Learn how to play pickleball, the dimensions of the pickleball court, scores and faults in pickleball, rules, and strategies to win the game.
Sports not only keep you physically fit but also add scores to your mental health. Playing a physically active game like pickleball twice or thrice a week will keep you young for a longer period. So, if you are planning to join pickleball, you can create a big difference in your life. The problem does not occur when we join pickleball, but after joining the club, the new rules, laws, and techniques make us feel naive at the game.
To eliminate the chances of such incidents, you should be prepared regarding how to play pickleball. A basic understanding before entering the trial court can help you a lot. Therefore, I am going to tell you all the basics of pickleball, from how to play it to the rules and court dimensions. All you need is to separate 5 minutes from your busy routine and invest this time in your future self. Pick up your paddle and come with me.
How To Play Pickleball?
Learning something new can be a bit difficult, but it can help you enhance your skills. That is what I had in my mind when I pursued pickleball as a hobby. But after a few days, I concluded that if I knew the basics of pickleball before starting the game, I could perform better on the court. So, if you have no idea how the game works, it is based on a paddle and a ball.
For the game, you need a paddle, a pickleball ball, and a court. The court has determined dimensions, a pickleball net in the center of the court divides it into two sides. Each player has his own position area on the field. Here comes something interesting: pickleball is a game where 4 people play together at the same time. I will answer your “How” later, but the thing you should know first is that there are two types of courts.
Types Of Courts
Indoors are the courts we often build in the back of our houses or an area where people have built courts for us but also charge for the rent. , you pay before you play. The court owner can charge you 10 to 20 or 50 bucks for an hour, depending on the facilities he is providing.
These courts are a bit different; some outdoor courts are built on original grass, and others follow the tradition of artificial grass mats. These courts are located in the area of sports fields in the city or local parks. No one charges you if you play there; all you need is to find a good court.
What Do I Need To Play The Pickleball?
Pickleball is an amalgamation of different games so it has similar equipment to tennis, squash, or ping pong. Anyhow, you need a paddle; a ping pong bat-like equipment. The paddles are made of different kinds of materials, such as graphite, plastic, and so on. There are two types of paddles; let’s take a brief view:
- Wide Sweet Spot Paddles: They are not large but wider; the center area of the paddle is called a sweet spot. Because of the dimensions of the sweet spot, this paddle is called a wide sweet spot paddle.
- Elongated Paddles: Unlike the above ones, they are larger. Their sweet spot area is less wide as compared to the above ones.
After examining the paddle, you should know about the ball used in the pickleball. This ball has small holes to eliminate air resistance. These balls are made of a unique type of plastic called polymer. The ball is not heavyweight like tennis and squash nor too lightweight like ping pong, but in between.
How Does Pickleball Court Look Like?
The pickleball court is designed on the basis of determined dimensions. The court is not big like tennis but is 20 feet wide and 44 feet long. Now, the court is divided into multiple parts. As I have mentioned before, the center of the court is divided by a net line; its height could be 36 inches from the sides and 34 inches from the middle.
The endings of the courts from front to end and left to right are called baselines. Now, each area that is divided by the net is also divided into sub-parts. As you can see on the court, the near-net area is called the kitchen or non-volley area. It should be 7 inches deep and 22 inches wide, touching the edges of the baseline from both the left and right sides. After the 7 inches of non-volley areas, we have two parts: the sideline and the centerline.
Do not consider them as the front and back; the sideline would be on your left side if you stand against the net, and the centerline is on the right. You can also call them the left and right service areas. Like other sports, pickleball also has some rules; there are certain shots and deliveries you can play. Let’s discuss the rules and types of shots.
Rules Of Pickleball
Sports games are all about following the pickleball official rules; from the start to the end of the game, you have to follow a particular code; otherwise, you will lose the game. The same goes with pickleball; from the serving to the last delivery, you have to follow particular laws. The first is serving; just like the first kick in football and the first shot in tennis, the pickleball match begins with the first serving. The word “serving” is used for shot or delivery.
Rules Of Serving
- The first shot or serving style is different in pickleball rather than in tennis and ping pong. The player should serve the ball underhand; meaning, the player should hold the paddle against the ground, in the opposite position, and then hit the ball with force. Overhand serving, like in tennis, is prohibited in pickleball.
- The player should step back from the court until he reaches behind the baseline, the boundaries of the court for serving. The player should serve out of the court field, keeping both feet out of the baseline.
- Keep in mind that the server should hit the ball with maximum force so that it clears the non-volley area. The player should hit the ball in a diagonal direction, the same as in tennis.
- Now, the server should not touch the net or the kitchen area. The ball should land in the court sideline or centerline of the opponents. In case the player is unable to serve two times, the next team will get an opportunity to serve.
Rules In The Middle Of The Game
After serving, the next player bounces the ball. It is also called the double bounce rule. The rule is to maintain fairness in the game. According to the double bounce rule, the players on both sides should bounce the ball in their court area once after the first serve. For example, you are the server; now, as you hit the ball, it should go next to the net. The opposite player also hit back; the 2nd serve should occur before the bounce.
The ball coming from the player next to you should bounce in your court area, and the same goes for the opposite side. Bouncing the ball once after the serve means you can volley the ball fearlessly. In more simple words, the double bounce should occur once after the serve; it is up to you whether you should bounce it again or not, but the first bounce is compulsory.
What Should I Not Do In The Game?
Then comes those things you should not do in the game. The first prevention is the non-volley area or kitchen. The 7 feet deep area near the net is called the non-volley zone. As the name suggests, you cannot volley in this area. Plus, you cannot put on your feet while hitting the ball. But there is also a margin that if the ball hits the ground of the kitchen, the player can enter there and give a shot.
So, this is how we start and play the game. The starting rules are very important for all players, but the mentioned rules are for double players. Here, I also tell you that pickleball allows 4 people to play; the left and right sub-courts are for two players. But there is a slight difference between the rules of singles and doubles.
- If you are in the singles, the server hits the ball from the right side of the court. The ball should go on the right side of the opponent, it is the opposite of the rule of diagonal direction served in the doubles.
- Unlike the doubles, the singles have no kitchen or non-volley zone. The player can hit the ball or volley it from the kitchen.
These are the significant differences between the starting and middle of the games. Otherwise, the court dimensions and further rules stay the same. Now, we should discuss the scores and faults of the game. Here is a brief overview of the scores and faults in pickleball.
Faults & Scores In Pickleball
Pickleball is a universal game with different kinds of scoring. It includes rally scoring and traditional scoring. On the other hand, the faults are also categorized as serve, rally, and foot faults. To win the game, you should understand how these faults occur.
Different kinds of faults fall in the category of serve mistakes. The first one is the way you serve; as I have mentioned, there are two types of shots. The first is the ground strikes, and the second is the volley. For the first serve, you should hit the ball from down to up; that is called groundstroke.
In contrast, volleying is hitting the ball out of the air. In simple words, those overhand shots are used in tennis for the first serve. Ground strikes are allowed for the first time on, if you do not hit an underhand shot, you are committing a fault. Another fault is common in beginner groups who serve from the kitchen area. Remember, serving from the kitchen is a fault, you should be out of the court boundary, the baseline for serving.
Then comes the most common fault: applying inefficient power to hit the ball so it touches the net. The center net is the red zone where neither the ball nor you should touch. Therefore, hit the ball with enough force that it clears the net perfectly and reaches the next point of the court.
After preventing yourself from serving faults, you should also focus on the rally faults. The most common one is when the player hits the ball into the net. No matter what the condition is, your ball should not touch the net. As well, you should not hit the ball out of bounds. Moving on further, you cannot rally while standing in the kitchen area.
To win the pickleball match, you ought to focus on the small points of your opponent and yourself. There is a fault in the game called a foot fault. It occurs when the server crosses the baseline of the court. Actually, crossing the baseline before the serve reaches the next player is not allowed. So, focus on the foot movements of the opponents.
No matter which team is about to serve, the rally point is given to the team that does not miss the shot. Each rally scores if you successfully trick your opponent. To score a rally, a player has to hit serve efficiently so that his opponent cannot return it; rally scores are the easiest way to make points in pickleball.
The traditional scoring is a bit difficult; in this method, only the serving team can score points. Let’s say you’re serving, and suddenly, you miss a shot. Now, the score is not given to the opponent, but he has won a rally. Further, the opponent can score more and more until you gain the rally.
How To Start Playing Pickleball?
After understanding all the rules of pickleball, you have finally determined that you will play the game. But the problem is how to start playing pickleball. You will likely have no one in your circle, such as a friend or family member, who plays this game. Therefore, you should focus on other solutions, such as joining a club or finding people in your area. Here, I have described how to start and find a community.
Joining A Club
The first solution is to join a pickleball club. When I started playing pickleball, I joined the nearest club to my house. Joining a club has so many benefits, first, you will have a coach or guiding person who will tell you about all the basics of pickleball. Second, you will find a community or people of your level. You can see the beginners, play with intermediate, and get assistance from the advanced players.
Joining A Group On Social Placement
If you have no one to guide you, you should join a Facebook group of pickleball that represents your area. The chances of finding a group in your area are less, but there are plenty of pickleball groups. But you can receive enough information from these groups about the famous clubs of the state, champions, and their strategies.
Chances are high that you will find a pickleball group in the nearby parks. Because pickleball is becoming the most popular game in the country, we have groups of people who play games in parks.
Pickleball is a game of physical and mental effort; you have to plan your win before you start the game. Let’s say you have found a community. The next thing you will do is play a pickleball match. But pickleball is not all about hitting a ball with a paddle. The game is full of techniques and tactics; therefore, you should plan a strategy before you start. I have a few strategies; if you apply them, you can easily win the game.
The first step is the serve placement, a starting point of the pickleball game. If you are the first, serve deep and in the corners of the court. Actually, it is a strategy to lock the opportunities of your opponent. In this way, your opponent will move toward the corner and have no option to run.
Returning The Serve
You have perfectly served, but the backlash may cause trouble. Do not hit the ball without thinking about how to tackle it. If the ball is returned, hit it in the low and deep side and target the backhand side of the next player. In case the opponent has hit the ball up in the air and near the kitchen, return it with full force, down and deep. It will help you push the player next to you in a corner.
Third Shot Drop
The majority of professional players use the third-shot drop strategy. Actually, it occurs when you hit the ball softly so it lands near the net of the opponent. Now, the opponent moves forward to control the ball and prevent it from touching the net. In this hurry, he hits the ball up, giving you a chance to go ahead and take control of the point.
The last one is dinking, which occurs when you hit the ball very softly so that it lands near the net area of the opponent. As the ball is near the net, the opponent may prevent it from touching it rather than thinking about control. Dinking is the best way to make your opponent confused.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can 2 People Play Pickleball?
Pickleball is a multi-player game; 2 people can play pickleball. Although the game is for 4 people, there is still a margin for 2 people. A few rules are changed for singles games while the scoring system stays the same.
What Is The Golden Rule Of Pickleball?
The best part of pickleball is that it engages your full body. If you have noticed before, the game is all about moving forward and backward, focusing on the ball, planning the next move, and quick arm movement. The golden rule of pickleball is that it keeps you engaged in the activity.
What Is A Pickleball Ball Called?
The ball used in pickleball has holes in the skin. It is called the wiffle ball, as it is made of plastic.
How Long Is A Game Of Pickleball?
It depends on the speed of the players, but the average time of a pickleball game is 35 to 75 minutes.
Is Pickleball A Real Sport?
Pickleball is a sports game that is an amalgamation of badminton, ping-pong, tennis, and squash. Pickleball is a paddle sport, it is based on a graphite-made paddle, or wiffle ball, and is played on a court.
How To Play Pickleball For Beginners?
Before playing pickleball as a beginner, first, you should learn the basics of pickleball. You should know about pickleball equipment like paddles, balls, nets, and different court rules. After that, learn different pickleball strategies like dinks, volley, forehand, backhand, and third shot drops. Once you get the basic pickleball knowledge, practice the game as practice makes perfect.
Can You Bounce The Ball On A Pickleball Serve?
No, in pickleball, the rules specify that the serve must be hit in the air without bouncing. This means the server must strike the ball before it touches the ground, following a specific underhand motion. It’s a key rule that shapes the unique style of the game.
Pickleball seems easy, but if you just started playing the game, you may need assistance to understand the rules. The game is all about focusing on the ball and playing mindfully. If you know the rules, the strategies, and the scoring method, you will play better than the other players. To win the game, I have mentioned a few strategies. Furthermore, I discussed ways you can connect with the pickleball community. This information will help you in the future. Thank you!
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I, Jeena Noven, am a renowned pickleball expert and author with over 10 years of experience playing and coaching the sport. My passion and extensive knowledge of pickleball has made me a leading authority in the game, particularly in the field of footwear. I have written countless articles for https://pickleballcard.com/, a website dedicated to pickleball, sharing my insights and expertise on the best shoes for the sport. Through personal testing and reviewing countless different brands and styles, I have developed a deep understanding of the technical aspects of shoe design that make them suitable for the demands of pickleball. In my articles, I provide valuable information for both beginner and advanced players, covering everything from the basics of shoe fit and support, to advanced tips for maximizing performance on the court. As a dedicated pickleball player and expert in footwear, I am a valuable resource for players of all levels. My articles are not only informative but also engaging, making them a must-read for anyone looking to improve their pickleball game. I am constantly researching new products and trends in the industry and my readers can always count on me to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information on the best pickleball shoes available.