How is Pickleball Played | Official Pickleball Rules

You must be familiar with the “ping” sound around the streets these days without people actually playing ping-pong, right? That’s what pickleball is, and I can bet, you have thought about how weird the name “pickleball” is because truth be told, it actually is, and probably you are pretty much convinced to call it a tennis 2.0. Though, it’s pretty much similar to tennis, besides it’s played with paddles instead of racquets. Also, it is quite easier than tennis, however, you need the basics of how is pickleball played in order to have your hands set on it. 

If you are familiar with tennis, you won’t be requiring much effort to get pro with pickleball but aiming to be an expert, you could be in need of proper pickleball instructions, let’s say rules, regulations, and USAPA pickleball rules. If honestly asked, pickleball is a fun-to-play game, it’s healthy as well, speaking from a sports perspective and it’s for all ages. Yet, the game can be tricky at times because of the development it’s undergoing. Don’t worry, we have explained as many strategies and tricks regarding the game as we’re sure, you’ll be able to ace the game by the end of this article.                                                                  

How to Play Pickleball: 

To play pickleball, all you need is just a good paddle, you can get on the best pickleball paddles. Then a piece of good information concerning basic rules and regulations. And of course, an excellent partner to play with. 


Pickleball has two formats in which 2 or 4 players can play pickleball in either singles or doubles. In both formats, the rules and regulations applied are pretty much the same, except for the skill level you’re playing with. We recommend playing in the singles if you’re playing it for the first time since it gets really frustrating not getting your turn or messing it up in the beginning. Even though many pickleball machines are evolved they allow hours of play for a single person.


How to start the game: 

The side that starts the game is called the serving side or the server. Well, to decide the server, you can use the coin-flipping rule or simply the hat or tail rule. Though the server got no such benefits, it’s just how the server gets along with the game. In addition, you have to be in the baseline until the 3rd shot is hit. After that, you can continue in court. 


The serving player has to hold the ball underhand and it should be below the waistline. It should be in such a way that your arm is moving in an upward arc yet the paddle top surface is not above the waist when it touches the ball. Now, put your foot behind the baseline and make sure, there’s proper distance. Now, the important part, the ball has to be hit diagonally otherwise it’ll count as a fault. The first hit will be from the right side, and then left, and repeat till one of you wins the game. 

Positions while playing pickleball

Well, there’s one more serving in pickleball which was recently introduced known as a “drop serve” according to it, you can drop the ball and hit it when it bounces above. Although, you can drop it from any height you want. However, no additional force shall be applied to the ball. 


Ugh! Here comes the boring part yet an important one because how can a sport be formed without having rules in it?  Though I’m not a fan of rules, however, in order to win the game, you must be well aware of them. The interesting part about the rule is: every year, the USAPA Rules Committees revised the official rulebook. however, you need to keep them in check because there are critical restrictions on certain serve in new changes. Overall, there is a number of official pickleball rules but we’re not going down towards it. The important ones are listed below so make sure you’re not violating them. 

  • Make sure the ball must be bounced on both sides of the court. 
  • Volleying is not allowed in the non-volley zone. 
  • The ball can not go outside the boundaries. 

Related content: interested in knowing what exactly each rule of pickleball says? Click the five rules of pickleball and become an expert in the game of pickleball!

Faults in pickleball:

Despite the ease of the game, there are certain limitations and restrictions that you have to keep in mind even if you are playing locally. These restrictions are called faults in pickleball, which we have mentioned below: 

Faults in pickleball
  • You cannot touch the non-volley zone while serving, not even the line.   
  • The ball cannot hit the side posts of the net, otherwise, it is the dead serve.                           
  • NVZ violations of all kinds come under faults. 
  • If a ball touches a player’s body, whether he is within the court’s boundaries or not, it’s a fault. 
  • The ball cannot be volleyed if the bounce has not occurred on both sides.
  • A ball above the waistline is a fault.

Remember, the fewer faults you make in pickleball, the higher your chances will be of winning. 

Scoring in Pickleball: 

In pickleball, the serving side gets the score. Meaning that the player or the team that starts serving the ball get’s the score until unless they make a fault. After the fault is made by the serving team, the serve is transferred to the opposite team which then starts scoring and the same rule applies onwards till the game ends. 

For winning purposes, the game is played to 11 points and is won by 2 points. Well, pickleball points vary for game type i.e for single games, it’s played to 15 points and again, win by two. However, there are different formats that you can play pickleball on. These formats are also explained by USAPA on their site.

There are different reasons as we dig deep into it. But the most counted is “it is the mixture of different sports that reminds of the pickle boat in the crew by Joan, the wife of Joel Pritchard.

As we have explained above, scoring is done by the serving side. Those who serve the ball get all the points unless they made a fault. However, the score must be called in three numbers.

57 years old. Pickleball was invented in 1965 by the great Joel Pritchard, Barney McCallum, and Bill Bell and to date, it’s 57 years old.

Final Verdict: 

All faults and rules of pickleball considered, we are quite positive that you may have enough knowledge of how is pickleball played. You may also have our word and buy paddles and balls because it’s way easier than you think despite all the rules and instructions. Besides being beneficial for your health, it’s fun and full of joy so don’t wait any longer and start playing today!

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