Home » Sport » Sports dimensions » Line court marking

Line court marking

In many cases of facility provision, it is not possible to accommodate individual courts for separate activities because of cost and space factors.

Related topics:

Line marking indoor four court The information in this guide is general in nature and cannot be relied upon as professional advice concerning the design of, or marking out for, sporting facilities and playing areas. No assurance is given as to the accuracy of any information contained in this guide and readers should not rely on its accuracy. Readers should obtain their own independent and professional advice in relation to their proposed sporting activity.

Multi marking of hard-court areas, both indoors and outdoors, provides an acceptable alternative to individual markings. The following information provides some guidelines and recommendations on how this may be achieved.
There is no international standard colour scheme for court markings. Most sports require white lines for major competitions. For a multi- sports hall a range of colours is required to avoid confusion. However, there are recognised colour schemes that are widely used. The general rule of operation is the faster the ball game the lighter the colour of the court marking.

There also must be an allowance for ‘run-off’ areas for different sports. It is important to ensure that the minimum space around the court is maintained for each individual sport. Any sport or local government attempting to save money by reducing court sizes is setting up the potential for future litigation. If space is limited, the governing body’s recommendations on run-offs should always prevail.

Colours recommended for light surfaces are white, black, red, yellow, green, dark blue, light blue, orange and yellow. Colours recommended for dark surfaces are white, yellow, red, light blue, light green and orange. As a rule of thumb, the most frequently used sport is marked out in white, the second most played sport in yellow, followed by blue and red.

Indoor recreational

Court marking lines are painted on most sports floors. PVC tape is not usually used, except for temporary courts, whilst inlaid lines are an option for a limited number of sports floor products. These techniques can be combined, with permanent inlaid or painted marks being used as guides for tape markings or, alternatively, permanent markings can be applied for the facility’s most popular sports activities.

The layout of court markings needs to be be carefully planned to avoid overlapping lines. Manufacturers can usually recommend specialist firms to undertake this work or may include it as an element of the floor installation.

The following colour schemes are recommended for indoor court markings on light surfaces, e.g. wooden gymnasium floors:

Light surface recommended colour schemes
Sport Line colour Line width
Badminton white 40mm
Basketball black 50mm
Handball orange 50mm
Indoor hockey light blue 50mm
Futsal any colour


Netball white or red 50mm
Tennis yellow 50mm
Volleyball green 50mm

Paint should be selected and tested to suit the type of floor. Manufacturers will supply or recommend a proven paint and give guidanceon its use. Two-part polyurethane is often used because of its durability. All lines should be masked out to a high standard prior to painting. Line widths must be ± 2mm and overall dimensions within 0.1 %.

Most sports require white lines for major competitions. For multi-sports facilities a range of colours is required to avoid confusion.The diagram above is an indoor four court with one basketball court (black lines), one netball court (red lines), one volleyball court (green lines) and four badminton courts (white lines).  Computer drawn layouts are useful aids when deciding details of a court layout.

Outdoor recreational

Playing lines can be painted on to most surfaces but with synthetic grass they are either tufted in during manufacture or cut in when installing the surface.  Colour choice is important and advice sought for the most suitable combinations of colours for the sports to be played. The most frequently used sports are marked out in white, followed by yellow, blue and red.

The following colour schemes are recommended for multi-court markings on dark surfaces, e.g. bitumenised or concrete surfaces:

Dark surface recommended colour schemes
Sport Recreational play/training Competition play


yellow yellow
Netball red white
Tennis white white

Combined football (soccer) pitches and a cricket field

Two soccer pitches with a cricket pitch overlay in the middle

Combined football (soccer) and hockey pitch

Markings for a combined soccer and hockey pitch


  • Sport England Design Guidance Note. Sports Halls Design & Layouts. 
    February revision 005. Sport England 2012. www.sportengland.org.
  • Sport England Design Guidance Note. Natural Turf for Sport
    Updated guidance for 2011. May revision 002. Sport England 2011. www.sportengland.org.
  • A Guide to the Design, Specification & Construction Of Multi Use Games Areas (Mugas) Including Multi-Sport Synthetic Turf Pitches (STPs)
    Part 1 (of 3) – General Guidance and Design Considerations; Dimensions and Layouts
    Produced by Sport England, in conjunction with the Sports and Play Construction Association. www.sportengland.org.
Other related pages Where would you like to go next?