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Pickleball Rules

The Court


The regulation size of the court is 20 feet (6.1 m) by 44 feet (13 m) for both doubles and singles, the same size as a doubles badminton court. The front service line in pickleball is seven feet from the net, six inches further than the badminton front service line. In pickleball, the front service line is called the non-volley line, or “kitchen line”, and the back service line is called the baseline. The area bounded by the non-volley line, the sidelines, and the net, inclusive of the lines, is known as the non-volley zone, or “kitchen”. The centerline runs from the non-volley line to the baseline, bisecting the rest of the court into the right and left service courts. Each service court includes the lines enclosing that service court, except the non-volley line, which is part of the non-volley zone.

The Serve

bat and balls

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.)

The Server must keep both feet behind the back line when serving. The service is made underhand with the paddle contacting the ball below the waist. The Server must hit the ball in the air on the serve. The Server is NOT allowed to bounce the ball and hit it off the bounce. The service is made diagonally cross court and must clear the non-volley zone, including the line (A serve that hits the non-volley zone line is out) Only one serve attempt is allowed, except if the ball touches the net on the serve and lands in the proper service court,in this case the serve may be taken over. At the start of each new game, the 1st serving team is allowed only one fault before giving up the ball to the opponents. Thereafter both members of each team will serve and fault before the ball is turned over to the opposing team. When the receiving team wins the serve, the player in the right hand court will always start play.



batsA team shall score a point only when serving. A player who is serving shall continue to do so until a fault is made by his/her team. If playing doubles, each player on a team shall keep serving until their team makes a fault, then the serve moves to the opposing team - this is called a Side Out. The game is played to 11 points, however a team must win by 2 points.






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


If you are new to playing pickleball, you may be interested in some strategies for your game. Here are some tips to keep in mind on the court. 

  • Try to avoid hitting the ball to your opponent.
  • Use shots that force them to move.
  • If you notice an opponent has a weak forehand or backhand, try to serve on their weak side.
  • It would ideal to serve deep in the court. Be careful not to hit it out though.
  • Be sure to be in a ready position after every volley you hit back.
  • When playing doubles, hit the ball down the middle of the court. This will cause your opponents to quickly decide who will go for it, leading to potential errors on their side.
  • Surprise your opponent with a different kind of shot. Use one type consistently before surprising them with another that throws them off.