How To

How To Play Pickleball


How To Play Pickleball

Share this article

How To Play Pickleball

How to Play Pickleball: A Comprehensive Guide

Pickleball, a blend of badminton, tennis, and table tennis, has rapidly gained popularity as a recreational and competitive sport. Its accessibility, ease of learning, and social appeal have made it a favorite among people of all ages and skill levels. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you get started with this exciting sport:


  • Pickleball paddle: A lightweight paddle with a perforated hitting surface, typically made of composite materials or graphite.
  • Pickleball: A plastic ball with holes, similar to a Wiffle ball but smaller and heavier.


  • The pickleball court is 20 feet wide by 44 feet long for doubles and 15 feet by 44 feet for singles.
  • It is divided into two halves by a net that is 34 inches high at the sidelines and 36 inches high in the middle.
  • There are two non-volley zones extending 7 feet from the net on each side.

Basic Rules

  • Serve: The server must stand behind the baseline and hit the ball diagonally into the opposite non-volley zone. The serve must bounce once on each side of the net before it can be returned.
  • Return: The receiving team must return the ball before it bounces a second time. They can hit it from either the baseline or anywhere behind it.
  • Volley: A player can volley the ball (hit it in the air) only if they are outside of the non-volley zone.
  • Double bounce: The ball must bounce once on each side before a team can volley it. An exception to this rule is if the ball is returned directly out of the non-volley zone.
  • Scoring: Points are scored when a team fails to return the ball, hits it out of bounds, or commits a fault (e.g., hitting the ball before it bounces or stepping into the non-volley zone). Points are won in sets, with the first team to reach a certain number of points winning the set. Best two out of three sets is the standard tournament format.


  • Doubles: Two players from each team participate on the court simultaneously. The server serves diagonally into the opposing team’s non-volley zone and the players continue to hit the ball until one team fails to return it or commits an error.
  • Singles: Played with only one player from each team on the court. The server serves into the opposite player’s non-volley zone and the game proceeds similarly to doubles.

Strategies and Techniques

  • Forehand: Holding the paddle with your dominant hand facing forward, strike the ball with a forward motion.
  • Backhand: Hold the paddle with your non-dominant hand facing forward and rotate your body to strike the ball with a backward motion.
  • Volley: Position yourself outside the non-volley zone and volley the ball with a quick, sharp motion.
  • Lob: Hit the ball high over the net, forcing your opponent to volley or reach high to return it.
  • Dink: Hit the ball softly and low over the net, making it difficult for your opponent to return it effectively.

Tips for Beginners

  • Start with a basic paddle: Choose a paddle with a wide, flat hitting surface and low weight.
  • Practice your serve: Consistency and accuracy in serving are essential.
  • Learn proper footwork: Move your feet quickly and position yourself strategically to return the ball effectively.
  • Don’t be afraid to lose: Everyone makes mistakes when they start playing. Focus on improving your skills and having fun.
  • Find a partner or group: Playing with others is a great way to learn and socialize.


  • What is the difference between doubles and singles pickleball?
    Doubles involves two players from each team on the court, while singles involves only one player from each team.
  • Can I hit the ball out of the air before it bounces?
    No, you can only volley the ball (hit it in the air) outside of the non-volley zone.
  • What happens if the ball hits the net on a serve?
    The serve is a fault and the server loses the point.
  • Can I step into the non-volley zone?
    No, stepping into the non-volley zone is a fault and results in a point loss.
  • Is pickleball a good sport for all ages?
    Yes, pickleball is an accessible and enjoyable sport for people of all ages and skill levels.


Pickleball is a versatile and engaging sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. Whether you’re looking for a casual activity or competitive challenge, pickleball offers something for everyone. Embrace the fun and excitement by following the guidelines and tips outlined in this guide. Grab a paddle, find a court, and discover the joys of this thrilling sport!