Opinions on Pickleball Rules: Exploring the Game’s Guidelines and Etiquette

An Overview of the Basic Rules

Pickleball is a beloved sport that combines elements from tennis, ping-pong, and badminton. Whether played as singles or doubles, there are a few basic rules that players should familiarize themselves with before hitting the court.

Scoring and Announcing the Score

In pickleball, games are typically played to 11 points, with a win by 2 rule. Only the serving team can score points, either by winning a rally or when the receiving team commits a fault. When announcing the score, the serving team states three numbers: their own score, the opponent’s score, and the server number.

Serving Rules

Serving in pickleball must be executed under-handed. The serve must go diagonally across the net and land beyond the opponent’s non-volley zone. Starting in 2021, players are now allowed to drop the ball for the serve, but they cannot propel it upward or downward and hit it after it bounces. The server only gets one attempt at the serve, and let balls are considered live and not replayed.

The Double Bounce Rule

One unique rule in pickleball is the double bounce, also known as the two-bounce rule. According to this rule, the ball must bounce once on each side of the court before players are allowed to hit it out of the air. Both the serving and receiving teams must let the ball bounce before making their shots.

The Non-Volley Zone (The Kitchen)

Another interesting rule in pickleball is related to the non-volley zone, commonly known as “the kitchen.” This area extends 7 feet from the net on each side and players are not allowed to hit the ball out of the air within this zone. Although entering the non-volley zone is permitted, it is strategically unwise to loiter there as hitting the ball out of the air is prohibited. Players are also not allowed to step in the non-volley zone or touch the non-volley line when hitting the ball out of the air.


A fault is a rules violation that results in a dead ball and the end of the rally. Common faults in pickleball include hitting the ball out of the air before it bounces, hitting the ball into the net or out-of-bounds, hitting the ball after it has bounced on your side more than once, and volleying the ball while in the non-volley zone or touching the non-volley line.

Rule Clarifications

The USA Pickleball/IFP rulebook, consisting of 81 pages, covers everything from court and equipment specifications to scoring, faults, and the non-volley zone. While perusing the official rulebook may seem daunting, there are many online resources that provide clarifications and interpretations of common scenarios that occur on the pickleball courts.

Rule Changes for 2023

Every year, there are rule changes in the world of pickleball, and 2023 is no different. The new rule changes for 2023 have been approved and will become official from January 1st. These changes include the ban of the “chainsaw serve,” which was legal in 2022, and other modifications to enhance the game.

Pickleball Etiquette

Apart from the official rules, there are also unwritten rules or pickleball etiquette that players should follow. These unwritten rules, also known as pickleball “etiquette best practices,” ensure a respectful and enjoyable experience for all players. Examples include being mindful of your serve, not interfering with the flight of the ball, and maintaining proper positioning in the non-volley zone.

In conclusion, pickleball is a dynamic and exciting sport with its unique set of rules and etiquette. By familiarizing themselves with these guidelines, players can ensure fair play and a pleasant atmosphere on the pickleball court. So, grab your paddle and join the pickleball community today!

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