Backyard Tennis Court: Minimum Dimensions Behind Baseline


New User
I am looking for some advice. I am building an indoor tennis court in my backyard. Because of required set backs from the property line, my town won't allow me to build a court with the full 120 feet length. Instead, I have about 100 feet length to play with. This would give each player only10 feet behind the baseline. Do you see this working or do you think more room would be needed? The choice is between building a court that will get used by multiple people in my household but with this limitation versus not building one at all.



The court would be unplayable with such a shallow clear way behind the baseline.

I recently played on high school courts that only had 18 feet and I ran into the fence multiple times and had to give up on several lob retrievals. After it happened a couple of times I said, "WTH" and then paced off the distance and then it all made sense.

I also swore off ever playing there again.


When I went to check the ITF specifications for court dimensions I was amazed to see that 21 feet is merely a "recommended minimum" and not a strict requirement. From a playability point of view it is a requirement, practically speaking, in my experience.


10 feet works. It does restrict certain things (you can’t expect to chase down a lob after the bounce). But I say go for it!

My brother converted a hangar into a set of courts for a few years. 11 ft behind baseline. Worked fine.

Last year I played on an indoor court with only 4.5 feet behind baseline. That made things interesting! First to net usually won the point.


It's really how much you want to deal with it - if it's something that is going to be constantly bothering you because it's not standard room behind the baseline, then it's not worth it. If you can accept the limitations and just have fun with it, then go for it.

10 feet is short - considering backswing on your strokes, you can really only be 7.5 to 8 feet behind the baseline. Are you going to put any sort of material with give on the walls behind the baseline.


Yes, the walls will be insulated so we may plan in the winter.
I would recommend installing a padded cushion layer on the wall. Thank me later.

In all seriousness, having a good comfy foam cushion layer on the wall actually expands the playable court dimensions because you will be less shy about swinging or running into the wall. You can play closer to the wall without worrying about injury if you bang into it.
Last edited: