Pickleball net rules & dimensions (including 2024 rule changes)

Learn everything you need to know about the pickleball net, including pickleball net rules and pickleball net dimensions.

Jaclyn Brandt

pickleball net

06/25/2024

June 25, 2024

Learn everything you need to know about the pickleball net, including pickleball net rules and pickleball net dimensions.

CONTENTS

Newsletter

Stay up to date with out latest news and articles

Thank you for subscribing 🎉

Related Articles

The net is one of the most important pieces of the game of pickleball. Learn everything you need to know about the pickleball net, including pickleball net rules and dimensions.

Pickleball net dimensions

Pickleball was invented as a hybrid of many sports, including badminton, tennis, volleyball, table tennis, and others. While it was played (at least for the first few days) with a badminton net at the same height as badminton is played, eventually they decided that placing the net closer to the ground would make it a better game.

The pickleball net dimensions should be:

  • The net itself should be at least 30 inches high.

  • The net should be at least 21 feet, 9 inches wide.

  • The net should be 36 inches off the ground at the net posts.

  • The net should be 34 inches off the ground at the center.

  • The net should be 22 feet wide from the inside of one post to the other post.

    • Because the court is 20 feet wide, there will be up to one foot of net on each side of the court.

Learn more about all pickleball court dimensions.

Pickleball net materials

According to the USA Pickleball rules, the pickleball net must be made of any mesh fabric material, and it cannot allow the ball to pass through it.

Pickleball net posts

Pickleball net posts should be 22 feet from the inside of one post to the other post. The court is 20 feet wide, so the net will be an additional one foot on each side of the court. The net should be at least 21 feet, 9 inches wide.

Net posts themselves should not be more than 3 inches in diameter.

Pickleball net height

The pickleball net should be at least 30 inches high from the bottom edge of the net to the top, but should be 36 inches high at the posts.

The net should be 34 inches high at the center.

Pickleball net edges

The top of the net should have a 2-inch edge made of white tape binding, over a cord or cable that runs through the binding.

Hitting the net with the pickleball ball (USA Pickleball Rule 4.A.2)

Hitting the net during the serve

  • When you serve the ball in pickleball, the ball is allowed to hit the net on the way to the other side of the court.

  • The ball must land in the same area that any serve must land in.

    • On the opponent’s side of the court, crosscourt from where the server is standing.

    • On or within the baseline, sideline, and center line.

    • Outside of the kitchen area, which includes the kitchen line

      • The ball may not land in the kitchen OR on the kitchen line).

Hitting the net during a rally

  • The ball may also hit the net during a rally, but must land in the proper areas on the other side of the court.

    • On the opponent’s side of the court.

    • On or within the net, baseline, and sidelines.

Other faults caused by the ball hitting the net (during both the serve and rally)

  • While you may hit the ball into the pickleball net, as long as it lands in the proper zone, you may not hit the ball into the net without it crossing over to the opponent’s side.

    • This will cause a dead ball and a fault is called as soon as the ball hits the ground.

  • You may not hit the ball under the net or between the net and net post.

Draping Pickleball Net rule (Rule 2.C.6)

  • According to the Draping Net rule, a replay will occur if the ball goes over the net and hits a draping net on the ground, except on the serve.

Previously, a referee would need to determine if the ball was affected by the draped net. But according to the new 2024 USA Pickleball rules, a replay will be called without any qualification in both officiated and non-officiated pickleball games.

Permanent objects rules

It is a fault if the ball hits a permanent object during play, including net posts (but not the net itself).

  • A permanent object is any object near, on, or above the court that can interfere with regular play.

  • This includes during a rally and during a serve.

  • Permanent objects can include:

    • Ceilings.

    • Walls.

    • Fencing.

    • Lighting.

    • Fixtures.

    • Pickleball net posts.

    • Net post legs.

    • Spectator stands or chairs.

    • The referee and line judges.

    • Spectators.

    • Any other items near or on the court.

  • The net is not included as a permanent object, and (with a few exceptions), the ball is allowed to hit the net during play.

  • During a rally, it will be a dead ball if the ball hits any permanent object after it has bounced on your opponent’s court. The player who hit the ball wins the rally.

Plane of the net (Rules 3.A.27 & 11.I)

The plane of the pickleball net is imaginary extensions of the net on all sides of the net, including above, below, and to the right and left sides.

  • It is a fault if you cross the plane of the net before you hit a ball.

  • After you hit a ball, you (or anything you are wearing or carrying) may cross the plane of the net.

  • While the ball is live, you can never touch:

    • Any part of the net system (including the net).

    • Any permanent object.

    • Your opponent’s court.

    • Your opponent.

  • Exception to the plane of the pickleball net rule: If the ball bounces into your court (as the receiving team) and then wind or backspin causes it to return to your opponent’s side of the net without you touching it, you may cross the plane of the net (over, under, or around the net post) to hit the ball.

    • You must wait until the ball has crossed back over to your opponent’s plane of the net before you touch the ball, or it is a fault.

    • During this play, you (or anything you are wearing or carrying) must not touch the net system, your opponent’s court, or your opponent.

Around the Net rule (Rule 11.L and 11.M)

  • The Around the Net Rule says that you are allowed to go around the net post to hit the ball.

    • If you cross the imaginary extension line of the net:

      • You must not cross the plane until after you hit the ball.

      • You, including anything you are wearing or carrying, must not touch your opponent’s court.

      • If you go around the net post and cross the imaginary extension line of the net, but you do not make contact with the ball, it is a fault.

  • The ball does not need to travel back over the net.

    • E.g.: A player may return the ball around the net post to the side of the net. 

  • There are no rules about the height of the return.

    • E.g.: A player may return the ball around the net post below the height of the net. 

Additional pickleball net rules

  • A player, or anything the player is wearing or carrying, may not touch the net system, including the net, net posts, or the opponent’s court when the ball is live.

  • The ball may touch the top of the net or the top net cable/rope that is between the net post and the net (as long as it lands inbounds).

  • A player may not hit the ball before the ball entirely crosses the plane of the net (entering into their side of the court) during a live ball.

  • A ball may not touch the net posts (or any other permanent object) at any time during live play, or it is a fault and will cause the team who hit the ball to lose the rally.

For pickleball nets with a horizontal bar or center base (Rule 11.L.5)

If your pickleball net has a horizontal bar or center base, there are some additional pickleball net rules you will want to follow:

  • If your ball hits the horizontal bar or center base before going over the net, it is a fault.

    • It does not matter if the ball lands in bounds or out of bounds..

  • During a rally (not the serve), a replay will occur if the ball goes over the net, and:

    • Hits the center base.

    • Hits any part of the horizontal bar.

    • The ball gets caught between the net and the horizontal bar.

    • Hits a deflecting net.

    • Hits a draping net on the ground.

  • During the serve:

    • It is a fault if your ball hits the horizontal bar or center base and gets caught between the net and horizontal bar after going over the net.

  • It will be considered a hinder if there is any malfunction of the net system during play.