What do you get when you combine tennis, table tennis, and badminton together?
A relatively new game that aims to bring the best of three worlds together, but sadly, no actual pickles.
So how is it played, and what are the pickleball rules? Let’s get into it!
The pickleball court is badminton inspired 20 x 44 feet rectangle, sporting a 36 inch high net towards the ends that lowers to 34 inches in the center. The area 7 feet from the net forms a “non-volley zone”. The game is played indoors and outdoors so you can play in either environment.
The ball is very similar to a whiffle ball but is designed to last much longer. Depending on whether the game is played indoors or outdoors, people may prefer balls with larger or smaller holes, accordingly.
The pickleball paddle was originally made from wood, however, more recent versions include materials like fiberglass and carbon fiber. They somewhat resemble a larger table tennis racket and can be maneuvered in similar ways. If you’re looking to get started or replace your old equipment, here are some great paddles for 2020.
Every point starts off with a serve that can only be made diagonally from the right-hand square of the court on to the diagonal side of the opponent. Here are a few rules you need to keep in mind:
1. You must serve with the paddle below your waist (the underhand way).
2. The server must stand behind the backline during the serve.
3. The serve must move directly over the net without making contact on the server’s side.
4. You continue to serve until you make a mistake on the serve.
5. The initial bounce on the opponent’s side must clear the non-volley zone.
A volley, in pickleball, refers to hitting a ball back without letting it bounce first. This is only permitted if the player does it while outside the non-volley zone.
The double bounce rule is applicable during the first part of the rally. What this means is, a return of serve cannot be volleyed back, and neither can a return of a service return. It is only after this that players are permitted to volley if done outside the volley zone.
The Faults (or What Not to Do)
You lose a point if you hit the ball out of the court lines, or it doesn’t go over the net. It is also a fault to serve from within or on the line of the non-volley zone. Do not volley in the non-volley zone. And definitely, do not volley when the double bounce rule is applicable.
You can only win a point if you began the rally with your serve. Any other error by the opponent is simply a fault, and will only the opportunity to serve. You must get 11 points to win, however, if it reaches a deuce (10-10), there must be a difference of two for a player to win. (10-12, 11-13, etc.).
Getting the Hang of Pickleball Rules
Once you start playing for a while, the pickleball rules will become second nature to you. So, find your nearest pickleball court, and get started! It’s a super fun way to get some movement and exercise into your day.
Like this article? Share it with your friends across social media! Maybe you’ll find a pickleball partner along the way.