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So you want to know how to play pickleball...
Often described as a cross between tennis, ping pong, and badminton, pickleball is played on a 44 by 20 foot court separated by a net that stands 34 inches high at the center and 36 inches at the posts.
Each side of the court has a left and right service area and a 7 foot “no volley zone” commonly referred to as “the kitchen”. Players use short paddles and a wiffle-type ball.
Pickleball is played either as doubles or singles; though doubles is most common, and most games are played to 11, win by 2.
The rules are simple. The serve, which is hit diagonally crosscourt, must be made underhand and contact with the ball must be below the server’s waist. Unlike tennis, only one serve attempt is allowed, except in the event of a “let” where the ball touches the net but still lands in bounds.
After the serve, the ball must bounce before being returned, and then the serving team must let it bounce before hitting it back. This is called the “two bounce” rule.
After that, both teams may either volley the ball or play it off a bounce. However, players cannot volley in the kitchen. Not only that, but if volleying a ball outside of the kitchen, a player can’t even let their momentum carry them forward into it.
Players can always go into the kitchen to hit a ball of the bounce. Basically, any time other than when volleying a ball, it’s ok. Otherwise, stay out of the kitchen!
Pickleball scores uses a “side out” method. Though it may seem confusing at first, it’s easy when you get the hang of it.
The first serve of a game is made from the right side of the court. Partner 1 on Team A serves first. If a point is scored, Partner 1 now serves from the left side of the court. This continues until Team A faults, and service passes to Team B.
From here out, both players on the serving doubles team have the opportunity to serve and score points until they commit a fault.
Partner 1 on Team B will now serve, continuing to switch sides as points are won. After Team B commits a fault, Partner 2 on Team B serves and continues serving until Team B commits another fault and loses the serve back to Team A.
Singles is pretty straightforward. “Side-outs” happen at each fault and the server serves from the right side when their score is even and from the left when their score is odd.
So there you have it, now you’re ready to play pickleball! Come on in to Pickleballerz and have some fun!
Don't forget, you can always sign up for Pickleballerz "Pickleball 101" class where you'll get a great introduction to gameplay, strategy, and more!
And don't worry... No paddle? No problem! We've got complimentary loaners available!