What Is A Pickle In Pickleball?

What Is a Pickle in Pickleball?

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Pickleball is a fun and fast-paced game that has gained popularity over the years. However, for those who are new to the game, the terminologies and rules can be overwhelming. One term that often comes up is “pickle.” In this article, we will explore what a pickle is in pickleball and everything else you need to know about it.

Pickleball Terminology

To understand what a pickle is in pickleball, we need to familiarize ourselves with some pickleball terminologies.


As mentioned earlier, one of the shots players can make in pickleball is the “dink.” A dink is a short, soft shot that is intended to drop the ball just over the net and land in the kitchen. The kitchen is an area on both sides of the net that is seven feet deep and extends from the net to the non-volley zone line.

No-Volley Zone

The no-volley zone, also known as the kitchen, is a designated area on each side of the court where players are not allowed to volley or hit the ball. A volley is a shot that is hit in the air without the ball bouncing on the ground first.


Stacking is a pickleball strategy used by doubles teams to keep each partner on their respective preferred side of the court. After the serve or return of serve, you and your partner can avoid switching sides and stay on the same side of the pickleball court.


ATP stands for “Around The Post.” This is a legal shot in pickleball, where a player hits the ball around the post and into the court of their opponent without crossing over to their side of the court. In this shot, the net is crossed rather than walked around, just as in tennis.

What is a Pickle in Pickleball?

Now that we have familiarized ourselves with some of the pickleball terminologies, let us dive into what a pickle is in pickleball. In pickleball, a pickle occurs when a player loses a game with a score of 0 points. For example, if you lose a game 11-0, you’ve been “pickled.” Being pickled is the equivalent of being “skunked” in other sports.

How to Avoid Getting Pickled?

Getting pickled can be demoralizing and frustrating, especially for new players. However, there are a few things you can do to avoid getting pickled.

Serve Placement

One of the best ways to avoid getting pickled is by focusing on your serve placement. A well-placed serve can make it difficult for your opponent to return the ball effectively. Aim to serve the ball to an area of the court where your opponent is least comfortable.


As mentioned earlier, dinking is a shot that can be used to keep the ball in play and set up your next shot. By utilizing the dink shot, you can keep the ball low and force your opponent to hit the ball up, making it easier for you to attack.

Avoiding Errors

Mistakes and errors can be costly in pickleball. To avoid getting pickled, it is crucial to minimize your errors. Focus on hitting consistent shots, avoid making unforced errors, and be patient. Do not rush your shots and wait for the right opportunity to attack.

Practice, Practice, Practice

The best way to avoid getting pickled is to practice. The more you practice, the better you will become at the game, and the less likely you are to get pickled. Joining a pickleball league or taking lessons from a certified coach can help you improve your game.


In conclusion, a pickle in pickleball refers to losing a game with a score of 0 points. Pickling can be frustrating, but with the right strategies, you can avoid getting pickled. By focusing on your serve placement, utilizing the dink shot, minimizing errors, and practicing, you can improve your game and become a better pickleball player.

Remember, pickleball is a fun and fast-paced game that can be enjoyed by players of all ages and skill levels. With the right mindset and strategies, you can become a skilled pickleball player and avoid getting pickled.


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