Let no one lie to you, the biggest secret you need in order to win while having fun in any game or sport is to know the rules. Without some knowledge of the basic rules, you will find yourself violating them most of the time, and it may not be fun to you, neither will it be enjoyable for your partner and your competitor/s.

And if you’ve just decided to take up Pickleball as a hobby, or perhaps it’s some kind of passion for you to pursue it, then you’re in for a treat. Starting with a brief description of the game, here are some pointers that make up a beginner’s guide to the rules of Pickleball.

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is simply a game that resembles tennis, ping-pong, and badminton in terms of how and where it is played, as well as some of the tools and equipment used. The paddlesport can be played indoors as well as outdoors, and the key pieces of equipment include pickleball paddles, a net, and a plastic perforated ball. It is normally played by single players against one another or in pairs aside. It is considered as an interesting game that suits all ages and both genders. The best thing is that Pickleball is easy to learn as a beginner, even though it can get a bit challenging once you start playing against experienced players. “So what are some of the basic rules of the game?”, many will ask.

The Serve

The server is the person who hits the ball first towards the opponent at the beginning of a round. It is required that you serve the bat by hitting it with an underhand swing. While so doing, you should observe that you hit the ball from a range that is below the hips. You also have to be behind the baseline, observing that you serve into the adjacent box as is the case with tennis. Your serve is considered side-out if it hits the net, out of court or gets into the “no-volley zone”, which is sometimes referred to as the kitchen. When you do this, you lose the serve and it goes to the opponent team.

If the ball hits the centerline, baselines, or sidelines, the Serve is considered valid. For a ball that hits the net and falls into the service box, it is called a let, which means that you maintain the Serve as the server. The only time you will score points is while serving, meaning that as the receiving side. In doubles, there is a 1st serve and a 2nd server. The 1st server (always on the right-hand side) serves into the right side (service box) of the opponents’ team. It is also worth noting that once you lose a serve, you switch sides with your teammates and they come to the right side… they become the first server.

Scores and winning

As earlier mentioned, you only score while serving. When a score is made, scores are called in a particular 3-number sequence, the first one denoting the current points of the team that served first, the second one indicating the receiver’s points and (in doubles) the third one indicating the server (either 1 or two). For instance, 4 – 2 – 1 means that the serving team has 4 points while the receiving team has 2 points and it is the 1st servers turn to serve.

The no volley zone

A volley basically means hitting the ball without first letting it bounce. In a Pickleball court, 7 feet from each side of the net is an area referred to as the no-volley zone. As a player, when in this zone, you can only hit the ball after it bounces. If it hits you first while in this zone, then you lose a point. You can also lose a point if you hit a ball while outside the no-volley zone, then that momentum pushes you into the zone. It only takes your foot to touch the tiniest bit of the no-volley zone line to be considered inside it. The serving team will also lose a point anytime they serve and the ball hits into the No-Volley line.

The double-bounce rule

While on the receiving end, the ball has to bounce once after being served before hitting it and once you hit it to the other side of the court, the opponent has to allow the ball to bounce once before they hit it. It is only after the two bounces from either side occurred that the player can choose to play a volley or wait for the ball to bounce once.

As you can see, Pickleball is an easy game to get into as a beginner. It might be a bit challenging for you at first, but with the right attitude, resilience, and good mentorship, the above basic rules will be easily in your fingertips. The most important thing to remember though; is that practice makes perfect and you’ll get better at it the more you get yourself out there in the court. Happy Pickleball game!

Published by Mohaned Gadnne