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Official Pickleball Rules

Pickleball is a fun and fast-paced paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It can be played indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court with a low net. Here are the detailed rules for playing pickleball:

Objective:

The objective of pickleball is to score points by hitting a perforated plastic ball (similar to a wiffle ball) over the net and into the opponent's court, while following specific rules and regulations.

Equipment:

  • Pickleball Paddle: Solid paddles made of wood, composite materials, or other approved materials.

  • Pickleball: A perforated plastic ball, similar to a wiffle ball but slightly larger.

  • Net: A net similar to a tennis net, but lowered to 34 inches at the center.

  • Court: A badminton-sized court (20 feet wide and 44 feet long for doubles, with a non-volley zone), with boundary lines similar to those of a tennis court.

Gameplay:

  1. Starting the Game:

    • The game begins with a serve, which is done underhand, diagonally across the court, starting from the right-hand side of the court.

  2. Serve and Return:

    • The serving team must hit the ball diagonally across the net and into the opponent's service court.

    • The receiving team must let the ball bounce once before returning it.

    • After the serve, both teams can volley the ball (hit it before it bounces) or play it off the bounce.

  3. Volley and Groundstroke:

    • Players can volley the ball (hit it before it bounces) as long as they are not in the non-volley zone (the area within 7 feet on either side of the net).

    • If the ball bounces inside the non-volley zone, players must let it bounce before hitting it.

  4. Scoring Points:

    • Points are scored when the opposing team faults, such as hitting the ball out of bounds, into the net, or failing to return the ball properly.

    • A game is played to 11 points, and a team must win by at least two points.

  5. Service Rotation:

    • The serving team rotates positions after each point is scored, with the server moving to the opposite side of the court.

  6. Double Bounce Rule:

    • Each team must let the ball bounce once on each side of the net before volleying it.

    • After the two bounces, players can volley the ball before it bounces.

Winning the Game:

  • The game is won by the first team to reach 11 points, with a margin of at least two points.

Additional Rules and Tips:

  • Non-Volley Zone: Be mindful of the non-volley zone, especially when volleying near the net.

  • Foot Faults: Avoid stepping on or over the baseline during the serve.

  • Communication: Effective communication with your partner is crucial for success in doubles play.

  • Practice: Regular practice improves skills and strategy.

Pickleball is a versatile and enjoyable sport suitable for players of all ages and skill levels. Whether played for recreation or competition, pickleball offers a fun and engaging experience that promotes physical activity and social interaction.

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