Courts, Nets and Lines
Using the correct court size and net for developing players is vital if they are to enjoy longer rallies develop good footwork and realistic tactics. Here you can also find information on various temporary lines that can be used to mark out smaller courts.
Why play on smaller courts?
Playing on smaller courts allows kids to cover the court easily and develop good footwork. On a full-size court kids need to take more steps to approach the net or chase down a ball, smaller courts allow kids to develop more realistic footwork patterns.
Most children under the age of eight will have trouble playing on a full-size court – their rallies will be shorter and they will resort to unrealistic tactics. Also, covering the net is almost impossible as there is too much space either side, making it easier for their opponent to hit a passing shot.
What are the different court sizes?
Tennis Australia recommends three different scaled court sizes that help kids progress at their own pace, preparing them to play on a full-size court.
|Small Red Court dimensions||Large Red Court dimensions|
|Length: 8.23 m||Length: 10.97 m|
|Width: 3 m||Width: 6 m|
|Net: portable 3 m net||Net: portable 6 m net|
|Length 18 m||Width 6.4 m||Net height: 80-91.4 cm|
|Length 23.77 m||Width 8.23 m||Net height: 91.4 cm|
Permanent smaller courts
If you have space, you can build a permanent smaller court at your club, school or tennis centre. Smaller courts are included in Tennis Australia’s National Court Rebate Scheme.
Portable mini nets are used on the small and large Red Courts, while the Orange and Green courts use the standard net.
What height should the net be?
Both the small and large Red Courts make use of three-metre and six-metre mini nets respectively. These nets are 80 cm high.
For the Orange Court, use the net that is on the court, just make sure it is set at a lower height to make it easier for kids, between 80 and 91.4 cm is recommended.
For a Green Court, the net height should be standard height, which is 91.4 cm.
Where do I get mini nets?
The three-metre and six-metre mini nets can be purchased from the Australian Open Shop online.
Other net options
If you don’t have a mini net, you can make a temporary net out of household items. Try using Barrier/Caution tape tied between two chairs, posts or mini nets to make a quick and cheap net. Barrier tape (right) can be purchased from the Australian Open Shop online.
Whether you are marking out courts on a full-size court or on a hard flat surface, there are a variety of temporary or permanent options for marking lines.
These are rubber strips that are laid down on the court. Throw-down lines can be purchased from Hart Sport.
Temporary tape, for example masking tape (left), is easy to put down and great if you only want to use it for a short period of time.
Strong tape, such as painter’s tape, is semi-permanent and will last for up to six months. You can find painter’s tape at a hardware store.
Blended lines are within the same colour family as the full-court playing surface but are slightly darker or lighter, providing a subtle yet permanent option.
The ITF’s top tips for marking lines
- When using permanent or semi-permanent lines, you may want to use a colour that is similar to the court surface so as not to distract players when using the full court.
- For quick set-up, place a small dot on the court so that you can quickly find the position when you are putting down temporary lines.
- Only ITF, WTA, ATP and Grand Slam events are prohibited, by the ITF, from having additional markings on court so permanent lines may be a good solution.
- When possible, use existing lines.
- If you have a space at your facility that is not big enough for a full court but may work for an orange or red court, consider using it for permanent mini courts.