Pickleball Guides

Pickleball Net vs Tennis Net

Pickleball Net vs Tennis Net
Written by Alex

It has always been known that pickleball has inherited similar features from tennis, badminton, and table tennis, such as the use of a net, scoring systems, and the basic concept of volleying. 

This shared heritage is why some individuals might claim that even the nets themselves bear resemblance to those found in those older sports, however, if you take a look at the technical specifications, pickleball nets have distinct differences in height and width compared to their counterparts in those other racquet sports.

In this article, we are going to shed light on the key differences between Pickleball Net Vs Tennis Net and even further discuss the topic by exploring how these differences impact gameplay for pickleball 

Properties of PIckleball Net

Before we dig into the differences, it is crucial to know the various properties of a Pickleball net which includes its height, width, mesh size, and headband material.

  1. Dimensions Specifications

Let us start with the most technical aspect, the overall dimensions and specifications of a pickleball net,


The height of a pickleball net is strategically set to encourage close-quarters volleying and dinking and hangs at 36 inches or 91.4cm at the sidelines all while being slightly lower in the center (34 inches or 86.36 cm) which means you may notice a slight downward curve or dip in the net towards the center.

Nevertheless, this is normal and certainly adheres to the official rules of pickleball.


Next, is the width of the net, which measures 22 feet or 6.7 meters if you aren’t familiar with imperial units. And regardless of the settings whether you’re playing indoors or outdoors, singles or doubles, the net remains a crucial piece of equipment that defines the playing area and court dimensions.

Mesh Size

Since the ball used in pickleball measures approximately 3 inches in diameter, the mesh size of the net is designed to be small enough to prevent it from passing through it. In technical terms, the mesh size of the pickleball net measures at 1.25 inches approximately or 3.2cm.

  1. Material Type

Let’s take a dig at the materials that are being used in a pickleball net, 


Usually, the fabric used in most pickleball nets is a weather-resistant material like nylon or polyethylene to withstand outdoor play and is in the form of woven mesh. Moreover, the color of the fabric is darker in color to ensure it is visible regardless of the weather you play your sessions in.

Metal Type

No net is complete without its structural support, typically a pickleball net includes posts to hold it upright and a center strap to maintain the correct height which is made from weather-resistant materials like powder-coated steel or galvanized metal to prevent rust and corrosion. There may also be scenarios in which premium-grade nets would be used with aluminum clamps to further reinforce the net.

However, you may also notice that in outdoor private courts, the poles are usually made from fiberglass which is a lightweight yet durable material offering flexibility and portability, however, they are usually used to counter heavy gusts of winds because they can withstand bending without breaking all while maintaining decent levels of structural integrity.

Properties Of Tennis Net

Enough about the Pickleball net, now let us dive down into its itty bitty details a Tennis Net,


For obvious reasons, a tennis net hangs quite high unlike a pickleball net. Starting with the height of the net, in tennis, the net measures 3 feet and 6 inches or 1.07 meters at the side posts and 3 feet or 0.914 meters at the center approximately. 


As far as the width is concerned, it measures 42 feet (12..8 meters) for doubles play, which is significantly wider than a pickleball net’s 22 feet ( 6.7 meters), however, the width is shortened to 27 feet (8.23 meters) for singles matches. Remember that the net itself does not physically change. Only the sidelines of the court are adjusted for singles play.

Mesh Size

When compared to pickleball’s net, you wouldn’t notice much difference in terms of the mesh size of a tennis net because it is also designed to be small enough to prevent the ball from passing through, ensuring fair play and a consistent playing experience. In Technical terms, it measures around 1.75 inches (4.45 cm).

As you might have noticed the differences between a pickleball net and a tennis net are that pickleball nets are lower and narrower, influencing gameplay by encouraging close-quarters volleying and dinking, while a tennis net’s greater height and width promote powerful groundstrokes and a wider range of shot angles.

Installation Of Tennis & Pickleball Net

On paper, there isn’t much of a difference in both of the nets when installed as they utilize similar mechanisms, such as posts, a center strap, and a net cable for tensioning. Here’s a breakdown of how to install each type of net

  1. The first and foremost thing Ensure you have enough space for corresponding sports. Make sure the dimensions adhere to the regulation size for the Tennis Court which is 78 feet in length and has a width of 27 feet for singles or 36 feet wide (doubles). Meanwhile, for Pickleball Court the dimensions have to be 44 feet long x 20 feet wide.
  2. Next, make sure you dig holes for the posts to be settled in and to provide support for proper anchoring, use cement or concrete, keep in mind the posts have to be at least 3.5 feet tall at the center of the court.
  3. Now, use the headline cable and insert it towards the posts which is used as a pulley and winder for tensioning or a simple loop to tie it in place.
  4. Simply, secure the other end of the headline cable to the opposite post by repeating the process.
  5. Depending on the length of the cable you may have, you might need to apply tension onto it once it is hooked across the post until the net is taut, make sure sure measure the dimensions afterward to adhere to each rule set by the corresponding sports organizations, such as the USAPA (USA Pickleball Association) and the ITF (International Tennis Federation).
  6. Finally, make sure each end of the net posts is secured using straps or ground anchors to prevent movement and ensure player safety.
  7. Additionally, you can also use weighted bases if you are living in windy conditions.

Post Maintenance Of Nets 

Your journey of your net erection hasn’t ended yet, there is still some passive work to do if you have deployed it in your own private space, Here is some essential maintenance you need to be doing, 

  1. Regular Leveling 

Harsh weather conditions like rain, hailstorms, and winds can cause your net to become uneven or the posts to become bents due to pressure strain from ambiance, in that case, you need to make sure you examine the net posts for any bends, cracks, or signs of weakening. Check the net itself for tears or loose cables.

However, you also need to do some realignment in the post in case they have moved or shifted. All you have to do is gently straighten them back into position. You might need to re-secure them with additional ground anchors or weights if the winds are strong enough in your area.

Once you are done, you might need to measure the net size and the posts to verify that you have the correct net height and court dimensions.

  1. Weather Protection

Nothing can survive the harsh temperature if it’s kept outside for too long, whether it’s direct, rain, or wind, one way or another, it’s going to take a toll on it resulting in the net’s integrity loss. In that case, if you are planning for a vacation or simply don’t have time to hit the court, it is in your best interest that you store it in some cool and dry place where direct UV rays aren’t hitting it because you do not want to the nylon fabric or the iron bolts to catch rusts.

Are Pickleball And Tennis Nets The Same Height?

While they may appear similar at first glance, a tennis net is far larger in height. A tennis net is a whopping 6 inches taller at the posts and maintains the same 36-inch center height as a pickleball net. 

This variation in height is due to the different requirements and the nature of the sports, in Tennis, the shots have to be hit with greater power and a higher trajectory to clear the taller net, meanwhile, in Pickleball, the emphasis is on controlled, soft shots (dinks) and strategic placement near the net, taking advantage of the lower net height.

Nevertheless, in any case, the dimensions of each sport must always be different and you cannot use the net interchangeably, at least in competitive settings.

And That’s A Wrap

Knowing the essential technical details behind the nets used in both of these sports could give you a brief idea of whether you’re playing by the official rules of each sport because there are plenty of players out there still making mistakes in terms of dimensions which usually results in hitting the ball below the net height, or misjudging a dink shot due to the various discrepancies between the two sports.

On the other hand, it is also wise that you take care of your net and store it properly, if you want it to last long because these nets aren’t cheap, and installing them maybe even more expensive due to labor costs if you aren’t doing it by yourself. 

About the author


Hello, I'm Alex, and welcome to PicklerSpot – your ultimate resource for all things pickleball! I've curated this blog to share my 5 years of expertise and tips to enhance your pickleball skills.

Leave a Comment