Pickleball nets are about 22 feet long from net post to net post. The center of the net is 34 inches high, while the sides of the net are 36 inches high. Pickleball nets are smaller and shorter than tennis nets.
How big is a pickleball net?
According to USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) rules, there are specific dimensions an official pickleball net must adhere to. The regulation height for a pickleball net is 34 inches at the center. Any permanent net should have a center strap for easy adjustment to this height.
At the net posts, the net should be slightly taller at 36 inches high. There should be a two-inch edge of white tape binding the top of the net.
The height of the net from top to bottom should be at least 30 inches. It is interesting to note that this means a net doesn’t necessarily have to reach the floor. There can be a gap between the bottom of the net and the court surface.
The net posts must be 22 feet apart from the inside of one net post to the inside of another, meaning the net itself must be at least 21 feet, nine inches to reach from one side to the other.
These rules are the same as those put forward by the International Pickleball Federation (the IFP).
Are there different sizes of pickleball nets?
While pickleball net height doesn’t change, pickleball players may come across slightly different net lengths during their matches.
For official tournament play, the net must be the regulation size of 22 feet across. However, pickleball court dimensions state that the distance across the playing area at the baseline and the center of the court is only 20 feet. Therefore, a net can still be functional at only 20 feet wide.
Some types of nets commonly come in smaller dimensions:
- Portable nets: This is often the case with portable pickleball net systems, which are smaller to make them easier to move around. Portable pickleball net systems often have wheels to aid with this ease of movement.
- Practice nets: You can also get even smaller pickleball nets, some coming in at just 10 feet across. These are mainly used by coaches as practice aids, or for beginners playing on small courts as they learn the rules of the game.
Permanent nets vs portable nets
The difference between a permanent net and a portable net is that a permanent net is built into a pickleball court and never moves, while a portable net can be removed or set up when needed.
Portable nets are more common on courts that are not always used for pickleball. Badminton, basketball, and tennis courts are often temporarily repurposed for pickleball.
Most pickleball tournaments are played on courts that use permanent nets.
Pickleball Nets vs Nets From Other Sports
A tennis net is 3.5 feet tall (42 inches) at the net posts and 3 feet tall (36 inches) at the center of the court. A tennis net is also considerably wider than a pickleball net, with a 33-foot-wide net required for singles matches and a 42-foot-wide net for doubles matches.
Though it is possible to play pickleball on a tennis court with a tennis net, it is not recommended. The added height and width make the game much more difficult. However, if you only have a tennis court and are just looking for a casual game, you can make it work.
Badminton is played much more in the air than either pickleball or tennis. This means badminton nets have very different dimensions.
A badminton net stands 60 inches tall at the center—almost double that of a pickleball net!
Despite this similarity in width (20 feet), it is impossible to play pickleball with a badminton net due to the massive disparities in height.
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