How To Play PickleBall

The rules of pickleball are easy to learn! Pickleball is a bit like tennis mixed with badminton, and a dash of ping pong. Played with two or four players, all you need is a pickleball paddle and a pickleball (basically a small whiffle ball or a large ping pong ball with holes).
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Pickleball Rules – Set Up and Serve

  • Pickleball is played on a badminton-sized court with a low net at the center. Each team has a left and right service zone, plus the no-volley zone near the net (this is called the kitchen – yum).
  • The serving team must serve diagonally starting from the right side, and must have both feet behind the back line when serving. The ball needs to clear the kitchen and bounce in the opponent’s service zone. Then it’s game on.
  • All pickleball serves must be underhand, and only one serve attempt is allowed per server. This keeps the game nice and speedy. 
  • For doubles pickleball, both players can serve until their team commits a fault. One fault and your service is done for now. Switch service to the other side and keep the game going. 
  • When a point is scored, the server will switch sides to serve from the left service zone. When the serving team’s score is an even number, the player who was the first server will be on the right side when serving or receiving; when the score is an odd number that player will be on the left side of the court. This keeps things nice and organized. 
  • When service goes to the opposite side, they will start from the right side of the court.

Pickleball Rules – Volley

  • The double bounce rule or two-bounce rule requires that the ball must bounce once after the serve before the receiving team can return. The serving team must also allow the ball to bounce before starting a volley or playing off a bounce. Pretty simple stuff. 
  • Stay out of the kitchen! The non-volley zone in front of the net is a no-go-zone. Players may not step in the kitchen when volleying.

Pickleball Rules – Scoring

  • Pickleball is played to 11 points and requires a two-point spread to win. 
  • Points are scored by the serving team only. When playing doubles a team will continue to serve until a fault has been made by their team.

Pickleball Rules – Faults

  • Ball touches any part of the kitchen (non-volley zone) on the serve, including the line.
  • Ball is hit out of bounds or does not clear the net.
  • Volleying in the kitchen.
  • Volleying before two bounces (the double bounce rule).

It’s simple enough to learn pickleball, but if you want a personal introduction you may enjoy a beginner clinic!

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