how far apart are pickleball posts?

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Key Takeaways:

  • Pickleball posts should be spaced 22 feet apart from inside edge to inside edge.
  • The regulation net height is 36 inches at the sidelines and 34 inches in the middle.
  • Proper pickleball court dimensions are key for gameplay and strategy.
  • The pickleball court is smaller than a tennis court to accommodate the underhand serve.
  • Understanding court layout helps players maximize their positioning and coverage.

Pickleball, one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S., is played on a unique court with specific dimensions and setup requirements. But how far apart are regulation pickleball posts supposed to be? What is the proper height for the net? Getting the court layout right is essential for competitive play and enjoyment of the game. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of proper pickleball court specifications, including details on post spacing, net height, court size, and more. Discover what goes into designing a regulation pickleball complex from the ground up.

With the information presented here, you will understand the ideal pickleball court measurements for seamless gameplay. Whether you are looking to set up a court at home, find the best dimensions for a public space, or are curious about how the court facilities strategy and shots, this guide will outline everything you need to know. Understanding pickleball court regulations and layout best practices will ensure you can enjoy the game to its fullest.

With insights from official rulebooks and court construction experts, this article will cover pickleball court specifics in exhaustive detail. You will learn the purpose behind the unique court design and how each component contributes to this addictive, fast-paced game. Let’s start from the ground up and explore how far apart pickleball posts should be placed, net height best practices, and all other court measurement considerations. Read on to become an expert on optimally laying out a regulation pickleball court.

How Far Apart Should Pickleball Posts Be?

The first key measurement in designing and setting up a pickleball court is determining how far apart the pickleball posts must be positioned. This spacing establishes the width of the court and thus impacts gameplay and strategy.

According to the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) rulebook, pickleball posts should be spaced precisely 22 feet apart from the inside edge of one post to the inside edge of the other post. This 22-foot width between pickleball posts is an official regulation measurement and is necessary for competitive sanctioned play.

It is essential to measure accurately and precisely 22 feet between the inside edges of the posts rather than the outside edges. Even a few extra inches can make a noticeable difference in court width. The posts themselves need to be situated outside of the court boundaries.

This regulation pickleball court width gives adequate space cross-court for strategic singles and doubles play. Narrower widths can cramp the court and limit shot possibilities, while wider widths require excessive movement and retrieval. The 22-foot post spacing has proven over decades of pickleball history to best enable players to cover the court during rallies.

Why is the Pickleball Court Narrower than a Tennis Court?

pickleball court is considerably narrower than a tennis court, which has a width of 36 feet. This is primarily because pickleball incorporates an underhand serve rather than an overhead serve. The underhand serve restricts the speed and power that can be imparted to the pickleball compared to a tennis serve.

With slower serve speeds, there is less need for width to retrieve wide serves. The more compact pickleball court dimensions promote quicker volley exchanges, faster pacing, and more strategic positioning. The narrower 22-foot width places a greater emphasis on ball control and finesse over power.

What is the Regulation Pickleball Net Height?

In conjunction with proper pickleball post spacing, the net height must also adhere to specific standards. Per USAPA guidelines, regulation pickleball net height is:

  • 36 inches high at the sidelines
  • 34 inches high in the middle

This rulebook measurement for net height allows for a gentle slope downward from the sidelines towards the middle. The decreased height in the center of just 2 inches makes it marginally easier to hit volleys, putting greater focus on skillful play at the non-volley zone line.

The 36-inch and 34-inch pickleball net heights offer the ideal elevation that enables balls to clear over the net while still being within reachable range for players to slam volleys. The net cannot be installed taut – the slight sag is necessary.

For recreational play, a height of 32-34 inches may be used to increase volley exchanges, but 36/34 inches is required by regulation for tournament and competitive games. The net must cross the entire 22-foot width and attach securely to the pickleball posts on both sides.

Why is the Net Lower than Tennis?

Once again, pickleball differs from tennis in its net height regulations. Tennis specifies a net height of 42 inches in the center and 36 inches at the posts. The lower pickleball net accounts for the underhand serve and closer non-volley zone proximity in pickleball versus tennis. The reduced height facilitates the frequent volley rallies that characterize pickleball while still clearing the minimum space for serves.

Overview of Pickleball Court Layout and Markings

In addition to pickleball post spacing and net height, the rest of a regulation pickleball court’s measurements and markings must adhere to exacting standards. Here is an overview of proper court specifications:

  • Length – 20 feet The court length from baseline to baseline is 20 feet.
  • Total play area – 20 feet x 44 feet Adding the 22-foot width between posts to the 20-foot length results in a total play area of 20 feet by 44 feet per court.
  • Double-bounce serve zones – 15 feet These zones extend from the baselines 15 feet into the court on either side.
  • Non-volley zone – 7 feet This zone spans the 7 feet from the net on both sides. Players cannot volley when standing in this zone.
  • Service courts – 10 feet x 20 feet The service courts are the 15-foot serve zone plus half the 7-foot non-volley zone.
  • Center line – 2 inches wide A center line divides the two service courts.

The smaller dimensions compared to tennis require greater precision and strategy. Boundary lines must be between 2-4 inches wide. Understanding the court layout assists players in mastering positioning, coverage, and shot selection.

Why is the Pickleball Court a Unique Size?

There are concrete reasons behind every pickleball court dimension. The standardized court size and layout are optimized specifically for pickleball based on decades of play testing and input. The court facilitates the game’s characteristic rapid volleys, agility demands, underhand serve, and alternating service boxes. The dimensions shape pickleball strategy in terms of shot placement, reacts, and partner coordination.

The smaller size compared to tennis ramps up the pace and reflex requirements. The shorter length enables consistent reach across the court. The narrower width focuses on finesse over power. The lower net prioritizes ball control. The non-volley zone adds a unique dynamic. The standard measurements all interplay to create the special attributes of pickleball as a competitive sport.

Pickleball Court Dimensions: FAQs

What are the dimensions and layout for a regulation pickleball court?

The official dimensions for a sanctioned pickleball court per USAPA guidelines are:

  • Width between inside edges of posts – 22 feet
  • Length from baseline to baseline – 20 feet
  • Total play area – 20 feet x 44 feet
  • Non-volley zone – 7 feet
  • Service courts – 10 feet x 20 feet
  • Center line width – 2 inches

Additionally, the regulation net height is 36 inches at the sidelines and 34 inches in the center. Each side of the court also has a 15-foot double-bounce serve zone extending from the baseline.

Why are pickleball courts shaped differently than tennis courts?

Pickleball courts are smaller and narrower than tennis courts to facilitate the underhand serve and close net volleys inherent to pickleball. The court layout and dimensions are designed specifically for the rapid, strategic nature of pickleball play. The sizes and spacing optimize shots, coverage, pacing, and placement.

What are the minimum dimensions for a pickleball court?

For recreational play, smaller court dimensions may be used. However, sanctioned tournament dimensions are 20 x 44 feet play area with 22 feet between inside edges of posts and a net height of 36/34 inches. Any smaller court would impact shots, pacing, and safety.

Can you use a tennis court to play pickleball?

A tennis court can be converted into multiple pickleball courts by overlaying pickleball boundary lines and nets. However, permanent dedicated pickleball courts are ideal, as the contrasting sizes affect gameplay strategies between the two sports. Portable nets can also be set up temporarily.

Do you need special equipment or surfacing for a regulation pickleball court?

Official pickleball courts are ideally surfaced with an asphalt or concrete pavement material. The ball’s bounce will be most consistent on these low-maintenance surfaces. No special racquets, balls, or other equipment are needed beyond regulation portable nets and posts.


Designing and constructing an official pickleball court requires careful adherence to specific regulations that govern post spacing, net heights, boundaries, and overall dimensions. The ideal distance between pickleball posts is 22 feet from inside edge to inside edge. Regulation net height is 36 inches along the sidelines sloping down to 34 inches in the center. These Pickleball court measurements have been finely tuned over the sport’s evolution to enable optimal gameplay.

Knowledge of complete pickleball court specifications empowers players to fully leverage the dynamics that make pickleball so addictive yet challenging. Observing official dimensions ensures your court is outfitted for the highest level of competition and enjoyment. With the insights on proper court layout provided here, you can now confidently construct or set up a regulation pickleball facility tailored for smooth volleys, non-stop action, and strategic play.

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