Last Updated on August 9, 2023
Pickleball has taken the US by storm and is one of the fastest-growing sports with an increasing player base. It combines the elements of tennis and badminton and is a fast-paced, fun game to play. In this article you to learn how to Play Pickleball.
If you are a beginner considering picking up pickleball, here are some of the basic requirements you should know about, and you’ll be ready to play pickleball.
How to Play Pickleball for Beginners
Before you start playing pickleball, you’ll need a pickleball paddle, a pickleball ball, a court to play on, and an opposition player to play with.
A standard pickleball paddle is like a table-tennis paddle but is relatively bigger. You don’t need a top-of-the-line paddle since you are a beginner, and a cheap paddle is enough for you to begin with.
The pickleball ball is like a wiffle ball but has more round holes. You are recommended to buy balls based on your court, whether indoor or outdoor, as the balls can make a huge difference when it comes to playing pickleball.
This sport is played on a badminton court which measures 20 feet by 44 feet. You must look for pickleball courts around your area, and if you can’t find one, you can turn a tennis court into a pickleball court with some minor changes.
Finally, you’ll need someone to play pickleball with because playing pickleball alone isn’t fun. However, you can play or practice alone with a pickleball machine.
Pickleball Court Basics for Beginners
If you have just started playing pickleball, here are some basics to help you on the pickleball court.
The court is 44 feet by 20 feet in dimension with various zones, which are discussed below.
The baseline is the line behind which the server serves the ball. It is illegal to cross or touch the baseline while serving. However, one of your feet can hover over the baseline while serving.
The Kitchen (non-volley zone)
The kitchen area or non-volley zone is a 7 feet zone on each side. The basic rule for this zone is that you can’t volley (when you hit the ball in the air) while staying or touching the non-volley line, or else it will be a fault.
However, you can hit the ball while touching or being in the kitchen area once the ball bounces in the kitchen area when hit by the opposition player.
Another thing to remember is that you can’t let your momentum carry you into the kitchen zone. It will result in a fault. However, while playing doubles in pickleball, your playing partner can pull you back to avoid you getting in the kitchen zone, which is legal.
The sideline is the overall boundary on the right and left side of the pickleball court. When the ball goes out of the sideline area during play, it is considered a fault.
The pickleball court net is 36 inches in height at the sides and 34 inches at the center. When the ball hits it during the play and stops, it is considered a fault, and the point is lost by the team committing it.
These were some of the basics about the pickleball court that you should keep in mind before playing a pickleball game.
What are the basics rules of playing pickleball?
The Serve: As we all know, every pickleball game – or point – starts with a serve. The player serves the ball to the diagonally opposite player. For instance, If you are on the right side of the court, you should serve the player on the left side of the opposition court.
Another key point you should remember is that your service should be underhand, and the ball must meet your paddle below the waist. You cannot serve like tennis in pickleball as the main objective of serving in pickleball is to start the play or point rather than to score a point aggressively.
One thing to remember is that your server should clear the kitchen zone. It will be considered a fault if you serve bounces in the kitchen zone.
The Double Bounce Rule
The double bounce rule basically means that the ball must bounce twice before either team is eligible to play a volley. You cannot volley when you are served, and the ball has just bounced once.
You win points on your serve only
You can only score points when it’s your turn to serve the ball. If you win a point while serving, you must keep serving until you lose a point. Every time you win a point on your serve, you switch positions with your partner and serve to the other opponent.
The Non-Volley Zone
Also known as the “Kitchen zone,” is a 7 feet zone on each side of the pickleball court. The basic rule for the non-volley zone is that you cannot volley while standing inside or touching the kitchen zone line. If you do, it will result in a fault.
The only way you can step into the kitchen zone to play a shot is when the opponent’s shot lands in the kitchen zone. You are then allowed to legally step in and hit the ball.
Additionally, you cannot let your momentum carry you to the kitchen zone after playing a shot. If you play a shot and step into the kitchen zone, it’ll be considered a fault.
Faults in pickleball
A fault in pickleball refers to the violation of game rules, or in simple words, we can call it a “foul.”
Some of the basic faults in pickleball are as follows
Hitting the net on serve
If you hit the net on serve, you commit a fault and lose a point.
Serve not clearing the kitchen zone
If your serve lands in the kitchen zone, you commit a fault, and a point is given to the other team.
Hitting the ball out of bounds
If the ball lands behind the baseline or out of the sideline, it is considered a fault, and the opponent is given a point.
Touching the net with body or paddle
If you touch the net with any part of your body or with the paddle, it is considered a fault, and your opponent gets the point.
Overall, pickleball is a fun game to play when you are bored. At first, playing according to the rules will be difficult, and you will make mistakes. Over time, you’ll gradually learn how to play pickleball and all of the rules and will be able to play without any issues.
Meet John Wells, the passionate pickleball player and founder of Pickleball Advisor. With his love for the sport, John has been on a mission to empower others to succeed in pickleball by providing comprehensive reviews of the latest pickleball gear since 2020.