You can use the service areas as your court for short-court tennis.
Short tennis -- also known as short-court tennis or mini tennis -- is typically played on a smaller court and for a shorter duration than standard tennis. The game is primarily designed for kids. But handicapped adults, or any adult who's new to tennis, may also use the shorter game as an introduction to tennis, or as a fun activity of its own.
Under Lawn Tennis Association rules, mini tennis is played at three levels, with three different-colored balls. The red ball represents the introductory version. The ball itself is sponge-like and travels about 75 percent more slowly than a standard tennis ball. The court is about 36 to 39 feet long and about 16 1/2 to 19 1/2 feet wide -- roughly half the size of a regulation doubles court, which measures 78 by 36 feet. The net is about 2.6 feet high in the middle, compared to 3 feet for a standard tennis court. the rackets have 17- to 23-inch heads. Standard tennis rules apply to game play. You serve into service courts and you may let the ball bounce only once on your side of the court, for example. Players or teams compete to 10 points. You either play a sudden-death point if the score reaches 9-9, or you continue playing until one side achieves a 2-point margin.
Orange ball mini-tennis uses a firmer ball and a larger court than the red ball version. The orange ball is about 50 percent slower than a regulation yellow ball. The court measures 59 feet long and just more than 21 feet wide for singles, or 27 feet wide for doubles. Racket heads are 23 to 25 inches long. The match is a best two out of three games, with 7 points needed to win a game. Again, you can either play a sudden death point if the score is 6-6, or you can establish that the winner must gain a 2-point lead.
The green ball version is closer to standard tennis than the red or orange games. The ball itself is 25 percent slower than a standard tennis ball. You play on a normal singles court, whether you're playing singles or doubles, and you use a standard-height net. Rackets may be any size, but they typically measure 25 to 26 inches. Green ball scoring rules vary. Your options include playing one or two short sets, with four games required to win the set. If the score reaches one set apiece, play a seven-point tie-breaker to determine the winner.
To play short-court tennis on a standard tennis court, use the inside doubles lines plus the service lines as your boundaries. Serve by bouncing or dropping the ball on the court first, then hit it to the diagonal service court on the other side of the net. Otherwise, use standard tennis equipment and rules. You can follow the standard tennis scoring system, or simply play to a set number of points and alternate serves between players or teams.