Rules of Pickleball – [9 main Rules of Pickleball explained]

Rules of Pickleball: How To Play

If you are looking for a game that is exciting, easy to learn and sports-related as well then look no further than pickleball. Pickleball is a raquet sport which combines features of a number of other games and sports, including badminton, tennis and table tennis.

It can be played by people of all ages and skill levels–from beginners to experts.

Pickleball has been around since the 1960s, but recently has become very popular among adults who want a fun way to socialize and to get some exercise outdoors.

Basic Overview of How To Play Pickleball

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis. It is played on a court that is about one-fourth the size of a standard tennis court, with a low net in the center. Players use wooden or composite paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over the net. The game can be played by two people (singles) or four people (doubles).

Pickleball Rules Of Play – Summary

Pickleball is a game that can be played by two or four people. It is played on a badminton-sized court with a perforated ball. The object of the game is to score points by hitting the ball over the net and into your opponent’s side of the court.

Points are scored by the side that serves, with no volleys allowed (players cannot hit the ball before it bounces once) and only one bounce allowed before players can volley (hit the ball back over the net). The first side to score 11 points or lead by at least 2 points wins the match.

In order to play pickleball, one must understand the basic rules. First and foremost, the ball must be hit with an underhand swing and below the belly button. If it is not hit in this manner, then it will result in a side out. Secondly, if the ball hits the net but goes in on the other side, then it is played by the receiving team.

The main difference between tennis and pickleball is that in pickleball, players are not allowed to hit volleys (or return the ball before it bounces) inside the No-Volley Zone unless it first bounces off their side of the court. If a player hits the ball outside of the No-Volley Zone, they lose the point.

In addition, there are a few basic rules that players need to be aware of. For instance, touching the line with your foot and then reaching over to hit a ball is considered inside the zone. Furthermore, the serving team loses a point if their serve hits the no-volley line.

Object of the Game

Pickleball is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. The game has a greater objective beyond winning or losing- it brings people together and provides a fun, social outlet. Players who are new to the court, such as those who play racquet sports, can quickly learn how to play Pickleball.

There are some basic rules that players must follow in order for the game to flow smoothly. For instance, if the ball is hit out of bounds or bounces twice before being struck, this results in a fault. Additionally, any violation of a service rule or contact with anything you’re wearing or carrying can also lead to a fault.

The ball starts on the ground and is used to hit a small trampoline object back towards your opponent’s side of the court. In order for players to score points, they must use different types of shots such as forehand, backhand, lobs and overheads.

What are the Basic Rules of Pickleball?

Pickleball is a game that can be played in singles or doubles. The object of the game is to hit the ball over the net and make your opponent unable to return it, thereby scoring points.

A pickleball game must be won by two points, with one point being scored during serving. The server must hit the ball into their service box (a rectangular area on either side of their court). If they miss, their opponent gets a point and then serves.

A serve must be hit with an underhand swinging motion. If you’re serving, you need to play behind the baseline and serve into your service box.

The receiving side must let the ball bounce once before hitting it back to the other player. After a player hits the ball back across the net, their team has to wait until it bounces again before doing anything else.

The No-Volley Zone is 7 feet from each net post on both sides of the net; this zone extends into both halves of each court . A player can not hit a ball if they are inside the No-Volley Zone, unless it bounces first.

Once a ball bounces, a player can hit that same ball while in the zone and score points. The player must be behind the line to hit a ball on the serve. If they’re inside of the zone when their opponent hits the ball back to them, they can reach over and play it as long as their foot is behind the line.

What is a Pickleball Serve

Serves are made diagonally, starting with the right and alternating each serve. The ball should be hit without bouncing, into the air. A game of pickleball is made up of only one serve, except if the ball lands on the net and returns to your court. If this happens, then you will get another serve. The 1st team that serves will gain a point after a fault before being forced to turn over the ball. Each team serves and faults until they have lost 3 points at which time they are turned over to their opponent .

What is a Pickleball Volley

Volleying is a key part of the game. It’s how you score most of your points. To volley, hit the ball in the air without first letting it bounce. You can only volley when your feet are 7 feet or more behind the net line. If you step in the non-volley zone or on the line after a volley, that’s called a fault and you lose possession of the ball. You can be in the non-volley zone at any other time as long as you’re not volleying.

What is the Double-Bounce Rule

The double-bounce rule is a unique part of the Pickleball game. This means that the ball must bounce twice before it can be played. The serve must bounce first on the returning team’s side, and the returned shot must bounce once on the serving team’s side before continuing a rally. Points cannot end quickly with this rule in place, as players cannot hit volleys at the net right after serve.

What is a Fault in Pickleball

A fault is committed when the ball:

  1. Hits the ground twice before being hit by the player.
  2. Is hit by the player out-of-bounds.
  3. Is volleyed while in the no volley zone.

The receiving team may take a point for committing a fault.

A fault by the server results in loss of serve and side out if it was the 2nd server.

How Scoring goes in Pickleball

There are a number of ways to score in pickleball. The following are the most common:

  • When the ball is hit into the other team’s court and they do not return it, that’s called an “out.”
  • If you hit the ball and your opponent cannot return it, then you get a point.
  • If your opponent volleys in the non-volley zone, or hits out of bounds, then you get a point.

Winning the Game

In Pickleball, the point system is 3-5-7 (first to 11 wins). The game finishes when one team is ahead by 2 points. In order to win the game, you must first eliminate all of your opponent’s players. This can be done in a few different ways:

  • Hitting the ball so that it bounces off your opponent’s side and out of bounds.
  • Causing your opponent to miss the ball completely.
  • Making them commit a fault (e.g., stepping into the kitchen before the ball has bounced twice).

key strategies for playing Pickleball

In order to be successful in pickleball, it’s important to remember a few key strategies:

  • Serve deep and on the opponents weak side.
  • Be in a ready position after every volley hit back.
  • Hit the ball down the middle of the court when playing doubles so your opponents have to decide quickly who will go for it, leading to errors and potential wins.
  • Surprise your opponent with a different type of shot.
  • Use shots that force them to move, and miss hitting the ball back.
  • The most important thing to remember in doubles pickleball is patience.

What is a double-bounce rule in pickleball?

The double-bounce rule is a key part of the pickleball game. This rule states that a ball has to bounce one time on each side of the court before any player can volley.

When does the point end in pickleball?

The point ends when one team reaches 11 points and is two points ahead. If a team reaches 11 points but is not two points ahead, the game continues until one team has reached 21 or 15. It is impossible to have a draw in Pickleball because the game will end when either side reaches 11 points and is leading by two of more.

Disabled-friendly Pickleball leagues

There is an increase in the number of disabled-friendly Pickleball leagues and competitions that are starting across the world. This makes the sport accessible to more people and allows them to compete on an equal footing.

The Top 9 Pickleball Rules – Before You Hit the Court

Make sure you familiarize yourself with all of the rules for proper serving before playing in a match!

Rule 1. Court Lines, Rules and Dimensions

When playing pickleball, it is important to be aware of the court rules and dimensions. The court must be set up properly in order to play the game correctly. The court has a 44×20 feet dimensions with two 22×20 feet sidelines and two service zones that are 10×15 feet on each side. There are right and left service areas, as well as centerlines dividing the court into four sections.

The object of the game is to hit the ball over the net so your opponent cannot return it, making them “pickle.” In order to do this, you must first understand the dimensions of the court and how they are ruled. The dimensions of the object were set by law- meaning that they had to be specific measurements in order for players to have a fair game. And finally, these dimensions correspond to what we see today when we play pickleball on a standard sized court.

Rule 2. – Serving Regulations

Serving Sequence Rules

When playing Pickleball, you have to know the serving sequence rules in order to keep the game going.

The first server serves from the right side of the court and if they score, they continue to serve from the right side.

If you make a mistake when serving–like hitting the ball out of bounds or into your opponent’s court–the next serve goes to your opponent. In doubles, this would mean giving your teammate a turn at serve.

If your opponent scores, then that team becomes the first server and serves from the left side. There is one exception to this rule: when there is a change of service (e.g., after an exchange of points). In that case, the second server starts a rally from the right side and if they win, then ball is passed over and served from the left side. Got it?

Serving Rules

When playing pickleball, the server must hit the ball from below waist level and it cannot bounce. The serve must also clear the net without bouncing and pass by the non-volley line on the other side of the court before going out of bounds. This area is called service court and players must remain behind this line when serving.

The server must provide service from baseline and keep it within service area.

Rule 4. Two-Bounce Rule (formerly Double Bounce rule)

The double bounce rule is one of the most important rules in pickleball. This rule ensures that both sides have an equal opportunity to serve and return a shot, preventing one side from having an unfair advantage.

  1. Ball is served
  2. Receiving player should let the ball bounce before return
  3. Server player shuld let the ball bounce before return
  4. Now that the Ball has bounced on both side, players are now free to play even volley is allowed now

The double bounce rule is also important because it prevents points from ending quickly. If there was no two-bounce rule, the ball could be volleyed after a single bounce, resulting in a quick point.

Rule 5. No-volley (kitchen)

The non-volley rule is one of the most important rules in pickleball. This rule prevents players from volleying the ball while they are in the kitchen zone, which can quickly lead to a stoppage in play. Violating this rule results in a fault against either player or team.

While the no-volley zone may seem like an arbitrary restriction, it’s actually an important part of keeping the game running smoothly. The rule encourages players to be more creative with their shot selections, while still retaining a high level of playability. As such, it’s crucial for all players to understand and obey this rule.

Rule 6. – No Second Bounce

The second bounce rule is one of the most important aspects of pickleball. This rule prevents players from letting to bounc the ball twice before they hit it back to their opponent.

If the first bounce is within your opponent’s area, then they will have to return the ball before its second bounce.

This rule applies to both singles and doubles play.

Rule 7. – The Ball Can’t Fall Out Of Bounds

The “out of bounds” rule dictates where the ball may and may not bounce.

In order for a ball to be considered “in bounds,” part of it must be touching the court from a bird’s eye view. This means that even if it touches the line or outbound area, as long as some part of it is still on the court, then it is considered playable.

This rule is important because it keeps games fair and prevents players from having an unfair advantage.

Rule 8. Net Rules

The net is a very important part of the game. It’s what keeps players from being able to hit shots that are impossible to return, and it’s also what makes the game more challenging.

The net is 36 inches high at the sidelines but only 34 inches at the center. The net sag in the middle of the net encourages shots at its center to prevent balls from going out.

Rule 9. Scoring Rules

Pickleball scoring can be confusing for new players. In order to win a game, you must score two points more than your opponent. The game is not over until one team has gained a two-point advantage. If the score is tied at the end of the game, then each player gets one point and the next game starts with service to the right side.

In singles play, there are three ways to score points: by hitting the ball over the net and landing in your opponent’s court; by hitting the ball so that your opponent cannot return it; or by forcing your opponent to commit a fault.

In tournaments, games are played to 11 or 15 or even 21 points depending on how long you want the match to last (generally best of three or five sets).

doubles scoring rules

In doubles play, there are six ways to score points: two for hitting the ball over the net and landing in your opponent’s court; two for hitting the ball so that your opponents cannot return it; one for winning a rally when the ball has been hit into the net or out of bounds by your opponents; and one for “winning” a game (ie – scoring 11 points ahead of your opponents).

Calling the Score

Score is announced by person who served last and it consists of 3 numbers: 1)server’s team score, 2) opponent’s score, 3) server number (either “Start” or 1 or 2).

Let’s check out how scoring goes and even listen to a real pickleball match. Try keep the scoring!

Pickleball Rule Changes for 2022

Pickleball is a sport that has been around for a while now, and as the years go on, people find new ways to improve the game. The most recent rule changes for pickleball go into effect starting in 2022 – the most important changes affecting the serving in pickleball.

What are the new serving rules in pickleball?

  • No chainsaw serve – you can spin the ball only with one hand
  • Drop serve is permitted – as long as the release of the ball is clearly visible .
  • Extra balls are allowed – however, a fault occurs if the ball falls out
  • No coaching – Court jamming is forbidden, headphones and ear buds are not allowed
  • No stop due to misstated score

Read more about the new rule changes in 2022.

Rules of  Pickleball Changes for 2022
USA Pickleball Association (USA PICKLEBALL)
Cover Photo and Design Credit: Steve Taylor, Digital Spatula

Pickleball Strategies

There are a few key strategies to keep in mind when playing pickleball.

  • If your opponent has a weak forehand or backhand, try to serve on their weak side. This will make it more difficult for them to return the ball.
  • Be in a ready position after every volley you hit back. This way, you’ll be prepared for your next shot and you won’t give your opponent an opportunity to score.
  • Aim to move yur opponent so they are forced to chase the ball instead of hitting it back at you. This can be done by hitting the ball into different areas of the court or angling your shots.

Playing Pickleball If you’ve already played tennis or racquetball

If you have some experience playing tennis or racquetball, pickleball will be a breeze for you. The rules are not as complex as these other sports and the ball is larger and easier to see and control. In addition, there are no sprints in pickleball so it’s accessible to players of all ages and abilities.

The first time you practice, you may want to play “pickle” over the net. This way, you can learn how the game is played while still having fun! Pickleball can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities, making it a great alternative for those who might find other sports too strenuous or difficult.

Pickleball is Easier than tennis, excellent for players of all ages

Pickleball is a hybrid sport that can be played by people who don’t like sports. It has similarities to other sports, such as pingpong and badminton. Pickleball is a great game to try because it doesn’t require physical strength or skill.

You should practice your speed and placement skills by hitting the ball back to even higher skill players. It’s good to have high-skill players hit easy shots from time to time so that their timing and coordination improves

how many rounds are in pickleball

Pickleball has two rounds of play just like tennis. The first round is played to 11 points and the player who scores the most points in that round wins the game. If it is a tie, then the second round is played and the player who scores the most points in that round wins the match.

printable pickleball rules


how many players are needed for pickleball

Pickleball can be played one-on-one or two-on-two, and the courts can accommodate as few or as many people as desired. Pickleball is a hybrid sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong, so it’s not about who is stronger but rather who can be smarter and use strategy to win.

What happens if the person serves from the wrong side?

In pickleball when someone serves from the wrong side the server must restart the serve from the correct side.

how high should a pickle ball bounce

The accepted bounce height is 30-34 inches, as it was found that anything higher caused an unfair advantage for some players. In order to maintain a consistent and fair game, USAPA developed a standardized test that all balls must pass in order to be approved for use.

Let’s go play pickleball!

Pickleball is a great game to play with friends but playing pickleball is a lot like playing any other racket sports. There are certain rules you must follow in order to have a fair and enjoyable game. These rules will help you understand the basics of pickleball and how it’s played. If you’re ready to start playing, these rules will give you the foundation you need to have some fun.