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At Home Pickleball: Can You Play Pickleball On Grass?

Pickleball paddles and balls sit on a grass surface.

TL;DR: Playing Pickleball on Grass

  • Not Ideal for Serious Play: Pickleball was invented on a court, playing on grass doesn't provide the uniform bounce and firmness needed for standard play.
  • Making a Grass Court: Use makeshift materials like a low-hung volleyball net and water-based spray paint for lines if you want to set up an impromptu court.
  • Modified Rules and Equipment: Consider using adapted rules and equipment for better play on grass.
  • Official Games on Courts Only: Official pickleball matches are never held on grass; they require a standard court.

Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in part because it’s so easy to start and keep playing. If you have a paddle and ball and can find a nearby court, you can probably play a casual game!

While you can play pickleball in lots of places, you can’t play it everywhere. For a game of pickleball that feels like the real thing — where the ball bounces how you’d expect it to and you can be sure of your footing — you need a court.

If you’re open to a less-familiar experience or want to try something new, you could play pickleball on grass. It won’t be the same as the on-court experience, but it could be a fun way to pass some time. Let’s take a closer look at playing pickleball on grass.

A pickleball paddle and ball rest on an artificial grass surface.

Can Pickleball be Played on Grass?

If all you want to do is play a casual game of pickleball, nothing’s stopping you from trying it out on grass! There are some important considerations and unique drawbacks to keep in mind, however.

We know that pickleball started in a backyard, more or less. More specifically, Bill Bell and Joel Pritchard came up with the sport on a summer afternoon. Invented simply to give them and their families something new and fun to do, the sport grew over time to become the sensation it is today.

However, Pritchard had one asset at his home that most people don’t: a badminton court. That court gave the plastic ball used in the first pickleball games the right kind of bounce for the fun, back-and-forth play style that’s so common in casual pickleball.

So, while you can say pickleball was invented in a backyard and be more or less correct, the sport really started on a court. The design, intent, and structure of the game are based on using a court instead of another kind of surface.

What do we know about most courts used for racket sports? Despite their differences, they almost always offer a uniform, firm surface that helps balls bounce predictably and to the right height.

Most grass-covered surfaces don’t have those attributes. Even grass tennis courts tend to have unpredictable bounces and encourage the ball to skid, as the Olympics explains.

You can expect a grass pickleball court to have similar attributes. Because pickleballs are lighter and don’t have as much bounce as tennis balls, those issues might be even more apparent.

However, some people do occasionally play pickleball on grass. Using grass as a pickleball court can add a unique, if sometimes frustrating, twist to the game. If there are no other options and you really want to play a game of pickleball, you could consider making a pickleball court on grass.

One final note about playing pickleball on grass: officially sanctioned tournaments and individual games are never played on grass. All official pickleball games, like the kind sanctioned by governing body USA Pickleball, are played on a traditional pickleball court.

How to Make a Pickleball Court on Grass

If you’re playing an impromptu pickleball game on grass, you probably don’t have special tools like a dry line marker (the tool used to make lines on soccer, football, and other grass fields).

However, you could take a look at what you have available to approximate a pickleball court’s key elements.

You’ll need something to serve as the net. That could be a volleyball net slung low enough to be close to a pickleball net’s height, or a clothesline with towels and other items draped over it. You can mark the court lines and boundaries with brightly colored string or grass-safe, water-based spray paint.

Need a refresher on the exact dimensions of a pickleball net? Learn more in our guide to pickleball court dimensions. We strongly recommend having a long tape measure handy if you want to set up your own makeshift pickleball court.

Want to make a game on grass a little less frustrating? You could follow guidance from Sandy Pickle. They offer modified rules and equipment for playing pickleball on softer surfaces. While the equipment costs money, the rules are free to access.

You can also consider following USA Pickleball’s guidance for creating a do-it-yourself court. While grass isn’t recommended, there are plenty of other surfaces that will work for a DIY pickleball court.

The Gear You Need for the Game You Love

Pickleball Superstore brings you everything you need to enjoy pickleball, no matter where you play! Check out our collections to find paddles, balls, shoes, accessories, and more!

Sick of playing on grass and want to find an official court? Check out our court locator page now.

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