What Are The 5 Rules Of Pickleball?

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What Are The 5 Rules Of Pickleball

Over the years, Pickleball has been rapidly gaining in popularity. Originally invented in 1965, pickleball is actually a culmination of different outdoor sports. The first pickleball game was played with table tennis paddles and a Wiffle ball on a badminton court with a tennis net.

One of the main reasons why pickleball is so attractive is that it is simple to understand. In total there are only 5 main Pickleball Rules. People that have no experience with tennis or badminton will find that pickleball is a great starting point.

Pickleball is a very sociable and fun sport that is appropriate for all ages. It is popular among older people because it is easier on the body when compared to tennis. Pickleball was first created by dads in order to entertain their children.

You can learn all the rules of pickleball in a matter of minutes, and if you have played a net sport before you probably already know most of them.

Here is a basic guide on what these rules are so you can get in on this trendy sport.

Serving Must Be Done At The Baseline

All serves must be done with one foot behind the baseline.

The first serve is traditionally determined by a coin flip.

In pickleball, a serve is done underhand with the ball held below the waistline. The ball must be hit diagonally over the net.

If these rules are broken then the serve is given to the other side. If you are playing doubles then the serve will be given to your teammate.

The Serve Can’t Land In The No-Volley Zone

The no-volley zone is a lined box that is 7 feet from the net. It is also commonly known as the kitchen. You will hear people say “stay out of the kitchen” when serving.

If the ball touches the no-volley zone after the serve then the serve is lost. After the first volley, the ball can drop into the no-volley zone.

This means that in pickleball you ideally want your serve to be far and deep to avoid hitting this area.

The Ball Must Stay Inbounds

Just like other net games, pickleball takes place within the boundary of white lines on a court. Specifically, pickleball uses a badminton court.

If the ball is hit out of bounds then the opponent gets a point. The serve is then given to the other team.

There Should Be One Bounce Per Side

This rule is what sets pickleball apart from other net sports. In the first volley, the ball must bounce on the ground once. If it bounces twice or doesn’t bounce then it is returned to the other team.

After each side has allowed the ball to bounce once, then the ball can be played in the air or continue to be bounced. This is called the double bounce rule.

The Game Ends At 11 Or 15 Points

A game of pickleball usually goes to 11 points, but like volleyball and tennis, you must win by at least 2 points in the lead. So if you have 11 points but your opponent has 10 then you need to play until 12 points.

The winning score could also extend to 15 or 21, this must be discussed before the game begins. Typically the winning score will be 21 if it is a doubles game.

If you are playing to 11 then the teams swap sides once someone reaches 6 points. Swap at 8 points if playing to 21.


Now that you understand the basic rules of pickleball you can start practicing your game. In no time at all, you will be a professional pickleball player.

In 2022, Pickleball was named the official state sport of Washington. As one of the fastest-growing sports in the US, it makes sense that everyone is hearing about this relatively new sport. In 2020 alone it is believed that the active number of pickleball players grew by over 20%.

Just like the original intention of the game, pickleball can be played with little equipment. Most youth centers will have the equipment already available, playing pickleball in a public space is a great way to make new friends.

Pickleball is not just an easy and fun game, it is also a great way to stay in shape. You can burn about 500 calories playing pickleball for one hour.

So get out there and take part in the sport that has been taking the world by storm.

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