What Are the 7 Rules of Pickleball?
Pickleball is a fast-growing sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It is played with a paddle and a plastic ball on a court that is similar in size to a badminton court. This fun and accessible game have been gaining popularity among people of all ages and skill levels. To fully enjoy the game, it is important to understand the rules of pickleball. Here are the seven essential rules of pickleball:
1. The Serve: The serve must be made diagonally crosscourt and underhand. The server must keep one foot behind the baseline while serving and make sure the paddle contacts the ball below the waist. The serve should clear the non-volley zone (NVZ) and land within the opponent’s diagonal court.
2. Double Bounce Rule: After the serve, each team must allow the ball to bounce once before volleys are allowed. This means that the receiving team must let the serve bounce and the serving team must let the return bounce before either side can volley the ball.
3. Non-Volley Zone (NVZ): The non-volley zone is a seven-foot area on either side of the net. Players cannot volley (hit the ball in the air without letting it bounce) while inside this zone. However, players can enter the zone to play a ball that has bounced.
4. Faults: Various faults can occur during the game, including stepping into the non-volley zone during a volley, hitting the ball out of bounds, hitting the ball into the net on the serve, and failing to clear the net on a serve. Each fault results in a point for the opposing team.
5. Scoring: Pickleball is typically played to 11 points, and the winning team must win two points. Only the serving team can score points. If both teams reach 10 points, a two-point lead is required to win the game.
6. Side Out: When a serving team commits a fault, loses a point, or fails to serve within the designated service area, a side out occurs. This means that the serving team loses its serve, and the opposing team gains the right to serve.
7. Rotation: In doubles play, players must rotate positions each time they win the serve back from the opposing team. The player who served the last point moves to the opposite side of the court, and the partner moves to the opposite service court.
Now, let’s address some common questions about pickleball:
1. Can you hit the ball out of the air without letting it bounce?
No, you cannot hit the ball out of the air without letting it bounce unless you are outside the non-volley zone.
2. Can the ball hit the net on a serve?
Yes, the ball can hit the net on a serve as long as it clears the net and lands in the correct diagonal court.
3. Can you step into the non-volley zone after hitting the ball?
Yes, after hitting the ball, you can step into the non-volley zone. However, you must exit the zone before hitting another volley.
4. How many points do you need to win a game?
Typically, pickleball games are played to 11 points, and the winning team must win two points.
5. Can the server switch sides during a game?
No, the server must stay on the same side until the serve is lost, and then the players rotate positions.
6. Can you volley the ball from the baseline?
Yes, you can volley the ball from the baseline as long as you are not stepping into the non-volley zone.
7. Is pickleball only played in doubles?
No, pickleball can be played in singles as well. The rules remain the same, but the court dimensions are slightly different.
8. Can the ball be caught or carried on the paddle?
No, the ball cannot be caught or carried on the paddle. It must be hit cleanly without any prolonged contact.
9. Can the ball be hit with any part of the paddle?
Yes, the ball can be hit with any part of the paddle, as long as it is done within the rules of the game.
10. Can you hit the ball before it bounces?
Yes, you can hit the ball before it bounces if you are outside the non-volley zone.
11. Can you hit the ball around the net post?
Yes, you can hit the ball around the net post as long as it goes over the net and lands within the boundaries of the court.
12. Is there a specific serving order in doubles?
No, there is no specific serving order in doubles. Players can decide who serves first and then rotate positions after gaining the serve back.
13. Can you hit the ball out of bounds?
No, hitting the ball out of bounds results in a fault and gives a point to the opposing team.
14. Can you hit the ball with an open hand?
No, the ball must be hit with the paddle, and using an open hand is not allowed.
Understanding the rules of pickleball is essential to enjoy the game and play it competitively. By following these seven rules and knowing the answers to common questions, you can dive into the exciting world of pickleball and have a great time on the court. So grab a paddle, find a partner, and get ready to experience the thrill of pickleball!