While the only way to play pickleball accurately is on a regulation court, the added challenge of playing on grass can lead to more fun!
There is no harm in playing on the grass. Nowadays, playing pickleball on artificial grass or astroturf is becoming popular.
This article will discuss pickleball’s playing surfaces, including artificial turf, and guide you in properly maintaining a pickleball court in your backyard. Let’s dive in!
What Surface Can You Play Pickleball On?
Pickleball is an increasingly popular sport in America, with over 4.8 million players of all ages, young and old. You can play it indoors or outdoors.
Although pickleball was first played on a badminton court in the 1960s, the game has evolved over the years and is now played on courts specifically designed for it, whose accurate dimensions are 20 by 44 feet.
To play pickleball accurately, you need a hard surface, whether it’s an outdoor court or an indoor gymnasium floor. It is mostly played on a pickleball court or a tennis court that has been lined for pickleball.
A concrete surface or an acrylic-coated surface of a tennis or pickleball court is preferred because the ball’s movement is more predictable and bounces high on hard surfaces.
A tennis court is often overlaid with a special rubber material to cushion the falls of players and increase the players’ grip.
Alternatively, you can play pickleball on clay, grass, asphalt, carpets, wooden floors, or any other hard surface, as long as it has been properly set up and you use the appropriate ball.
Can You Play Pickleball On Grass?
When it comes to pickleball, you can play it on pretty much any surface. You must have seen some people playing pickleball in their backyard, driveway, garage, or on the beach. People often host friendly matches among neighbors or family in their yards.
But playing pickleball on grass is challenging as the ball does not bounce. This means the players can only volley back and forth without the ball landing on grass surfaces.
Many other changes had to be made to accommodate the special conditions of playing on grass, which led to the invention of a new game called “Grass Pickleball” or “Sandy Pickle.”
This game is a mix of badminton and pickleball. You can read the rules for this new invention below:
- The courts are smaller because the players can’t run as fast across a grassy field.
- Because of the low height of the net, the server is at a disadvantage, as the opponent can easily make a kill shot. So, in the Sandy Pickle, the net height should be raised to the height of the tallest player.
- The kitchen, or non-volley area, also has to be reduced. The service ball cannot land in the kitchen.
- The most important rule for playing pickleball on grass is that the ball cannot touch the ground. Longer rallies make for a better player experience and are more thrilling to watch!
For more detailed rules of sandy pickle and court dimensions, click here.
Advantages Of Playing Pickleball On Artificial Grass
Pickleball courts made of artificial grass are an attractive alternative to traditional courts. They are easily customizable, durable, have a better grip, and the surface can bounce balls off of them.
Here are the advantages of setting up an artificial turf to play pickleball on:
1. Reduced Risk Of Injury
Playing on concrete or hard surfaces can strain your knees and lead to joint pain. And, if you fall, you can seriously injure the ligaments in your knee or end up with fractured bones.
But, an artificial grass surface will cushion and minimize the strain on your joints. It will also hurt less if you fall on the grass. Artificial turf is a safer and more comfortable option for older players.
2. Non-Slip Surface
It is important to note that artificial grass does not get slippery after rain because it is made from synthetic fibers, which continually air dry and drain the moisture faster. You can easily run across wet artificial turf without the risk of falling.
The non-slip surface provides better traction; hence, the players can practice for long hours.
3. Easy To Maintain
It requires less attention and maintenance than real grass. The artificial grass does not need to be trimmed regularly either. It can withstand the elements and does not wear down.
For cleaning, sweep it once weekly to remove debris and hose it down afterward to remove dirt.
4. Low Cost
A pickleball court is one-fourth the size of a standard tennis court. Due to its small size, a pickleball court is easy to install, and the installation cost is low.
How To Maintain A Pickleball Court In Your Backyard?
Although the surface of many grass courts is unsuitable for bouncing balls, it can be modified to make it more suited for pickleball. Here is how you can properly set up an outdoor pickleball court in your backyard:
- The playing surface for pickleball should be smooth and consistent. So, if you are playing on the grass, ensure the field is uniform and compact.
- Make sure that the grass is trimmed for minimum friction and better bounce.
- As you play, the boundary lines on the grass can get blurry, so be sure to use good quality chalk or paint to mark the lines.
- Many people use a rubber ball instead of a plastic pickleball, which has a better chance of bouncing on grass. However, you may not need to do this if you only plan to volley.
Playing pickleball in parks or yards is a great recreational activity you can enjoy with friends and family. A grassy surface is not standard, but according to the U.S. Lawn Pickleball Association, playing non-serious pickleball on grass is okay.
But for serious competitions, you have to turn to concrete or asphalt courts, which have a hard surface.
We hope this article was helpful and cleared up any questions you had about playing pickleball on real or faux grass.