Here at HomeSports, we get questions of all kinds regarding basketball and pickleball. BUT, some of the most common questions that we get are about basketball, tennis, and pickleball court setups, sizes, lighting, and just about everything in between. So for all of you that are thinking about putting a court in your backyard, here’s a few things you might want to consider and a little guide to help.
“How should I set up/configure my court?”
The first thing you want to consider is the setup. What exactly are you wanting to do with your court? Is this going to be a basketball court? Or is it going to be a tennis or pickleball court? We recommend that either way, you turn the court into a multi-sport court.
A multi-sport court is a court that has two different sports that can be played. Generally, this is basketball and tennis/pickleball, or basketball and volleyball. We have noticed that more and more of the basketball and tennis/pickleball courts that are being put into backyards and parks are being turned into multi-sport courts. We believe this is because there is so much that a family can do on a multi-sport outdoor court. Families and friends can play a game of basketball, then put the ball away, roll out the net, and enjoy a game of tennis or pickleball. Deciding what you want on your court is a big decision. That’s why we’ve put together a few court setups that we recommend as you are considering putting a multi-sport court in your backyard.
Most Common Court Setup
Basketball and Pickleball
Over the years, we have seen plenty of court configurations. However, the most common option for a multi-sport court configuration is a pickleball to basketball hoop sport court. Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America and the benefit of a pickleball court on a basketball court is that it fits perfectly. There are multiple ways to accomplish this task of putting Many people prefer a portable net, while others prefer an inground net system. With the inground option, you can connect one side of the net to a single pole in the ground and the other side to the basketball hoop. Or, if you prefer, you can run the net between two inground poles. It is all a matter of preference. No matter which option you go with, this court setup is perfect for basketball and pickleball courts. You can enjoy a match of pickleball on a 50 ft x 30 ft court which also happens to be perfect for a half court basketball court. This is what we generally recommend for people who are wanting to maximize the utility of the multi-sport court.
“How big should I make my court?”
Once you decide what your main sport will be for your court, the next thing you want to consider is the size of your court. How much room do you have? If it’s a basketball court, do you want a full basketball court? Or just half-court? Do you want your court to have NBA, WNBA/NCAA, or High School dimensions?
It’s important for you to measure out how much room you have to work with. Over the course of multiple years, we have found that there are 3 popular concrete pad sizes. Each of these sizes for basketball courts can vary, but the majority of the time, they are within a couple of feet of the dimensions that we mention below.
The first option is a small size court. The small option generally ranges between 25-30 ft long and 25-30 ft wide but is usually referred to as a 30’ x 30’. Although, this can vary a little bit in size. This court size is perfect for backyard hoopers. On a 30’ x 30’ court, you don’t quite get a full 3 point line in, but you are very close. You generally won’t have a full 3 point line along the baseline. If you have limited space on the side of your house, driveway, or backyard, this is most likely the size of court that you are going to want to have at your home.
The next popular option is a medium size court. The medium size court option generally ranges between 45-60 ft long and 25-40 ft wide but is usually referred to as a 50’ x 30’. Like the small court option, it can vary a little bit in size. This option is definitely the most common court size. We assume that it’s the most common because you get the best “bang for your buck”. Courts can be expensive! But with a 50’ x 30’ court you can have a lot of fun playing multiple sports. A 50’ x 30’ court provides the perfect amount of space to have a full three point line and just under a full half court. If you don’t have enough room to do a full court, but still want to have some competitive fun, this is the size of court that you will most likely want.
The last basketball court option is a large or full sized concrete court pad. The full or large court option generally ranges between 80-100 ft long and 40-55 ft wide but is usually referred to as a 95’ x 50’. This option gives people enough room to have a full court NBA, WNBA/NCAA, or highschool size court. This is definitely a common court configuration, but is less common than the 50 ft by 30 ft court because of how expensive it can be. With this court, you are going to be able to “play like the pros”. Just remember that NBA, NCAA/WNBA, and High School court dimensions all vary. So you will want to look into what dimensions you want.
However, if you decide that your main sport will be a racquet or net sport, it’s important to know all of the different dimensions for each one. The most common outdoor racket or net sports that we have seen include: tennis, volleyball and the up and coming game of pickleball. Pickleball is a paddle sport that can be played by 2 or 4 players. It has been commonly referred to as a combination of badminton, pingpong, and tennis. To learn more about Pickleball and how it is played, check out our blog post called “pickleball”. If you are still trying to decide what size you want your court to be, below you will find dimensions of tennis, volleyball, and pickleball which should help you make an educated decision.
|Court Length||78 ft||59 ft||44 ft|
|Court Width||36 ft||29.5 ft||20 ft|
|Service Box (Individual)||21 ft x 13.5 ft||NA||15 ft x 10 ft|
|Non-Volley Zone(Kitchen)||NA||NA||7 ft(Each side)|
|Net Length||42 ft||36 ft||22 ft|
|Net Height||36 in at Center42 in at Posts||**VARIES**||34 in at Center36” in at Posts|
|Single’s Width||27 ft||NA||NA|
|Double’s Width||36 ft||NA||NA|
“How much light will my court need?”
The last common question that we get has to do with lighting. Lighting can be difficult. The goal is to maximize the area that the light covers on your court, while also minimizing costs. This can be a tricky task. The questions that we generally ask people is “how serious are you about having your court perfectly lit up?” and “how evenly do you want to distribute the light?”. Just from these questions, we can get a pretty good idea of what people are looking for.
Please note that there are MANY different light fixtures that you can use to light your court. However, for now, we will focus on what we offer here at HomeSports. We have two different light fixtures. We have a 100w LED solar light and a 150w LED shoebox light.
The solar light is perfect for basketball and pickleball/tennis courts that have already been poured or for people that do not want to worry about wiring. The solar light does not require any wiring. No wiring makes your life SO much easier. Not having to worry about paying an electrician or digging trench lines, running conduit, and connecting the wires yourself is a huge benefit of doing a solar light. Another advantage of our 100 watt solar powered light is that it has a lifetime of 25 years. However, it is important to note that the battery within the solar light has a life of 3-5 years but this can be easily replaced. Also, the solar light has been designed to cover more area. Bulbs on the fixture are faced outward, instead of downward. This allows a single light fixture to cover a 50’ x 40’ area. But, just like all good things, there are also drawbacks. There are two main drawbacks with the 100 watt solar light: it is more expensive upfront, and you can only have 1 fixture per pole which means that in order for you to cover bigger than a 50’ x 40’ court, you will need to purchase more than one pole and that can be expensive. Other than that, this light, for lack of a better word is absolutely awesome.
The 150w LED shoebox light is ideal for courts that have not yet been poured. Running wire to the court is much easier when the concrete has not quite been set. If you are wanting to add lighting to a pre existing court, we highly recommend looking into the solar option. With the 150w LED, you can place 1, 2, or 3 light fixtures on a single pole. Each light fixture covers roughly a 30’ x 30’ area. This means that for a single light on a pole, it covers 30’ x 30’ area. For two lights on a pole, it covers 50’ x 30’ area. Lastly, for three lights on a pole, it covers a 60’ x 40’ area.
The last thing you need to know about light configuration is equal light distribution. This is a very important aspect of creating a court with good lighting. Light pole placement is key to achieve equal light distribution as well as making your basketball or tennis/pickleball court look good. The only place that we generally do not recommend putting light poles is directly behind the hoop because when the light is directly behind the hoop, people playing on the court look right into the light. That being said, there are multiple other ways to light up a court. Here are a few of the configurations that we recommend to help you equally distribute the light on your court.
30 ft x 30 ft Court
For this size of court, we recommend putting in a single pole with 1 light fixture on top. Our 150 watt light fixture covers a 30 x 30 court area. This is a smaller size court but still gets the job done for basketball purposes. We get a lot of questions about if 1 light fixture is sufficient. With our light, it is more than enough. However, before you purchase any other light fixtures, it is important to find out how much area each light fixture will cover.
50 ft x 30 ft
The other half court option is a 50 ft x 30 ft court. For lighting on a 50 ft x 30 ft court we recommend a single pole, with two LED light fixtures on top. Two light fixtures on a single pole will cover about a 55 ft x 30 ft court. However, if you prefer having two light poles with one light fixture (this is very common), you can place them directly across from each other, perpendicular to the hoop. This will equally distribute the light on the court and will also give your court “curb appeal”.
95 ft x 50 ft
For a 95 ft x 50 ft court there are multiple ways to place your light poles to ensure that your court is properly lit up, however, we generally recommend two options.
The first option:
This light setup involves two light poles, with two light fixtures per pole. This provides equal light distribution on the whole court. By angling the light fixtures on each pole, every nook and corner on the court can be covered. This is the most common configuration for a full basketball court or a tennis court. We generally recommend this option for multiple reasons. The first being that people who want to save a little bit of money can still have their court fully lit up when it’s dark outside. The second reason being that from this configuration, you can run a tennis/pickleball net from the light poles. This means that if you get tired of basketball, you can roll out the net, connect it to the light poles, and play some pickleball or tennis.
The second option:
This light configuration is less common, but is definitely the most professional-looking. In fact, the majority of outdoor parks and basketball/tennis courts have this configuration. This court set up generally has four light poles and each light pole has one light fixture on top. Each light fixture has an arc of about 30’ x 30’ in coverage (this varies depending on the light fixture that you use). This means that the light is as evenly distributed as it possibly could be. So, if you are wanting a professional looking court, and wanting perfectly distributed light, this is most likely the light configuration that you will want to go with.
Hopefully this guide has helped you determine what you want to do for your outdoor sport court. Over the years, we have seen many courts that have been beautifully done that have provided years of fun for families and friends. If you have any more questions about basketball courts, tennis/pickleball courts, or products for your outdoor court, please feel free to reach out to us and we will gladly answer any more questions that you may have.