Top 5 Pickleball Court Options – Which is Best for You?

As pickleball is a sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, it makes sense that it needs its own set up to get the full potential out of the game.

This can be achieved by tweaking existing tennis and badminton courts, or even making your own DIY court—but for true professional play, something bespoke is required.

If you’re in the market for a pickleball court, these are the five top options to consider.

1. Tennis court

Pickleball and tennis bear close similarities, with both typically played on indoor and outdoor courts.

A tennis court is much larger than a pickleball court, but they can be used for pickleball quite easily. However, it’s worth considering that professional pickleball cannot be played on a tennis court due to their differences so this is strictly for casual play.

Many pickleball players who use tennis courts add the markings for one or two courts (four can fit in, this is usually far too cramped for play). To avoid damaging the court, you also need to use proper pickleball markers or tape, and not paint or chalk.

On the plus side, a pickleball net is 34 inches high, and a tennis net is 36 inches high so there’s not too much of a difference between the two. It’s easy to lower a tennis net to make it right for pickleball.

All this set up can eat into your pickleball time, as this must be done before and after every single session if you’re using a sport centre’s courts.

This is a good temporary solution for new pickleball clubs and casual players, but not sustainable in the long run.

2. Badminton court

Another pre-existing court that can be used to play pickleball is a badminton court.

Both pickleball and badminton courts have a dimension of 20 x 44 feet.

However, the service net lines are different. The front serve line for badminton is 6.5 feet away from the center net, while the non-volley zone for pickleball is 7 feet from the net so some adjustment is needed there.

Badminton and pickleball nets are pretty much the same in length, but they are significantly different in height. A pickleball net is 34 inches high in the middle, while badminton nets are 60 inches high so you’ll need to buy a custom pickleball net to replace it.

Just like a tennis court, you need lay pickleball markings on a badminton court to avoid damaging it with paint or chalk, so additional set up time is needed.

While playing on a badminton court can be a great stop-gap, professional pickleball cannot be played there either.

3. DIY pickleball court

A great aspect of pickleball is that it can be played nearly anywhere with enough preparation. Setting up a court can be a great DIY project for the family.

The ideal set up requires a clear space of 30 by 60 feet, on a flat, hard surface with minimal debris. Grass won’t allow the ball to bounce! If you’re lucky enough to have this space available and want to make it a more permanent playing area, there are sport surfacing systems and services available to paint over the ground.

It’s also worth considering some kind of fencing solution to catch stray balls. Otherwise you may be spending more time chasing the ball than hitting it!

This is all covered in USA Pickleball’s Do It Yourself Guidelines.

4. Covered pickleball court

Covered pickleball courts are a great option for converting limited outdoor space into a durable, fully bespoke sporting area.

They offer a cost-effective solution specifically designed for pickleball. The regulation court is covered by a high sunshade canopy, and is usually completed by fencing around the perimeter to catch any stray balls. This allows all-weather play—come rain or shine—while providing top-level ventilation for players.

They can also be fitted with high-lux lighting to allow for nighttime play and ensure the ball’s visibility. This is essentially the covered court’s only running cost, as ventilation is supplied naturally by the open walls.

Rubb has recently supplied a covered pickleball court to a popular restaurant chain in Oklahoma. The court measures 63.5 feet wide x 63.5 feet long x 16 feet high, and has proven very popular with players of all skill levels. You can read the case study here.

Covered courts are often chosen over fully indoor facilities for a few reasons: their increased natural ventilation, minimal running fees, and of course, the lower cost of entry. This makes them an excellent choice for clubs looking to invest in pickleball facilities.

5. Indoor pickleball court

Custom-designed indoor pickleball courts are the cream of the crop, and are becoming increasingly common throughout the nation as the sport gains popularity.

They can come with a boatload of features, and are fully bespoke to pickleball’s requirements. Courts are fully sized for professional play. Wall colours and high-lux lighting are finely tuned to ensure the balls have peak visibility. HVAC units are supplied to ensure comfortable play year-round. Modular buildings can also be connected to include changing rooms, offices, streaming set-ups, etc..

Indoor courts also reduce disturbance for your neighbours. The average noise level coming from a pickleball court is measured around 70 decibels at about 100 feet away from the court. Rubb’s Thermohall® system not only provides best-in-class insulation, but also insulates sound. From airfields to heavy machinery, Thermohall® has provided peace and quiet around the world. Pickleball won’t be an issue for it.

Though these facilities are the gold-standard, they don’t need to cost a fortune. Fabric buildings present a cheaper alternative to traditional structures at reduced cost while retaining durability. Many Rubb buildings have lasted over 30 years. They also represent unique advantages, such as being able to dismantle and move the structure to a new location.

Rubb’s sport facility expertise can easily translate to indoor pickleball courts, with many years of experience installing top-class facilities worldwide. In fact, all the facilities pictured on this page were made by Rubb.

Bespoke indoor pickleball courts are firmly a premium option, but they represent the most feature-complete solution for any pickleball club looking to provide the best experience for their players.

Contact the Rubb team today to discuss your requirements.