Pickleball is a fast expanding sport that mixes elements of table tennis, badminton, and tennis to produce a one-of-a-kind game that is entertaining, competitive, and available to players of all ages and ability levels. As with any sport, playing by the rules will help you perform better and enjoy the game more. To get you prepared for the game, let’s dive into the pickleball rules.
Basic Game Setup
A pickleball court that resembles a badminton court can be used for singles or doubles play. The first serve of the match is an underhand one delivered diagonally to the serving court of the opposition from behind the baseline. The requirement that the ball bounce once before being returned gives rise to the so-called “double bounce rule.”
The server must strike the ball below the waist level while serving underhand and keeping both feet behind the baseline. It is ideal for the serve to land inside the opposing diagonal court. When the opponent commits an error (e.g., fails to return the ball, enters the non-volley zone, etc.), the serving side is the only one who scores a point. The server keeps running until it malfunctions. In doubles, each player gets a turn serving before the ball is passed to the other team.
The “non-volley zone” or “kitchen,” a seven-foot area on both sides of the net, is one of pickleball’s distinctive rules. If they are in this area, players cannot volley (hit the ball without letting it bounce). This regulation forbids players from ferociously pounding the ball at the net, which gives the game a strategic component.
Pickleball has a distinct scoring structure. The server’s score, the receiver’s score, and, in doubles, the server number (1 or 2) are commonly called out as the three digits that make up the score. Using the score “7 – 5 – 2” as an example, it can be seen that the serving team scored 7, the receiving team scored 5, and the second player on the serving team is currently serving.
Any action that halts play due to a rule infraction, such as hitting the ball out of bounds, entering the non-volley zone, or failing to clear the net, is referred to as a fault. The serve goes to the opposite team when the serving team makes a mistake. When playing doubles, the serve is passed to the teammate before going to the rival team.
Taking the Win
A team must win by at least two points in order to win the game, which is typically played to 11 points. Matches in tournaments may go up to 15 or 21 points.
Pickleball rules may appear a little complicated at first, but once you begin playing, they become clear. Pickleball has a distinctive twist due to the blending of the rules from other racket sports, which makes it an interesting and tactical game. So start the fun by grabbing a paddle and a pickleball!