Pickleball is a game that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It’s played on a court with no net or backboard so players can get up close to the action. This means you have to be quick on your feet and nimble in order to win.
There are 10 official rules for this great game denoted within the USAPA rulebook. If you’re interested in learning more about these pickleball rules then read below!
10 Pickleball Rules and their Explanation:
Rule 1: No player shall at any time be permitted to use or handle the equipment in a manner which is inconsistent with the rules. This rule includes, but is not limited to, turning rackets so that they are upside down or changing strings for any reason during the play of a game.
This pickleball rule makes it clear you can’t alter your racket in any way. If you do this then it’s a fault and the other player can choose to ignore that play or let you continue playing as if nothing happened.
Rule 2: The first service of each game shall be delivered from within the right service court diagonally opposite to the receiver’s left service court, after which the server shall serve from the right service court.
In pickleball, servers have to alternate sides of the court. This means you can’t always use your strong side as a server and expect good results! You need to keep switching up who serves first in order for both players to be equally challenged throughout each game.
Rule 3: A player shall not make a backswing so long as to delay the commencement of play.
It’s a pickleball rule that you have to start serving, playing, or returning shots immediately after your opponent is at the net and ready for them. If they’re taking too long then it’s a fault!
Rule 4: The server shall not serve before the receiver is ready, but the receiver shall be considered ready when he or she has completed the act of adjusting clothing and/or equipment.
This pickleball rule means you’re allowed to take a moment before the serve, but not too long! The other player can’t wait around forever because they need to play their shot as soon as possible once it’s their turn at the net.
Rule 5: When an illegal service is delivered, the receiver shall wait for the server to serve another ball before attempting to play at it; but if he or she attempts to return it, any resulting rally will be nullified and all points scored by either side as a result of that rally will be canceled.
If you receive an illegally served ball then this pickleball rule says that you can’t play at it. You have to let the server serve again and only hit away once they’re ready.
Rule 6: A rally shall be won by the side which first scores 11 points unless both sides score a total of ten points when the winner shall be declared on the basis of who first scores two points more than the other.
In a pickleball game, you need to win by two points unless both players have scored 11 or more in which case it’s a tie and they’re considered an official draw! This means every point is important to play hard from start to finish.
Rule 7: A player shall not make any noise or a motion that is likely to distract an opponent.
This pickleball rule states you can’t make any noise or gestures in order to put off your opponent when they’re at the net. They need to be able to focus and play their best without having anything thrown at them!
Rule 8: A ball in play shall remain in play until it touches the floor twice consecutively or is legally caught by a player.
This pickleball rule says you can’t just hit it once and expect to win! You have to get two bounces in total before your opponent slams it away for good, otherwise, they’re rewarded with another chance at hitting that ball back toward you!
Rule 9: A rally shall be nullified if a violation from the previous rally occurs.
In pickleball, you can’t let your opponent get away with illegal plays that happened in the last point! If they break one of these rules then it has to be canceled and both players need to start again before continuing their game.
Rule 10: If no service court is indicated for the first service, the server shall serve from within the right service court.
In this pickleball rule, it states that if you don’t specify which side to use for serving then your opponent can choose which one to start with! Check-in advance and pay attention when playing against a new player so nobody gets an unfair advantage at the net.