How to Play Pickleball

Well, you are here, so you likely have some idea, or are curious, about the fun new game of Pickleball that is taking over the sports world. Before we get into the detail, rest assured, it is one of the easiest and most fun games / sports you will ever play (much easier to play than tennis)! 

At a high level, Pickleball is played on a smaller tennis court with modified lines, can be played as singles (2 people) or doubles (4 people) and gameplay takes place as players hit the plastic ball back-and-forth over the net with Pickleball paddles (preferably Volley Llama paddles).

So, Get out there! The Courts are Callin'!

Game Play Details

The ball is served diagonally (starting with the right-hand service-square), and points can only be scored by the side that serves. Serves must be underhand and must clear the no-volley zone ("the Kitchen"). 

Players on each side must let the ball bounce once before volleys are allowed, and there is a seven-foot no-volley zone ("the Kitchen") on each side of the net, to prevent “spiking.” The server continues to serve, alternating service courts, until there is a fault (one fault per server before switching).

The first side scoring eleven points and leading by at least two points wins the game! You may also choose your own winning score threshold (some like 7, as that creates more gameplay amongst your entire party!)

Volleys: To volley means to hit a ball in the air without first letting it bounce. This can only be done when the player’s feet are behind the Kitchen line. Note: It is a fault if the player steps over the line on his volley follow-through

Double Bounce Rule: Each team must play their first shot off of the bounce. That is, the receiving team must let the serve bounce and the serving team must let the return of the serve bounce before playing it. Once these two bounces have occurred, the ball can either be volleyed or played off the bounce.

Scoring: A team will score a point only when serving. A player who is serving will continue to do so until a fault is made by their teammate. If playing doubles, each player on a team will keep serving until their team makes a fault, then the serve moves to the opposing team. The game is played to 11 points, however a team must win by 2 points.

The Kitchen: The "Kitchen" is the no volley zone near the net. A player may only step into the Kitchen if the ball bounces in the Kitchen first. Otherwise, a player may not step into or hit a volley in the Kitchen, that would be a Volley Llama!

Types of Faults:

  • Touches any part of the Kitchen on the serve (including the line).
  • Is hit out of bounds
  • Does not clear the net
  • Is volleyed from the Kitchen
  • Is volleyed before a bounce has occurred on each side

The Court Layout

November 24, 2021