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Pickleball Rules 101

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America and for good reason! Play pickleball with us, thanks to our partnership with YouFit Gyms. Click here to find a pickleball court near you. Have you been wanting to start playing but don't know the rules? Well, we've got you covered!

Basic Rules

  • Pickleball can either be played as a singles or a doubles game, but doubles is most common.
  • The same rules are kept whether pickleball is played a singles or doubles game.

The Serve

Pickleball Serve

  • The serve must always be underhand
  • The serve can only be hit after the first bounce.
  • The serve must be made diagonally cross court and land past the no volley zone ie the Kitchen and within the confines of the court. See diagram above
  • Only one serve is allowed, except in the event that the ball touches the net and lands in the proper service court (let serves are replayed)

The Two Bounce Rule

Pickleball Two Bounce Rule

  • The ball is served in from spot #1.
  • When the ball is served, the receiving team must let it bounce before returning and the serving team must do the same.
  • Both team may either volley the ball (hit the ball before it bounce) or play it off a bounce.

The Non-Volley Zone - "The Kitchen"

Pickleball - the Kitchen

  • The non-volley zone is the court area within 7 feet on both sides of the net, also known as the Kitchen.
  • When a player is volleying, it is considered a fault if they step in the Kitchen & therefore lose the point.
  • After the player has volleyed the ball, it is considered a fault if they enter the non-volley zone before the ball hits the other side of the court. The volleyed ball is then declared as dead.
  • A player may legally be in the non-volley zone any time other than when volleying a ball.

The Scoring

  • Points are scored only by the serving team.
  • Games are normally played to 11 points, win by 2.
  • Tournaments games may be to 15 or 21, win by 2.

The Service Sequence


Pickleball - Singles Service Sequence

  • If the server scores a point, they switch sides and serves from the left side of the court. When their score is even, they serve from the right/even court and from the left/odd when the score is odd.
  • When the server makes a fault, the serve gets passed to the opponent.
  • Then player 2 serves.


Pickleball - Doubles Service Sequence Pt. 1 - Both players on the serving doubles team have the opportunity to serve and score points until they commit a fault. - If a point is scored, the server switches sides and the server initiates the next serve from the left court

Pickleball - Service Sequence Doubles Pt. 2

  • In doubles, when the serve switches to the next team, the player on the right side of the court begins serving.

Ready to play pickleball?

Find a YouFit Gyms near you and start playing! Click here to book your pickleball court reservation today. Use promo code YOUPICKLEFREE at checkout to get your first time free.

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