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While court sports may seem pretty similar, many aspects of the sports are different from their racquets to their court’s sizing. Another distinction is the nets used to separate the player’s sides of the courts.
All nets function as an active division line for players and often have similar materials along their edges and centers.
Looking at the distinctions between pickleball net height vs. tennis net height helps show just what aspects of the nets are different.
These differences will explain why the nets, though similar in height, cannot be replaced with each other.
Both nets are made of similar materials. The mesh material of the net provides a way to prevent the tennis ball or pickleball ball from going through the net’s spaces.
These nets often have a vinyl headband around their edges acting as protection as well. Most nets will feature nylon as one of their material options too.
Net heights restrictions
Nets designed for sports like volleyball are made to be placed higher and are easy to separate from shorter nets that are closer to the ground like tennis and pickleball.
For sports like pickleball and tennis the nets are very similar in their height and composition though, making them seem similar and interchangeable.
Their like appearance does not mean the two nets are exactly the same.
Using the proper net when playing will ensure that the height restrictions of the sport are met and will allow you to better perform and win games.
Net restrictions change from sport to sport depending on the needs of the players and the way points are scored for the sport.
Net height restrictions are also made to help establish an overall dimension for a sport.
A set net height creates a standard for people to make sure they are using the same height for their nets, no matter how they are playing the sport.
Whether it’s fun recreational play, tournaments, or professional competitions, all the nets will be at the same height so each game has similar factors.
Balls of tennis and pickleball
Pickleball and tennis feature nets close to the ground as the tennis ball or pickleball ball are not meant to travel high into the air.
Rather, these balls stay low allowing for swift descents to the court’s surface.
This allows players to speed up the game and defeat their opponents.
These nets are also shorter in height to non-racquet court sports because their balls are intended to bounce on the floor of the court before being hit.
This means the ball will not be reaching extreme heights and shots will be around the height of the players, not exceeding much higher or else they will fall out of the lines and bounds of the court.
Hitting with a racquet will not require players to push the ball up, but rather through diagonals down below the shorter net’s top.
Like the ball used to play a court sport, the size of a court is a factor to the nets sizing. It will affect the length of the net and further explain the set height restrictions of the net.
When playing pickleball, you will notice the court is smaller than that of a tennis court.
In fact, the size difference between the two courts allows for a standard pickleball court to fit into a tennis court, four times over.
While tennis courts are larger in size they do not have a restricted section that cannot be hit from.
The longer court allows the player to stand back farther from the net as well to allow for a longer hit with greater speed and an increased angle.
Small pickleball courts allow for shorter bursts and lengths from your shots and an increased speed in the action of the game.
With a smaller court, the pickleball court also features what is known as a non-volley zone where players cannot volley their shots.
Heights of pickleball nets
Pickleball nets are made to have two different height requirements for the same net.
Unlike other nets where the net is a single height straight across its top.
However, this is a common trait seen in court sport nets as they must attach proper to the post holding the nets up.
It is important to judge the net’s height by the middle section of the net as it will be the most important height measurement rather than the edges of the net at the court’s sideline.
Rather, at the pickleball net’s edges which are located along the pickleball court’s sidelines, the net height is to be placed at 3 feet, or 36 inches.
However, the center of the net is placed lower than the sides of the net. The net lowers slightly to a height of 2 feet 10 inches, or 34 inches, in total.
This is caused by a strap placed in the center of the net used to hold the set height.
The short restrictions of the pickleball court do not affect the way a player hits their shots as they will often try to send the pickleball over the middle section of the net.
The net is 20 feet long to fit fully across the pickleball court’s length. Each side of the net is 22 feet for a total court length of 44 feet.
Heights of tennis nets
Similarly, a tennis net height is set with a measurement at the posts from which the net connects and stands from and a lower net height at the center.
There is no middle section band used to lower the net slightly though like in pickleball.
The net is attached to side posts making it taller in this area. These posts are located exactly 3 feet from the outside of the tennis court.
At these two posts, the net should be at a height of 3 feet 6 inches, or 42 inches. But this is not the area where you should focus your net height measurements too.
Instead, like in pickleball, focus on the middle of the net. For the middle of the tennis net, you should have a height of 3 feet, or 36 inches.
This is a slightly higher option compared to the pickleball net.
It is the same height requirement for the pickleball’s raised net ends. But this extra two inches to the tennis net can make a difference.
Playing tennis as either singles or doubles will not change the height of the net. It should always stay at 3 feet within the net’s middle.
The difference found within the tennis net’s measurements between singles and doubles is the length.
The standard length for tennis nets is 42 feet. This is a size larger than the court length as the post where the net connects is not at the direct end of the court, but farther out as previously mentioned.
This standard length is a great option for doubles, whose court has a width of 36 feet.
When playing singles, the width of a court drops down to only 27 feet wide.
This means the length of the net across the court will also drop as the court length is lowered.
Singles will often use only a 33 feet net which will fully cover the full court length.
But, if a group of tennis players are playing singles recreationally, and not in a tournament, and they cannot find a smaller court or net, they can still use the double’s net and court.
This is due to the court having the boundary lines for singles and they can judge the boundaries of the net by eye.
Setting up the nets
When setting up a pickleball net, you will start by securing the base frame and making sure the posts are secure.
Then slip the net sleeve over the two outward posts at the court’s base. Fastening the center strap to secure the height of the net is the final step.
To learn more about setting up a pickleball net, check out this quick video.
Similarly, for a tennis net, install the posts and anchors to the court’s end. Once installed, connect the net using loop ends and hooks.
Lace the cords through the ends of the net and knotting the loops to hold it in place.
Watching this brief video can further explain the proper way to set up a tennis net.
Pickleball net height vs. tennis net height
The difference between these two nets is very limited, focusing mostly on their height.
The materials used to create the stable net are very similar as they provide a steady, durable, and protected layering to your net to keep it in use for years to come.
When setting up these nets, you will also follow a similar process by connecting the nets to their court’s end posts in order to hold them up properly.
These court posts are where the first height difference comes in, as pickleball nets measure 3 feet and tennis reach 3 feet 6 inches at the posts.
But measuring from the center is the most important area to correctly test the formality of the net and make sure it is up with both sport’s restrictions.
Both measurements from the net’s ends will drop slightly as they reach the middle. Pickleball nets are at 2 feet 10 inches while tennis is at 3 feet.
This means the nets should not be used in place of the other for professional players, tournaments, and practices, even with such a small height difference.
For those playing either sport option for fun or recreationally, using the net interchangeably will not affect your game.
The height difference will not affect playing for fun and often the nets designed for recreational fun are designed to have height adjustments so you can raise and lower the net to fit your needs.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com