What is Pickleball?

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Pickleball is a paddle sport that originated in Washington state in the USA in the 1965. The game is played on a badminton-sized court: 6.09m x 13.41m with a ball similar to a wiffle ball. The tennis-like net is hung 91.5cm on the ends and 86.4cm at the center. The Kitchen is the area between the net and the 2.13 meter line on the court.

The game can be played as singles (two) players or doubles (four) players. The ball is served diagonally, across court, beginning with the player on the right. The serving player continues to serve until they or their team faults, and points are only awarded to the team serving. A double bounce rule applies to the first two returns. Both the player receiving the serve and the server’s side must allow the ball to bounce before hitting it. The kitchen is a non-volley zone, and volleys are only allowed after the first two returns are played. The game is played to eleven points, and players must win by two points to complete the game.




Pickleball Terminology

  • Baseline – The line at the back of the Pickleball court (6.7 meters from the net)
  • Centerline – The line bisecting the service courts that extends from the non-volley line to the baseline
  • Crosscourt – The opponent’s court diagonally opposite a player’s
  • Dink – A soft shot, made with the paddle, hit so that it just clears the net and drops into the non-volley (kitchen) zone
  • Fault – An infringement of the rules that ends a rally
  • Foot fault – Stepping over the line into the kitchen while volleying a ball or failure to keep both feet behind the baseline with at least one foot in contact with the ground or floor when the paddle contacts the ball while serving
  • Half volley – A type of hit where the player hits the ball immediately after it has bounced in an almost scoop like fashion
  • Kitchen – The non-volley zone 2.13 meters from the net on both sides
  • Lob – Hitting the ball in a high arc to the back of the opponent’s court-ideally designed to clear an opponent who has advanced toward the net
  • Let serve – A serve that touches the top of the net and lands in the proper service court
  • Poach – In doubles- to cross over into your partner’s area to make a play on the ball
  • Rally – Continuous play that occurs after the serve and before a fault
  • Serve – An underhand stroke used to put the ball into play
  • Service court – The area on either side of the centerline
  • Server number – When playing doubles, either #1 or #2, depending on whether the player is the first or second server for their side
  • Sideline – The line at the side of the court denoting in and out of bounds
  • Side out – Occurs when the serve moves to the opponent’s side
  • Time Out – There are two time outs for games to 11 or 15 points and three time outs for games to 21points- each time out lasts one minute
  • Volley – To hit the ball before it touches the ground and bounces
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