What is pickleball? Pickleball is a unique sport that started on Bainbridge Island, an area outside of Seattle, Washington. It is a sport that is taken out of the concept of tennis, ping pong, and badminton. You can play it in singles (2 players) or doubles (4 players) like other racket sports. Pickleball players use paddles instead of rackets to hit the ball. The sport is gaining popularity in the US and is suitable for players of all ages.
Playing pickleball is fun and straightforward. Once you get the hang of it, pickleball is fun to play with your family and friends. It's an excellent option for an introductory sport. It can become a little challenging since it's a fast-paced and competitive game once you are already a pro and when playing with more experienced players.
Pickleball Court Dimension
The pickleball court is the same size as the badminton court, with two sides divided by a net in the middle.
- Court Dimension – 20ft x 40ft (singles and doubles play)
- Net Height – 36 inches (both sides) and 34 inches (middle)
- Playing Area – 30ft x 60ft is the standard when converting a tennis court
- Preferable Playing Area for Tournament & Standalone Pickleball court – 34ft x 64ft
Pickleball: The Basics
- You can play pickleball in singles and doubles.
- You can score, as long as you are on the serving team.
- The score is racing to get to 11 points. The winner must win by 2.
- For the tournament, the score is 15-21. The winner must also win by 2.
- Once you serve first in the game, you must serve or receive on the right-side court once the score is even. If the score is odd, then you must serve or receive on the left-side court.
The Service Rules
Serve the ball diagonally across the opponent's side of the court. Perform an underhand stroke by letting your arm make an upward arc motion. After striking the ball successfully, your dominant foot must be at least one foot on the court surface behind the baseline. On or inside the imaginary lines that stretch from the centerline to the sideline, do the same.
For the paddle head, it must not be higher than the highest point of the wrist. It must also make contact with the ball below the waist level.
When you strike the ball, your foot should not touch the court. Likewise, the imaginary centerline or sideline. Each time you serve, you must place at least one foot behind the baseline on the playing surface. You can also place your foot on the ground behind the baseline.
The Service Sequence
In the serving doubles team, once you commit a fault, both players can serve and simultaneously score points. This scenario excludes the opening service sequence.
When you score a point, you switch sides and play from the left/odd side. You can shift back and forth and score more points until a fault occurs. You lose your service once you commit a fault.
In the event you lose your initial service, your partner serves from your right side. Another player serves until the other player makes a mistake and the opposite team wins the service.
Once the opposition has been served, the first serve is done from the right/even side. Team members can serve and score more points when they commit two faults. The server needs to serve from the right/even court when the score is even. Likewise, on the left/odd court, when the score is odd.
The Service Bounce Rule
The Service Bounce Rule states that all players must allow the ball to bounce on the ground before they strike it back to the opponent's side of the court. After making the initial groundstrokes, players may now volley the ball continuously until a player commits a fault.
Volleying in Pickleball
Pickleball involves hitting the ball back and forth from the air without bouncing off the ground. To hit the ball, you should stand in the middle of your court area and move around. For it to count, you must stand behind the no-volley zone on the court. A point will be awarded to the opposite team when you cross the line into the zone.
Play Pickleball Today!
You can play pickleball in various styles, with venues experimenting to see what works best. If you want to learn the game's official rules, you may check out the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) for a more elaborate guide.
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