How Do You Play Pickleball?

Pickleball is a fun and exciting game to play hence, it is rapidly growing around the world. It is a game that can be played perfectly with all ages. Also, it does not require one to go to the gym to be a nice pickleball player. Moreover, pickleball is a perfect game to play with friends and family.

Pickleball is played by serving the ball diagonally to the opponent. Now the opponent returns the ball by letting it bounce first and then hit the ball. The scores are first counted from the serving team until they make a fault. After the fault, the chance of serving is given to their opponent. This point will be explained better in the basics of the game.

It is very easy to learn how to play pickleball. Whether you are new to this game or you are transitioning from another game this article will be of help to you.

What You Need to Play Pickleball

1. Pickleball paddles

2. A pickleball court

3. Pickleball ball

4. A pair of comfortable shoes or pickleball shoes

How To Play Pickleball

Pickleball is a very easy sport to learn how to play. Here I will talk about how to set up a court, how you are supposed to hit the ball, and the rules of the game.

How To Setup Pickleball Court

A pickleball court measures 20m by 44m. The net is placed 36 inches high at the sideline and 34 inches high at the centre. There is a zone called the non-volley zone or the kitchen on each side of the court which measures 7ft.

This game can either be played in singles or doubles, meaning, in singles, there are only two players one on each side, while in doubles, there are four players two on each side.

How To Hit the Ball 

There are two ways to hit the ball which are groundstrokes or volleys. Groundstrokes are hits after the ball has bounced. They mostly happen at the baseline. While volleys are hits in the air, where the ball has not bounced. These hits mostly occur near the net.

 In the kitchen zone, no player is allowed to hit the ball through volleys. Also, the players are not allowed inside the kitchen, not even a toe should touch the kitchen line. The rules of the game below explain better when and how to hit the ball.

How To Start a Pickleball Game.

How do you determine the first team to serve? You can choose any fair method to determine the first-serving team. An example is by flipping a coin. In other courts it is dictated, they say the right side will always start to serve.

Basics On How to Play Pickleball Game

1.    The Serve Should Be Underhand

For a serve to count in a pickleball game. You must hit with an underhand stroke where the contact is below the waist. The arm should move in an upward form when you hit the ball. You can choose to hit the ball in the air or you bounce the ball and then strike it to the other side.

2.    A Player Is Not Allowed to Volley in The Kitchen

This rule means that you should not hit the ball while you are in the kitchen. Also, any part of your body including your toe should not touch the line of the kitchen. Moreover, even after you hit the ball your body momentum should not carry you to fall in the kitchen.  This also counts as a fault when committed.

This rule was created because when you play the game you will notice that the players who are closer to the net have more advantage than the people on the defensive side who are disadvantaged. The players closer to the net strike the ball with a lot of force which makes the defensive side unable to receive the ball.

Pickleball inventors saw this as an unfair game when played like this. Thus, they created an area called the kitchen to make the game fair and enjoyable.

3.    Only Groundstrokes Are Allowed in The Kitchen.

The groundstroke in the kitchen mostly occurs when your opponent hits to you with a short shot falling in the kitchen. This short shot is called a dink. When you receive a dink, you can enter the kitchen and hit the ball.

Dink is a strategy in pickleball which is a defensive shot. The best move to respond to a dink is to dink it back to your opponent.

4.    Before Volleying, The Ball Must Bounce

Before a player can volley the ball, the ball should bounce first. This rule applies to all players on both sides. It means, when the server serves the ball and falls in the kitchen the server is in a disadvantaged position. This is because the opponent will most likely return the ball to you with a dink and if you return the ball with a volley it becomes a fault and you lose a point. So, this rule makes the serving team start while they are back on the baseline.

5.    Points Are Counted on Your Serves

Points are only counted when you are the one serving the ball. When you lose a point because of a fault, you stop serving the ball and the chance goes to your partner. Also, after counting a winning score, you switch sides with your partner to serve.

6.    Partners Serve the Ball in Turns

This rule applies in doubles. Each player gets an opportunity to serve. To track down who’s turn it is to serve they announce the scores in three numbers. For example, let’s assume the game is tied at 3-3. When the serve starts on the right side, the scores will be announced as 3-3-1. Meaning, the player on the right side will be the first to serve. When the player loses the point, the chance will go to his teammate, where they will announce the scores as 3-3-2.

Then when the second player of the first serving team loses, the chance goes to their opponent. Now the scores will be announced as 3-3-1. The scores mean as follows: 3 (Serving team score)-3(receiving team score)-1(current server can be 1 or 2).

How To Win the Game.

Each Point Begins with The Server.

The serve on the pickleball game starts with the player on the right side of the court. The ball is served diagonally to the opponent in either the right or left service area. The ball must pass the kitchen area, the kitchen line included for it to be a score.

A Point Continues to Be Valid Until a Fault Is Done

When the ball is served, the game is played until a fault or a mistake is done. When the fault happens the point ends. The faults that make a point not to be counted anymore are:

·   When the ball is served, the ball does not clear the kitchen and falls into the service area

·   When the ball is hit beyond the baseline and the sideline.

·   When the ball is hit and falls into the net.

The First Team To 11 Points Wins but They Must Win By 2

For a team to win they must reach 11 points and be ahead of their opponent by 2. If a game is 10-10 the next score won’t determine a winner. This game will have to continue past 11-10. After 11-10, the ending scores can be 12-10, 15-13, or 21-19. This rule usually makes the game go for a long time and these games are usually the most fun games.


Pickleball is an enjoyable and exciting game when these instructions are put into practice. This set of instructions help the game to be fair to all players. Hence, it is advisable to understand these instructions for the game to continue without any fights and also to encourage players to love the game and continue playing.

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