The popular sport of pickleball combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It is typically played in doubles format, though can also be played as singles. The objective of the game is to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net and into the opponent's court in a way that they are unable to return the ball.
Below are some of the basic rules of pickleball. There are many other intricacies and variations in the sport, including different types of serves, variations in scoring, and different strategies for playing the game.
- Equipment: Pickleball is played with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes. The paddle can be made of wood, composite materials, or other approved materials. The ball is typically yellow or white and has a diameter of about 3 inches.
- Court: The court is similar in size to a badminton court, measuring 20 feet wide and 44 feet long for doubles play, and 20 feet wide and 22 feet long for singles play. The court is divided into two halves by a 34-inch high net.
- Serving: The serving team must start the point by serving the ball diagonally from the right-hand service court. The serve must be underhand, and the ball must clear the net and land in the opponent's service court.
- Rallying: After the serve, the players must hit the ball back and forth over the net until one team is unable to return the ball or hits the ball out of bounds. The ball can only bounce once on each side of the court before it must be hit back over the net.
- Scoring: Points are scored when the opponent is unable to return the ball or hits the ball out of bounds. The serving team continues to serve until they lose a point, after which the serve changes to the other team. Games are typically played to 11 points, and the winning team must win by two points.
- Faults: Faults are committed when a player violates a rule or makes an error in play. Faults include stepping into the non-volley zone before the ball has bounced, hitting the ball out of bounds, or hitting the ball into the net on the serve.
- Non-Volley Zone: A non-volley zone (also known as the kitchen), is the area within 7 feet either side of the net. Players are not allowed to hit the ball in the air while standing in the non-volley zone, and must allow the ball to bounce before hitting it in this area.