All About Mini Pickleball Courts And A DIY Guide
Have you heard of mini pickleball? This fairly new variation of your favorite sport has many benefits that suit novice players. But are the differences between a mini pickleball court and a regular one so huge?
If this is your first time learning about this type of sport, I don’t judge you. Many people don’t even know that it exists!
This is why I am here - to teach you all about this variation and to answer all of your burning questions.
So, whether you plan on playing on mini pickleball courts or are just curious, this article is for you.
What Is Mini Pickleball Actually?
Mini pickleball, also known as skinny singles, is a pickleball that is a pickleball that is played on a smaller court.
It is a new, more accessible way of playing pickleball. For example, it is a great way for people with special needs or injuries to still enjoy this wonderful game.
To fully understand the benefits of playing this type of pickleball I will first explain the difference between the size of a regular court and a mini pickleball court.
The Difference In Size Between Mini Pickleball And Regular Pickleball Court
Unlike regular pickleball court sizes the mini pickleball court is 44 feet long but only runs 10 feet wide on both sides. This is a significant change from the regulation size of the “classic” pickleball court which has a width of 20 feet.
Proportions of the parts of the court stay the same but this beginner alternative to pickleball doesn’t require as much athleticism as classic pickleball games.
As you can see, the differences are not as significant as, for example, the differences between a tennis court and a pickleball one. Still, the two are not the same, and different dimensions can impact your game.
Can You Make a DIY Mini Pickleball Court By Yourself?
Of course you can. Pickleball was originally seen as a game that is much more accessible to people, unlike huge tennis courts.
It is a well-known fact that the cost of playing and especially professional training tennis is astronomically big compared to other sports, especially compared to other racket and paddle-based sports.
Since the court is relatively small the pickleball lines are much easier to draw properly, and nets (or substitution for net) are much easier to find or make.
Now when we scale down everything even smaller than a regular-sized pickleball court the cost and maintenance of the court get smaller.
Here is a quick step-by-step guide to making your own mini pickleball court in your backyard:
- Two tape measures.
- Something to mark the lines, such as chalk or painter’s tape.
- Sidewalk chalk.
- A pickleball net (make sure it’s adjustable, so it can fit the narrower court dimensions).
First off, you need to find a suitable location for your mini pickleball court.
Luckily, these courts are fairly small, so they’ll fit many backyards. Just make sure to include the room to run, serve, and swing!
If you only leave room for the court, you’ll find that playing might be quite uncomfortable, or even entirely impossible.
Mark the boundaries of the court. If you’re familiar with playing pickleball on a tennis court, you’re at a huge advantage. This process is almost entirely the same as adjusting a much larger tennis court.
You can check out the layout offered by the USA Pickleball Association for guidelines.
Keep in mind the different dimensions of the court. You want to end with a square that is 44 feet long and 10 feet wide, no more.
Otherwise, you’ll be looking at a regular-sized court, and not a skinny one!
When you’re done, make the lines bulky and fairly wide to make sure they remain visible throughout the game.
Once you’ve marked the outside perimeter, it’s time to mark the lines.
The biggest difference here is that the center point will be at 5 feet instead of 10.
Just like you did with the outer boundary, make sure these lines are fairly thick and visible. When you run over the lines, you might erase them - and you don’t want this to happen.
Finally, it’s time to assemble the net.
Finding a suitable net might be the trickiest part. Some players prefer to set up a regular net, just to keep the edges outside of the court lines.
In theory, this won’t ruin your game. However, if you don’t have enough space, having a too wide net might be a problem. Not to mention that the height of the edges might not match the standard measurements!
Luckily, you might be able to find some adjustable nets on the market.
While there are nets designed especially for mini pickleball courts, I would advise you to stay away from them. They are often too expensive and don’t offer many benefits.
An adjustable, portable net will do just fine, so don’t worry.
What Is The Smallest A Pickleball Court Can Be?
In theory, nothing is stopping you from making a pickleball court as small as you’d like. However, if you’d like to be a professional player, some rules have to be followed.
According to the USA Pickleball Association, pickleball courts should have dimensions of 44 x 20 feet (no matter if you’re playing singles or doubles). Anything smaller or bigger than that is considered improper.
As I’ve mentioned, mini pickleball is played on a court that is half as wide - its dimensions are 44 x 10 feet.
If you’re looking at official court sizes, this is what they are. Anything smaller is not regular, and you aren’t likely to find pickleball courts smaller than that.
Of course, if you’d like to play pickleball just for fun, feel free to make your backyard court as small as you’d like! There are many much more important factors you should consider, such as the type of pickleball paddle or a proper ball to play with.
Now you see what makes skinny singles so unique.
This type of court offers many advantages to players. For example, you are less likely to get hurt on a mini pickleball court.
Without making the sudden sharp movements that pickleball often requires in its regular games space, the risk of injuries is significantly lowered so there is no need to run to cover the court after serve or the sudden change of tempo in the game.
Also, a court of this size can fit many backyards, so you and your friends are more likely to be able to play it.
Now, this isn’t to say that there aren’t some downsides to mini pickleball, as well. Your movements might be limited, and most tournaments and associations won’t recognize it as a standard.
Still, there is something so relaxing when playing on smaller courts. I would recommend everyone to try it at least once!
Have a great game!