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    How to Play Pickleball?

    November 28, 2022 3 min read

    How to Play Pickleball?

    If you still are not convinced why you should be playing pickleball, we invite you to watch this video,  5 Stages of Pickleball,  by The Holderness Family. It is just a matter of time until you get stung by pickleball! However, to play pickleball you need to know how to play pickleball, right!? Don’t worry, we got you covered. Read on to discover answers to commonly asked questions and know all the pickleball rules, terms, and insider knowledge to make YOU a pickleball champion!

    Pickleball Rules & Terms 

    Of course, you read our past blog post on what is pickleball and why is pickleball so popular, meaning you already know it is a game for everyone and anyone. The rules might seem complicated until you get your head in the game, and start enjoying it. Also, because it is played around a social environment, don’t hesitate to ask questions, and learn on the go! Let's dive on all you need on how to play pickleball:

    Before getting into  basic pickleball rules, the answer is yes... you can play singles or doubles.

    The Court 

    The court looks very similar to a gigantic ping pong table, but in size it is like a badminton court,  as it measures 44 feet long and 20 feet wide.  In fact, like badminton there is indoor pickleball as an option as well. However, the net is lower as it measures 36” on the sides and 34” in the middle. 

    Know these court-related terms: 

    • Non-volley Zone (The Kitchen): court are within 7 feet on both sides of the net, where volleying and air smash are not allowed. 
    • Centerline: the lines that divide the courts into halves, from the non-volley zone to the baseline (back of the court). 
    • Baseline: the lines on the back of the court, normally 22 feet from the net. 
    • Sideline: the lines on the side. 
    • Rally: play from serving to when a fault or point occurs.

    The Serve

    Like other racquet sports, the serve has to be made diagonally and must land within the lines. However, different from Tennis, the serve must be underhanded, meaning below the waist or navel. The tip of the paddle head must move below the wrist in an underhand serve. 

    There are a lot more rules for serving and serving in Pickleball is more complex USA Pickleball explains it perfectly:

    • "Both players on the serving doubles team have the opportunity to serve and score points until they commit a fault *(except for the first service sequence of each new game).
    • The first serve of each side-out is made from the right/even court.
    • If a point is scored, the server switches sides and the server initiates the next serve from the left/odd court
    • As subsequent points are scored, the server continues switching back and forth until a fault is committed and the first server loses the serve.
    • In singles the server serves from the right/even court when his or her score is even and from the left/odd when the score is odd.
    *At the beginning of each new game only one partner on the serving team has the opportunity to serve before faulting, after which the service passes to the receiving team."


    Each team/person gets to serve twice (keep this in mind for the "Keeping Score" part). 

    Know these serve-related terms: 

    • Ace: like in tennis, a serve that is not returned
    • Overhead Shot: like the tennis serve, over the shoulder. 
    • Foot Fault: when you place you foot on the line or beyond the line, and you make an "illegal serve." 
    • Line Call: calling the ball in or out.
    • Volley Shot: when you hit the ball in the air before it bounces (not allowed on the non-volley zone). 

    Keeping Score 

    Now, let's talk about the real deal...how to win? You need to understand how to keep score. This may be the most complicated part of pickleball, but don't worry, we'll help you. See below some must-knows about keeping score when playing pickleball: 

    1. Scoring goes to 11 or 15 points, in tournaments. 
    2. Numbers on the scoring is where is gets complicated because it is a 3 digit score (e.g. 5-8-7). The first digit being the current serving team's score, the second the other team's, and the third the number of serves (can be 1 or 2, check out "The Serve" to refresh). 
    3. Serving team or person, will always keep and announce score. 
    4. You have to win by two points. Meaning, if it is 10-10...it would go until 12, and yes, this could go on forever until the two-point difference is made.  
    Now that you know the basics, our ultimate advice is get out there! The best way to learn how to play pickleball is trying to play pickleball. We promise it will be fun. Still do not have apparels? Check out this collection! 

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