The 5 Rules of Pickleball
When it comes to pickleball basics, there are a few rules to keep in mind when starting out.
Rule 1: No volleyball in the "kitchen".
The Non-Volley Zone (NVZ), also known as the "kitchen," is a box seven feet from the net on either side of the court. The kitchen border contains lines, so if you stay on the lines you will stay in the kitchen. You may not touch the kitchen in any way before, during, or after the volley.
Rule 2: There must be one bounce per turn.
One of pickleball's unique rules is the "Two Bounce Rule". Each rally requires at least one bounce of the ball on both sides of the court for everything and every return. When this happens, the side may also play or bounce the ball in the air.
Rule 3: You must serve from the baseline.
When serving the ball, serve from the baseline, the back line of the court. Hit the ball diagonally across the court over the net and serve from the hand and below the waistline. An interesting serving rule is that the ball can hit the net all the while and is considered in play until the ball hits the kitchen and lands in the correct service court!
Rule 4: No service can be landed outside of the volley area.
Pickle balls cannot fall into the kitchen when serving. This includes border lines. While a serve is inbound if it lands on a line other than the kitchen line, it is not inbound if it lands on the kitchen line as it is considered part of the kitchen and the ball must land in the kitchen after serving. .
Rule 5: The game ends with 11, 15 and 21 points.
A traditional pickleball game ends when one person or team scores 11 points. However, the winner must win by at least two points. For example, if one player's score is 11 and the opponent's score is 10, the game continues. Tournament games can be played with up to 15 or 21 players despite the "win by two" rule.