63 Pickleball Terms & Definitions | Complete Glossary Of Pickleball

63 Pickleball Terms & Definitions | Complete Glossary of Pickleball

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There are 63 key Pickleball terms and definitions every player should know, ranging from basic rules like “serve” and “volley” to more advanced techniques like “dink shot” and “poach”. Mastering Pickleball lingo and concepts will improve your game.

Welcome to the complete Pickleball glossary for beginners to advanced players! In this guide, you’ll learn 63 must-know Pickleball terms and definitions covering everything from equipment, scoring, and basic shots to advanced strategies and penalties. With this Pickleball dictionary, you’ll understand common Pickleball jargon and communicate more effectively on the court. Let’s dive in!

Overview of Pickleball

Before defining Pickleball terminology, let’s briefly introduce the sport itself. Pickleball is a fast-growing racket sport played with paddles on a badminton-sized court with a lowered net.

Matches are played as singles or doubles with an innovative underhand serve and volleys similar to tennis. However, Pickleball has its own unique rules and lingo that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis.

Now let’s break down 63 key Pickleball terms and concepts every enthusiastic Pickler should know!

Pickleball Equipment Terminology

What is the Ball in Pickleball?

The ball is a perforated plastic sphere, similar to a Wiffle ball, usually measuring 3 inches in diameter. Pickleball balls have 26-40 circular holes to slow down the speed of play.

What is the Paddle in Pickleball?

The paddle is the racquet used to hit the ball, generally made of lightweight composite materials like aluminum, graphite, or fiberglass. The paddle face is about 15.25 inches long and 8 inches wide.

What are Doubles in Pickleball?

Doubles matches are played with two players on each side who cooperate to return shots and score points.

What are Singles in Pickleball?

In singles matches, there is one player on each side who covers the whole court by themselves.

What is Skinny Singles in Pickleball?

Skinny singles is a singles variation played on half the width of the court to cover less ground.

Pickleball Court Setup and Layout

What is the Non-Volley Zone in Pickleball?

The non-volley zone (NVZ), also called the “kitchen“, is the 7-foot no-groundstroke area near the net bounded by lines. Players cannot step into the kitchen and hit volleys.

What is the Backcourt in Pickleball?

The backcourt is the area behind the non-volley zone, where players can hit groundstrokes from the baseline.

What is the Two Bounce Rule in Pickleball?

The two bounce rule means each side must let the ball bounce twice before returning it or else lose the rally. This rule only applies to the backcourt.

What is the Centerline in Pickleball?

The centerline divides the court lengthwise into two equal halves.

What are the Sidelines in Pickleball?

The sidelines are the outer short boundaries running the court’s width on either side.

What is the Baseline in Pickleball?

The baseline is the back line farthest from the net marking the end of the court.

Pickleball Scoring and Serving Essentials

What is the Serve in Pickleball?

The serve is the initial underhand shot hit diagonally to start play. The serve must clear the non-volley zone and land in the diagonal backcourt service area.

What is Service Outside Scoring in Pickleball?

With outside scoring, a point is scored by the serving team when it wins a rally. When the receiver wins a rally, they only gain the serve.

What are Server Numbers in Pickleball?

Server numbers are the sequence of serving turns between teammates in doubles defined at the start of the game.

Pickleball Returning Shots Terminology

What is a Volley in Pickleball?

A volley is a shot hit out of the air before it bounces. Volleys are commonly hit near the net outside of the kitchen.

What is a Shot in Pickleball?

A shot refers to any stroke by the paddle to hit the ball within bounds during play. Groundstrokes, volleys, serves, and dinks are all types of shots.

What is an Ace in Pickleball?

An ace is a serve that goes unreturned and scores directly on the serve.

What is a Put Away in Pickleball?

A put away is an offensive shot that decisively wins the point for the hitting team.

What is an Overhead Shot in Pickleball?

An overhead is a powerful smash stroke hit above the head, similar to a tennis overhead.

What is the Face of the Paddle in Pickleball?

The paddle face is the hitting surface with which a player makes contact with the ball during shots.

What is an Approach Shot in Pickleball?

An approach shot is a groundstroke hit to set up the team at the non-volley zone for the next volley.

Pickleball Shot Techniques and Strategies

What is a Backhand in Pickleball?

A backhand is a stroke hit from the left side of a right-handed player, and vice versa, with the paddle face pointing sideways.

What is Backspin in Pickleball?

Backspin causes the ball to curve down and back towards the hitter after bouncing. This is useful for keeping returns low.

What is a Carry in Pickleball?

A carry happens when the ball rests momentarily on the paddle face during a volley and is thus an illegal shot.

What is a Double Hit in Pickleball?

A double hit foul occurs when the ball is hit twice by one player on the same team before being returned.

What is a Forehand in Pickleball?

A forehand is a stroke hit from the right side by a righty, and vice versa, with the paddle face perpendicular to the court.

What is a Half Volley in Pickleball?

A half volley is a low volley quickly hit after the ball bounces but before reaching maximum height.

What is a Punch in Pickleball?

A punch is a powerful, punching motion volley stroke that drives the ball down with speed.

What is Topspin in Pickleball?

Topspin makes the ball dip and then jump up on bouncing, allowing for more control and power.

What is a Cross-court Dink in Pickleball?

A cross-court dink is a softly hit drop shot diagonally across the net into the opponent’s backcourt.

What is a Lob in Pickleball?

A lob is a high arching return that sails deep over the opponent’s head into the backcourt.

Advanced Pickleball Strategies

What are Slammers in Pickleball?

Slammers are hard-hitting aggressive players who rely on overpowering shots to put points away.

What is a Dink Shot or Drop Shot in Pickleball?

A dink or drop shot is a delicate underspin stroke that just clears the net and drops into the non-volley zone.

What is Poaching in Pickleball?

Poaching is shifting positions to cover weakness in a partner’s court coverage and intercept shots.

What is Bounce it in Pickleball?

Bounce it is a call telling a partner to let the ball bounce before returning. This follows the two bounce rule.

Pickleball Organizations and Recognition

What is the OPA in Pickleball?

The OPA (USA Pickleball Association) is the national governing body for Pickleball in the US overseeing rules, tournaments, and education.

What is Nice Setup in Pickleball?

Nice setup is a complimentary remark for a shot that sets up one’s partner well for the next return.

What is Nice Get in Pickleball?

Nice get positively acknowledges an impressive return of a difficult shot.

What is Nice Rally in Pickleball?

Nice rally praises both teams after a long, competitive exchange with multiple shots.

Pickleball Faults and Violations

What is a Dead Ball in Pickleball?

A dead ball stops play when the ball stops moving or bounces twice on one side. No points are scored on a dead ball.

What is Falafel in Pickleball?

Falafel refers to an illegal service fault called when the ball is struck overhand with the paddle face not parallel to the court.

What is the Kitchen in Pickleball?

The kitchen is the commonly used nickname for the non-volley zone near the net.

Pickleball Penalty Calls and Prohibited Actions

What is a Pickle in Pickleball?

A pickle is called when the ball contacts any permanent object on the court resulting in a dead ball.

What is Being Pickled in Pickleball?

Getting pickled means a player has committed a fault or violation that loses their team the rally.

What is a Pickledome in Pickleball?

A pickledome is slang for an inadvertent yet obvious fault by a player that costs their team the point.

What is a Pickler in Pickleball?

A pickler is a Pickleball player, often used tongue-in-cheek between fellow enthusiasts of the sport.

What is a Volley Llama in Pickleball?

A volley llama is a humorous term for when a player gets confused and carries the ball on their paddle during a volley.

What is an Ejection in Pickleball?

An ejection happens when a player is disqualified from the match for misconduct like violence, cheating, or excessive profanity.

What is a Foot Fault in Pickleball?

A foot fault occurs when the server steps over the baseline before contacting the ball during the serve.

What is a Line Call in Pickleball?

A line call is made by a player who sees the ball land out of bounds, resulting in a dead ball. Line calls are binding in Pickleball.

What is Momentum in Pickleball?

Momentum in Pickleball occurs when a player’s forward motion after a shot carries them briefly into the kitchen. This is legal unless the ball is hit.

Additional Pickleball Jargon

What is the Non-Volley Line in Pickleball?

The non-volley line marks the front edge of the no-groundstroke kitchen area.

What is a Permanent Object in Pickleball?

A permanent object is any fixed court item, like the net, post, fence, or lights, which can cause a dead ball if hit.

What is the Plane of the Net in Pickleball?

The plane of the net is the vertical imaginary extension above the net that a ball must cross over within bounds to remain in play.

What is Profanity in Pickleball?

Profanity covers any abusive, offensive language that warrants a warning or penalty under sportsmanship rules.

What is a Rally in Pickleball?

A rally is an uninterrupted exchange of hits back and forth between opposing sides.

What is Retirement in Pickleball?

Retirement is the resignation by a player unable to continue the match due to injury or other reason.

What is a Technical Warning in Pickleball?

A technical warning is issued for the first minor infraction of rules, etiquette, or conduct violations during a match.

What is the Third Shot in Pickleball?

The third shot is the second return after the serve, often strategically used to gain an advantageous position.

What is a Verbal Warning in Pickleball?

A verbal warning is a caution to a player over a conduct breach before a technical warning may be assessed.

What is a Volley Serve in Pickleball?

A volley serve is an illegally hit serve in midair before the ball bounces. This results in a fault.

Now Get Out There And Play Pickleball!

There you have it – 63 must-know Pickleball terms and definitions for all skill levels! With this complete Pickleball glossary, you can talk the talk and master the lingo to improve your game. From equipment like the paddle and ball to rules, shots, strategies, and penalties, these Pickleball definitions will enhance your understanding and communication on the court.

So grab your paddle and put these new Pickleball terms into action. Yell “Nice dink!” or “Falafel fault!” Get ready to ace those service and kitchen rules. Most importantly, keep enjoying one of the fastest-growing sports while boosting your Pickleball vocabulary every time you play. Now get out there, be a proud pickler, and have a smashing good time!

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