You’ve probably noticed that most pickleball courts are hard courts, similar to a tennis court. Finding a hard court whenever you want to play pickleball can be quite limiting. This leaves a lot of new players wondering; can you play pickleball on grass? To keep it simple, yes, you can play pickleball on the grass! It will be a different experience than playing on a hard court, though, and there are a few things to keep in mind for a successful match on a grass court.
Playing Pickleball on Grass VS Hard Courts
Most players are used to playing pickleball on a hard pickleball court. A hard court designed for pickleball is ideal because it already has the court markings, so each player knows where to stand and aim the ball.
Hard courts typically have an asphalt or concrete base with textured silica sand coverings. The outer layer makes for stable playing conditions even when the ground is wet. Silica sand is more comfortable to stand on than plain asphalt or concrete too!
- Great ball bounce
- Perfectly marked and measured pickleball court lines
- Flat, even surface
- A stable spot to play for any age group
- Limited availability – you have to find a hard court, schedule a time, and possibly pay a membership fee to use the court.
Playing pickleball on a grass surface has some unique challenges, but it can be done! Playing pickleball on grass will create less bounce than on a regular pickleball court. This is because the balls are lightweight, with holes throughout. A rubber ball will be a better fit if you’re playing pickleball on grass. Rubber balls are heavier and a bit bouncier. A rubber ball would bounce too much on a tennis court or concrete surface, but on grass, it’s just right.
Playing on grass can also be difficult because you’ll have to choose an area of flat grass, make the marks for a pickleball court, and adapt your skills to the new surface. It is a great way to challenge yourself and make getting court time more convenient!
- Convenience – a grass pickleball court can be enjoyed on your lawn, at the park, and so many other places!
- No need to schedule a time to play
- No membership fees to use the pickleball court
- Uneven surface
- More likely to be affected by the weather with muddy or slick spots
- No existing pickleball court outline
- Less ball bounce
Making a Grass Court
Most grass courts are temporary courts. Making a temporary pickleball court can be done with a few tools, including measuring tape, paint or chalk to mark the grass, and a net. You’ll begin by finding an area of grass that’s a flat surface with no holes or dips in the ground. A grassy surface with tightly packed, short grass will be better than an area with excessive grass.
Once you’ve chosen a spot, measure the court dimensions and mark it on the grass. Be sure to get accurate dimensions. You’ll need to keep the court’s baseline and non-volley zone. Next, secure the temporary net to bring your temporary court to life!
Since playing on grass differs from playing on a hard surface, it’s best to keep your expectations reasonable. Don’t schedule a competitive pickleball game. Just play some fun pickleball! Playing pickleball on grass is a fantastic way to get more time on the court, but it shouldn’t be your primary court surface if you’re preparing for tournament play.
Synthetic Grass for Pickleball
Synthetic grass, also known as astroturf, is another way to play pickleball on grass. The benefit of synthetic grass is that it doesn’t grow, so you’ll never have to worry about long grass getting in your way. Playing pickleball on synthetic grass is easier than playing on real grass because the synthetic grass will likely already be in an area that provides a flat surface.
The downside the playing on synthetic grass is the limited availability, similar to a hard surface pickleball court. Unless you have an astroturf on your lawn, it isn’t much more convenient than playing on other hard surfaces.
The Right Ball for Playing on Grass
Playing pickleball on the grass with the same balls you use for other hard surfaces is setting yourself up for failure. The traditional balls used by professional pickleball players and amateurs alike are lightweight plastic balls with holes. It bounces high when that type of ball hits hard surfaces like asphalt or basketball courts! When that same ball hits the grass, it will barely bounce, if at all.
The best way to avoid bounce issues during grass pickleball games is to use a hard rubber ball that’s a bit heavier and provides good bounce on any surface. Spalding makes a rubber ball that’s a great option!
It’s ideal to have some experience playing pickleball before you make the switch to lawn pickleball, so you don’t forget how to play with a regulation pickleball ball. Pickleball on grass can still be a competitive game, but it doesn’t meet the standards set by the Pickleball Association for sanctioned tournament play.
Pickleball is a fun sport, so don’t take it too seriously! Play pickleball on grass, concrete, asphalt, a badminton court, a tennis court, or any other surfaces available to you.
What Surface Can You Play Pickleball on?
Pickleball can be played on just about any surface. It’s typically played outdoor on a hard court. This is the same material you’d find on a tennis court.
It can also be played on real or artificial grass, indoor basketball court surfaces, and concrete. Makeshift courts can be made out of existing tennis courts.
Do You Need a Special Ball to Play Pickleball on the Grass?
A rubber ball is ideal for playing on the lawn. Pickleball association rules don’t recognize that type of ball for competitive play, but it’s fine for a friendly backyard game.
Can You Play Pickleball on Astroturf?
Yes, you can play pickleball on astroturf! It’s easier than trying to play pickleball on grass that may be too long, uneven, or wet.
Have Some Pickleball Fun on Your Own Lawn
Can you play pickleball on the grass? The answer is yes. You just want to have some fun and enjoy the social atmosphere of pickleball. Invite some friends over for a game and have some fun! Check back for our latest pickleball tips and recommendations to improve your pickleball game.