What are the 5 Rules of Pickleball?

With pickleball taking the country by storm, the ever-increasing fame makes us know about the history and rules of the pickleball game. Invented in 1965, the game become increasingly prevalent among the norms to the level that today it is one of the mainstream sports in America. Combining the features of tennis, ping-pong, and badminton the game acquires a few sets of rules and the least equipment.

Pickleball was invented in 1965 when three dads came up with an idea to entertain their bored kids. The rules of pickleball game comprise the best elements from ping-pong, badminton, and tennis. This sport is intended to provide a fun time for good exercise for all ages.

Want to learn more about the all the time more famed pickleball game? This is the right place to know the basic rules of pickleball. Though pickleball was not as popular five years ago as it is today, the people who get into playing this game fell in love with the fun it delivers.

The rules of pickleball are easy to pick up for beginners and fun to learn as they require minimum experience and athletic ability. So let us explain some terms related to this game and the basic rules of pickleball.

Terms used in Pickleball

The Serve

In the service, when the ball is struck into the paddle, the arm of the player must move in an upward arc and the paddle must contact the ball below the waistline. The head of the paddle should not be above the wrist at contact.

The Serving Sequence

The players from both sides have the opportunity to serve and score points. This continues for the first service sequence for each new game until they commit a fault. The first service from each side is made from the even or the right court.

If a player scores a point, the server will switch sides and initiate the next serve from the odd court.

Scoring Points

Pickleball is normally played to 11 points and 2 wins in which points are scored by the serving team only. However, the pickleball tournament games are also held at 15 or 21 and win by 2.

The kitchen

The white lines on the court are known as the non-volley zone or the kitchen.

The line-calls

If the ball contacts any part of the white lines except for the non-volley zone on a service will be considered an “in”.

Rule No.1: The ball must stay inbounds

Like other sports, the pickleball game also set its rule in which the ball stays inbound during the match. It’s because, in most sports, the game is played on a field or a court with the rule that the ball must remain in bounds to be in play. Hence, the game remains inbound, between the lines of the outline court.

If we explain it simply, the ball must stay within the white lines of the court. If the ball goes outside the white lines, the opponent player will get a point resulting in their turn to serve.

This rule is similar to that of a ping pong game in which when a player hit the ball out of the white lines, they will lose their service and give the ball to the opposite team to serve. They will also lose their points and have a bad impact on their game.

However, there is a rule in pickleball that results in most of the winning points in the game. That is in pickleball the ball should bounce during the serve and return. So, if it is your service and the ball goes out, you still have the chance at the net to return your opponent’s serve.

Rule No 2: It ought to be one bounce per side

The most forgotten and the most promising rule of pickleball serving is the second one which sets pickleball apart from other games like tennis and badminton. This rule is also known as the “Two Bounce Rule” according to which if a player lets the ball bounce twice on their side, the ball is returned to the opponent team.

This means that for both serve and return of the serve, the ball should bounce at least one time on each side of the court. If the ball goes out of bounds or bounces more than once, then their services will be over. It means that players have to let the ball bounce once before returning it to the other side.

On the other hand, if the players from one side return the ball after a single bounce and the players of the opponent team also return the ball after a single bounce, then the two-bounce per side rule is completed and either of the players can play the ball in the air or they can also let it bounce by moving it forward on their turn.

Rule No 3: The players must serve at the baseline

Among the regulations of this game, one of the basic rules for scoring in pickleball is that the service is done at the baseline with one foot behind it. The method used to determine the turn for service a is by random number selection or by flipping a coin. Along with that, the service should be done underhand. It means that the ball must be held below the waistline before serving diagonally to the other side.

If the players of one side break this rule, then this will be considered as their fault and the serve of that team will go to the other side.

Rule No 4: The Serve must not land in the no-volley zone

The no-volley zone is actually on both sides of the pickleball. This zone is inside of the lined box which is 7 feet from the net. The no-volley zone is also commonly known as the kitchen line and the players often say “to stay out of the kitchen zone”.

A player’s service needs to go beyond this zone, if the ball touches the no-volley zone at the service, the service will be lost. Though players may drop the ball in the no-volley zone after the serve. This is also called a drop-shot.

Rule No 5: The pickleball game will end at 11 or 15 points

According to the general rule, the pickleball game must end at 11 points. But the rule is also similar to that of tennis and volleyball in which the winning team must gain 2 more points to win. So, if one team earns 11 points and the opponent team gets 10 then the game will go on until the team with 11 points gets one point to win and the opponent team still has 10 points.

The rule is similar for the goal set for 15 points by default but they still have to get 2 points to win. However, the players from both sides can discuss the ending score beforehand.

Rules of pickleball singles

The rules for pickleball singles are as below:

  • The pickleball game is played to 11 points and wins by.
  • For the points, if a fault is committed by the server, then the server will lose its service, while if a fault is committed by the receiver the server gets a point.
  • The server has to strike his both feet behind the baseline and neither of his feet should touch the baseline of the court.
  • The server has to hit diagonally into the opposite service area.
  • The short or a fault is considered if the server comes in contact with any part of the non-volley zone.

Pickleball Rules for Doubles

According to the rules for pickleball doubles, all serves must be

  • In the opposite diagonal service area.
  • When serving the ball must be underhand with the contact to the ball should be made below the waist.
  • Players are allowed to make only a single attempted serve.

So here are the rules of pickleball and if you are looking forward to having some fun playing this game, you must start practicing it to be a champ!

It is one of the exceptional rules of pickleball. According to the two-bounce rule, the ball must bounce at least one time on each side of the court before any player can hit the ball out of the air.

The players of the receiving team should let the ball bounce in the air.Theserving team should bounce the ball before hitting it into the air and the serving team should not creep after this.

You can hit the ball after it has been hit on each side of the Court.

The Ten-Second Rule:

Both the serving and receiving teams have to follow this rule. The rule is that the server has ten seconds to call the score, and then once the score is called, ten seconds are allotted to the server.

Mistakes to avoid:

1. Try not to scoot up after serving is done as it is one of the most common mistakes done by many.
2. The spin shouldn’t be “too fancy”.
3. Avoid smashing the ball at the beginning of the game.
4. Kitchen faults should be avoided.
5. Don’t serve poorly.
6. Not getting to the kitchen.
7. As a forehand player try to take centreline shots.
8. Not allowing the shots to go out.

This aspect of pickleball is unique and different from other racquet sports. What you need to remember about the kitchen is that while volleying the ball Don’t stand or come in contact with the kitchen line.

If you point a score, the server moves to the left side which is the odd court and serves to the diagonally opposite court of the other team.

Players on the serving side continue to move from Left to right or right to left every time a point is scored. Without scoring a point the players on the serving team can’t alternate sides.

According to the rules of pickleball, the players are not allowed to carry an extra ball on the court in officiated matches. You can carry a spare ball if it is a social play (USA Pickleball). However, the balls are not supposed to be visible to your opponent’s team during the play.

A Bert is on your partner’s half of the pickleball court and it is the same shot as Erne. It is an Erne, but it involves running or jumping around the Kitchen on your partner’s side (mostly on his front) of the pickleball court, rather than on your side.