Sunday, April 17, 2011


THE SERVE:The player on the right side of the court ALWAYS begins serving for their side.  Players must keep both feet behind the back line and inside the (imaginary extended sideline or center line). The serve is made underhand. The ball must be struck when the paddle is below the waist and wrist. The serve is made diagonally cross court and must clear the non-volley zone. Only one serve attempt is allowed, except in the event of a let (the ball touches the net on the serve, and lands in the proper service court). Then, the serve may be taken over. At the start of each new game, the 1st serving team is allowed only one fault before giving up the ball to the opponents. 

Regular scoring means that only the serving team is eligible to score a point.  The game is played to 11 and you must win by 2 points.

The team that serves first is only allowed one fault, so when a game begins, the server should call the score "0-0-2"; that means that the serving team has zero, the receiving team has zero, and only one fault is allowed.  If a fault is made, the other team's server would call, "0-0-1"; this means that the serving team has no points, the receivers have no points, and the team serving has two faults remaining.

Rally scoring means that a point will be scored on every serve.  The game is won by the team that reaches 15 points first.  Our SV PB Club uses 'rally' scoring if 5 or more people are waiting to play.

Dink-to play the ball softly and close to the net.  Pickleball is a game of strategy and ball placement rather than brute strength.

Double Bounce Rule-the served ball must bounce before the return and the serving team must let the ball bounce before sending it back over the net.  Therefore, the team that receives the serve will be the first team eligible to volley.  In other words, the ball must bounce on each side of the net before a volley is permitted.

Fault-an error that will result in either a point or a side out.  Eg.  hitting the ball oob (out of bounds) or into the net, stepping on the line when serving, serving into the wrong court, serving on the non-volley line, the serving team vollies before the ball has bounced on their side, volleying inside the non-volley zone, touching the net, catching the ball, hitting the ball twice...and many more...

Non-volley zone-(commonly known as the nvz or the 'kitchen')-7 feet on either side of the net.  No player may volley from inside this area; neither can your momentum on the volley cause you to step on the line or in the area, regardless of where the ball goes.  The moral of the story is:  keep your balance, or it will be called a 'fault'.  Even if your cap falls into the nvz or you touch the nvz with your knee or hand, a fault will be called.

Sideout-the serve is awarded to the opposing team.  The serving team has used up their fault(s).

Volley-to hit the ball before it bounces (only legal once a player on your court has returned a ball that bounced once).

Freaky Rules-
1) The ball doesn't have to go over the net.  If a player hits the ball from outside the net post (out wide), the ball only has to land in their opponent's court to be 'good.'

2) If a ball is hit (by team A) with lots of backspin, it may go over the net, hit on the opponent's (team B's) court (probably near the net) and bounce back cross the is the responsibility of team B to play the ball or else.

3) On Your Honor-I guess it's not really a rule, but the intent of PB is to give the benefit of any doubt to your opponent.  The receiver closest to a ball landing near a line, is responsible for making the call "in" or "out."  If unsure, they may ask their teammate.  If the two of them have differing opinions or they didn't see it, the call should be made in favor of the opponent.   You are NOT supposed to replay the point.  In tournament play, (unless there are linesmen) players make calls near the lines (except serves in the kitchen).  If the receiver didn't see it clearly, they may ask the referee's opinion.  Their call stands unless they didn't see it.  In that case, the call goes in favor of the opponent.

4) On Your Honor (Part 2)-You should call yourself on faults like making a volley while in the kitchen or failing to let the ball bounce once on your side if you're the serving team.

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