Indoor Gym Floor Pickleball Courts

Playing pickleball indoors on a gym floor during cold weather months is a popular option to allow play year-round. However, there are some considerations when renting out a gym space for this purpose in terms of cost, rules, and play style differences. This article explores common experiences and costs associated with indoor pickleball on gym floors.

Costs for Renting Gym Space

Pricing to rent a gym or community center for indoor pickleball play varies substantially based on location, demand, gym ownership, court time availability, etc. Here are some typical ranges organizers can expect:

  • Drop-in rates: $5 to $10 per player per session is common, up to $20 per session at peak times.
  • Monthly unlimited play: $50 to $100 per month is typical.
  • Leagues or ladder play: $10 to $25 per week or season.
  • Some community centers or churches may offer very low-cost rentals or donate the free space as a service.
  • When setting pricing, also factor in costs for gym prep/cleaning, insurance, equipment, staffing, facility wear-and-tear.

Modify Rules and Styles of Play for Indoor Gym Environments

The play experience between outdoor pickleball or a dedicated indoor facility versus a hardwood gym floor can differ quite substantially. The sport originated as an outdoor game played on asphalt or composite resin surfaces. Without proper modifications, the indoor version brings higher risks of player injury. Common rule adjustments include:

  • No hard smashes: Control shots only with touch and placement focus mitigates safety issues.
  • No deep lob serves: Serves must bounce before kitchen line to reduce collisions at the non-volley zone line from poached lobs.
  • Gentleman’s rules on targeting: Avoid hitting directly at opponents unless high percentage scoring opportunity.
  • No dinking from kitchen lines: With less room between courts, leave a 1-2 foot buffer to allow lateral movement.
  • Paddle handle wraps required: Reduces noise that echoes sharply in an enclosed gym environment.

The ball and playing surface also create substantial differences in indoor gyms:

  • The ball bounces differently on hardwood floors compared to pickleball-specific surfaces. The game plays much faster.
  • Noise echoes more sharply in an enclosed gym space. Stray balls can be annoying.
  • Limited clearance overhead with basketball hoops means lob shots are largely removed from the strategy.
  • Lighting is typically inconsistent so seeing the ball against bright backboards can prove challenging.

With the special rules and environment adaptations, games take on a distinct flavor in gym pickleball. But it does allow the community to stay active through harsh winter months until the outdoor courts reopen.

Indoor Gym Floor Pickleball Courts


What is a reasonable fee to charge per player?

$5-10 per session per player is typical and affordable. Can go up to $20/month for frequent play.

Do players need special gear for indoor gym play?

Softer indoor balls work better. Pickleball or tennis shoes with non-marking soles are required.

What kind of insurance should I get?

General liability insurance protects if players are injured during organized play. Rates vary based on policy limits.

How many courts can safely fit in a high school full court gym?

4 shorter courts (16 ft width) can fit safely in a full basketball court. Use volleyball court boundary lines if existing. Leave 1-2 feet between sidelines/baselines for out-of-bounds buffer.

How can we discourage players from risky smash shots in gyms?

Institute a “no smash” rule, or allow controlled topspin smashes only below net height. Geofencing smart pickleballs may eventually help enforce auto-detected indoor smash violations too!

Can we use basketball hoops as makeshift nets or do portable nets work better?

Portable pickleball nets with included weights for stability are preferred. Clip-on nets to hoops droop and don’t provide strong visual definition of net boundary needed for indoor play differences.


Renting a gym for indoor league play or open pickleball sessions can help satisfy demand during cold weather. With some modifications and rules, the sport transfers reasonably well to a hardwood basketball court surface. Costs are affordable for most passionate players. The indoor game does play differently than outdoor pickleball, but it allows the community to stay active year-round.

If you’re interested to know the top female pickleball players to watch out for in 2024, this article may be worth exploring.

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