Everything You Need to Know About a Pickleball Net (Dimensions & Setup)

Third Shot Blog

By Third Shot Blog

Pickleball, a fast-paced and increasingly popular sport, has gained considerable attention for its unique blend of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. Played on a smaller court with specialized equipment, pickleball is known for its strategic gameplay and accessibility to people of all ages. 

Among the essential components that make up this game is the pickleball net. Understanding the proper dimensions of the pickleball net height and width is crucial to maintaining an even playing field and ensuring fair competition. In this article, we will delve into the specific measurements required for a standard pickleball net height and width, shedding light on their significance in fostering balanced gameplay while enhancing players’ experience on the court.

Where is a pickleball net placed on the court?

In pickleball, the net is placed in the center of the court, dividing it into two equal halves. The net is hung or positioned at a height of 34 inches at the center and extends across the entire width of the court, which is 22 feet. It then extends past each sideline by an additional 1 foot on each side, creating a total width of 20 feet for the playing area on each side of the net. This configuration ensures a fair and balanced playing field for both sides and allows for engaging gameplay with the net serving as a central point of reference during matches.

The corner of a pickleball net post with the court in the background.

How high is a pickleball net?

A standard pickleball net’s height is 34 inches tall at the center of the court and 36 inches tall along each sideline. The varying heights add a unique element to the game and create intriguing challenges for players.

Hitting the ball down the middle of the court becomes an advantageous tactic since the net’s lower height allows for more controlled shots. However, aiming down the sideline demands extra precision and skill due to the higher net, adding an exciting degree of difficulty to the game. Embracing these nuances, players must adapt their strategies and techniques to excel in this dynamic and engaging sport.

In most cases, permanent nets come equipped with a practical crank mechanism located on one of the posts. This feature simplifies the process of raising and lowering the net to meet the game’s requirements. However, there’s no judgment for those who prefer to go the extra mile, carrying a tape measure in their bag to meticulously adjust the net before each match. Additionally, net straps, often designed with Velcro, offer a convenient solution to swiftly modify the net’s height before commencing play. By tightening the straps, players can lower the net, and conversely, loosening them will raise the net to the desired level. Embracing these adjustable features ensures a fair and enjoyable match for all players, regardless of their preferences or playing styles.

How wide is a pickleball net?

A standard pickleball net’s width is 22 feet long, extended beyond each sideline by an additional foot on either side. This seemingly minor detail plays a significant role in shaping the dynamics of the game, as it introduces exciting possibilities for players.

Unlike some sports where the ball must pass directly over the net, in pickleball, players possess the skillful option to hit the ball around the post, famously referred to as an ATP shot. This adds an element of creativity and finesse to the gameplay, making it more exhilarating when successfully executed. The net’s extension beyond the sideline adds an extra layer of challenge to these shots, elevating the difficulty level and increasing the admiration for players who can pull off such impressive maneuvers.

How far is the kitchen line from the net in pickleball?

In pickleball, the kitchen line is also known as the non-volley zone or NVZ. It is located on each side of the net, 7 feet away from the net. The kitchen line extends parallel to the net and is 7 feet from the net on both sides. Players are not allowed to enter the kitchen and hit a volley (a shot in the air) while standing inside the non-volley zone. This rule is in place to prevent players from getting too close to the net and excessively smashing or blocking shots right at the net, which could potentially lead to dangerous play. By maintaining a safe distance from the net with the non-volley zone, players are encouraged to play more strategic and precise shots such as dinks.

Two portable pickleball nets placed on a tennis court making room for two games being able to be played.

How to set up a temporary pickleball net

Setting up a temporary pickleball net is a straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you:

  1. Unpack the Net: Start by unpacking the net from its carrying bag or case. Lay out all the components and ensure everything is in good condition.
  2. Find a Suitable Location: Identify a suitable area to set up the temporary pickleball net. The court’s dimensions should be 20 feet wide and 44 feet long, with enough space around the court for players to move freely.
  3. Assemble the Poles: Most temporary pickleball nets come with poles that need to be assembled. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to connect the poles securely.
  4. Adjust the Net Height: Check the required net height, which should be 34 inches in the center and 36 inches on each sideline. Some nets have adjustable features that allow you to modify the height as needed.
  5. Position the Net: With the poles assembled and in place, attach the net to the poles using the provided hooks or fastening mechanism. Make sure the net is centered on the court and extends evenly on each side.
  6. Secure the Net: After attaching the net to the poles, ensure it is taut and securely fastened. The net should be at the correct height and not sagging in the middle.
  7. Tighten the Guy Lines (if applicable): Some temporary pickleball nets come with guy lines or tension straps to provide additional stability. If your net has these features, use them to further secure the net and prevent it from wobbling during play.
  8. Check the Net’s Alignment: Step back and double-check the net’s alignment to ensure it is straight and centered. Make any necessary adjustments to achieve proper positioning.
  9. Verify the Net’s Stability: Gently shake the net and poles to ensure they are stable and firmly in place. Make any adjustments or reposition the poles if needed.
  10. Mark the Non-Volley Zone (Optional): If you are setting up the pickleball net in a location without permanent court lines, consider marking the non-volley zone (NVZ) on each side using tape or chalk. The NVZ is a 7-foot area from the net, where players are not allowed to volley the ball.
  11. Inspect the Setup: Before starting play, carefully inspect the entire setup, ensuring the net is securely attached, the poles are stable, and the court’s dimensions are accurate.

Much like tennis, the net is a critical piece of equipment in pickleball. Understanding its dimensions, where to place it, and how to set it up is important to having fun and ensuring fair play in pickleball.