If you’ve got an old tennis court that’s not being used—whether in your own backyard or in a public space—one of the best tennis court conversion ideas is to turn it into one or more pickleball courts. As the fastest-growing sport in America, pickleballers always need more courts! Check out the other options for your old tennis court below.
9 Tennis Court Conversion Ideas
One of the best uses for an old tennis court is to repurpose the space into pickleball courts. Pickleball can be played on a tennis court surface. In fact, outdoor tennis courts and outdoor pickleball courts usually use the same hard court surfaces.
The easiest way to transform an existing tennis court into a new pickleball court is to simply lower the tennis net and paint new lines. The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) has a guide to transforming tennis courts into pickleball courts which can be found here.
If you want to create more space for pickleball, you can use the same space as a tennis court to create two pickleball courts (one on each side of the net). This will require you to purchase two pickleball nets, however.
If you want a more permanent and professional-looking pickleball court, you can purchase tile systems from a number of manufacturers (here is an example from Net World Sports). These lock together on top of your existing surface and feature pre-painted lines, providing a ready-to-play pickleball surface straight after installation.
Another use for homeowners with a tennis court in their backyard is to transform it into a basketball court. This is relatively easy to do, as the surface used for outdoor tennis courts (usually asphalt) is similar to what you’d find on public basketball courts.
There are two options for those looking to turn their tennis court into a space for basketball.
- The easiest option is to simply take down the tennis net and put up one or two basketball hoops. This provides a space for shooting and casual play.
- If you want a more complete court conversion—including full basketball lines for the ability to play proper matches—you’ll need to paint over your existing tennis lines. Another option is to purchase court tile systems.
Turning your existing tennis court into a volleyball court is another relatively easy court conversion. Tennis courts are slightly bigger than volleyball courts:
- 78 feet by 36 feet for a tennis court
- 59 feet by 29.5 feet for a volleyball court
If you’re not fussed about having a correctly proportioned volleyball space, it is perfectly possible to simply replace the net and play on your existing tennis court. Otherwise, you can repaint the lines to create a correct volleyball court size, or alternatively purchase a tile system.
Volleyball can be a little dangerous on a hard court. It is usually played either on sand or on indoor courts, due to the amount of jumping and potentially falling the sport induces. More serious players wanting to play intense volleyball matches might be better off resurfacing the tennis court or using a tile system.
Badminton courts are smaller than tennis courts and have a different-sized net—you will have to choose whether to completely repaint your surface or use tape/paint to add badminton lines on top of the pre-existing tennis court.
Badminton is a great casual game to play with the whole family. However, due to how light the shuttlecock is, it can be difficult to play outside as the shuttlecock is strongly affected by the wind.
If you simply want a space for the family to have a casual game, an outdoor tennis court should suffice. However, if you are a serious badminton player looking to play proper matches, you might find yourself frustrated by the adverse effect of the weather on your games.
Play Area for Kids
A more dramatic repurposing of your old tennis court would be to transform it into a play area! You would want to resurface the court with a softer, safer material before adding play equipment.
There are plenty of DIY playground sets that can be set up by hand, or you could pay an independent contractor to create your perfect play area for you. Either way, if you’re building a play area for your own kids, get them involved in the process!
Multipurpose Game Court
If you don’t want your old tennis court to be turned into a single-use space, why not transform it into a multipurpose game court? Using the space that a tennis court takes up, you could add a number of different mini-games, such as a bocce ball court or a putting green.
Another option would be to turn the old tennis court into a multipurpose general sport court like you find at many park playgrounds. This would allow soccer, basketball, dodgeball, and many other sports to be enjoyed on the space without tying it down to any particular option.
Another option for an existing tennis court, whether in your own backyard or in a public park, is to turn it into a dog park.
A dog park is an area for dogs to run free off the leash. They can play with other dogs and enjoy themselves within a fenced-off area, meaning their owners won’t disturb other park users and don’t have to worry about their furry friends escaping!
A dog park could definitely be an area of hard court, but that might not be very nice for your canine users. Consider resurfacing the area with real or artificial grass or sand to make it more appealing and comfortable for the dogs.
A great option to use the space of an old tennis court is to create a BBQ area. Like the dog park, this works both as a backyard and a public park option.
A BBQ area should be comfortable and enjoyable to sit in. Try adding real or artificial grass to make it more visually appealing, as well as some benches and tables to make it functional.
If you wanted to get really fancy, you could rig up a grill area with a permanent grill or barbecue. You can also set aside an area for people to set up their own portable grills. A nice addition to a BBQ area is a fire pit.
If you want to switch things up, consider changing your tennis court into an outdoor swimming pool!
This is a serious piece of construction work. Most people likely won’t be able to do this themselves (unless you happen to be trained in those skills already!). Converting your tennis court into a swimming pool is expensive, but it’s also exciting—especially if the tennis court you’re converting is in your backyard.
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