How Do You Play Pickleball

Pickleball is an exciting and rapidly growing sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and squash. It can be played with two or four players and is an enjoyable way to get some physical activity and socialize with your friends.

In this article, we'll take a look at pickleball and how to play the game. We'll also discuss the rules, scoring, and court setup for pickleball. Let's get started!

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a game that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, and has been increasing in popularity since its start in the 1960s. It is played both indoors and outdoors on a court with paddles and a wiffle ball. The court size and scoring resemble that of doubles badminton or doubles table tennis.

The game was originally created as an activity for children, but it has become increasingly popular among all ages due to its accessibility and simplicity. It's great for those who want something low-impact to keep them engaged socially or to stay physically active. Pickleball can be played recreationally by two people or four players in singles, doubles, or combo formats.

Players can be classified according to skill level:

  • Beginner (1-2 years)
  • Novice (3-5 years)
  • Intermediate (6+ years)
  • Advanced (7+ years)
  • Semi-pro (10+ years)
  • Professional (regional/national tournaments).

To become skilled at playing pickleball you need to practice consistently over time in order to build up technique and improve your hand-eye coordination. Players will benefit from attending clinics with experienced professionals such as propicklerballers Andy Parnin, Justin Maloof and Dave Weinbach who have been playing the sport for many years!

How Do You Play Pickleball

Equipment Needed

Pickleball is a fast-paced and fun game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It is a combination of tennis, badminton, and table tennis and has become increasingly popular in recent years. Before you jump into the fun, it's important to understand that you need specific equipment in order to enjoy the game safely and competitively.

The most essential piece of equipment you need to play pickleball is the paddle. Pickleball paddles are typically made from graphite, aluminum or other composite materials. The thickness of the paddle will vary depending on your playing style – whether it is single court or doubles play – but all should have a non-slip grip for optimal comfort and power. Paddles come in many sizes, weight categories and colors so make sure you choose one that fits your needs.

In addition to paddles, balls are also necessary. Pickleball balls should be round with holes around the circumference and weigh no more than .9 ounces each. Official pickleballs are made from plastic but some others are being made with natural material such as cork or rubber polymer blends so be sure to research before buying any ball sets.

The last item needed for playing pickleball is nets/courts. Courts come in all shapes and sizes but must adhere to certain guidelines or size requirements as determined by professional tournaments they must also include lines which mark players' positions on the court during gameplay. It may seem like a lot at first but investing in the right paddles, balls, court/nets have proven to promote safe play while allowing players of all levels have a great time!


Pickleball is a fun and sporty way to get active and have fun with family or friends. The game follows a few basic rules, with the main aim being to score as many points as possible. Points are scored when opponents hit the ball out of bounds, or hit the ball into the net.

Read on to learn more about the official rules of Pickleball:


Pickleball scoring is fairly straightforward. Games are generally played to 11, but some are usually played to 21 or 15. When playing to 11 points, the first team or player to reach 11 points by a margin of at least two points wins the game.

To score a point in pickleball, the team that initiated service must win the rally and they then earn one point and can continue to serve in the next rally. The opposite team serves when they win a rally and if it's an even number of points, then both teams switch serving sides.

If the score reaches 10-all, play continues until one side gains an advantage of two over its opponent. For example, if either team is leading 12-10 or 13-11, then that team has won the game. In some tournaments, tiebreakers are often used for games that last longer than 10 minutes but that cannot be concluded before 15 or 21 points due to time constraints.

Court Size

Pickleball is an outdoor recreation game that combines the features of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It is played using a specialized 3-foot high net and a unique paddle rather than racquets and a shuttlecock. The court size required for playing pickleball depends on the court setup you are using and how many people are playing.

These rules provide information on the court size needed to play pickleball outdoors:

  • Single Court Setup: This type of arrangement requires two separate courts that are 20 feet wide by 44 feet long (6.1 by 13.4 meters). Both halves must be divided in half lengthwise to accommodate both singles and doubles players.
  • Multiple Court Setup: With this type of arrangement, each court is 20 feet wide by 44 feet long (6.1 by 13.4 meters) but there should be an extra space between each court that is 8 feet wide (2.4 meters). The extra space between courts allows room for easier movement of players during multi-court games or tournaments with several courts set up side-by-side or opposite each other on a single large field.
  • Social Play Court Layout: This type of arrangement typically uses one or two full size courts with a maximum length of 44 feet but possibly shorter due to space limitations (13.4 meters). There should be at least 10′ on either side of the net as well as 11′ at the back end lines for mobility if singles are being played (3 and 3.35m respectively). If doubles being played, 24′ (7m) “no play zones” from each sideline must also be maintained.


When it's time to serve, the server stands behind the baseline on their side of the court. The server is allowed two attempts to deliver a serve that lands within the service zone (marked by lines at either side of the net) and doesn't touch either sideline or baseline. After each side has take two serves, each team will alternate serving until one team reaches 11 points and wins. If a server fails to get the ball in on their second attempt, a point is awarded to their opponent. If a player continually faults while serving, they will lose their serve position and their partner will become the server.

The rules also specify that you must use an underhand stroke when hitting, diving is not allowed, any legal return may be made off any part of the court but no more than three consecutive returns can be done by one team before they must let the ball bounce once between hits, below-waist shots are also prohibited unless a player fully raises both arms above her head prior to striking the ball.


Pickleball is a game that is easy to learn but hard to master. It involves strategy and skill in order to be successful. The strategies involved with playing pickleball involve being able to use angles, court positioning and being able to return the right shots at the right time.

Let's explore some of the strategies you can use in order to become a successful pickleball player:

Serve and Return

The serve and return is the basic play pattern used in pickleball. It begins with the player in the kitchen (the official service area) serving one of two types of serves: an underhand serve or a forehand serve.

An underhand serve is just as it sounds-you drop the ball, then hit it underhanded with your paddle. This serve should arc so that it clears the non-volley line and lands on the other side of the court. A forehand serve, which can be hit from anywhere outside of kitchen box, should go over both non-volley lines and land in diagonal opposite court from where it serves was taken.

Once you've served successfully, your opponent must return the ball back to you before either of you cross the non-volley line on either side. If this does not happen, or if the ball flies out of bounds or hits a let service before being returned, then your opponent will lose a point or be forced to receive another penalty. The game proceeds until one player has reached 11 points and won two out of three sets in total (15 points).

It's important to maintain good positioning when playing pickleball-both during serving and returning plays-to give yourself maximum chance to succeed at each shot. Properly angling your body and keeping your feet parallel will help keep yourself balanced as well as provide more power behind every stroke you take.


Volleying is the act of hitting a ball before it bounces more than once. Volleying is an advanced technique used to keep the ball in play during rally exchanges and can be used by both the serving and receiving players. Volleys are often hit in mid-air during a rally, which can add an extra level of strategy and excitement to a game.

To play volleys well, you should:

  • Practice positioning yourself in the correct place on the court, so that your racket is ready to return opponents' shots as they come your way.
  • Improve your timing when it comes to hitting volleys in order to increase your accuracy and develop better pickleball strategies.
  • Develop speed and power when striking the ball with your paddle or racquet.
  • Utilize different angles and spins when playing a volley to give you an advantage over opponents during pickleball games.


Dinking is a reliable and important strategy for game play in pickleball. It involves hitting the ball close to, but not to, the net on the opponent's side of the court. The shot can be hit either as a drop shot (hitting it with downward motion) or as an angled shot (hitting it with a 45 degree angle). By doing this shot, you can keep your opponents off-balance and make them prone to making mistakes.

When dinking, be aware that your opponent has a chance to reach the ball if they are able to react quickly enough, so don't stand too close to the net after you hit it. The optimal position for dinking is about 8-12 feet from the net on either side. In addition, ensure that your paddle or racquet is in line between yourself and where you want the ball to go. This setup allows for a more accurate placement of shots and increases power behind them when needed.

It's also important to use different spin types when playing dinks. This includes backspin as well as adding underspin or topspin depending on how aggressively you anticipate that your opponent will attack their return stroke. Topspin will help cause your ball to dip and remain low over the net while underspin creates more lift, causing the ball to bounce higher for deeper returns from mid-court by your opponents.

By mastering different spins and positioning when playing pickleball you can become an effective player with skillful dinks that can outwit even some of the most challenging opponents!

Advanced Techniques

Playing Pickleball at a competitive level isn't just about serving and returning the ball. Once you have a good base of knowledge, you can advance your game with more advanced techniques. Some of these include the lob shot, dink shot, power shot, and drop shot.

Learning and mastering these techniques will help you excel in the game and become a better player. Let's take a closer look at these techniques in more detail:

  • Lob Shot
  • Dink Shot
  • Power Shot
  • Drop Shot

Spin Shots

Spin shots are an advanced technique that can be used to deceive your opponents in pickleball. With spin, you can provide a different type of motion and trajectory for the ball. Spin shots give you more control over the essence of the shot, allowing you to manage the direction, speed and exact placement on the court.

There are two primary types of spin shots that a player should master: topspin and backspin. Topspin produces a downward action on the ball, creating an arc when it falls back onto your opponent's side of the court with greater speed after bouncing. Backs

Drop Shots

Drop shots are an important tool for pickleball players to master. A drop shot is a shot that intentionally removes the pace from the ball and causes it to drop or roll closer to the net. This can be used in one-on-one situations, as well as doubles play.When playing pickleball, a drop shot is used when there is an opportunity to put your opponent off balance by taking them out of their comfort zone. It can also be used to move your opponent back farther in order to create more space for yourself on the cou How Do You Play Pickleball