Simplified Pickleball Rules

Revised May 23, 2009

A complete set of rules may be obtained from the United States of America Pickleball Association on their web site ( www.usapa.org ). However, if you are just learning, you will find the following condensed rules much easier to follow.

Game and Match

.....In tournaments, a match will usually consist of the best 2 out of 3 games to 11. A game is finished when one player or team reaches 11 points and is leading by at least two points. If the score is tied at 10-10, then the game continues until one player or team wins by two points. Players switch sides after the first game. If a third game is needed, the players will switch sides after the first player or team gets to 6 points, and the game will then continue to its conclusion.

.....For consolation events, or when time is short, matches often consist of just one game to 15 points. The winner in this format must also be ahead by two points. In a 15 point game, players should switch sides after one team gets to 8 points, and the game will then continue to its conclusion.

Serving

Pickleball is similar to Volleyball in that a player or team can only scores points when serving.

Prior to 2007, players were allowed to step over the baseline with one foot when serving, as long as they kept at least one foot behind the baseline until after they contacted the ball. However, the rule has been changed by the National Pickleball Association (USAPA) so that now both feet must remain behind the baseline until after the ball is struck.

Each player is allowed only one serving attempt unless it is a “let” serve. A let serve occurs when the serve hits the net and still lands in the correct service court. If this occurs, the serve is played over. Each player will continue to serve until he does not win a point.

Serving in Doubles

Serving in Singles

Non-Volley Zone:

To volley a ball means to hit it in the air without letting it bounce. All volleying must be done with the player's feet behind the non-volley zone.

Double Bounce Rule:

Each team must play their first shot off 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. After the two bounces have occurred, the ball can either be volleyed or played off the bounce.

Faults

The ball may only bounce once per side. After the ball is hit by a player, it must travel to the other side of the net.

If the ball hits one of the sidelines or the baseline, it is a playable ball. When a player or team fails to win the rally they are said to have made a fault . Some, but not all of the things that cause a fault are listed below: