How to play pickleball?
What is pickleball all about? In short, pickleball is similar to table tennis, badminton and tennis. The court where the sport is played is similar to a tennis court, but is about the size of a badminton court. The net is similar to tennis, but shorter. You can play singles or doubles, but the most popular is doubles with two players on each side of the court.
As in tennis, the game begins with a serve. However, the serve must be underhanded, and the ball must bounce both on the serve and on the return of the serve. This is called the two-bounce rule. Play continues until a fault occurs, e.g:
- Someone is hit by the ball.
- The ball bounces more than twice.
- The ball flies into the net.
- The ball is knocked out of bounds.
A fascinating aspect of pickleball is the so-called non-volley zone. This zone includes the seven-foot area on the side of the net, also known as the "kitchen." As the name implies, players are not allowed to hit the pickleball out of the air if their feet are in this area or if they get there due to momentum when hitting the ball.
Points are scored by the team serving.
The server calls out numbers.
- The first number is the score of the serving team.
- The second number is the score of the receiving team.
- The third number is the number of the serving round you are in when playing doubles. In a singles match, this number is not called.
One way to score a point is to "dink" the ball. When you do this, you hit the ball so that it barely bounces over the net. The opponent then has to hit the ball up to get it back over the net so you can hit it back (and usually score).
The game ends when a player or team scores 11 points and wins by at least two points. The scoring may seem confusing at first, but you'll get the hang of it quickly. And even if you don't, play anyway!