Getting Started

Getting Started

Once you have the basics down you are set! Bring your friends and family to play-they will absolutely love it. Most area Park and Recreation will have lists of places to play pickleball. However, if they don't try getting it started in your area! Here are pointers on how to get pickleball started in your neck of the woods.

Court Setup

As long as you have a hard surface and space, you can play Pickleball anywhere. It can be played on gym floors, hardwood, asphalt, tennis courts, and hard thinner carpet. Pickleball courts are often placed over existing tennis courts by simply painting lines or adding temporary painter’s tape. A tennis court net is slightly higher than a Pickleball net. To shorten the net, many players wrap bungee cords around the net posts and connect them to the net. This lowers the net to the appropriate height of 34″ in the middle and 36″ on the side.

However, if you are going to play indoors or outdoors where there are no dedicated courts, there are portable net systems one can purchase. You would then need to set up your court lines. There are a variety of ways to create removable lines. Some more common methods include chalk, chalk paint pens, or tape. As a note to the wise, set up your court in a north/south direction so that neither team needs to face the sun head-on.

Pickleball courts are 44 feet by 20 feet. The length of the court is divided into four sections. The centerline of the court where the net is placed is located 22 feet from either baseline. Seven feet away on either side of the net are two more lines called the non-volley lines, better known as "the kitchen." The remaining 15 feet on both sides are the service courts. Serves must land in this area completely clearing the non-volley zone line.  There is a centerline lengthwise down the court, ten feet from either side. Some of our very own PROLITE members have created their own courts. It takes time, but check out Rob Noonan's court. Spectacular work!

Diagram of Pickleball Court


The only equipment that is truly necessary to play Pickleball is a paddle and a pickleball.

Pickleballs look like wiffle balls, but are slightly heavier and have different hole placements. There are different balls for outdoor and indoor play. Outdoor balls have approximately 40 smaller holes and are heavier than indoor balls. This is to help compensate for the wind that will inevitably come up and affect your shot. Indoor balls are lighter and have about 26 larger holes.

Originally, paddles were made of plywood which if you were to play with nowadays, might slow you down. A necessary skill of Pickleball play is quick hands and controlled play. A heavy wooden paddle definitely slows the reaction time and has very little control. In the 80's a new type of composite paddle was created by Arlen Paranto, a Boeing engineer, while keeping to the traditional shape of the wooden paddles. Most paddles engineered today currently have a type of honeycomb core with either a fiberglass or graphite surface or carbon fiber facing such as PROLITE's Black Diamond Series. Paddle choices are abundant and vary in weight, shape, material, and handle size. If you would like more information on PROLITE paddles, contact We can custom fit you for your game and background.