A Lively Racket Game for all Ages and Abilities
Court and Gear
Pickle-ball is traditionally played on a badminton-sized court with special Pickle-ball paddles, made of wood or high-tech aerospace materials. The ball used is similar to a wiffle ball, but slightly smaller. The lower net and wiffle ball allow the game to be accessible to people of all ages and abilities, while still allowing more competitive players to test their mettle.
Rules of the Game
In addition to the modified net and gear, there are several key rules in Pickle-ball that help make the game more accessible. In tennis, and many net sports, games are often won and lost by the power of the serve. In Pickle-ball, the ball must bounce once on each side before volleys are allowed. This opens the game to more players and extends play for added fun.
How to Play
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.
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 one foot 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).
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:
- 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
Determining Serving Team
The serving team may decide who will serve first with a coin toss. The winner of the coin toss will have the option to choose whether or not to serve first.
History of Pickle-ball
Pickle-ball® was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, outside Seattle, WA. The goal of Pickle-ball® then and now was to create a game that was as fun as can be for every member of the family.