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Pickleball is a paddle sport similar to tennis, ping-pong and badminton. It is played by hitting a perforated ball over a net on a badminton-sized court. The object is to hit the ball into your opponent’s court in such a way that they cannot return it to your court.



Only the serving team can score points. Games are played to eleven (11) and a team must win by two (2) points.

The Serve:

  • The ball is served underhand without letting it bounce in the court. The serve is made diagonally cross court and must clear the non-volley zone. The server must have at least  one feet inside the baseline as long as the other foot is outside at the moment of the serve. The paddle must be below the waist.

  • Only one serve is allowed per point attempt.

    • Except if there is a “let.” A let is if the ball touches the net on the serve, and lands on the proper service court. Then, the serve may be taken over.

  • When the serving team wins the point they continue to serve, but the players alternate service courts. When they fail to win a point the serve goes to their teammate (except for the first serve of the game) who serves from their current position.

    • Except at start of each new game, the 1st serving team is allowed only one fault before giving up the ball to the opponents. Thereafter both members of each team will serve and fault before the ball is turned over to the opposing team.

  • When the receiving team wins the serve, the player in the right hand court will always start play.    


Double Bounce Rule: Following the serve, each side must make at least one groundstroke before being allowed to volley the ball (hit it before it bounces).    


The Volley: To volley a ball means to hit it in the air without first letting it bounce. All volleying must be done with the player's feet behind the non-volley zone line.    



- Hitting the ball out of bounds (lines are in)

- Not clearing the net

- Stepping into the non-volley zone and volleying the ball

- Double bounce: A ball that bounces more than once on one side before it is returned

- Double hit: A fault where one side hits the ball twice before returning it over the net.

Other terms to know:

  • Cross-court: The court diagonally opposite your court

  • Dead-ball: A dead ball is declared after a fault

  • Dink shot: A soft shot designed to arc over the net and land within the non-volley zone

  • Drop shot: A groundstroke shot that falls short of the opponent’s position

  • Groundstroke: Hitting the ball after one bounce

  • Lob: A shot that returns the ball high and deep and forces the opponent back to their baseline

  • Rally: Continuous play that occurs after a serve and before a fault

  • Side-out: Declared after one side loses its service and the other side is awarded service


Downloadable version (ppt)

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