Can You Play Pickleball On Grass And 3 Obstacles You’ll Face
The weather is sunny and the temperature feels just about right to grab a paddle, a net, and a pickleball, and play a game! But what if there are no suitable terrains nearby?
Pickleball can be played on surfaces such as concrete, wood, and clay. One mutual characteristic of these terrains is that they are all hard. But can you play pickleball on grass?
We all know that tennis can be played on grass. Let’s not forget about Wimbledon! Still, seeing people play pickleball on that green surface is not as common.
If you’re a fan of outdoor pickleball, you might be tempted to just tape some lines, install a net, and play pickleball on your lawn. Is this a good idea?
Is It Possible To Play Pickleball On Grass?
All outdoor and nature lovers will be thrilled to know that yes, it is possible to play pickleball on grass. However, there are a few catches.
First and foremost, the US Pickleball Association recommends sticking to hard surfaces such as concrete or asphalt. Grass is not on their list of suitable court surfaces.
In fact, almost no professionals will ever gladly accept to play pickleball on grass. They are aware of many obstacles that come with such a game.
Of course, nothing is stopping you from taking the equipment and playing a casual game in your backyard or in the park. However, you might notice that this will bring you more stress than fun.
What Challenges Are There?
As mentioned, there are many challenges you might face while playing pickleball on grass.
In fact, I dare say that playing pickleball on such terrain has more cons than pros!
Here’s what I mean and what are some of the things you need to be mindful of:
1. Not Enough Bounce
The first thing that will greatly impact your game is that you won’t have as much bounce on grass as you would on a hard surface.
Just try bouncing a pickleball on the grass. It’s not likely to move much.
While the same might be said for any type of ball, a tennis ball, for example, is much harder and tougher, allowing it a greater bounce no matter the surface.
A soft pickleball full of holes isn’t likely to have a good bounce. Even if you choose an outdoor pickleball over an indoor one, it still isn’t likely to achieve proper movement.
The only exception would be if the grass is really short and the dirt is really hard-packed. Even so, your pickleball will bounce much better on cement or asphalt.
In case you manage to bounce it once or twice, you are highly unlikely to make this a consistency.
2. Slower Momentum
You need good reflexes and proper speed to be able to hit the ball at just the right time. This might not be possible on sloppy, grassy terrain.
A grass surface doesn’t offer as much traction as a hard one. You might notice your movements are slower and it will seem as if something is holding you down.
Things will only get worse after the rainfall or if there is dew on the grass. Any amount of water will make things slippery, which will only worsen your momentum.
While all of this can (mostly) be avoided by playing on dry grass, this is still risky terrain.
3. Uneven Terrain
Finally, many grass courts are DIY and not official, properly prepared courts. This means they often have uneven surfaces that aren’t properly prepared for you to run on.
Even if you’ve done all you can to level the surface, this might not last for long. Rainfall might move the dirt underneath the grass, creating new slopes. Not to mention critters such as moles that will ruin your court in a matter of hours!
Not only will this make you lose control of the ball, but the uneven terrain can be a health hazard. It’s so easy to get seriously hurt when jumping around on a sloppy or slippery surface!
Are There Any Pros?
Of course, nothing is just black or white. Just because there are many cons to playing pickleball on grass doesn’t mean there aren’t some good sides to it, as well.
First off, playing on grass can complete the one-with-the-nature feel one tends to play when playing outdoor sports. There is something so liberating in playing pickleball under blue skies, on a natural surface.
Grass courts, especially DIY ones, can be much easier to find than professional, hard courts. You can make one in your backyard! Sure, it requires some space, but it will give you complete freedom.
Finally, some players love the challenges a grassy surface will place upon them. Controlling a pickleball on a grassy, uneven terrain will give your game a competitive feel like no other. Many people will feel a special kind of thrill during such a game.
In the end, it is up to you to decide whether pickleball on grass is worth it.
What Type Of Pickleball Is The Best For Grass?
Did you know that there are two types of pickleball? Yes, your ball will differ depending on whether you plan on playing outdoors or indoors. But which one is better for grass?
This one is probably an easy guess, but let me answer it anyway. It is wiser to use an outdoor pickleball than the one designed for indoors.
An outdoor pickleball is bouncier and harder, so you will be able to control it much easier.
Also, this ball is made to withstand various outdoor conditions. This mostly includes wind, but it is also rather suitable for uneven, natural terrains.
Still, I have to note once again that no ball will do exactly what you want it to when you’re playing on a soft surface such as grass.
You can buy the best pickleball on earth - it will still not bounce properly, and there will always be a chance of it moving direction after hitting a slope.
The same goes for a paddle. You can choose the best pickleball paddle out there - it will not do much when it comes to control.
So, can you play pickleball on grass? Or, more importantly, should you?
As I’ve mentioned, nothing is stopping you from having a good time and playing pickleball on any surface you’d like! However, if you wish to enjoy your game, there are a few things you need to be mindful of.
First off, it’s important to look at pickleball as a way to have some fun. If you’re here to play blindly by rules and have perfect control over the ball - this isn’t a terrain for you.
Playing on grass is unpredictable, but this is what makes it so fun.
Also, be very careful when running and jumping. Otherwise, you might fall or injure yourself in many ways.
Don’t expect to play a professional game. This type of terrain is for hobbyists only. A proper tournament will never be held on this type of surface.
There is a certain charm in playing pickleball on grass. You just need to have an open mind and expect the unexpected.
Have a good game!