Tennis vs. Pickleball: Is There Mutual Guidance on Shared Spaces? | Sports Destination Management

Tennis vs. Pickleball: Is There Mutual Guidance on Shared Spaces?

Mar 05, 2023 | By: Mary Helen Sprecher

Tennis and pickleball. They both exploded in popularity in quarantine but pickleball, which had been booming before, has continued its stratospheric climb. It has been the cause of some tension and some turf wars, all of which are well documented.

Now, the U.S. Tennis Association, has created what it hopes is a template for both sports. Whether it will work… well, as with all plans, that remains to be seen. The document can be downloaded at this link. Here is a quick look at what it advises (in order of preference); the document also contains images of various types of facilities for reference.

Option #1: Sport-Specific Sites

The ideal solution, says USTA,  is the development and/or expansion of sport-specific public sites. (In other words, there should be separate tennis facilities and pickleball facilities.) Facilities can be offered either as one central complex (but with different courts for each sport) or as two separate facilities.

USTA Guidance on Shared SpacesOption #2: Non-Traditional Spaces

In the event that sport-specific sites are not possible, both tennis and pickleball can be played by creating courts for each in non-traditional spaces. USTA advised looking for hard surface areas that could possibly be converted, such as a concrete slab, multi-sport court sites and/or vacant parking lot locations. A court contractor can be brought in to measure the space, and to mark it with lines, as well as, if possible, to color-coat it for sports use.

Pop-up nets for tennis, as well as pop-up nets for pickleball, can be obtained affordably online; a search will yield multiple possibilities.

(Note: When contemplating any type of conversion affiliated with public facility infrastructure, safety must be at the forefront of all considerations. Further, local ordinances should be reviewed to ensure accessing the space for play is allowed.)

Option #3: Shared Use Of Courts

In the event that sport-specific sites and non-traditional spaces are not possible and in the interest of equitable offerings for both tennis and pickleball, destinations can still allow both sports to be played by having blended lines applied. (Note: Blended lines is the USTA’s term for multiple playing lines on any one surface.)

This recommendation is useful for sites with one or two tennis courts. For sites with three or more tennis courts, every effort should be made to utilize Options #1 or #2 because of the sustained growth and increasing public demand for both sports.

Diagrams can be found on the online document, illustrating how lines can be added to courts to facilitate play. Whenever possible, use the services of a skilled court-specific contractor to apply lines.

For additional information, contact the USTA Tennis Venue Services Team for complimentary consultative resources at or e-mail Other information can be found in the book, Pickleball Courts: Construction & Maintenance Manual, available at this link.

About the Author