickleball must bounce 0 to 34 inches.

In general, tennis equipment is heavier in comparison to pickleball equipment.

Pickleball Court vs Tennis Court: Pros and Cons

Advantages of Pickleball Court

  • More affordable and easier to build
  • Suitable for beginners
  • All-weather, durable court surface
  • Good traction and grip
  • Low impact on knees

Advantages of Tennis Court

  • Large enough to convert into two pickleball courts
  • Four surface options

Disadvantages of Pickleball Court

  • Not large enough to convert into a tennis court
  • Only two surface options

Disadvantages of Tennis Court

  • More expensive to build
  • Clay and grass courts need lots of upkeep

In Summary

Overall, pickleball requires less space, less investment, and also less effort. It is easier for beginners to master since the court is more compact. The equipment is lightweight, the net height is lower, and the surface is low-impact.

In the case of tennis, the court is large and requires regular upkeep if you’ve got a grass or clay surface. The spacious court is great if you want a full-body workout that involves more strenuous movements.

Concrete or asphalt surface courts are better, as you can easily play both sports.

If you don’t want to choose between tennis and pickleball, keep your tennis court and check out pickleball courts near you!

Frequently Asked Questions

How to play pickleball on a tennis court

Yes. You can easily play pickleball on a tennis court with some slight adjustments in net height and court lines.

Can you play tennis on a pickleball court?

No. A pickleball court is too small to play a regulation game of tennis.

What is the size of a standard pickleball court?

The standard pickleball court dimensions are 44 feet 20 feet.

What is the standard tennis court size?

A standard tennis court measures 78 feet long and 36 feet wide.

What type of surface is best for pickleball courts?

Concrete or asphalt are the best choices for pickleball court surfaces.

What type of surface is best for tennis courts?

Hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt are best for tennis courts. They are low-maintenance and easy to use for all levels of tennis players.

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