Pickle Ball Notes

How to Play the Game of Pickle-Ball

Basic Overview

Pickle-ball® is played on a badminton-sized court: 20’ x 44.’ The ball is served diagonally (starting with the right-hand service-square), and points can only be scored by the side that serves.

Players on each side must let the ball bounce once before volleys are allowed, and there is a seven-foot no-volley zone on each side of the net, to prevent “spiking.” The server continues to serve, alternating service courts, until he or she faults. The first side scoring eleven points and leading by at least two points wins. Pickle-ball® can be played with singles or doubles.

The Serve

Serves are to be made diagonally, starting with the right-hand service-square and alternating each serve. The serve must clear the seven-foot non-volley-zone in front of the net and land in the diagonal service court.

Serves should always be done underhand with the paddle below the waist, and the server must keep both feet behind the back line when serving. The ball should be hit into the air without being bounced. The serving side will continue to serve until the there is a fault on the service, at which point the service will be given to the opposing side. (However, if the ball touches the net but still lands within the appropriate service court, the serve may be taken over.)


To volley means to hit a ball in the air without first letting it bounce. In Pickle-ball®, this can only be done when the player’s feet are behind the non-volley zone line (seven feet behind the net).

Double-Bounce Rule

Each team must play their first shot off of the bounce. That is, the receiving team must let the serve bounce and the serving team must let the return of the serve bounce before playing it. Once these two bounces have occurred, the ball can either be volleyed or played off the bounce.


A fault is committed when the ball:

  • Touches any part of the non-volley zone on the serve (including the line).
  • Is hit out of bounds
  • Does not clear the net
  • Is volleyed from the non-volley zone
  • Is volleyed before a bounce has occurred on each side


  • The team with their backs to the wall will start serve.
  • 3 number serving count (0-0-1)

The Makings of a Pickle-ball Court

Pickle-ball® courts should be 20’ x 44’ for both singles and doubles play. The net is lowered from the standard badminton height to 36” on the ends and 34” in the middle.

A game of pickleball is played to 11 points; however, you must win by 2 points.  Players can only score points when they are serving.

To start, the serve must be hit under hand and the contact of the paddle to the ball must be below your waist. Each team must play their first shot after the ball bounces, and after that then both teams can choose to move forward up to the non-volley line or stay back at the baseline. It is best to move up to the non-volley line as soon as possible and make sure your partner follows you up. Partners should always move up or back and side to side together.

No volleying is permitted within the seven foot non-volley zone; this prevents players from closing the net since the court is so small. This promotes the drop volley or “dink” shot strategies where players skillfully hit shots over the net that land in the non-volley zone – or called “the kitchen”. If the balls bounces in the kitchen, then a player can step into the kitchen to hit it over.

Some tips:  While waiting for the ball, keep your paddle high, centered to your chest – that way you’re ready for a shot on either side of you.  Keep on your toes, anticipating the next shot. Keep the ball in play – let your opponent make the error. When the game is over, all players come to the net and tap their paddles together, as a gesture of “good game”. Instead of handshakes, pickleballers like to tap paddles and give a few laughs.

Notes are due Thursday, April 11th for 4th per. and Friday, April 12th for 3rd & 5th period. Write all notes verbatim including the court drawing.