Pickleball Rules: A Comprehensive Guide for Players

Pickleball is a fun and exciting game that has been around for many years. It is easy to learn, can be played both indoors and outdoors, and is perfect for players of all ages and skill levels. 

While it is not yet a globally popular sport, many people, in their millions, are already hooked. This post takes you through the basic rules of pickleball so you can also start playing with confidence.

Understanding the court

A pickleball court is 20 feet wide by 44 feet long and is divided into two sides by a net that is 36 inches high at the ends and 34 inches high at the center. The court is similar in size to a badminton court, but the net is much lower.

Knowing how to serve

The serve is made from behind the baseline and must be hit underhand. The ball must be struck below the waist and must clear the net and land in the opponent’s service court. 

The server must keep one foot behind the baseline until the ball is struck. If the ball hits the net on the serve and lands in the service court, it is called a “let,” and the serve is replayed.

How to score

Points are only scored by the serving team, and a game is played to 11 points (or 15 or 21 points in some cases). If the serving team wins the point, they get to serve again from the opposite side. 

If the receiving team wins the point, they become the serving team. Games are usually played as best of three or five, depending on the tournament or the players’ preference.

The Volley

A volley is an instance when the ball is hit by a player before it bounces. Players are allowed to volley the ball as long as they are not standing in the non-volley zone (also known as the kitchen). 

The non-volley zone is a 7-foot area on either side of the net and extends back to the service line. Players must let the ball bounce before hitting it if they are standing in the non-volley zone.

The Double Bounce Rule

After the serve, both teams must let the ball bounce once before volleys are allowed. 

This is called the “double bounce rule.” After the ball has bounced on both sides, the ball can be hit out of the air or after it has bounced. This rule is in place to prevent players from dominating the game with their volleying skills.

Knowing the faults

There are several faults that can occur in pickleball. These include:

  • Hitting the ball out of bounds
  • Failing to clear the net on a serve
  • Hitting the ball into the net on a volley
  • Volleying the ball in the restricted area
  • Hitting the ball before it has bounced on the receiving side after the serve
  • Serving out of turn or out of position


Pickleball is a great game that can be enjoyed by players of all ages and skill levels. By understanding the basic rules of the game, you can start playing with confidence and having fun on the court. 

Whether you’re playing competitively or just for fun, pickleball is a great way to stay active and socialize with others.

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