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13 rules of pickleball you must need to know

Pickleball is a fast-growing game similar to tennis and ping pong. Every game has some rules, so no wonder pickleball also has some rules. Keeping them in mind will help you play the game without any errors. 

As this game is getting popular, tournaments are playing around the world. So, let’s learn all those rules that would help you get involved in this game. 

Rules of Pickleball:

Pickleball could be played as singles or doubles(two players per team). Doubles are the most commonly played games, but the rules remain the same for singles and doubles. 

However, there is some slight difference in points when playing games such as doubles. The organizers will introduce the points rule. The most common gear you need to play this game is paddles and a ball.

So, let’s discuss the rules you need to know to become a better player or cheerier.  

1- Toss to decide Server

The First ever rule of pickleball is toss, and just like any other game, pickleball has no exception. 

So, the team who won the toss will be given a chance to serve. Moreover, the most interesting rule of pickleball is that only the serving team can earn a score. 

2- Ten Second Rule

The ten-second rule in pickleball states that if a point is given to a team. Then they have ten seconds to make a serve. Moreover, if a team fails to do so in ten seconds, it will be declared a fault. 

3- Serving Rule

While serving, the ball must be dropped by one hand and hit with the other hand below the waist without bouncing in the server court. On the other side, the ball must bounce once before being hit by the opponent. One thing to remember here is that the ball should pass the non-volley line in the opposite court before it bounces.

The ball can only be served from underhand when hit by the serving team or nonserving. In case of any violation of pickleball rules, the ball will be handed over to the other Server or the other team as per the defined rules. When any rule breaks, it is commonly known as a ‘fault by the server.’ 

4- Sequence of Serving

Now the main question is to serve the ball from which end. The rule says the serving team will serve the ball from the right end. If they earn a point during service or win a rally, the same Server will serve the ball from the left. 

In short, if any of the serving teams won a point by any means, then the same Server will serve the ball from the opposite end.

5- Earning of points by Non-Server

For instance, a non serving team has to earn a service to score points. If a non serving team wins a rally, the ball is passed to the second Server. 

Moreover, while serving by the second Server, if the non serving team wins the rally, the ball is passed onto the non serving team, and they will serve from the right side. 

This cycle goes on until the game ends.

6- Serve Landing areas

Any service that starts from the right of the Server’s court has to be landed on the right side of the opponent’s service area. Moreover, the opposite is true if it happens from the left side.

7- No Volley Rule

No volley pickleball rule is invented to keep the game ticking for long. 

There are two 7-feet no-volley lines on both sides of the net, known as the kitchen. Per no volley rule, players are not allowed to enter the kitchen to hit the ball. Nobody is allowed to touch the line before or after hitting the ball. 

Violation of this rule is a fault for the individual or a team.

8- Pickleball Court Rule

Another rule for pickleball is court rule, where there will be two 44 feet and 20-feet sides and baselines, respectively, and hitting outside these lines is not allowed. 

Moreover, there will be two 7 feet non-volley lines on either side of the serving, which identify the non volley zone—also known as a kitchen. Players are not allowed to enter this zone to hit the ball.

9- Double Bouncing

Few people are very much familiar with this unique rule of pickleball. The rules state that:

  1. The returner must let the ball bounce once before hitting it back.
  2. The ball must bounce once on the serving team side before they hit it back.

As the above two basic rules are followed properly, the rally goes on normally.

10- Second Bounce

Many people mixed this pickleball rule with the double bounce rule. This rule is a little bit different from the double bounce rule. 

The rules state that the ball can only bounce once before returning; it cannot bounce twice. If the ball bounces twice on the same end, it will be considered a fault. The second bounce rule allows servers to hit the bouncing ball from the kitchen, which is legal in this scenario. 

Important point: This rule does not apply to people playing pickleball on wheelchairs. They are allowed to send the ball back even after the double bounce.

11- Inbound Rule

This inbound rule of pickleball is somehow fascinating. It is simple and easy; if the ball lands in the allowed area, it will be considered inbound. 

Even if the ball is touching the borderline of the allowed area or some out-of-bound part of the net, it is still considered inbound.

12- Out of Bound


Out of bound means, the ball must land in the non serving team’s legal area, which means that the serving team will have to land the ball in a 20-foot by 22-foot area of the non serving team. 

This rule provides a reasonable and limited area for the game. Many professional players always try to hit the ball near the boundary, so the opponent will find it difficult to continue the rally.

13- Calculation of Scores

There should be a lead of two points for a team to win the game. 

Suppose a team scores 11 points and the second team scores 10; then the game will go on until any team gets a lead of two points. Pickleball games are usually played to a score of 11. Depending on the tournament rules, the score may vary from 11, 15, and 21.

Bottom Line for Rules of Pickleball:

Coming down, undoubtedly, like any other game, there are also some rules of pickleball, and the knowledge of them would make you a better sports enthusiast.

So, in a nutshell, the pickleball rules process starts with the toss and then the serving, volley, bouncing, and calculation of scores. 

Hope you got some value, if you have any other questions do comment below.


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