How To Play Pickleball
Pickleball is a sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It is played on a smaller court with a lower net and a lightweight ball, and it can be played as singles or doubles. Pickleball was invented in the 1960s in the United States and has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially among older adults. The sport can be played indoors or outdoors, and it is easy to learn and play. It is also considered a low-impact sport, making it a good choice for people who want to stay active while minimizing the risk of injury.
In this article, we will examine the crucial aspects of pickleball that every player should know, including the fundamental rules, scoring methods, and game strategies. This way, you will gain a thorough understanding of how to play pickleball.
What You Need To Get Started
Pickleball is played with a ball made of plastic with holes, similar to a Wiffle ball. There are separate balls for indoor and outdoor play.
The difference between indoor and outdoor pickleball balls lies in their construction. Indoor pickleball balls are made with a harder material, typically a solid plastic, and are designed to be used on the more controlled and smoother surface of an indoor court. Outdoor pickleball balls, on the other hand, are made with a softer material, typically a perforated plastic, and are designed to be used on outdoor courts where the surface may be uneven or rougher.
Additionally, outdoor balls are often designed to be more responsive to wind and to move slower in order to accommodate for the outdoor environment. Indoor balls, on the other hand, are designed to move faster, making for a faster-paced and more intense game.
It’s important to use the correct type of ball for each type of playing surface to ensure the best playing experience and to prevent damage to the ball or court.
The court measures 20 feet in width and 44 feet in length, with a 7-foot non-volley zone, also known as the “kitchen,” on either side of the net. This court is smaller compared to a tennis court. The height of the net is 34 inches at the sidelines and 36 inches in the center. The game is played using paddles, similar in shape to a table tennis paddle but larger, without any holes. These paddles are distinct from tennis racquets.
As a beginner or intermediate pickleball player, it is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of the game’s rules and basics. For the most updated rules, make sure to check out the official 2023 pickleball rulebook by visiting the website of USA Pickleball. Keep in mind that the rules typically change every year as they find ways to make the game even better!
To help you learn how to play pickleball, we’ve written out some of the most important rules below:
The server must make a diagonal serve from the right service court, and both teams must allow the ball to bounce on their respective court side before returning it. The serving motion must be executed using an underhand technique.
According to the official 2023 pickleball rulebook, it is not permitted to serve the ball with added spin after releasing it with spin. However, it is still possible to perform a spin serve without committing a fault.
The two bounce rule requires players on either side of the court to let the ball bounce once before returning it to the opposing team’s side of the court after the serve has been made.
After accomplishing the two bounce rule, the ball can be hit after one bounce or it can be hit out of the air.
Players are permitted to hit the ball using any part of the paddle and may use different shots such as volleys, dinks, and smashes.
The ball must be hit into the opponent’s court by hitting it over the net.
If the ball goes out of bounds, hits the net post or cable, it is considered out.
A serve is deemed valid as long as it lands within the opponent’s service court and is served diagonally from the server. The center line is considered in bounds. However, if the serve touches the kitchen line or lands inside the kitchen, it is considered out of bounds.
If the opposing team commits a fault, (such as hitting the ball out of bounds, into the non-volley zone, or into the net), then the serving team will score a point.
In doubles play, if the initial serve is not successful or the serving team fails to score a point, the subsequent serve goes to the opposing team’s court.
After the first rally in pickleball, if the first server loses the point either by failing to return the ball or committing a fault, the second server on the left service court takes over the serve on the same side of their court.
Pickleball games are most often played to 11 points, and a team must win by at least 2 points.
Who Can Play Pickleball?
Pickleball is ideal for those looking for a fun, social, and active pastime. It can be played indoors or outdoors, and it is relatively easy to learn, making it accessible to players of all skill levels. It can also be played in doubles or singles, providing versatility for players with different interests and preferences.
Pickleball is particularly popular among seniors as it is a low-impact sport that can be played with friends and provides a good workout. However, it is also enjoyed by people of all ages, including children and young adults, who appreciate the social aspect of the game and the fast-paced, competitive nature.
Overall, pickleball appeals to a wide range of people, including those looking for a low-impact way to stay active, individuals who enjoy playing games with friends and family, and competitive players who enjoy the challenge of fast-paced games. Pickleball’s physical, mental, and social benefits can be enjoyed by so many different types of people all over the world as the sport continues to grow and gain recognition!