Pickleball Rules (Pickleball Game) Basic Overview 2022 - (2023)

Most people get confused with the pickleball rules along with considering the criteria of the badminton game. The pickleball game rules don’t vary much, even though this game’s playing court’s length is the same as the badminton court. Moreover, pickleball offers a very smooth track of gaming criteria where multi-players can also take part.

In brief, the prominent rules of this game mainly relate to the ball serving pattern. In the 1-to-1 match, each player will have to follow the rules where the player will strike the ball after one time bounce on each side.

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The pickleball court size is 20′ x 44′, the same as the regular badminton court. Furtherly, there are some basic rules to play this game; let’s get toward the discussion,


List of all the Rules for Playing Pickleball

Following are the rules for the pickleball game,

Sequences of Serving Rules

The serving player on the right-hand court can get points along with the opportunity on both teams.

  • Moreover, one team can get the chance of scores if any team performs two faults considering the right-hand court serve
  • Also, the players will perform the next serve after performing a point score. The players will also switch their positions as well (to the left-hand side)
  • Only one player will get the serve handling at the start of the game. In case of any fault or the score of the opposite team, the scoring team will get the serve

While playing double, the other player will get the serve opportunity if the first server loses the serve. Additionally, each team can continue to get the serve only if the point scoring is consecutive.

Double Bounce Rule

The bouncing of the service along with the serve before striking the ball is allowed in this rule. Here the players can have groundstrokes on each team positioning.

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Positioning of the Player

In the pickle ball rules, the players in the serving team will have to change their positions on the court. The first player in the serving team who has served first will be on the right side of the court when the score is in even numbers. Furtherly, that player will get the left-side position of the court if the score is in odd numbers.

Pickleball Serving Rules

The player will have to serve the ball in a diagonal way along with the crosscourt side of the court. Moreover, the serving position of the ball must be underhand, which is one of the primary rules while starting the game. Also, the player will have to stand by putting one foot behind the baseline while proceeding to the serve.

The player must strike the ball on the service first to cross the baseline with the foot’s positioning. In addition, the player must have a precise contact of the paddle toward the ball serving, which is mainly under the waist.

Note: In case the ball hits the net after the serve and falls on the court area, the player can have another attempt for the serves.

Faults Considering in the Game

While playing pickleball, even in singles or doubles, the player will have to be conscious to save any faults. Several points, including the serve missing or rule violation, can be a fault in the game.

  • In case the serving team makes a fault, then the opposing team can take the serve from the first team
  • Out of bound hitting of the ball will also be a fault
  • if the player serve doesn’t fall on the area of the court regardless of the non-volley zone, it’s a fault
  • During the match, if any of anything like a paddle, player’s shirt, player’s hand touches the net, then it will be a fault
  • Any violation of the general rules of pickleball will also be a fault
  • If the opposing team makes any fault, then the serving team will get the point in the scoring line
  • In case the player hit the ball before the ball bounces on the court, then it is a fault
  • If the player hits the ball in the non-volley zone, it will also be a fault
  • If the ball falls on the court and bounces more than one time, then the receiver will get the fault

Pickleball Court Rules for the Serving Choice

Generally, according to the USAPA Pickleball rules, a coin-tossing procedure will take place to select a serving team. After winning the toss, the player can choose the court’s position and whether he/she will serve first or not. The toss winner can also pass the serve position to the opposite team as well.

Pickleball Doubles Serving Rules

In the double play game of two teams, the player in the server team will be on the right-hand side of the court. Plus, according to the rule, the server will strike the ball diagonally toward the other player in the team. Now there are two factors to consider,

  • The receiver will let the ball (coming from the server) bounce one time on the court and then strike it back
  • Subsequently, the server team will also let the ball bounce for a single time on the court before striking

In case of a fault delivered by the receiving team, the serving team will get the point there. However, if the serving team makes a fault, then two players in the serving team will change the position. Also, the second player will get the serve then. Then if the second player makes a fault, the players’ position will be the same on the court. Only the ball service will be handed over to the other team.

The Pickleball Line Rules

There are some basic line rules to call the serve, along with the different scoring systems. If the player serves the ball and contacts the non-volley zone line, it will be a fault. However, if the served ball falls into the court except for the non-volley zone, it will be called “in,” which means no-fault.

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Pickleball Non-Volley Zone Rules

As noted, there’s a 7 feet area on both sides of the net in the court considering a non-volley zone. You might have also heard it as pickleball kitchen rules because the non-volley zone is also known as the kitchen. Furthermore, the player is not allowed to hit the ball within the non-volley zone (7 feet).

However, both teams’ players can be in the non-volley zone (place their feet) except while hitting the ball.

  • In case the player touches the non-volley zone after smashing the ball in the court, then it’s a fault
  • If the ball bounced and the player hits the ball while in the non-volley zone, then it will not be a fault
  • Even if the momentum cause carrying away of the player in the non-volley zone, it will also be a fault
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The Pickleball Scoring Rules

Here are simple rules to remember for scoring in pickleball. There are 11 points to be completed for the winning purpose of each side (team). However, the point difference should be 2 with the opposite side to win the match. For example, 9-11 or maybe more points if the difference is not two at 11 points. Plus, for consideration, only the serving team can score points at the time.

The opponent will get the point in case the serving team happens to do any fault during the game. Moreover, the legal service of the ball is one of the prior rules of pickleball scoring for pointing the numbers by the team. The USAPA can also make any changes regarding the scoring criteria method. That can also be a variation in the point difference.


Among the basic 5 rules of pickleball are keeping the ball in bounds, one bounce per side, serving from the baseline, serving cannot land in the no-volley zone, and the game ends after 11, 15, or 21 points. And this is pickle ball rules non-volley zone.

The two-bounce rule means after the ball is served, it must be bounced twice by the receiving team, then returned by the serving team; therefore, there are two bounces.

Keeping the paddle in hand and hitting the ball with the hand is legitimate. The ball can’t hit any other part of your body. The ball that is “out” cannot be called “out” until it bounces. Always let the ball pass through you rather than catching it.

Among pickleball’s offensive shots, the overhead smash stands out as the most aggressive. An opponent’s court struck at an oblique angle with a forceful smash delivered as high in the air as possible. A high lofted ball hit by the opponent returns with an overhead impact.

Referees call scores when the player determines that the receiving player is ready. A fault raises if the server does not respond within 10 seconds. A 10-second count can only be stopped in two instances following the score call.

Final Thoughts

So finally, here we have delivered all of the basic pickleball rules along with their outcomes, either points or faults. The beginners can surely learn how to play pickleball even in single or double playing matches. Moreover, a thorough description of the serving criteria has also been mentioned above. Simply follow these given rules and get a precise ruled-base game with your team members.


What are the new pickleball rules for 2022? ›

What are the pickleball rule changes for 2022?
  • The drop serve is no longer “provisional” ...
  • Rally scoring rejected. ...
  • Official scoring nomenclature to start remains 0-0-2. ...
  • Reinstating the let serve rejected. ...
  • Chainsaw (spin) serve outlawed. ...
  • Visibility is 100% necessary. ...
  • Keep playing on the wrong score call.
Jan 27, 2022

What are 5 common mistakes that a beginner pickleball players often make? ›

Here's 5 common things that beginner players do wrong:
  • Rush When Serving. The fast fire nature of pickleball keeps us moving through points smoothly and with few breaks. ...
  • Take Their Eyes Off The Ball. ...
  • Wear The Wrong Shoes. ...
  • Don't Move Their Feet. ...
  • Panic. ...
  • Wrapping Up: Add In Some Practice Time.
Sep 26, 2022

What is the 10 second rule in pickleball? ›

#6 10 second rule

One of the most forgotten rules of pickleball is the 10 second rule. Once the score has been called, the server has 10 seconds to make their serve. If over that time limit then he/she is called for a fault and lose their serve. Rather simple and it keeps the game moving.

What are the three 3 key things you should focus on in pickleball? ›

Drill, Practice, Play

Most people enjoy playing pickleball. And I suspect, the vast majority of pickleball players only play. However, if you want to improve you must spend time practicing and drilling. Taking time to practice and to drill is important if you want to improve.

What should you not do in pickleball? ›

Don't scoot up when they serve because it's possible that you'll be the one hitting it back.
  • Trying to be too fancy or hit low probability shots. ...
  • Making kitchen faults.
  • Not taking centerline shots as the forehand player.
  • Not letting shots go out.
  • Not getting to the kitchen line.
  • Hitting the ball too hard.

What is the #1 mistake beginner pickleball players make? ›

1. Scooting up after the serve. The most common mistake I see is that after serving, they scoot up a bit. The problem with this is that the return server is going to hit the ball as deep as possible, and if you've scooted up following your shot, you'll have to run back or will have a very hard time returning the shot.

What is the most important shot to learn in pickleball? ›

There are a lot of shots to learn in pickleball, but the most important ones to master are the basic ones. The serve is the shot that gets the point started. It's neither a volley nor a groundstroke.

What is the most important skill in pickleball? ›

Dinking. Dinking is essential to any pickleball strategy. This is a move that isn't just an important part of your arsenal but should be your primary skill. Anyone that's been to a pickleball training camp will tell you the same.

Can you step into the kitchen before the ball bounces? ›

If a player is technically in the kitchen area, they must either wait for the ball to cross outside of the kitchen before volleying or make sure it bounces off the ground before hitting it in the kitchen. Failure to follow this rule results in a fault, awarding the rally to the time without the fault.

What is rule 6 d 11 in pickleball? ›

6. D. 11. While the ball is in the air, if a player yells “out,” “no,” “bounce it,” or any other words to communicate to their partner that the ball may be out, it shall be considered player communication only and not considered a line call.

Is the bounce serve going away in pickleball? ›

The 2023 USAPA (USA Pickleball) Official Rules are published and the pickleball spin serve is no longer allowed. Now let's be clear it's the pre-spun, more commonly known as the finger spin serve, that will no longer be allowed.

Are they banning spin serve in pickleball? ›

Rule 524 titled "Eliminating the spin serve" passed the USA Pickleball Rules Committee vote this month. The next step for the proposed rule is the USAP Board of Directors. The board has until October 31st to approve the rule making it official. If the board approvals the rule, it will go into effect Jan 1, 2023.


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