What Are the Rules for Pickleball?


Quick Answer

According to the USA Pickleball Association, Pickleball is a sport played by 2 or 4 players that combines the rules and skills of badminton, ping-pong and tennis. Players use paddles to serve and return plastic balls on a badminton or modified tennis court.

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What Are the Rules for Pickleball?
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Full Answer

Usually played as doubles (two players per team), Pickleball is played to 11, 15 or 21 points, and the winning team must win by 2 points as of 2015. According to the USA Pickleball Association, the ball is served underhand and must land in the opposite diagonal court. The ball must bounce once before being returned, and again before being returned by the serving team. Once the ball has bounced and been returned by each team, volleying may continue with or without bounces.

A coin is tossed to determine who serves first. Service begins from the right court, and after each point is scored, the server switches sides. When the server commits a fault while playing doubles, the serve then goes to their partner. Once the partner commits a fault, the serve goes to the opposing team. The serving team scores 1 point for each of the opposing teams' faults.

The ball is not allowed to hit the net on a serve or return. The area of court 7 feet on either side of the net is considered a non-volley zone, often called "the kitchen." If the ball lands anywhere outside this zone, including on a line, it is considered to be in bounds.

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