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How To Set Up A Pickleball Court, According To Albert Einstein

The pickleball court, reimagined through the lens of Albert Einstein's theories

July 06 2023

pickleball court dimensions

Time to put our thinking caps on to answer the question everyone’s been asking since January 2022: How do you set up a pickleball court? What are pickleball court dimensions? What is pickleball court size?  Who better to address the science that’s required to properly execute 2023’s cultural phenomena standalone pickleball court than Nobel Prize Laureate of 1921 -- Albert Einstein. Grasping the relativity of the game means putting that grey matter to work, out-of-the-box thinking, if you will. We're on a mission, a scientific expedition of sorts, to create a domain where pickleball and physics converge, otherwise known as 'Space-Time-Pickleball Continuum.' So let's learn how to build our own pickleball court, with Einstein's help, of course!

Pickleball Equipment Necessities:

  • 22-foot Pickleball Net
  • Outdoor Pickleball Court Tape – 200 feet
  • Four Pickleball Paddles
  • Pickleballs

How big is a pickleball court?

Step 1: The Concept of Space-Time (aka Location)

"A human being is a part of the whole, called by us "universe," a part limited in time and space."  – Albert Einstein

First, you need space, preferably a flat area of 20 by 44 feet to begin our pickleball court construction, so to speak. If you have a backyard that has been languishing in unrealized potential, now's the time to adapt it to the pickleball court dimensions necessary. Your own backyard and new pickleball court will soon be realized.

A potential backyard pickleball court. Photo Credit: Secret Garden Landscapes


Step 2: Measuring the Space

"Measurement is the first step that leads to control and, eventually, to improvement. If you can't measure something, you can't understand it. If you can't understand it, you can't control it. If you can't control it, you can't improve it." – Albert Einstein

These geometric shapes and lines, in their simplicity, hold the entire game within them. Start with the court's outer boundaries – a rectangle of 20 feet by 44 feet. Inside this, create another rectangle measuring 17 feet by 44 feet to form the boundaries for singles and doubles play. These are the dimensions of a pickleball court or the pickleball court size. At each end of this inner rectangle, draw a line parallel to the width to mark the Non-Volley Zones (NVZ). These should extend 7 feet from each end. The area within these lines and the net is considered sacred (it’s called “The Kitchen”), where volleys must not exist. Within these geometric boundaries lies the beauty of pickleball: a dance between power and precision, aggression and restraint. These are the standard pickleball court dimensions.

Once measured, use your pickleball court tape to create the pickleball court surface lines.

Pickleball court dimensions or pickleball court size. Photo Credit: Pickleball University

Step 3: The Importance of Gravity (Setting Up The Net)

"Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who sets the planets in motion." – Albert Einstein

Next, we turn our attention to the net. At 34 inches in the center and 36 inches at the posts, it forms the 'gravitational' field that influences our pickleball's trajectory. Einstein's theory of General Relativity suggests that objects move along paths defined by the curvature of space-time caused by gravity. Every hit, every serve, and every volley is a lesson in gravitational physics.

You can also install permanent net posts if you like, which will help transform your new court playing area into a formidable pickleball court worthy of being played on by even the most enthusiastic of players.

Photo Credit:


Step 4: Energy Equals Pickleball Squared (Create A Safe Surrounding Space)

"The mass of a body is a measure of its energy content." – Albert Einstein

We’ve adapted Einstein’s famous E=mc² equation in the fourth step: the creation of a safe surrounding area. Let's not forget: energy is paramount. Pickleball is a game of swift movement, dives, leaps, sudden sprints. It's a battlefield and you need room to maneuver. And constructing pickleball or tennis courts is no different. That said, a buffer zone around the court is essential, but how much space do you need? A minimum of 10 feet on either side and 21 feet on the ends should do the trick. It may seem like a bit much, but wait until you experience that swift dash adrenaline surge (for which pickleball is renowned) to make that seemingly impossible shot. You will thank this space.

A basketball court converted for pickleball leaves plenty room for safety. Photo Credit: Pexels
Photo Credit: Superior Play Systems

Step 5: The Uncertainty Principle (or The Effect Of The Surface)

"God does not play dice with the universe." – Albert Einstein

Finally, step five: the playing surface. Though pickleball can be played on a variety of court surfaces ranging from concrete, asphalt, or even grass, a hard, smooth court area is generally preferred for consistent ball bounce. And don’t forget to paint your lines with a stark color, to stand out against the existing court surface.

Whether it's glaring white against the dark asphalt or a sharp blue against the pale concrete, the color contrast is crucial. It's not just about aesthetics, it's about clarity and precision. An inch can make a difference, and a line can change destinies.

Maybe this has been a little more Heisenberg than Einstein, but hey, it still fits the narrative. The Uncertainty Principle states that you can't simultaneously know the precise position and momentum of a particle. Consider your pickleball as that particle. As a player, you can never be sure where your opponent's return will land, adding a delicious bit of uncertainty to the game.

There you have it ­– your pickleball court, reimagined through the lens of Albert Einstein's theories. It's not just an outdoor court or a place for leisure; it's a laboratory, a dynamic field where principles of physics are at play. Next time you take a shot, remember, you're not just playing a game. You're participating in an enthralling interaction of space, time, speed, energy, and gravity. Now, go forth and serve up some science!

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