Basic Pickleball Rules You Must Know To Score

Pickleball is a sport that can be played by anyone. It’s an ideal game for people of all ages, fitness levels, and abilities. If you’re new to the game, learning the general 2022 pickleball rules will help you get started in no time at all. Pickleball is similar to other racquet sports like squash, racquetball, badminton, and tennis.

In fact, many older versions of these games had similar wooden rackets with small balls and a low ceiling so collisions were more likely to happen. Today, pickleball has a few variations but generally speaking there are some standard rules that are followed in most games of pickleball whether indoors or outdoors.

Rule Clarifications

A USA Pickleball/IFP Rulebook, first published in 2010, consists of 81 pages and covers everything from pickleball court and equipment specifications to serve, scoring, faults, and the nonvolley zone.

It can be a daunting task to read the official pickleball rulebook, particularly the new pickleball rules 2022. For many of the common – and not-so-common – situations that occur on pickleball courts, we compiled a list of clarifications and interpretations for official pickleball rules 2022.

Basic Rules

It is necessary to introduce pickleball. You can play Pickleball with simple and easy rules, and that’s what makes it fun. Let’s get started right away. Here are the basic rules you need to know. As players progress, more complicated rules can be introduced.

Rules For Serves And Receives

These are the rules that apply to every play during the game. While there are many variations to the rules of pickleball, these are the standard rules that are used in most pickleball games.

  • Serving – The team that wins the right to serve first gets to decide who serves first. The service order will be the same for both teams. A serving team will rotate players as they serve every two points. If a serve touches the net and is still playable, it’s called a “let” and the service goes back to the serving team. If the server goes out of the court, the receiving team gets one point. If the serve hits the net and comes back into court, it’s called a “double let” and the serving team gets to serve again. If the serve hits the net and goes out of court, the receiving team gets two points.
  • Receiving – A player can’t move around while they are waiting to receive a serve. They must stand at least one foot behind the service line and be facing the serving team. If a player is hit by a service, they must hit the ball back over the net before they can serve again. If the ball is hit in the air, it must hit the ground in an area between the two teams before it’s considered a “receive”. If a player makes a shot that doesn’t bounce on the floor, it’s a “dead” ball and the receiving team gets to hit it again.

Standard Rules For All Players

These are general rules that apply to all players on the court at the same time.

  • Match Play – Players can switch teams during a game if they like or can play with a partner.
  • Changing Ends – The team that loses the game changes ends and starts serving in the next game. If a team wins the game, they will start serving from their own end in the next game.
  • Communication – If a player isn’t sure what happened during the game, they can call a “let” and the team will check their serves to see if they were good or a “fault” and the team will check their serves to see if they were bad.
  • Scoring – A team’s points are checked at the end of each game. If one team reaches 11 points first, they win the game. If both teams reach 11 points at the same time, the team with the more points wins the game.
  • Winning – The team that wins the most games wins the match. If the teams are tied after the set number of games, the match is over and both teams win.
  • Time – All pickleball games have an official time limit of one hour per match.


  • Non-volley zones are marked with lines on pickleball courts and are within 7 feet of the nets on both sides. You can also call it the “kitchen”.
  • The non-volley zone is not allowed for volleying, so smashes from the net are not allowed.
  • A player who steps in the non-volley zone or even on the line while volleying commits a mistake.
  • In volleys, it is a fault to touch the line after your momentum carried you into the kitchen.
  • If you’re not volleying the ball, you are allowed to be in the non-volley zone.

Gameplay After Serves And Receives

After a player has served and one or both teams have returned the ball over the net, a player can play as many shots as they want. Players can also pass the ball to their partner to give them a chance to hit the ball. A player must stop playing after they have made three consecutive shots without their partner hitting it back.


Can you hit the ball with your hand?

Briefly, no. If you dropped your paddle and panicked, you smote the ball with your hand. I find it hilarious, but it does have a flaw. The only time you are not penalized for hitting the ball with your hand while holding your paddle is if you make a mistake and hit it with your hand while holding your paddle. straight down to the ground. Any ball that hits your wrist and below the end of your paddle is legal. But you have to be holIn the case of an inaccurate swing, however, hitting the ball with your hand while holding your paddle.

Do you have to call the score before the serve?

Oh my gosh, this is one of my pet peeves. There is a technical requirement that you call the score before you serve. There are, however, some people who won’t adhere to recreational rules or who speak so quietly that you can’t hear them. Therefore, it’s a good idea to always know the score. The first time you do this, it will take some getting used to. It can be useful, however, if you get good at it. Before beginning your service motion in a tournament, you must wait until the referee has called the entire score.

Can you use two paddles at the same time?

I don’t know, but that would be hilarious if you could! You cannot use a paddle with each hand, but you can switch hands. Those who are ambidextrous may switch the paddle to the other hand to take a shot. Although I don’t recommend this, some people do find it useful.

Can you have a pre-serve routine before you serve?

Yes, that’s encouraging! It is extremely important to follow pre-serve routines in order to ingrain muscle memory and get the body into the flow of the game. You will have more confidence in your service and you will avoid the yips if you follow pre-serve routines! The basic principle is that you can do whatever you want. You can bounce the ball with your hand, and I’ve been asked by many pickleball players if you can. Yes, you can!


Pickleball is a fun game that’s great for all ages and abilities. The best thing about it is that you don’t need any special skills or equipment to start playing. Pickleball is similar to other racquet sports like squash, racquetball, badminton, and tennis.

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