How do you draw out your own court? In this guide, you'll learn how to create pickleball court lines from scratch.
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We have all had times when we wanted to line out a court from scratch on the ground. But how? Worry not, this is a concise guide on drawing your own pickleball court lines.
It's not as easy as it might seem. There are mistakes you can make doing so.
The main mistakes are not drawing all the lines, and not drawing straight lines. You don't want to spend time drawing court lines poorly, just to start all over.
Pickleball Court Dimensions
In the perfect world, you have three measuring tapes to ensure you draw the lines at perfect 90-degree angles. This guide will assume you have one though.
You need to know the proper dimensions for regulation size. The size of a pickleball court is 20 feet wide by 44 feet long, with a line seven feet from both sides of the net.
There is also a middle line from baseline to NVZ (kitchen) line, ten feet from each side.
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Drawing Pickleball Lines: 8 Steps
Find the right surface
Find a flat surface that is at least 20 feet wide by 44 feet long.
You want an area more like 30 feet wide by 60 feet long for some buffer. The surface can be made of concrete, asphalt, or any other hard material. Can even be indoor.
Lots of folks will do it on a blacktop surface such as the street in front of their house. This is not ideal, but works. Just be on the lookout for holes and cracks, which can make the ball bounce funny and, worse, can be dangerous.
CLICK HERE to view lift-up court lines, to skip the drawing process!
Set up the net first!
Once you have a surface in mind, next we will set up the portable net.
This is a debatable next step to do. But net first can be an easier way to do it.
Here is a portable net that can be set up quickly, as well as taken down and stored in a handy to-go bag.
Some players prefer to begin with the net set aside, starting at one point and doing all sidelines first, going corner to corner. This is an option, but we have a different method.
The "corner to corner" method will take practice and redos. But to each their own. Reference: The court's diagonal is 48.33 feet.
Assuming four players, have two people start setting up the net poles, while the other two begin measuring out from the net location and begin marking the sidelines.
Photo Credit: USA Pickleball
Measure the sidelines
Measure out the court dimensions using a measuring tape. Make sure one person holds their hand or foot on the origin spot so it doesn't slip.
Go one foot in from the end of your net, and then measure 22 feet from the net outwards on one side. Make a mark at that point.
Then do it again on the other side, measuring out 22 feet again, one foot inside of the net stand. These will be the sidelines of the court.
Measure the baseline
Once you have marked the sidelines, see if the two marks you made are 20 feet apart, as they will be near the net.
If they are, then you have marked these lines parallel, which is the goal, and you're all set to actually mark the lines (more on that later).
If they are too close or too far, you know you brought the measuring tape out at a slight diagonal angle away from the net. You may have to retry with this new info in mind.
Repeat the same line for the other side
Go on the other side and mark the same dots 22 feet from the net, one foot in from the net pole. And then see if they too are 20 feet apart.
You will soon have the shell of the court, an outer box. But there are two more main lines you must make on each side of the court. One up at the net, and down the middle.
Measure the kitchen line
Next, measure out the no-volley zone on each side of the net.
This zone is 7 feet deep from the net and runs parallel to the net. From the sideline, you can measure out 15 feet towards the net at any point to check if it's parallel to the baseline. Do this for both sides.
Decide how to draw the lines
Use a long straight edge, such as a chalk line or a piece of string, or the measuring stick itself. Connect the marks for the baseline and the no-volley zone with chalk or pen.
You may want to use painter's tape (picture above) instead of chalk. It's sticky, but easy to peel. This is important if you are playing somewhere that must be reverted back to "normal" when you are done, such as a public space used for other activities.
Browse court line tape on Amazon.
Don't leave permanent lines on someone's property or in public space! Chalk and painter's tape work well. But chalk will take some time to wear off. Painter's tape comes off immediately. However, the tape may leave signs of residue over the long run.
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Measure and mark the centerline
Up at the net, measure out 10 feet from either side of the court and make a mark.
Do the same at the baseline. Use the straight edge to connect this mark with the center mark you made earlier. Tip: You do not need to make this line inside of the kitchen.
If the kitchen line and baseline line up, this centerline should be 15 feet long. This 15 feet plus 7 feet in the kitchen make up the 22 feet length on one half of the court.
This should only take 10-15 minutes!
With a couple other people helping, you can make these dot marks and lines in about 5-10 minutes max.
Have two people set up the net poles, and once the structure is intact the other two people can begin with the first of the line measurements.
The key is to have some folks begin measuring the sidelines once the net poles are up. If there are only two of you, then no dice. You'll have to do net first, then lines. If there's only one of you...go find a wall? No easy solution!
This will get easier with practice. Hopefully by then you are able to find some real courts somewhere! But at times we have to make our own.
By following these steps, you can make your own court from scratch in ten minutes.
Remember to use a sturdy painter's tape unless you want to draw with chalk. Do not used duct tape. Electric tape is not ideal for its adhesive properties either.
And remember to measure carefully and use a straight edge to ensure that your lines are even. With a little bit of practice, you'll be playing pickleball in no time!
Click above blue links to view proper court tapes on Amazon.
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