If you are a die-hard sports lover and want to be able to train more often, you are probably tired of all the time wasted driving to the local health club or neighbourhood sports court. If this sounds like you, and you just happen to have a lot of space in your property, why not invest in a backyard sports surface? What are the backyard sport court sizes?
Having your own private sports surface within walking distance can also push the rest of your family towards a more active lifestyle, and give your crew a permanent excuse to stop by for a fun afternoon. However, it can be hard to tell at first glance whether you have enough space.
So what are some appropriate backyard sports court sizes? This will depend on whether you are looking for a regulations sized court, as well as the sports you are aiming for. Often, the priority is to have a playable court measure rather than a perfect one!
Table of Contents
Full Backyard Sports Court Sizes
Ideally, if space is not a concern, most people would choose to build a full court following all official sizes. But how big is an official court anyway?
The key to building your backyard basketball court is that there are three different dimensions that count as a full court. If you are looking for a practice court for your kids, they will need different measurements:
- For the NBA, a regulation court must be exactly 94 feet long and 50 feet wide.
- A high school court should only be 84 feet long and 50 feet wide.
- The junior high school court is only 74 feet long and 42 feet wide.
Does something jump at you when looking at these sizes? Turns out that the differences between these sizes are not perfectly proportional. An NBA court and a high school one will have the same width, but the NBA one is full-10 feet longer.
When designing and painting your court, you will need to adjust the locations of your main floor lines. For example, the 3-point line at an NBA court stands at 22 feet 9 inches, while the high school one is 20 feet 9 inches, and the junior high school one is at 19 feet 9 inches.
The key line will also fall in a slightly different position: under NBA regulations, it should be at 16 feet, while the high and junior high ones will be at 12 feet.
Conversely, the foul line will always be at 15 feet from the backboard – but the backboard will have a different size for each type of court.
If you are interested in your tennis court, the measurements will be a lot simpler. You won’t have to take into account different sets of regulations.
A standard tennis court measure has a playing area of 36 feet by 78 feet. However, the actual surface will need to be much larger – up to 60 x 120 feet.
Why? For three main reasons:
- First, standard net posts usually extend way beyond the 36 feet line.
- Second, because tennis usually includes a lot of fast-moving balls. You will need extra space for the ball to bounce around.
- Finally, most backyard tennis courts use concrete or cement floorings instead of clay. This type of court flooring will cause the ball to bounce more rapidly.
What Happens if your backyard is not large enough?
Depending on the total size of your property or the available flat space, you may not have enough space for a regulation-sized sport court surface. Since you probably won’t be holding official championships in your backyard, you can always try to scale back the size of the entire court.
The key here is to maintain proportions so that everything resembles an official court as much as possible. In a basketball court, this will keep the right distance between a point line and the basketball hoops, and provide a fair free throw point.
Another alternative is to build a half court instead of a full court. This will make it awkward to host a full two-team game, but it will allow you to train your shots by yourself, or to play in pairs.
Finally, multi-sports courts can also make it easier to adapt to uneven or small backyards. A multi sport court usually includes a hoop, net, and arch that can target several sports at once, with few modifications. Usually, none of the resulting courts will follow official sizing guidelines – but it will eliminate the need to train at the local stadium completely!
Building your backyard court can instantly turn your home into the next hot spot for your extended family and friends alike. However, they require quite a bit of space. There are different standards that your backyard sport court sizes can follow. These will need to be adapted to ensure the different elements of the court (such as hoops, nets, and foul lines) can still feel natural.
If it turns out you don’t have enough space, you may need to explore other ways to turn your backyard into everyone’s favourite. If not, it’s time to practice your shots!