Pickleball Rules! But How Do I Play?

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - 07:45
Player Liaison

What is this sport? Is it tennis? Is it badminton? Is it ping pong? To be honest, it’s a bit of all three. Pickleball may seem a bit confusing at first when you step out onto the court with your oversized ping pong racquet and see a badminton net set up as if it were tennis; but with a quick summary of the rules, you’ll see that Pickleball is uniquely its own. Here’s what you need to know to be a Pickleball pro:


  • Player must serve diagonally from behind their own baseline into the opposing court
  • All serves must be underhand and contact with the ball must be made below the waist
  • There are no second chances; if you fault on your serve, you lose your serve
  • If the serving team's score is even - they should serve from the right court. If the serving team's score is odd - they should serve from the left court
  • The same player continues to serve until they fail to score a point. The server will alternate which side they serve from each rally
  • Both players on a team will have the chance to serve until they fail to score a point. At this time, the opposing team will get a chance to serve (the only exception to this rule is at the very start of the game. Whichever team serves first will only have one player serve before service switches to the opposing team) 


  • The team returning the serve must wait for the ball to bounce before striking it back over the net. The serving team must also allow the ball to bounce before continuing the rally. This is called the ‘Double Bounce Rule’. Both teams will need to allow the ball to bounce once on their side of the court. Once this has happen, teams are welcome to volley to their heart’s desire
  • The ball may bounce once after each return (similar to tennis). If a ball bounces twice on your side, the opposing team wins the rally

The Kitchen:

  • The kitchen is the nickname for the area within 7 feet of the net on both sides. 
  • Players are not allowed to perform a volley while any part of their body is touching the kitchen floor
  • If you strike a volley from outside of the kitchen, but your momentum carries you into the kitchen, it is still a fault
  • Once the ball bounces in the kitchen, you are welcome to play the ball from inside the kitchen area

Keeping Score:

  • Points can only be scored on your serve
  • The score should be announced before each serve in the following order: your teams score, your opponents score, and whether you’re are the first or second server on your team (ex. 6-7-1)
  • Each match consists of a best-of-three game format
  • Games are played to 15 points for the first two games; the third game would only be played if teams are tied 1-1 in games. The third game is only played to 11 points.
  • Teams must win each game by two or more points

That’s everything you need to know! Grab your racquet and give our newest offering a try!