How to Lower a Tennis Net for Pickleball

How to Lower a Tennis Net for Pickleball (Helpful Guide)

Pickleball has become a worldwide sensation almost overnight. Even the pandemic hasn’t slowed down its popularity. However, there is a huge shortage of pickleball courts everywhere.

One of the reasons why pickleball is so appealing is that you can play it on a tennis court in case you don’t have access to a pickleball court. What if you plan to play a pickleball game with your friends but cannot find any pickleball court? So, you’ve decided to just play pickleball on a tennis court. However, do you need to lower the tennis net to play a pickleball game? Most importantly, do you know how to lower a tennis net for pickleball?

When playing a pickleball game on a tennis court, it is highly recommended that you should lower the tennis net by two inches. The easiest and simplest way to adjust the tennis net is to slide the center strap right or left a bit. This can be done in about 30 seconds. When done properly, the tennis net should be about 34 inches in the middle of the court. You can also use the center strap to bring down the tennis net to 34 inches in the center. But if there is very tight tension on the net, you might need to loosen them a bit by making some adjustments to the ratchet on the net post.

Here, we will cover how to lower a tennis net for pickleball. Let’s explore the proper way of lowering a tennis net for playing a pickleball game. 

What is the Difference Between Pickleball and Tennis Nets?

Before you start playing a pickleball game on a tennis court, you must know how to set this up. Even how small the changes are, they can likely affect how you play this sport. The main differences between pickleball and tennis nets influencing how courts adapt to the game include the net composition, setup, and dimension.

Net dimensions refer to the height and width of the net. According to the USA Pickleball Association, the regulation net for pickleball should be 34 inches in the center and 36 inches on the sidelines. Some posts are marked 36 inches so players can accurately set up the net before playing. When it comes to tennis, the center should be 36 inches rather than 34 inches. Keep in mind that these two inches can greatly affect your game, especially on down-the-middle shots. Those players who have transitioned from tennis to pickleball can immediately notice the difference.

With regards to the width of the net, the measurement in pickleball should be 21 feet and 9 inches long between the two posts. On the other hand, in tennis, the width varies. When played in doubles, the width is 42 feet wide, while for singles, the width is 33 feet. 

How to set up the net? A tennis net is larger than a pickleball net; hence, the posts should be much sturdier. Aside from being larger, tennis posts sometimes include supporting posts to guarantee that the net is stable. In comparison, pickleball nets are more portable and lighter, which is ideal when traveling to play.

Compared to pickleball, tennis balls are smaller and heavier; at the same time, they travel faster, so the net’s weave must be able to accommodate this. To ensure that the tennis ball will not pass through the net, it should be created in smaller net weaves. The ball is larger, lighter, and travels slower in pickleball, so the net should have looser or larger weaves.

Playing a pickleball game on a tennis court is quite common nowadays since tennis courts are more available. But before you can play pickleball, you must set up the tennis court first. A center strap might be needed to anchor the net at the center so it can be lowered to 34 inches. The court should be temporarily marked with the new dimensions, so players must use tape to do this. This can help to play pickleball accurately on a tennis court. However, before making any adjustments in the court, you should ask permission from the facility, club, or court owner.    

Since there is a major difference in the width of the net, then a standard tennis court will only be able to accommodate up to four pickleball courts. Converting a tennis court to multiple pickleball courts can be done easily by learning the difference between pickleball and tennis nets and using the regulation nets. 

Can You Use a Tennis Court Net for Pickleball?

Of course, you can! Most people who are playing pickleball for the first time play pickleball on a tennis court. Hence, using the tennis net is permitted. Ideally, you must adjust it from 36 to 34 inches in the center. To do this, you can use the center strap of the tennis net.

Although it is possible to use a tennis net for pickleball by making some adjustments, you can also choose to purchase a pickleball net. A portable pickleball net is lightweight, easier to carry, and can be installed by a single person in just a few minutes. 

Although a tennis net can be used for playing pickleball, you will find that it will be impossible to convert a pickleball net into a tennis net. Even though both have the same height, a tennis court’s width is longer than a pickleball court’s width.

How Do You Adjust the Height of a Tennis Net?

If you want to play pickleball on a tennis court, then you should know how to lower a tennis net for pickleball. Below is a step-by-step guide that can help you get through this.

Ask Permission

Although this might sound very obvious, it is the first and most important step you must take before making any adjustments. You have to respect the owner of the facility. You should tell them what you would like to do and assure them that you will put the tennis net back in its original position once you are done playing. Also, you have to assure them that there won’t be any damage to the net.

Check If The Tennis Net Is Adjustable

Tennis nets usually include a center strap that runs down at the center of the net. If you can slide this strap right or left towards the post, then the tennis net that you are using is adjustable. In case the net does not have a strap, then don’t worry since you can always find them online. Typically, nets also include net straps that can be used for adjusting the height and tension in the center. Sometimes a turnable knob or a lever is included in some adjustable tennis net posts. The net can be raised or lowered, and the tension can be reduced or increased by rotating this mechanism.

Put Markings on the Boundary Lines

So, what does this got to do with lowering the tennis net? Actually, there are two reasons for this. First, keep in mind that a pickleball court’s boundary lines are shorter than a tennis court. Second, there are two different heights in a regulation pickleball net. Both sides should have a height of 36 inches, and the height in the center should be 34 inches. In other words, don’t measure the tennis net on its posts; start measuring at the sidelines of your pickleball court.

What Happens If a Player Hits The Net in Pickleball?

Like in any other sport that features a net, the net plays an essential role in pickleball. Generally, the goal is to let the ball go over the net using a paddle. In pickleball, hitting the net can result in a fault, but in some cases, the game continues.

In pickleball, when you serve, and the ball hits the net and bounces to the appropriate service court, it is considered that the ball is live. During regular play, you can also hit the net, provided the ball has crossed over the net.

There was a let call in the early days when the player served, and the ball hit the net, avoided the non-volley zone, and reached the proper service court. But those days are gone. In case the above situation occurs, play will continue until such time that a fault occurs. This rule was changed to prevent players from arguing over the legality of a let call.


After reading this, most probably, you already know how to lower a tennis net for pickleball. Fortunately, the process is very easy and can only take a couple of minutes to do it. As mentioned, what you actually need to do is to check if the tennis net has a center strap so you can simply slide it to the right or left of the post so you can achieve a height of 34 inches in the center. Just lower the net and have some fun!

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