Pickleball is an exciting and fast-growing sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong. It’s a great way to get active, have fun with friends or family, and pick up a new skill. If you’re interested in pickleball but don’t know where to start, this guide is for you.
What Is The Game of Pickleball?
Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. The game is played on a court with a net similar to tennis but lower, and players use paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over the net.
Pickleball can be played as singles or doubles, and games are typically played to 11 points. The sport is easy to pick up and can be enjoyed by players of all ages and skill levels.
The object of the game is to score points by sending the ball past your opponent and into their court and placing the ball just right on their side so they can’t return the ball. The game can be played to either 11 or 21 points. Games are typically played to 11 points when doubles is being played, and to 21 when singles is being played.
Pickleball has some basic rules that are easy to pick up but can take time to master. The main objective of pickleball is to hit the ball over the net, keeping it within bounds, and preventing your opponents from returning it on their side of the court.
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How To Get Started Playing Pickleball?
Pickleball can be played both indoors and outdoors, but the court size will vary depending on the location. The game can be played with singles or doubles similar to tennis. The first step to pickleball is getting the equipment and finding a suitable court with net to play.
For equipment, you’ll need a pickleball paddle, pickleballs, and a pickleball net. Pickleball paddles come in different sizes, weights, and shapes so it’s important to find one that best fits your style of playing. Pickleballs are similar to wiffleballs, so pickleballs are made out of plastic and have holes in them for better aerodynamics. You can buy Pickleball equipment inexpensively on Amazon.
Pickleball court dimensions are identical to a doubles badminton court. Generally pickleball courts are 20×44 feet for doubles or 20X36 feet for singles and the pickleball net should be placed in between the two sides of the court.
The net is hung 36” on each end of the net and 34” in the middle. A non-volley zone extends 7’ on each side of the net. There remains 15’ on each side of the court. On each side, these 20’ x 15’ rectangles are further divided onto two equal rectangles measuring 10’ x 15’.
You can find pickleball courts at local parks or community centers. If there is not a court near you, you can also set up your own by using a tennis court with the same dimensions as a badminton court. If you’re wanting to play Pickleball at any professional or government sports facility, make sure to call to find out about times of play, making appointments and directions to the facility.
Once you have all your equipment and a place to play, it’s time to get playing! The object of the game is to score points by hitting the ball onto your opponent’s side of the court.
Pickleball is a sport that is similar to tennis but is played with a paddle and a plastic ball. The game can be played singles or doubles, and can be played indoors or outdoors.
Pickleball equipment includes a pickleball paddle, pickleball balls, pickleball nets and:
- Pickleball paddles are usually made of wood or composite materials and have a grip size that is similar to a tennis racket.
- Pickleball balls are typically made of plastic and have a diameter of approximately 2.75 inches.
- Pickleball nets are typically 20 feet long and are placed so that the center of the net is 3 feet high.
The game of pickleball is played on a court that is 20 feet wide by 44 feet long. The court is divided in half by a net that is placed so that the center of the net is three feet high.
The game can be played with two, three, or four players. If there are only two players, then each player will stand on one side of the net. If there are three players, then two players will stand on one side of the net, and one player will stand on the other side. If there are four players, then two players will stand on each side of the net.
How Do You Play Pickleball?
Points are awarded when your opponents fail to return the ball or hit it out of bounds. Games are typically played to 11 points, but pickleball tournaments are usually 15 or 21 points and a game must be won by 2 points.
To serve the ball, the server must stand behind the baseline and hit the ball over the net into the opponent’s service box. Only one bounce is allowed before the ball must be returned. The ball must be hit diagonally across the court, and cannot bounce twice on the same side of the net. After the ball is served, players can move anywhere they would like on their side of the court. When returning the ball, players must let it bounce once before hitting it.
Players can hit the ball in any direction they choose but must remain in bounds. The game is won when a player or team scores enough points to win, or when an opponent commits a fault.
Faults include hitting the ball out of bounds, hitting it into the net, or not letting it bounce before hitting it. If you are playing doubles, faults also include double bouncing or hitting the ball before it has been returned by your partner.
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Game Rules [Rules & Instructions]
The Pickleball Serve Explained
- The ball must be hit with an underhand motion.
- The player must hit the ball with their paddle below waist level (navel level).
- You must start the serve with one foot behind the baseline, and neither foot can touch the ground in front of the baseline until after you hit the ball.
- The serve is made diagonally crosscourt, and it must land within the opposite diagonal court.
- With only one serve attempt per player, the game proceeds smoothly unless there is a let. A “let” occurs when the ball hits the net on the serve and still lands within bounds of their proper service court; in this case, that service attempt is replayed.
The Pickleball Service Sequence Explained:
- The serving doubles team has the opportunity to serve and score points until they each commit a fault. Only one server per team can start the game, and if they fault, service passes to the other team.
- Each side-out starts with a right-hand court serve.
- If a point is scored, the server changes sides of the court and starts
- the next serve from the left-hand side.
- The game continues with the server alternating sides after each score until one player loses the serve due to committing a fault.
- If the first server loses the serve, their partner then serves from their respective correct side of the court.
- The second server continues serving until his team makes a mistake and loses the serve to the other team.
- At side out, the service goes to the opposition. The first serve is from the right court, and both players on that team have sequential serves until their team commits two faults.
- When serving during a singles game, the server alternate serving from the right and left courts depending on whether his or her score is odd or even.
Pickleball Basic Rules, Scoring And Time Of Play
Pickleball is scored similar to tennis with the exception that pickleball games go up to 11, not 15. In pickleball, the winner must win by two points or serve the ball until one of the players is leading by two points.
What are the typical rules for pickleball:
- If you don’t show up to the game within 10 minutes of it starting, you forfeit.
- The serving team is the only one who can score points.
- Games are typically played until one team scores 11 points and is ahead by at least 2 points.
- The tournament games will either be to 15 or 21, and you win by getting 2 points more than your opponent.
- If the serving team’s score is even (0, 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10), then the player who was the first server for that team will be in the right-side court when serving or receiving. However if odd (1, 3 ,5 ,7 ,or 9,) that same player will instead be in left serve court when either serving or receiving.
Who Gets To Serve First In Pickleball?
In pickleball, the first serve is determined by a coin toss or some other agreed upon method. The team that wins the toss has the choice to either have their opponents serve first or pick which side of the court they would like to play from.
Basic Pickleball Strategy
The basic strategy of pickleball is to keep your opponent off balance and in a defensive position while trying to stay on offense. The pickleball court is smaller than a tennis court, so pickleball is played at a much quicker pace. As a result, pickleball players need to be able to move quickly and think on their feet.
Pickleball is also a game of finesse, as pickles balls are smaller than tennis balls and require more precision when hitting. Players should focus on hitting the pickleball to their opponent’s backhand, as most pickleball players have stronger forehands.
At first pickleball may seem difficult and intimidating, but with a bit of practice and patience pickleball can be an exhilarating and rewarding sport. With this guide, you should now have all the basics you need to start playing pickleball.
Pickleball Terminology To Know
The most important rule in pickleball is the non-volley zone also known as the kitchen. The non-volley zone is a 7-foot area in between the pickleball net and each side of the court. If players are standing in the kitchen or on the line when they hit the ball, it will be considered a fault. , but can move back out of it to hit an overhead shot.
The Double Bounce Rule
The double bounce rule is pickleball’s most important rule. This means that after the first serve, players must allow the ball to bounce on both sides of the court before they hit it back.
- A ball that hits any line, except the one on the non-volley zone during a serve, is “in.”
- A serve contacting the non-volley zone line is short and results in a player fault.
1 A rule violation that halts play is called a fault.
2 If the receiving team makes a mistake, the serving team gets a point.
3 If the serving team makes a mistake, they will lose their chance to serve or get the point.
4 When a fault occurs:
- when the player’s serve doesn’t land the ball in their opponents playable area.
- when the ball is hit into the net on any serve or return.
- when they hit the ball before it has bounced on both their side and their opponents’ side.
- when the ball is hit out of bounds.
- when a player volleys the ball from the non-volley zone.
- A ball is said to be ‘in play’ after it bounces once and is then struck by the receiver. If, however, the ball bounces twice before being struck, this is referred to as a ‘fault’.
- when the player or any part of their paddle touches the net or post while the ball is in play.
- when the ball hits a player, or anything that the player is wearing or carrying.
- when the ball hits a permanent object before bouncing on the court.
What Are The Benefits Of Playing Pickleball?
Pickleball is a sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It can be played singles or doubles, and is typically played on a court that is smaller than a tennis court.
Pickleball is a relatively new sport, having been invented in the 1960s, but it has quickly gained popularity due to its simple rules and accessible equipment.
While Pickleball can be enjoyed by people of all ages, it is particularly popular among seniors as it is relatively low-impact and can be played at a leisurely pace.
In addition to providing physical benefits such as improved coordination and cardiovascular health, Pickleball also offers mental benefits such as increased focus and concentration. Whether you are looking for a fun way to stay active or hoping to sharpen your mental skills, Pickleball may be the perfect activity for you.
Does Pickleball Offer Competitive Games And Tournaments?
Pickleball tournaments and events are held throughout the year, so there’s sure to be one near you. Here’s what you need to know about pickleball tournaments and events.
Local pickleball tournaments are typically one-day events, where players have the chance to compete in doubles or singles competitions. These tournaments usually have divisions based on age and skill level, so you can choose a division that best suits your abilities. Many local tournaments offer prizes for winners, as well as other fun activities such as raffles and pizza parties.
In addition to local tournaments, pickleball players can also participate in larger events such as the US Open Pickleball Championships and the World Pickleball Tour. These events offer prize pools of thousands of dollars and attract some of the best pickleball players in the world.
What Is Considered Player Misconduct While Playing Pickleball?
Bad Pickleball misconduct include:
- Any use of profanity
- Extensive abuse of the facility and/or equipment
- Unnecessary rough play
- Deliberate roughing/checking
- Verbal or physical abuse towards an official, opponent, or supervisor
- Any unsportsmanlike conduct that, in the opinion of the official, warrants ejection
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Conclusion To Pickleball
Hope this article has given you a better understanding of pickleball, its rules and strategy, and how to get started. Pickleball is a great way to get active and have fun with friends or family, so grab your pickleball paddles and pickleballs and get out there to give it a try! With practice, you’ll be pickling like a pro in no time.
Good luck and have fun!