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How To Play Pickleball

Updated on February 4, 2011

How To Play Pickleball

Pickleball is a tennis-like game that is gaining popularity nation-wide. Pickleball was invented in Washington state in 1965 and was named after the pet dog of one of it's originators, who used to take the ball and run off with it when it was hit near him. Pickleball borrows from badminton and tennis in its rules and playing field. Pickelball is fast and challenging, and there is a lot of strategy and finesse. Just about anyone can pick it up pretty easily.

Pickleball Rules

The Court

Pickleball is played on a badminton sized court over a tennis court-type net.

The Equipment

Pickleball is played with a perforated plastic baseball and a solid paddle, usually 8 inches wide and 15 inches long.


Only the serving team can score points. Points are earned when the opposing team faults during play. The game is played to 11 points. However, a team has to win by 2 points.

The Serve

The ball is served underhand, below the player's waist, without bouncing it off the court. Serves have to land in the diagonally opposite court from the server.


Faulting occurs when the ball is hit out of bounds. If the ball doesn't clear the net, if a ball is returned by a player inside the no-volley zone or if the double-bounce rule is violated.

The Double-Bounce Rule

Following sever, each side must make at least one groundstroke prior to volleying the ball (hitting it before it bounces).

The Non-Volley Zone

A line seven feet from the net delineates the non-volley zone. You are not allowed to hit the ball without letting it bounce first if your foot is on or between this line and the net, or if you stumble into this zone after hitting the ball. You may not serve the ball into the non-volley zone.

Pickleball Poll

Have you ever played pickleball or watched a pickleball game?

See results

Pickleball Championship

Pickleball Fun Facts

1. Pickelball was invented in 1965

2. Pickleball was named after a cocker spaniel, which kept chasing the ball.

3. Pickleball was invented in Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA.

4. Pickleball was invented by Joel Pritchard, then a state representeative, and his friend Bill Bell after returning from a golf outing to find their families bored stiff.

5. Joel Pritchard went on to represent Washington in Congress for six terms and later served as lieutenant governor.

6. Pickleball is gaining popularity in California and will be played at the San Diego (California) Senior Olympics.

Pickleball Products from Zazzle

Click on any Pickleball product to purchase.

Pickleball or Tennis?

Which game sounds more fun and interesting to you?

Pickleball Videos

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    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 6 years ago

      Didn't know pickleball even existed before coming across your very informative lens. Nice job!

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 6 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Well, this is a new one for me! Never have heard of pickleball before now. And definitely haven't seen it played.

    • RiverCygnet profile image

      RiverCygnet 6 years ago

      Looks like fun, gotta love a game named after a dog ^_^

    • marieinolympia profile image

      marieinolympia 6 years ago

      Thanks for picking up my Pickleball designs from :) I just recently discovered friends with pickleball fever! I love your lens!

    • bechand profile image

      bechand 7 years ago

      Went through my old points to find this page again ... I just had to share it with Kipsy - she is looking for new sports to help her loose weight ... and i just knew she would love this one !!!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 7 years ago from United States

      This sounds like fun! It does look a lot like tennis, but maybe the ball wouldn't hurt as bad when I got smacked :)

    • Grahans LM profile image

      Grahans LM 7 years ago

      Great lens!!!congrats!

    • bechand profile image

      bechand 7 years ago

      Wow - does sound kinda cool - hope to try it sometime.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 7 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      I've never heard of Pickleball before, but I love both tennis and badminton, so it should be fun to try! Thanks for sharing this fun sounding game! :)