What Is the Height of a Tennis Net?

What Is the Height of a Tennis Net?
  • 3 feet – 0.914 meter

   Your Guide

Gavin Davison   Gavin Davison

The rules of tennis, including the specifics for things like the net, are determined by the ITF – International Tennis Federation.

As stated in the rules on their website, the height of the net should be 3 feet.

This is 0.91cm, or 0.914cm if you want to be exact.

It’s WORTH NOTING that this is the required height at the center of the net.

Of course, this is the LOWEST POINT of the net, and the metal cord that runs through the net is then attached to the net posts at either side of the court.

You should measure the height of the net using a tape measure to ENSURE COMPLETE ACCURACY.

But if you don’t have such a tool handy, there is actually a ‘cheat tactic’ you can use to check the height of the net.

You can measure one racket length up from the ground, and THEN ROTATE your racket sideways and add this on top of the original measurement.

The edge of your frame should nestle nicely in line with the net tape, and that will ensure that the net is more or less the required height.

And finally, any good net will then be strapped into the ground at the CENTRE LINE.

This is done to ensure that the net isn’t affected by wind and that the height of the net holds constant when the balls hit it. 

The Ways That You Can Adjust the Height of a Net

Since a tennis net is adjustable by nature, this means that you can take it upon yourself to set the height.

Of course, if you are competing or training on a full-size court, you’ll want to set the net height to 3 feet.

In most tournaments, the official will actually do this for you, so don’t worry if you’ve never done this before!

But with this said, there are a few ways you can adjust the height of a tennis net:

1) A ‘Net Winder’

If you are playing at a local club, or any club for that matter, there should be a net winder at the side of the court.

This is a brass-looking lever in most cases, and you may use this to adjust the height of the net at the net posts.

If you look on the side of a net post, there should be a small bolt that this net winder attaches to.

It is sized PERFECTLY TO FIT these little things, so all you have to do is attach it and start winding the device to adjust the height.

I found this cool video that gives you a quick overview too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFK1u3aorLw

When you are doing this, you are actually adjusting the tension of the cord running through the top of the net.

WIND IT TIGHTER, the cord becomes tight and the net height will rise.

Wind it looser, and the net will start to sag lower.

This is useful if you are playing on a court with small kids or juniors, where they might benefit from a lower net height.

2) The Net Strap

The net strap runs directly up the middle of the net, and much like the cord of a net, the strap can be adjusted.

You can adjust this by altering the tension of the strap at the back, much like you’d adjust the tension of the straps on a backpack, for example.

This is the best way to get an accurate net height, as when you apply the RIGHT TENSION with the net strap, the net cannot really move around even when the balls fly into it.

Working in tandem with the cord running through the net tape, these two bits of equipment are mainly responsible for setting the correct net height.

On the subject of the net strap, and before we continue, net straps can also be hooked into the ground beneath the net.

You should always look to do this, particularly in windy conditions as this will hold the net’s height in place

3) Using Singles Sticks

Last but not least, singles sticks can also alter the height of the net

. If you’ve not seen singles sticks before, these are put within the alleys on a court and they prop up the net at the sides.

This actually changes the height of the net at the sides of the court, as it lifts the net at the point that is in line WITH THE ALLEYS.

As the name indicates, these sticks are only used for singles, and they should never be put on the court for doubles.

Singles sticks are only really sold at one height too, so if you are using any, or you are buying new ones online, they will usually fit the standard height.

Note that this doesn’t actually change the height of the net in the middle, it simply boosts the height of the net in the alleys.

Does the Height of the Net Matter?

In a word, YES, the height of a tennis net absolutely matters.

The ITF has set the net height at 3 feet for a reason, and that is to keep the net height in line with the regulations for the rules of tennis in general.

At the same time, this is the accepted height for a tennis net across the board, from junior tournaments all the way to international events.

Now, if you are competing in any of these events, the officials or tournament organizers should ENSURE that the height of the net is set correctly.

But if you are competing with friends or you are hitting the practice court, you’ll need to measure the height of the net yourself.

In practice, you can probably get away with the net being off by a few cm, that’s if you’re not overly bothered about being precise.

Or you might not have access to a tape measure to ensure accuracy.

In this case, you should use the cheat tactic I mentioned above – something which I use all the time down at my local club I might add!

So there you have it, the height of a tennis net explained. If you found this article useful, jump into the comments and let us know.

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