Can You Play Pickleball On Grass?

pickleball game doubles match in backyard grass patch

Maybe you’re new to the game of pickleball and looking for more places to practice than a court surface. Or maybe you have access to a grass tennis court where you can set up a pickleball net. Whatever the case you find yourself asking can you play pickleball on grass?  The quick answer is that yes, you can play pickleball on grass. In this article, we’ll go through some reasons why you would want to play on grass, and a few reasons why you might want to avoid it.

Can You Play Pickleball On Grass?

Pickleball is played on hard courts due to the nature of the pickleball itself.  It’s a hard plastic ball which needs a hard surface to bounce properly. Therefore, a game of regulation pickleball can only be played on a hard surface. However, many pickleball players elect to practice on a grass surface. Either way, if you’re considering you should watch the middle of this video that shows a game of lawn pickleball.

3 Pickleball On Grass Pros

There’s nothing stopping you from playing a slightly modified game of no-bounce pickleball on grass.  In fact, there are many reasons why playing on grass might make you a better pickleball player. Here are some of the reasons to play pickleball on grass:

1. Heightened awareness. It’s a great way to help practice your volleys and reaction time.  When there’s no possibility of the ball bouncing you must hit the ball in the air, and not wait for the bounce.
2. Net play.  You will find yourself pushing the net most of the time you play on grass.  This will help you become a better doubles player.
3. Stability.  Playing on grass is a less stable surface and will force you to engage your core and leg muscles to stabilize your body during game play.  

Like we always say relative to pickleball, the more practice you can get the better.  If that means you’re hitting the ball against a concrete wall by yourself in a parking lot, or playing competitively in a tournament, more is better. We recommend that you have at least 75% of your play time on hard courts. However, grass court practice can be a great way to brush up on your skills. Luckily, most grass courts don’t require any change to pickleball scoring methods.

3 Pickleball On Grass Cons

While there are some pros to playing pickleball on grass, there’s also some potential cons. Check in and make sure you’re comfortable with these before agreeing to play on grass. Here are some reasons you may want to avoid playing on grass:

1. Slipping.  You will find your footing is not stable and you’re going to slide around especially if the grass is even a little damp.  If you have bad ankles or knee stability issues, you may want to avoid grass.
2. No bounce.  The pickleball will not bounce and you’ll be practicing a different method of game play because of it.
3. Bad habits. Due to the no bounce you’ll be hitting the ball differently also, often hitting the ball higher than you normally would so your opponent can hit the ball.  This can lead to some bad habits over time.

can you play pickleball on grass shown in rural backyard

Can You Play Pickleball On Grass Summary

So, can you play pickleball on grass?  Whether you choose to play on grass or not, when faced with the option of not playing at all or playing on grass, we’d always choose playing on grass. Just know that the rules of pickleball will need to be adjusted and may lead to some bad habits if you’re a serious pickleball player.

Make sure you get the majority of your playing time is on hard courts, either indoors, outdoors, or a combination of both so you don’t lose touch with the true nature of the game.  When playing on grass, you will be playing an incomplete game. Just like shooting free throws over and over in your driveway, there’s a benefit to practicing a portion of the game.