Tennis net height has a huge importance on the outcome of a match. If the net of the tennis court is not set at the right height in practice, you will be on the wrong foot in a competitive match. Either your good shots are out of the court or you will find the ball dashed against the net. The same is also possible if the net is not set properly in the match. So a careful observation should be made at the time of fixing the tennis net to make the game interesting and competitive.
What is Tennis Net Height?
The areas of singles and doubles tennis courts are not the same. Though the length is the same for both versions of the game, in doubles, there is an extra added width of 4.5 ft (1.37 mm) on both sides, which we refer to as doubles alley. This makes the doubles court wider than the singles court.
- Length of a singles court = 78 ft (23.77 m)
- Width of a singles court = 27 ft (8.23 m)
- Length of a doubles court = 78 ft (23.77 m)
- Width of a doubles court = 36 ft (10.97 m)
A tennis net divides a court into two equal and separate halves. It acts as a barrier between two or four players for passing the ball from one half to the other half. There are certain rules, governed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for maintaining the right height of a standard tennis net.
- The net suspended by a cord or metal cable is attached with two net posts on each side across the middle of the court.
- After attachment, the net must fulfill the total area between two posts.
- At the center, a white strap is used to hold down the net tightly to the ground.
- The mesh of the net should be small enough to prevent the ball from passing through the net.
- To cover the cord or metal cable at the top, a white headband is used.
Tennis Net Height in Middle and at Posts
In a singles match, if a singles net is used, the posts are 3 feet (0.914 m) outside the singles sidelines. But if you want to use a doubles net for singles, then you have to add two sticks at a distance of 3 feet (0.914 m) outside the singles sideline on each side. The use of the single stick is to support the net at a height of 3.5 feet (1.07 m) from the ground.
For doubles, the posts are fixed 3 feet (0.914 m) outside of the doubles sidelines where a net of 42 feet (12.8 m) length covers the total area between two posts. It is hard to find any tennis club utilizing the court only for singles. So it is meaningless to use separate nets for singles and doubles. Rather, the use of a doubles net is practically more feasible in terms of saving time and money.
The dimensions of the official tennis net height in the middle and posts from the ground, laid down by the guideline of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) are as under.
|Net Height at Center||91.4||3||35.98|
|Net Height at Posts||107||3.5||42.13|
Mini courts are designed for kids aged between 4-10 years. So the net is set at a slightly lower height to help them for the development of skills at the early stages.
(4 to 8 years old)
(8 to 9 years old)
(10 years old)
|Net Height in the Middle||80 cm||(80 – 91.4) cm||91.4 cm|
Apart from the net body, you need four other supporting accessories for setting up a standard tennis net.
- Tennis Net Post
- Cable or cord
- Head Band
Tennis net posts are the main supporting element to hold the net at the desired height across the middle of the court. Aluminum is the most common material used for net posts. Net posts have two types of winding systems, internal and external. The modern net posts come with an internal winding system which is not only better in terms of aesthetics but also minimizes rust formation.
The net body is made with weather-resistant, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) material which is braided together to form the mesh body of the net. The size of the mesh should be small enough to prevent a ball from passing through it.
The net body is suspended vertically from a cable that is winded against two net posts after passing through groves on the top of the posts. The cable acts as a tensioning arrangement to maintain the required net height.
At the topmost part of the net, there is a white stitched headband that covers the cable. The headband, usually made of vinyl material, should be strong enough to resist the impact of a tennis ball.
A white-colored strap does the finishing touch by lowering the net to set the required height in the center.
How to Measure Tennis Net Height?
The most convenient way to measure the net height is the use of measuring sticks (Wooden, plastic, aluminum) which are readily available in the market.
You may utilize your racket to check the net height when you are sort of any measuring stick or tape. Mark a length of 9” from the bottom of your racket handle (the length of a racket is 27”) and add this 9” with the 27” racket length to check the net height at the middle of the court.
If there is any deviation in height, make use of the winding system of the net post to maintain the net under proper tension.
Frequently Asked Questions
As a net has to cover the total space between posts, the length of a tennis net = Width of a court + 2 × Space between sideline and post.
So the length of a standard doubles tennis net is (36 + 2 × 3) feet i.e. 42′ or 12.8 m.
Though Wimbledon has the reputation of using a 33’ (10m) singles net for the lawn tennis court as an exception, it has no meaning to use a singles net for a court that has been prepared for both singles and doubles play.
The net height for beach tennis is 5.9’ (1.8m) and 5.6’ (1.7m) for men and women respectively which is higher than tennis.
Yes, hitting around the net post is legal as long as the ball lands within the specified area of the tennis court. Also, it has been added in the ITF rule 25c, the ball may be hit outside the post at a level either above or below the top of the net for a good return.
The height of a pickleball net is 34” in the middle and 36” at the ends which is a bit lower than the height of a tennis net.
2 thoughts on “What is the Official Tennis Net Height?”
Very useful information, really.
However I would like to add that considering the width of the court and also the total weight of the net which supports at the two ends, the sag at the centre is inevitable. Also, it’s impossible to have no sag however much u tighten at the ends of the net support because the weight per unit length of the net sags due to gravity at the exact centre. It’s for these reasons, perhaps, it’s standardized to allow a sag of half a feet at the cente.
The curve so formed, when supported at two ends of a string which has considerable weight per unit length, is called catenary curve.