Pickleball Net Height & Potential Substitutes When You’re In a Bind

Let’s cut straight to the point. What’s the correct height of a pickleball net? 36 inches.

Now that you have that simple answer, let’s talk about things like why it matters and how it compares to tennis net height. We’ll also help you understand how you can adjust a tennis court net with a pickleball net converter.

Alright, let’s dig in.

Pickleball Net Height and Why There Are No Substitutions

36 inches tall. That’s the number Google will spit out if you ask it what the appropriate height for a pickleball net should be. But, that doesn’t keep quite a few people from being confused. It also doesn’t stop them from thinking that they can or should use tennis net height as a substitute if they do not know.

If you are just having some weekend fun with friends and the rules don’t much matter, substitute away. But, if you are preparing for a tournament match or just want to play the game accurately, the net has got to be 36 inches (91.44 centimeters) tall, without exception.

Obviously, this means you will need to invest in a pickleball net — it is the only way to ensure that the measurements will be 100 percent accurate in terms of both height and width.

Of course, you have probably seen folks at the park playing with a repurposed tennis net. But if you care about accuracy and perfecting your game for serious play, this just isn’t the way to do it.

It’s Closer to Badminton than Tennis

In fact, when the inventors of pickleball were coming up with the game, they based the net more on the measurements and size of a badminton net, not a tennis net. Let’s say you were going to play a super casual game with very low (or no) stakes.

Your best replacement, if you don’t have a pickleball net on hand, would be a badminton net. That’s because the measurements are going to be closer to that of an official pickleball net.

If you find yourself without a pickleball net often, there are portable pickleball nets you can find online for relatively cheap. This makes it easy to cart one around, and they are pretty simple to set up, too. But, if the problem persists, there are a few ways to McGuyver your way out of the situation.

Let’s take a look at a few ways you can create a makeshift pickleball net to suit the purposes of casual play.

Try Using a Net Converter to Adjust a Tennis Net

Using a net converter can be a quick and easy way to convert other types of nets into a pickleball net. And, best of all, it does not require that you bust out heavy-duty tools like drills. Likewise, you won’t need any nails, screws, or other hardware other than what’s included in the converter.

The best option available today is called the Convert-a-net. To use Convert-a-net, you’ll need a tennis net (despite what we mentioned earlier about badminton nets, which work well for other types of net DIY projects).

It only takes a few moments of your time and works through a series of weights and straps that tighten down the size of the tennis net. Ideally, you will have a tennis court to play on in lieu of a pickleball court.

If this is the case for you, simply choose which side of the tennis court to play on (since pickleball courts are much smaller) and begin the setup of your pickleball net using the Convert-a-net. Keep in mind that most tennis courts have been oriented in such a manner that they will help players avoid getting direct sunlight into their eyes while playing.

So, keep this in mind when choosing which side of the court you will set up your finagled pickleball net. All in all, when opting for the Convert-a-net, you’re looking at about 10 minutes of setup time before you’ll be able to play ball. Of course, there are other types of net converter kits, which you can find by browsing Amazon, Walmart.com, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and other similar websites.

The Ultimate DIY Pickleball Net

Probably the furthest thing from a regulation pickleball net that allows you to get out there and have some fun is to adjust a tennis net’s center strap. You can do this right on the court, and it doesn’t take long, either.

Keep in mind, pickleball net posts are a little over 20 feet and tennis net posts are more than 36 feet wide. But, there is a way to utilize a portion of the tennis court to play pickleball by simply lowering the strap in the center of the net.

To be as close to accurate to a pickleball net as possible, you’ll want to lower the center strap to 34 inches. This will put the edges of the net right at about the 36-inch height where a pickleball net should be. And, hooray, game on!

If you’re determined enough, you’ll find a way to play pickleball. And unless you are a professional tournament player, there are loads of ready-to-use and simple-to-assemble options out there.

From portable pickleball nets to entire pickleball courts in a box, you always have options that will get the job done. Even if it requires a little “makeshift-ing” along the way, we all know it’s worth it!

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