A Basic Overview; What Are The Rules of Pickleball?


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Pickleball_Players. doubles

Pickleball is a cool name and game!!

It has been an exciting sport in the US for many years. The sport steals almost similar rules from tennis, ping pong, and badminton. Still, it has some unique principles of its own. If you are fascinated and thinking to move into the court recently, you must be looking for what are the rules of pickleball.

Some of the rules are basics and some of them are complicated for sure. But, being familiar with the ins and outs of the sport, you will not only make yourself more confident on the ground but also you can increase chances to win the battle (believe me!)

Sounds great, isn’t it?

There are so many resources on this topic, “The Rules”. You can search google or youtube for what you need. But, we suggest you go through the main source of pickleball rules, which is USAPA (Link is given below). However, what we have done here is highlighting the more significant ones in a different way.

Let’s begin:

What About the Court:

What are the rules of pickleball. court

Well, first of all, you can play pickleball on any badminton sized-court. And, if you want to play it on a tennis court, you must resize it with the proper dimension.

Normally, the measurement of a pickleball court should be a rectangular shape with 20 feet wide and 44 feet long. There is an area of seven feet on both sides of the net, which is called the non-volley zone. The playing area of the court is 20 feet wide and 15 feet long on both sides.

On the other hand, the net is to set over the center of the court and must be 34 inches high at the center of the court and the sidelines should be 36 inches high.

Pickleball Serve Rules:

Serving is an easy and simple task of pickleball. But if you are a beginner or want to know more about basics, the following points are to be kept in mind.

  • The first rule is to serve the ball diagonally opposite crosscourt and each serve is to be started from the right-hand side of the court.
  • It needs to hit the ball underhand and the connection of ball with the paddle must be made below the navel area (waist).
  • You are bound to serve the ball with at least one foot behind the baseline. Be careful about your feet; both should be behind the service line at the time of the first contact with the ball. Most importantly, you are not allowed to serve the ball on the 7 feet danger zone.
  • If the ball touches the net on the serve and falls on the right service area, you will get another chance to take serve. And, if the ball lands outside the court or on the kitchen area, it is a side out. The serves that fall on the centerline, sidelines and baselines throughout the court are counted okay.

Total Service Rules:

You may ask what are pickleball rules in total service? These are as follows:

  • In a doubles game, you and your partner will have the opportunity to serve and collect points until you commit a mistake. However, this is not allowed for the first service sequence of each new game.
  • You have to switch your side if a point is scored and starts the next serve from the left-hand side of the court.
  • As a server, as succeeding points are scored, you can continue serving one after another until a fault is made.
  • When you miss or lose the serve, your side partner then starts from his side of the court. But, it is not the same for the first sequence of the play.
  • Your partner can continue serving until your team makes a fault and loses the serve to the opposite side.
  • Once you make a side out and the service goes to the opposite side, both players of that team have the chance to serve and continue collecting points until two faults happen.
  • If it is a singles game, you need to serve from the right or even court when your score is even (0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10) and serve from the left or odd side when the score is odd (1, 3, 5, 7, 9).
  • When a doubles game starts and if you start the serve, your partner will not get a chance to serve after yours (only in the first sequence). As a rule, you have to pass through the opportunity to the opposite side.

Scoring Rules:

  • Only the serving team scores points, the receiving team doesn’t have that chance.
  • A game is normally played for 11 points.
  • It can be extended to 15 or 21 points if it is a tournament game.
  • In both cases, the winner must be ahead of 2 points at least.

we haven’t talked much about scoring rules here. If you are interested to learn more, read a complete article on this topic.

Bounce Rule:

  • When you start serving the ball, your opposite team can hit the ball after a bounce is made to his side, and then you can return the ball again after another bounce happens to your side. That’s why; it is called Two Bounce Rule.
  • After that two bounces, the game continues. The teams may either play with a volley (hitting the ball without bounce) or letting it bounce.

Non-Volley Zone (Rectangular shape; 7 feet each side from the net):

Non volley zone

The zone is well known as “Kitchen” and the rule is made to lessen the chances of injury by cutting down the number of smashes. It also helps to make for longer rallies.

As we have a complete article on the rules, faults, and myths on this topic, we are moving into the other rules of this game.

Line Rules:

While serving, the ball contacted any line other than the non-volley zone line is considered correct or “in.” And the serve that touches the non-volley zone line is an error.

Some Faults in Pickleball:

  • Any action that stops play for any violation of the rule is a fault.
  • A fault; if a serve hits the opposite team member before touching the court.
  • If the ball touches any permanent object before hitting the court, it’s a fault.
  • When the wrong team partner serves the ball or serves from the wrong court and when the correct team member doesn’t return the serve; must be a fault.

Who is First:

You and your opposite team will decide by a fair method which team will have the first choice of side, service or receive.

10 Second Rule of Pickleball:

  • The referee calls the score when he is determined that the receiving team member is ready or should be ready.
  • Now the 10 second counting period started, the server must serve within this time otherwise a fault will be counted.
  • In only two cases, a stoppage of the 10-second count is allowed even after the score is called. The first reason is a valid hindrance such as a ball on the court and the second one is if there is a timeout. But, the timeout is not possible after the service movement starts.

Clothings of Pickleball:

Clothing rules of pickleball is not that formal like tennis or golf unless it’s a tournament game or played on a center’s court where there are some rules of their own. However, some of the vital suggestions are given below:

  • You can wear any color of clothes.
  • Be careful and quick to change any wet, loose-fitting garment that can distract your mind off the game.
  • Logos, images and any writing on the clothing must have good flavor.
  • Shoes are very crucial for this game. You must pick the best shoes with soles that wouldn’t damage the court’s playing surface.

Before finishing, we can have a video on the most misunderstood rule of Pickleball described by a certified referee of USAPA, Mark Peifer:

Let’s End:

If you are already getting tired of reading what are the rules of pickleball, just start playing casual games with your family and friends. After a certain period of time, all these guidelines will seem easier for you.

Surely, pickleball is an entertaining game that can be played on almost any perfectly sized court; indoor or outdoor, with some common equipment. So, let not these rules hinder your enthusiasm to move into the court for playing this beautiful game!

Source: https://www.usapa.org/rules-summary/

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