Basic Pickleball Rules for Beginners: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to the exciting world of pickleball! Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned player looking for a refresher, understanding the basic rules of pickleball is essential to enjoying this fast-paced and addictive sport. In this blog, we will provide a detailed overview of the basic pickleball rules for beginners to help you get started on your pickleball journey.

What Are the Basic Pickleball Rules for Beginners?

The basic pickleball rules for beginners are given below:

1. Court Dimensions

The pickleball court is a rectangular area, similar to a tennis court but smaller. It measures 20 feet wide and 44 feet long for doubles play, while for singles play, the width is reduced to 10 feet. The court is divided into equal halves by a centerline, and there are non-volley zones on each side of the net.

pickleball court dimensions

1.1 Non-Volley Zones: The non-volley zones, also known as the kitchen, are the areas on each side of the net, extending 7 feet from the net. Players are not allowed to step into these zones to volley the ball directly. The non-volley zones help to promote strategic play and prevent aggressive net play from taking over the game.

2. Serving

Serving is where each point begins in pickleball. Players take turns serving the ball diagonally, starting from the right-hand side of the court. The serve is executed underhand and must clear the non-volley zone and land within the opposing court boundaries. The server must keep at least one foot behind the baseline until the ball is struck.

2.1 Underhand Serve: Pickleball requires an underhand serve, meaning the paddle must be below the waist during the swing. Unlike tennis, there are no overhead serves or smashes in pickleball. The underhand serve promotes fair play and allows players of all ages and skill levels to participate without the need for excessive strength or power.

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3. Doubles and Singles Play

Pickleball can be played in both doubles and singles formats.

3.1 Doubles Play: In doubles play, two teams of two players compete against each other. Each team must take turns hitting the ball before it bounces twice on their side. Communication and teamwork are crucial in doubles play, as players need to cover each other’s weaknesses and strategically position themselves on the court.

3.2 Singles Play: In singles play, one player competes against another player. The rules remain the same, except for the court size, which is reduced to half the width. Singles play demands greater agility and endurance, as players have to cover the entire court on their own.

Basic Pickleball Rules For Beginners

4. Scoring

The scoring system in pickleball may differ slightly from other racket sports, but it is relatively simple to understand.

4.1 Non-Volley Zone Fault: If a player steps into the non-volley zone and hits the ball before it bounces, it is considered a fault, resulting in the loss of the rally. Similarly, if the ball bounces and a player hits it while inside the non-volley zone, it is also a fault.

4.2 The 11-Point Game: Pickleball is typically played to 11 points, and players can only score when they are serving. A point is earned if the opposing team fails to return the ball successfully, hitting it out of bounds, into the net, or violating any other pickleball rule. However, players must win by at least two points.


Understanding the basic pickleball rules for beginners is crucial for beginners to fully enjoy this exciting sport. From court dimensions to non-volley zone faults, serving techniques, and scoring, this guide has provided you with a comprehensive overview.

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Now that you are armed with the knowledge of the basic rules, grab a paddle, find a court, and start playing pickleball! Remember, practice makes perfect, and as you play more games, you will become more familiar with the rules and strategies of this addictive sport.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is pickleball and how is it played?

Pickleball is a fun and fast-growing paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It is played on a court with a net and the objective is to hit a perforated ball over the net, ensuring it lands within the opponent’s court boundaries.

How do I score in pickleball?

Pickleball follows a rally scoring system, where points are awarded to the serving team when the opposing team commits a fault or fails to return the ball properly. A point is awarded on every serve, regardless of which team is serving. The game is usually played up to 11 or 15 points, and you must win by two points.

What are the key rules regarding serving in pickleball?

To serve in pickleball, the ball must be underhanded and dropped below the waist level. The server must keep both feet behind the baseline and the ball must be hit diagonally across the net into the opponent’s service court. The serve must clear the non-volley zone (a 7-foot area around the net) and land within the designated service court.

What are the basic pickleball rules for beginners?

The basic pickleball rules for beginners include court dimensions of 20 feet by 44 feet for doubles and 10 feet wide for singles, with non-volley zones on each side. Serving is underhand, starting diagonally from the right-hand side, and the ball must clear the non-volley zone. In doubles play, teamwork is crucial, and in singles play, players cover the entire court. Scoring is based on faults in the non-volley zone and follows an 11-point system, with players needing to win by at least two points.