What IS PICKLEBALL?
Pickleball is a rapidly growing sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. It is easily learned and can be played by all ages. The game can be played indoors or outdoors, as doubles or singles. It is played using a solid paddle made of wood or composite materials. The paddle is larger than a ping pong paddle with a smooth face on each side. Players hit a perforated polymer ball, similar to a Wiffle ball, over a low net into a court whose dimensions are similar to a badminton court and with lines somewhat similar to tennis court.To learn more about pickleball visit the USA Pickleball Association
A pickleball court is similar to the dimensions of a doubles badminton court. The physical size of the court, for both singles as well as doubles is the same, a 20 × 44 foot rectangle. A net divides this area into two smaller rectangles each now 20 x 22 feet on a side. The net is hung at 36 inches on each end and is 34 inches high in the center. Each separate court is striped similar to a tennis court without alleys, but the back portion of the court is divided into right/left halves by a center service line while the front of the court is a single narrow rectangle. This front area extends the width of the court and seven (7) feet back from the net. This area is the non-volley zone (called the “kitchen”), while the two rear boxes are the right and left service areas.
The ball is served with an underhand stroke so that contact with the ball is made below waist level (waist is defined as the navel level) in an upward arc. The server hits from behind the baseline on one side of the center line and aims diagonally to the opponent’s service zone (as in the figure on the right).
Only the serving side may score a point. Each server gets one serve. Play ends for a point when one side commits a fault. Common faults include:
- Hitting the ball into the net on the service or any return.
- Hitting the ball out of bounds.
- Failure to hit the ball before it bounces twice on the player’s court.
- Volleying the ball on the service return. (Serve MUST bounce in receiver’s service area.)
- Volleying the ball on the first return by the serving side. (Ball MUST bounce on serving teams side of court…the “Double Bounce Rule.)
- Stepping into the non-volley zone (the first seven feet from the net, called the 'kitchen') in the act of volleying the ball.
A player may enter the non-volley zone to play a ball that bounces and may stay there to play balls that bounce. The player must exit the non-volley zone before playing a volley.
The first side scoring 11 points, leading by at least two points, wins the game. If the two sides are tied at 10 points apiece, the side that goes ahead by two points wins the game. Tournament games may be played to 15 or 21 points with players rotating sides at 8 or 11 total points respectively.
The server or server and partner usually stay at the baseline until the first return has been hit back and bounced once.
At the beginning of a doubles game before any serving, the score is 0-0. Then the side serving first gets only one fault before their side is out, meaning that their opponents serve next. After the first fault each side gets 2 faults (one for each team member serving) before their side is "out".
In singles play, each side gets only one fault before a side out and the opponent then serves. The server's score will always be even (0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10...) when serving from the right side and odd (1, 3, 5, 7, 9...) when serving from the left side (singles play only).