What is Pickleball?
Pickleball is an exciting and rapidly growing sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It’s played on a court that is similar to a badminton court, but slightly smaller. The game is played with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes. The objective of the game is to hit the ball over a net in such a way that the opposing team cannot return it.
Pickleball is great for people of all ages and skill levels. It’s a fun way to stay active and be social with friends and family. It can be played indoors or outdoors and is easy to learn. Pickleball is a great way to stay in shape and improve your hand-eye coordination.
How to Play Pickleball
Pickleball is a simple game that is easy to learn. It’s played with two (singles) or four (doubles) players. The court is 20 feet by 44 feet and is divided into two equal halves. The net is hung at a height of 36 inches (34 inches at the center).
The ball is served diagonally across the court to the other team. The team that serves must serve the ball from behind the baseline. After the ball is served, the opposing team must return the ball after it bounces once and before it bounces twice on their side of the court.
Players may not hit the ball more than once before it crosses the net. The ball must remain in play until a team makes an error or it goes out of bounds. The team that reaches 11 points first wins the game.
Here is a quick reference guide of all pickleball basics:
The Basic Rules of the Serve
• The first serve begins on the right side of the court (facing the opponents).
•The ball must be served diagonally to the opposing team and not land in the kitchen.
• The ball must be hit with an underhanded stroke with contact below the waist.
• The server must stand behind the baseline for the serve.
•After the serve, the ball must bounce once on each side of play before either team can volley.
•The goal of a pickleball serve is to put the ball in play.
The Basic Rules of the Kitchen
•The kitchen is the non-volley zone (meaning you cannot hit the ball out of the air if your feet are in the kitchen).
•A shot that lands in the kitchen is called a ‘dink’.
The Basic Rules of Scoring
•You only win points on your serve. If you lose the point, the serve rotates to either server #2 or to the opposing team.
•Prior to serving, the server announces the score in this manner: [serving team’s score], [receiving team’s score], [serving position, either 1 or 2]. An example: 4, 2, 1 (you have 4, your opponent has 2, and you are server #1 for your team).
• In doubles, both players on each team get the opportunity to serve (server 1 and then server 2) before it switches over to the opponents’ turn to do the same.
•The exception to the rule above is the very first service of the game, where only server #2 on the first team serves before it rotates to the opponents’ side.
The Basic Attire for Pickleball
•Breathable, moisture-wicking athletic clothing is advisable for pickleball. Typical tennis outfits such as an Edara Apparel dress and sports bra will do just the trick for looking and feeling good on the pickleball court.
•Non-marking tennis shoes with good grip, traction and ankle support are a necessity.
•If playing outdoors, sun protection including a sport visor, sunglasses and sunscreen are imperative.
Confused yet? Don’t be. Once you play a few points, preferably with someone who already knows the game, you will get the hang of the scoring system and rules of pickleball. It is fun, fast paced and easy to learn.