PICKLEBALL FOR BEGINNERS: 8 SIMPLE RULES TO LEARN

Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America and everyone would want to learn it. The first question that comes to your mind is how to learn pickleball? Don’t worry, today, I have summed up the whole pickleball for you in 8 simple beginner rules. 

BEFORE WE START

Before we start, I am often asked What items do you need to play pickleball? Here are some basic items required to play pickleball:

  • A court
  • Net
  • Paddle Ball

If you have these 4 things then we can start learning pickleball. Brace yourselves, here are the 10 basic pickleball rules for beginners:

RULE # 1: THE PICKLEBALL COURT

Newbies often confuse the court of pickleball with that of badminton. It is one of the pickleball fundamentals that the court is much like that of tennis but not completely. It is played on a badminton-sized court with slight modifications in the net. 

In the middle of the court, the pickleball net measures 34 inches high, while the sidelines are 36 inches high. While the badminton net is 5 feet 1 inch high on the sidelines and 5 feet high in the middle. Both sports use different types of balls, which explains the difference.

Pickleball Court Dimensions

RULE # 2: SINGLES AND DOUBLES IN PICKLEBALL

Pickleball allows you to be an individual warrior or a team player. You can play Singles and Doubles in Pickleball. 

PICKLEBALL SINGLES:

You can play Pickleball as a single meaning one player on each side of the net, a maximum of two Picklers in the court. 

Singles grant you complete control over your game and can be challenging if you are inexperienced.

PICKLEBALL DOUBLES:

It can be played with two Picklers on each side and a maximum of four players on the pickleball court. Doubles are more fun as you have a teammate to rely on.

With one more support, you will have to cover less ground which is easier for beginners. Playing in a team provides fruitful pickleball lessons for beginners.
It is noteworthy that Pickleball Rules do not allow Single VS Doubles even if a person is a MASTER in pickleball, he cannot be the one-man power.

RULE # 3: THE SERVE IN PICKLEBALL

The serve is one of the Pickleball Basics. I often hear the question How to start playing pickleball? You can actually start playing pickleball by serving. The ball is served underhand and must bounce once in the opponent’s court before it can be volleyed.

  • Volley serves and drop serves must be made underhand.
  • In order to serve the ball properly, the paddle must be in contact with the ball below the server’s waist (navel level).
  • It is mandatory to serve with at least one foot behind the baseline; neither foot will be allowed to contact the baseline or court before the ball is struck.
  • Serving is done diagonally across the court, and the ball must land within the lines of the opposite diagonal court.

These are some points to be kept in mind while learning pickleball.

What is serve in pickleball? how to serve in pickleball?

RULE # 4: WHAT IS NON VOLLEY ZONE IN PICKLEBALL?

Non-volley zone(NVZ) is the court area within 7 feet on both sides of the net where volleying is prohibited. This can cost the player a standard point. Non-Volley Zone(NVZ) is also known as the “Kitchen”.

Pickleball is also a mind game. With physically playing and not surrendering to the serve of the opponent, it is important to keep yourself away from the non-volley zone. 

This rule may be a little bit challenging for starters but it can be mastered by taking some Pickleball lessons in your town.

CAN YOU ENTER INTO THE NON-VOLLEY ZONE?

Yes, you can enter the non-volley zone(NVZ) at any time, before and after hitting the ball but you cannot enter into the Kitchen or NVZ during hitting the ball. It would be a violation of the rules if you hit the ball from the non-volley zone.

Read:- What are the kitchen rules in pickleball.

Non-volley zone in pickleball

RULE # 5: DOUBLE BOUNCE RULE

You get into the court and start playing Pickleball but your very first hit is flagged as foul by the referee. This happens with most pickleball beginners because they don’t know about the two-bounce or double-bounce rule.

So, What is the Double bounce rule in Pickleball?

When the ball is initially served, it has to bounce once before being hit by the receiver and then the serving team has to let the returning ball bounce once before hitting it.

There must be two bounces on both sides of the net, one on each side. If you hit the ball before double bounce then it could be counted as a fault.

Once the two-bounce rule has been followed, the teams can either volley or bounce the ball off. The Two Bounce Rule is a full stop to the serve and volley advantages

Double bounce rule in pickleball

RULE # 6: SCORING POINTS IN PICKLEBALL

Now, you have learned the majority of pickleball fundamentals, so, it’s time to teach you about scoring points in pickleball. Every game is about scoring points. It is possible to enjoy a game without a score, but it is impossible to win one without one!

You can score points in pickleball in three basic ways:

  • When the opponent hit the ball out of the court. Either opponent hits too fast or he/she could not hit the ball in the right direction due to which the ball bounces outside the court and the opponent himself gives you a point.
  • You can also get a point by hitting the ball in such direction and speed that the opposing player does not get the chance of returning it back. By doing so, your competitor may end up hitting the net, earning you a point.
  • A point/score can also be earned if the ball bounces twice on your rival’s side before he can hit it.

As I have already said, Pickleball is a game of mind, you cannot just earn a point by force. You will have to use technique and keep an eye out on the gameplay of your opponent.

RULE # 7: WHO SERVES FIRST IN PICKLEBALL

It is determined by Flipping a coin or any other fair random method like rock, paper, scissors. Depending on the winner, either he or his opponent will serve first.

Usually, flipping a coin is the best method but it’s not a pickleball rule. The rule is that the winning person will get to decide who servers first.

For Pickleball Beginners, any method can be used which is fair enough for them. Overall, the First serve doesn’t matter much because of the Double-Bounce Rule which we have discussed above.

Who serves first in pickleball.

RULE # 8: PICKLEBALL IS USUALLY PLAYED TO 11 POINTS

Now that you have learned the pickleball basics, you will probably be wondering How to end a Pickleball Match.

The first team to reach 11 points wins, as long as they are ahead by 2 points but wait, I have learned pickleball and now I won’t let the opponent win, at least I will tie the match! 

So, what’s in this situation? Well, don’t worry. The Pickleball Rules do have a regulation for it. You know, the score can be tied when both teams are near the 11 points which would be 10 points.

If the score is tied at 10-10, the game continues until one team has a 2-point lead. You need to have at least 2 more points than your opponent to win.

In some tournaments, the Pickleball rules might be different. Sometimes, the winning points can reach up to 15 or 21 points.

CONCLUSION:

Just like all games, pickleball also requires hard work and dedication. You cannot master this sport in one or two months cuz there are people training for years BUT they were once also like you, knowing nothing and searching for Pickleball Basic rules! So, start now and read the article again and again but with practice because PRACTICE MAKES A MAN PERFECT!

ADDITIONAL PICKLEBALL TIPS FOR BEGINNERS:

  • Start by practicing your underhand serve. This is the most important shot in pickleball, and it will give you a big advantage over your opponents.
  • Learn how to dink the ball. A dink is a soft, underspin shot that is difficult to return. It is a great way to keep the ball in play and frustrate your opponents.
  • Take your time. As pickleball is a slower-paced game than tennis, don’t focus on hitting winners constantly. Focus on keeping the ball in play and waiting for your opponents to make a mistake.
  • Have fun! Pickleball is a great way to get exercise and socialize with friends. So relax, enjoy the game, and don’t take it too seriously.

Is pickleball a hard sport?

No, pickleball is a relatively easier sport for beginners, specially pickleball Doubles.

What is a pickleball player called?

A pickleball player is called a “Pickler”

Why do people like pickleball?

Apart from favorites, people mostly like pickleball because it is a combination sport involving the improvement of mind, balance, agility, and eye coordination.

What age do people play pickleball most?

Around 70% of pickleball players are aged between 18 to 35.

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