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How to Play Pickleball

As a table tennis coach, I prefer playing table tennis. I think that table tennis is harder since the learning curve is deeper. But if you want a more relaxed and outdoor sport, then here you are, Pickleball.

Basic Instructions for Pickleball

On a 20′ x 44′ court, pickleball is a badminton-sized game. You can only score points for your team if you’re serving, which is why the ball is served diagonally (from the right-hand service square).

A seven-foot no-volley zone exists on either side of the net to prevent players from “spiking” the ball before they may attempt a volley. Until the server makes a mistake, they continue to serve in alternating service courts. Winners are determined by the first team to score eleven points and maintain a two-point lead. Singles or doubles can play pickleball.

The Serve in Pickleball

Each serve is to be made diagonally from the right-hand service square to the left-hand service square, starting with the first serve. For a serve to be considered good, it must cross the net’s seven-foot non-volley zone and fall on the service court’s diagonal.

Serve of Pickleball
Serve of Pickleball

In order to serve, the paddle should always be underhand and the server must have both feet behind the backline at all times when using the paddle to serve Without bouncing, the ball should be smashed into the air. The serving side will serve until the service is faulty, at which point the service will be given to the opposing side. A serve may be taken over if the ball hits the net but still lands in the appropriate service court.

When serving, the Server must keep both of his or her feet behind the backline. When serving underhand, the paddle comes into touch with the ball at a lower point in the body, just below the waist. To receive a serve, the Server must hit the ball high in the air. Not allowed: The Server can’t bounce the ball and hit it from the bounce. Cross-court serves must clear all non-volley zones, including lines.

Pickleball Paddle
Pickleball Paddle

Only one serve attempt is permitted unless a ball strikes the net on a serve and lands in the proper service court; in this instance, a serve may be taken. First-serving teams are allowed one infringement at the start of each game before handing the ball over to their opponents. Before the ball is handed over to the opposing team, each team will serve and fault two more times. Play will always begin with a right-handed hitter if the receiving team wins serve.


It implies smashing the ball in the air without first allowing it to bounce, which is called volleying. This can only be done in Pickle-ball® if the player’s feet are positioned behind the non-volley zone border (seven feet behind the net). If the player steps above the line on the follow-through of his volley, it is illegal.

Only 1 service for Pickleball rules
Only 1 service for Pickleball rules

The Rule of Two Bounces

Two Bounce Rule: The first shot for each team must be taken off the bounce. As a result, both the receiving and serving teams must allow their serves to bounce before playing them out. Volleying or playing off the bounce are the only options left for the ball after these two bounces.


Here are some faults of Pickleball:

When a serve does not arrive within the borders of the receiving court, it is considered a fault.

On the serve or any return, the ball is hit into the net.

The ball is volleyed before each side has had a bounce.

The ball has been thrown out of bounds.

From the non-volley zone, a ball is volleyed.

Before being struck by the receiver, the ball bounces twice.

When the ball is in play, a player, a player’s clothing, or any part of a player’s paddle hits the net or the net post.

A player or anything the player is wearing or carrying is struck by a ball in play.

Before bouncing on the court, a ball in play strikes any permanent object.


Only when it is serving will a team be awarded a point. Until his or her team commits a mistake, a serving player must continue to serve. When playing doubles, each member of the team serves until the other team commits a fault, at which point the serve is passed to the other team.

This is known as a Side-Out serve. The game is played to 11 points, however, the winning team must be ahead by two points in order to be declared the winner.

Regardless of whether you’re playing indoors or outside, be sure you’re wearing the right kind of shoes. Non-marking bottoms, stability for side-to-side movement, and a flat, sturdy sole are all features you should look for in your shoes. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times to avoid dehydration.

Pickleball Rules | How to play Pickleball | Beginner's Guide

Watch this video.


It’s important that the paddle you employ isn’t too heavy. Look for one that gives you the best of both worlds: power and touch. Ideally, the grip should be soft and pliable, allowing you to hold it comfortably. Your grip may always be re-wrapped or an over-grip can be added. Don’t forget to label your paddle with your name as soon as you get it. Singles, doubles, and mixed doubles are all options. You’ll have a lot of fun if you’re playing with people who are just as good as you are. This sport is enjoyed by people of all ages.

Pickleball matches are played to 11 points, however, the winner must be separated by two points in order to win. It can take anything from 10 to 25 minutes for a game to begin and end. When a player is serving, they are able to accrue points.

Pickleball double games
Pickleball double games

Underhand serves and paddle-to-ball contact below your waist are required for a proper serve. After the ball has bounced, both sides must play their first shot, and then they can either advance forward to the non-volley line or remain at the baseline. As soon as possible, you and your partner should move to the non-volley line.


Moving up, back, and side to side with your partner is always recommended. Due to the short size of the court, players are unable to close the net if volleying is prohibited within the seven-foot non-volley zone. With the “dink” shot, players can hit shots over the net that fall in the “non-volley zone,” often known as “the kitchen,” rather than the serving zone. To hit a ball over, a player can enter the kitchen if it bounces.

2021 US Open of Pickleball
2021 US Open of Pickleball

Here are some hints: Keep your paddle high and centered to your chest while you wait for the ball – this way you’re ready for a shot on either side of you. Stay alert and ready for the next shot. Maintain possession and allow your opponent to make a mistake.


Prior to playing, you should take a 5-minute walk to raise your body temperature, and you should always cool down with some stretches or a gentle stroll to get your body temperature back down to where it was before. Play more pickleball if you’re in good health!

End of the match

A “goodbye” gesture is made by all players at the net when the match is over. In place of handshakes, pickle ballers prefer to tap paddles and crack a few jokes with each other.

This should give you a better idea of what the game is all about.

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Table tennis coach in France since 2012, founder of pingsunday.com (the best online coaching program for table tennis players). Born in Vietnam in 1983, Ph.D. in Université Pierre Marie Curie. Read more about him.

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