Does Pickleball Damage Tennis Courts?

Pickleball and tennis are both beloved racket sports. They have some similarities but also have various differences. If you have walked by a local tennis court lately, you may have seen pickleball players in action. You may wonder, can they play there? And will it harm the courts?

While playing pickleball on a tennis court may not harm the court itself, there are concerns. Adjusting a tennis court for pickleball can lead to problems if not done right. Here we will debate around pickleball on tennis courts and its potential impact.

Pickleball And Tennis

Pickleball And Tennis

It’s important to have a fundamental understanding of both sports before we delve deeper into the subject.

Pickleball: Started in the mid-1960s, pickleball combines elements of tennis, table tennis , and badminton. Played on a small court with paddles and a perforated plastic ball. It is particularly popular with older adults due to its accessibility and low-impact nature.

Tennis: A well-established sport with origins dating back to the 19th century. Tennis involves hitting a felt-covered rubber ball with rackets across a net on a larger court. It is known for its fast-paced action and requires more space and infrastructure.

Are Tennis Courts Damaged By Pickleball?

Maybe pickleball damages the tennis courts. While pickleball can leave marks on the tennis court, it doesn’t actually damage the court if played properly. Soft plastic pickleballs make small divots on the court surface, but with proper care, they won’t turn into larger holes. The softer material and lack of fuzz reduces wear and tear compared to tennis balls. If you are concerned, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of pickleball damage to your court.

Playing Pickleball On Tennis Courts Is Controversial: Why?

Playing pickleball on tennis courts sparks controversy. Why? Because pickleball changes can disrupt the time and space of tennis players. The added lines for pickleball may make tennis matches confusing.

As pickleball grows in popularity, tennis enthusiasts may resist sharing their courts. Understandably, public tennis courts are limited, and now pickleball wants space too. While both sports use rackets, balls, and nets, they differ in court size, equipment, and rules.

Pickleball Vs Tennis Court

Pickleball Vs Tennis Court
AspectPickleball CourtTennis Court
SizeSmaller dimensions (44 ft x 20 ft)Larger dimensions (78 ft x 27 ft for singles)
Net HeightLower net (34 inches at the center)Higher net (36 inches for pickleball on tennis court)
Surface MaterialCan be various surfaces (preferably smooth, hard, acrylic-based)Smooth, hard, reinforced surfaces (acrylic-based)
Ball TypePerforated plastic ballFelt-covered rubber tennis ball
Racket/PaddlePaddle with no stringsRacket with strings
Gameplay StyleLess running, slower-paced ralliesMore running, faster-paced rallies
Conversion EaseEasily convertible, may need modificationsNot as easily convertible due to size differences
Popular UsageGrowing popularity, especially among older adultsLong-established, widely played sport
Scoring SystemGames typically go up to 11 or 21 pointsGames typically go up to 6 or 7 points (sets and matches)
Community AspectOften played in doubles, fostering social interactionPlayed in singles or doubles, social interaction varies
Impact on SurfaceCan leave marks but generally less wear and tearHigher impact, may result in more wear on the court surface

Tips To Avoid Damage To The Tennis Court While Playing Pickleball

Tennis courts can be challenging for pickleball. Scratches and divots can be caused by the hard plastic ball. Additionally, paddles may harm the paint or the court. Remember these tips to play pickleball without damaging the court:

  • Use pickleballs intended for the game, which are made of a softer material.
  • Paddles should only be used with rounded edges to prevent paint scratches.
  • Sweep the court to get rid of any debris that might damage the surface after each session.

Pickleball players can enjoy the game without causing damage to the court by using the proper equipment.

Cost Of Repairing Damage To A Tennis Court Caused By Pickleball

Pickleball can cause expensive damage to tennis courts that needs to be repaired. It costs $6,004 on average, though the exact amount depends on the location. If you intend to play pickleball on a tennis court, this is an important expense to take into account. The long-term damage costs are unknown because pickleball is still a relatively new sport, but it’s a good idea to budget for possible repair expenses.

Advantages Of Playing Pickleball On A Tennis Court

Advantages Of Playing Pickleball On A Tennis Court
Advantages of Playing Pickleball on a Tennis Court
– Cost-Efficient: Enjoy the benefits of tennis without buying new equipment.
– Similar Gameplay: Use a pickleball on a tennis court with a lower net and smaller dimensions, offering a tennis-like experience.
– Skill Improvement: Enhance tennis skills without the intensity of a full-sized court.
– Effective Exercise: Burn calories similar to playing tennis, providing a good cardio workout.
– Hand-Eye Coordination: Improve coordination while having fun with friends.
– Social Activity: Pickleball offers a new game to try on the local tennis court, adding variety and enjoyment to your routine.

Alternatives To Playing Pickleball On The Tennis Court

  • Badminton: Similar to pickleball but played with lightweight rackets and a shuttlecock.
  • Platform Tennis: Played on a raised platform with paddles and a depressurized tennis ball.
  • Squash: A fast-paced indoor racket sport played in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball.
  • Table Tennis (Ping Pong): A game played on a table with small rackets and a lightweight ball.
  • Beach Tennis: Combines elements of beach volleyball and tennis, played with paddles and a regular tennis ball.
  • Paddle Tennis: Played on a smaller court than tennis, with solid paddles and a depressurized tennis ball.
  • Racketball: Similar to squash but played with a larger, bouncier ball in a court with no tin.
  • Pickleball Court (Dedicated): If available, using a court specifically designed for pickleball rather than a tennis court.

Perfect Surface To Play Pickleball On

Perfect Surface To Play Pickleball On

The best surface for pickleball is level, cushioned, and shock-absorbing. This kind of surface, coated with flexible acrylic, protects players’ knees. While pickleball is versatile and can be played on concrete, grass, or clay, it’s often seen on tennis courts.

Both sports, tennis and pickleball, are similar in their playing levels. Many players enjoy both games. Tennis courts are easy and inexpensive to use for pickleball, requiring simple modifications to convert them to play pickleball. 


Are there more injuries in pickleball or tennis?

Pickleball has fewer injuries than other racket or paddle sports like tennis. Due to the smaller court size and underarm serving, less force is applied to your shoulders and legs.

Which is harder on the knees tennis or pickleball?

Tennis requires high strength, fast siprits, explosive movement and endurance to hit the ball. Pickleball is easier on the joints and muscles because there is less distance to cover on the smaller courts, even though the movements required are similar.

Why am I so sore after playing pickleball?

Pickleball is an activity that needs movement on your part. While chasing the ball and trying to return shots, you may experience sudden movements or rapid stops. You may experience knee pain as a result of these activities since they can tax the knees.

Why do people like pickleball more than tennis?

Additionally, since a paddle is lighter and smaller than a tennis racket, it is much easier to handle. In pickleball, you also serve underhand, and the underhand serve is easier to hit and return.

Is pickleball losing its popularity?

The Sports and Fitness Industry Association reports that pickleball participation has increased 202 percent in just three years. It’s an impressive statistic that explains how pickleball is becoming more popular in the sports world. Pickleball is even being used by indoor malls to fill empty storefronts.

Final Thoughts

Does Pickleball Damage Tennis Courts? While pickleball offers a fun alternative to tennis, its impact on tennis courts raises valid concerns. While the damage may not be immediate, the potential for long-term wear and the associated repair costs can not be ignored. However, with the right precautions, such as using proper equipment and regular maintenance, players can minimize damage to the tennis courts.

If pickleball fans wish to enjoy the game without compromising tennis facilities, it may be worthwhile in dedicated pickleball courts or exploring other racket sports. As with any sport, balance and consideration for shared resources is essential.

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