Backyard Pickleball: What You Need to Get Started


Pickleball has swiftly become one of the most beloved sports in the United States, blending elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong into an engaging game suitable for all ages. Its appeal lies in its simplicity, accessibility, and the flexibility to be played both indoors and outdoors. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or seeking a new hobby, pickleball promises a fun and challenging experience.

Setting up a pickleball court in your backyard can provide endless hours of enjoyment and exercise. Not only does it promote an active lifestyle, but it also fosters camaraderie among family and friends through friendly competition. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to establish your backyard pickleball court, from selecting the right equipment and surface to grasping the basic rules and strategies of the game.

Planning Your Space

  • Selecting the Right Location: The first step in creating a backyard pickleball court is choosing the right spot. You need a flat, open area that can accommodate a 20 by 44-foot court. It’s also wise to consider sun exposure and wind patterns in your yard to optimize play conditions.
  • Preparing the Surface: Once you have selected a location, the next step is preparing the surface. If you’re starting with a grassy or uneven area, you may need to consider leveling the ground and choosing a surface material like concrete, asphalt, or a modular sports tile system designed for outdoor sports.

Equipping Your Court

  • Essential Equipment: To play pickleball, you need a net, paddles, and balls. The net should be 36 inches high at the sidelines and 34 inches in the center. Paddles are typically made from composite materials, offering a balance between power and control. Balls for outdoor pickleball are designed with harder plastic and smaller holes than indoor ones to withstand windy conditions.
  • Additional Features: For those looking to enhance their playing experience, consider adding seating for spectators, storage for equipment, and lighting for evening play. These features turn your backyard into a more functional and inviting pickleball environment.

Maintaining Your Court

  • Regular Upkeep: Maintaining your pickleball court involves regular cleaning to keep the surface free of debris and in good playing condition. It is also important to inspect the net and boundary lines periodically for wear and tear.
  • Weatherproofing for Utah’s Climate: It’s crucial to weatherproof your court. This might involve installing drainage systems to handle rainwater and choosing materials that can withstand temperature variations without cracking or fading.

Getting Started with Play

  • Learning the Rules: Pickleball has a unique set of rules, but they are straightforward to learn. The game is played either as doubles or singles, and scoring can be quick, with games typically reaching 11, 15, or 21 points. Understanding these rules will help you and your guests get the most out of your new court.
  • Creating a Social Sporting Space: One of the best aspects of backyard pickleball is the social interaction it encourages. Organizing regular games and tournaments can turn your backyard into a lively gathering space that strengthens community bonds and encourages healthy competition.


Setting up a backyard pickleball court in Utah or any location offers a wonderful way to stay active, socialize, and compete. Each step in the process—from selecting the location to maintaining the court—is crucial for creating a space you and your loved ones can enjoy for years.

First, choose a flat, obstruction-free area with good drainage to prevent water buildup. Next, level the ground and consider installing a concrete or asphalt base for a smooth, durable playing surface. Once the base is ready, apply a high-quality outdoor paint or court surface coating to enhance traction and weather resistance.

Equip your court with a regulation-size pickleball net, paddles, and balls, ensuring you have enough gear for multiple players. Additionally, use bright, non-fading paint to mark the boundary lines, keeping the game fair and enjoyable. By following these steps, you’ll create a vibrant, long-lasting pickleball court that brings joy and activity to your backyard.