What Are The Rules Of Pickleball?

what are the rules of pickleball

Pickleball is a popular court sport that was invented in the United States in 1965. This game involves using a paddle to hit a pickleball ball (which is similar to a wiffle ball) over a net that equally divides the court into two halves to score points. This game is similar to badminton and tennis. The objective of a pickleball match is to win by scoring more points than the opposing player or team.

Basic Rules

pickleball basics

Serving is the first key area of play with several rules similar to the game of tennis. When a player serves, the serve has to go over the net and land in bounds on the opposing side of the court. The serve must also land in the diagonal service zone rather than the zone straight ahead. The server must hit the ball in an underhand motion with the paddle below their waist and both feet behind the baseline. If the serve hits the net, it is a legal serve as long as it lands in the correct service zone.

The receiving side has to let the ball bounce once before returning the ball over the net, and then the serving side must do the same once more. If the style of play is doubles, only the person being served to in the opposite diagonal zone can return the ball. The team will be penalized if the other player touches the ball before they do.

The seven-foot line near the net on both halves of the courts indicates the non-volley zone. Also known as the “kitchen,” players cannot play the ball in this zone. If they hit the ball in this zone, or if part of their body is on or over the line while contacting the ball, the other team will receive the ball and the point.

Points are only scored by the team that served and are earned when the opposing side hits the ball out of bounds or can’t return the ball. The serving side also receives a point when the opponents play the ball in the non-volley zone.

Players and Equipment

Pickleball Equipment

Pickleball is played on a 20 ft x 44 ft hard surface court. In pickleball, there is no difference between the courts used to play both singles and doubles pickleball games. The net height is about 36in on both far sides of the net and 34in in the middle of the net. Pickleball courts are similar to those of tennis and badminton courts. They are divided down the middle into left and right serving zones with another line seven feet away from the net that marks the non-volley zone.

Pickleball can be played in singles form (one-on-one) or doubles form (two-on-two). The game is played using paddles made from wood or other high-tech forms of wood. The ball that is used is made from plastic and is similar to but slightly smaller than a wiffle ball.


pickleball scoring rules

In pickleball, the scoring method only allows the side that is serving to get points at the end of the rally. This means that if the non-serving side wins the rally, they will not be granted a point. A player or team can earn points when the opposing side does not return the ball over the net; this can be due to them hitting the ball into the net or out of bounds or not being able to return a well-hit ball. Players can also score points when their opponent volleys the ball in the non-volleyball zone near the net.

Pickleball is played until one side reaches the total point value of 11. This number can be higher if the teams agree upon it beforehand. The winners must have a two-point margin of victory.


Pickleball Fault Rules

There are several situations in which a player or team can receive a fault for violating rules. One of the most basic faults that can occur is if the receiving team touches the ball before it hits the court for the first time. Players must allow the ball to bounce first, which is called the double-bounce rule. The serving team will automatically receive a penalty as a result. There is also a fault if the ball touches any objects before touching the court. This refers to items like a ceiling or light fixture.

Another common fault that occurs is when a player volleys the ball in the non-volley zone. This rule is enforced heavily and states that if any part of the player is in the non-volley zone while hitting the ball, they will be penalized. This includes a shirt, arm, feet, or anything else that might accidentally travel on or over the line during play.

If the wrong team member returns a serve from the opposing team, they will receive a fault. Players are only allowed to return a serve that is from the diagonal opposing zone, and they cannot contact a serve that is not meant for them, even if it comes to their zone.


How does serving work in pickleball?

Serves in pickleball must be completed from one zone to the diagonal zone on the opponent’s side of the net. The player must serve in an underhand fashion with the wooden paddle and contact the ball behind the baseline. The serve must get over the net and land beyond the seven-foot non-volley zone to count. Only the person in the diagonal zone can receive the ball. When playing doubles, the other player not in the serving zone cannot touch the ball before their teammate does, or they will receive a penalty.

What is the double-bounce rule in pickleball?

The double-bounce rule, also known as the two-bounce rule, is a rule that states that each team has to let the ball bounce once on their side before they can contact the ball. More specifically, the receiving team needs to let the ball bounce once before sending the ball back to the serving team, which then needs to let the ball bounce once more before continuing the rally. After this, the ball can be volleyed without a bounce or can bounce on the ground before being contacted.

What is the non-volley zone in pickleball?

The pickleball court includes a line at the 7-foot mark near the net on each half of the court. This indicates the non-volley zone in pickleball. The non-volley zone is an area of the court where the ball can not be contacted by a player. Players that contact the ball while in the non-volley zone or contact the ball while part of their body is on or over the seven-foot line will lose the point.