Mastering the Rules of Pickleball: Your Path to Pro-Level Play

Pickleball is a fun yet easy sport that attracts many players, but when it comes to rules, players have to follow strict rules. As a beginner, you have to learn all the basic rules of Pickleball, and as a player, you have to follow every rule that USAPA issues. Please read this article to learn more about the rules and their importance.

rules of pickleball

Why is it important to follow the rules of Pickleball?

Every sport worldwide has rules that a beginner, intermediate, and advanced player must follow. Only by following the rules of Pickleball can a player score points legally and win against any other player. As there are singles, doubles, and indoor and outdoor games in Pickleball, the basic rules are the same but have changed accordingly.

Following the rules for this sport is important because this is how a player has to play this game. Every rule in Pickleball has its importance that defines the sport. Even if it is for fun or a serious tournament, you can score points only if you follow the rules. The rules of this sport are given in this article, which can help you if you are a beginner curious about this sport.

What are the rules of Pickleball?

Pickleball is growing in popularity in the USA, with many players interested in this sport. The following are the rules of Pickleball that you have to, must, and should follow.

Rule 1: Point begins with a serve

A Pickleball player can score a point only through serve, so the score starts with the serve. The player on the right side of the court serves the ball to their opponent diagonally. This continues throughout the game.

Rules 2: Serve has to be underhand

Pickleball and Tennis have many similarities regarding their rules, courts, equipment, etc. But the serve in Pickleball is because the serve has to be underhand. Yes, you can serve through a drop-serve as it is legally accepted. Many players think you must serve the ball only by using the underhand, but you can also serve through drop-serve.

Rules 3: Calling scores

When it comes to scores, the score is a difference between singles and doubles. In singles, you calculate the score as 1-1, where the first one is the server and another point is the receiver’s player. In doubles, the score looks like 1-1-1, where the first two points are the players’ scores, and the last point is the player who is serving.

Rule 4: Alternate serve

The alternate serve is important when it comes to Pickleball. But there are differences in rules for both singles and doubles.

In singles:

Only two players play against each other in singles, so the alternate serve is quite different. The serve starts from the right side of the court, so if they win a point, the player moves to the left side. This rotation continues throughout the game around the baseline until the game ends.

In doubles:

The serve rotation differs in doubles as it has more than two players. Each player stands at each side of the court when the game starts.

First, the player on the right side of the court serves the ball and switches left and right until the rally breaks. Once the rally breaks, the player from the left corner can serve the ball.

This continues until they break the rally, and once they break the rally, the serving chance is given to the opposite and continues throughout the game.

Rules 5: Point counts until it is at fault

Pickleball has a rule where the serve continues until it is at fault. So there are three types of faults in the rules of Pickleball, and they are,

  • When the server does not clear the non-volley zone, it is also called the kitchen.
  •  When the serve or a hit is out of bounds.
  •  If the ball hits the net during the rally or serve.
Rule 6: No volley in the kitchen

The kitchen is the zone 7 feet from the net on each side of the court, also called a non-volley zone. As its name implies, there should not be any volley in the kitchen. There should not be any volley, even on the kitchen line. This rule gives an advantage to the player hitting the ball, as they can smash the ball high or to the ground.

Rule 7: No groundstrokes on the kitchen

As the above rule says, you cannot groundstroke the ball from the kitchen or to the kitchen. This is called a dink shot, where the player cannot enter the kitchen zone.

A Dink shot is considered a defensive shot that layers use to defend a hard or high shot from the opponent.

Rule 8: Two-bounce rule

The two-bounce rule is one of the important rules of Pickleball when it comes to Pickleball. The two-bounce rule means the player receiving the ball can hit the ball only after the bounce. The serving team should also wait til the ball bounces on the serving side. This means a player can return the ball till it bounces once at each side of the court.

Rule 9: Winning score

A team or a player can win the game once they score 11 points with a 2-point score difference. If each team’s score is 11-10, the player cannot win the game with this score. They have to score 15 points, where the difference still has to be 2 points.

Rule 10: No ties

Pickleball is a sport that has no ties because a player can win with scores of 11, 15, and 21. The game ends only when they lead with two points.

For example, if the two teams’ score is 11-10 and the player with 11 points cannot win the game, They continue to rally until any team gets the advantage of a two 2-point lead.

Benefits of playing Pickleball:

By following the rules of Pickleball and playing the game, there are many benefits that a player can get. They are,

  • It is an easily adaptable game that entertains players of any age.
  • By following the rules, they get an advantage in winning the game.
  • You can get a chance to exercise without more physical burden.
  • Learning the rules of Pickleball can improve the techniques and strategies, too.
  • According to recent reports, this sport also helps with mental health.

Tips to learn the rules of Pickleball easily:

Some useful tips to learn the rules of Pickleball are,

  • First, consult a coach or an experienced player to learn this sport’s rules.
  • Basic rules come first because it is important to learn the basic rules.
  • Practice the game by following the rules so you can adapt them easily.
  • Only learn them some at a time, and learn them individually to get the advantage.
  • Explain the rules to the beginner players so you can remember them easily.


If you wonder why learning the rules of Pickleball is important, this article above will help you greatly. Learning the rules of any sport, including Pickleball, helps you understand the game easily. This helps you become a good player, becoming a professional player. Every rule of this sport is important because a player can score points only by following the rules.


Why are the rules of Pickleball in Pickleball? 

The game is legal only if a player plays by following the rules.

What is a two-bounce rule?

The two-bounce rule means the player can return the ball only if the ball bounces once on either side of the court.

Do strategies help you to win the game?

Just by following the rules, you can win the game. But some players use strategies to win against you, so learn the rules to improve your strategies.

What is the winning score in Pickleball?

The game ends when the player scores 11 points, with a 2-point score difference.

Spread the love