While pickleball is typically played on a hard surface like concrete or asphalt, there is a small section of fans who are also looking at grass as a possible option on which pickleball could be played. What about playing pickleball on grass? Can you actually go ahead with that option?
The best way to enjoy a game of pickleball is to book a court using one of the methods I have mentioned here, but is that the only option many wonder.
Some time ago, we had discussed whether pickleball can be played on clay and to extend this discussion it’s worth looking at playing pickleball on grass as well. After all, as some people reckon if pickleball can be played on tennis courts, by extension, surely it can be played on all types of surfaces tennis is played on including grass. Right?
Well, that’s what we will try to explain here.
So, Can Pickleball Be Played on Grass?
If you can get the grass to level off and compact, there is a possibility to be able to play some fun pickleball but at the highest, most serious level, grass could cause bounce issues.
Essentially yes, there is no stopping you from playing non-serious pickleball on a grassy surface. However, you would find competitive, professional pickleball competitions played on it for the simple reason it leads to variability of bounce.
You can look at the video below from the US Lawn Pickleball Association – yes there is a lawn pickleball body! – where a non-serious game of pickleball is being played in the background on grass.
Fun and games and the rest of the shenanigans aside, notice the issue with the pickleball bounce.
In fact the US Lawn Pickleball Association or the USLPA has been organizing the Pickle Cup over the years which is an amateur pickleball tournament played on grass.
However, frankly, more than it being a sporting event, it’s a pickleball party which sees participants grab a beer or a cola and dish out some antics while trying to volley the ball back most of the times. If this is your idea of wanting to play pickleball on grass, then by all means, read on.
Remember if you really want to experiment playing pickleball on a grass surface, see if you can avail of a tennis court – which would be difficult and a costly option. Also if you are looking at your own lawn as an option, try and shave off the excessive grass by mowing it and level it to an extent it reduces bounce issues as much as possible.
What Pickleball Should I Use for Grass?
A typical pickleball used on hard court surfaces might not work on grass as on most occasions it would fall dead without bouncing up too much. That would be an absolute non-starter obviously.
The alternative to that is to use a rubber ball.
The advantage of using a rubber ball is the bounce it affords even on grass, something which the plastic of a normal pickleball won’t allow. However, care needs to be taken the ball isn’t too heavy, keeping it as close as possible to the 25 grams weight of the original pickleball.
That said, if you are playing pickleball on a grassy surface, there is a good possibility you would inherently want to pick everything up on volley rather than allowing the ball to bounce and create some amount of confusion.
Making a Pickleball Court
So what do you do if you have a backyard or a space filled with grass and you want to play pickleball? For starters, the one thing you could do is to play the game on grass using a heavier, rubber ball.
However, if you are looking a slightly more professional set-up where you want to avoid the excessive unpredictability of bounce, then the better option is to build a make-shift hard court nearby.
It doesn’t have to be a court, just a hard surface, made of concrete or asphalt which is large enough to allow for it to fit a pickleball court dimensions.
Typically a pickleball court measures 44X20 feet and the non-volley zone or the kitchen is a straight line parallel to the net, 7 feet from it. The net is placed in the middle and is about 34 inches tall from the ground.
Use a chalk to mark out these lines and viola, you are done – you don’t have to worry too much about the rest of it, just go dinking at the pickleball! This may not be the most accurate way of building your own court but it is still a better option of playing a reasonably serious game of pickleball than on grass.
Obviously, if you are looking at a more serious game of pickleball and looking to build your own pickleball court, we will be updating another piece on the step-by-step guide how to construct it either from scratch or repair an existing court.
Conclusion about Pickleball on Grass
A non-serious game of pickleball on grass, a family having a time-out and hitting it out is all within the realms of the possible. If you have a lawn outside as your backyard which can be converted into a pickleball court, give it a shot and tell us how you went.
However at a more serious level of play or even practice, it’s tough to see how can the sport be played on grass without an increased unpredictability in bounce.
That said, it would also be very interesting to see how pickleball would fare if played on the Wimbledon centre court. Now isn’t that an unreal but wonderful proposition!