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Rules of Pickleball

The Court and Players

Pickleball is played as singles or doubles. Unlike tennis, both singles and doubles are played on the same court.

Court dimensions are the same as a badminton court measuring: 20 feet x 44 feet. Just

The Serve

Only one serve is allowed. A let is called if the ball strikes the net and lands in the opposite court (diagonal or crosscourt). If the ball strikes the net and lands either in the kitchen (no volley zone) or out of bounds, a fault is declared.

The serve must be underhand. Additionally:

  • The strike of the ball must be BELOW the waist or navel area.
  • No part of the paddle may be higher than the wrist at the time of ball strike.
  • Neither foot may enter the court or touch the baseline until the ball is struck.

In doubles, except at the start of the game, each player serves until a point is lost before the opposing team starts to serve. At the beginning of the game, the starting side only loses only one point before yielding service to the opponents. Serving always starts on the right, or forehand, side. If multiple games are played, the start of the game alternates regardless of who won the preceding game.


Games are usually played to 11 and won by 2. Points are won only while serving. Servers should announce the score before serving each point. Proper scoring includes:

  1. Score of serving team
  2. Score of receiving team
  3. Designated number of the server (doubles)

Consider Jack/Jill vs. Bonnie/Clyde. Jack is serving and exclaims “6-4-2” meaning:

  • Jack and Jill have 6 points
  • Bonnie and Clyde have 4 points
  • Jack is the second server of this sequence

Double Bounce Rule

The serve and the return of serve must both be allowed to bounce before volleying is allowed. Volleys must obey the “no volley zone” rule.

No Volley Zone

You may not ever volley a ball while standing within 7 feet of the net. This area is known as the “no volley zone” or “the kitchen.” The no volley zone includes the 7 foot line, that is, the 7 foot line is part of the kitchen.

Stepping on the 7 foot while volleying is a fault. A serve landing on the kitchen line is a fault.

During play, a player may strike the ball within the no volley zone once the ball has bounced.

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