All serves must be made underhanded and contact with the ball must be below the players’ waistline. Games are played to 11 points. The pickleball must bounce once on the serve and again on the return serve. Stay out of the kitchen! These are the more well-known pickleball rules and in today’s blog, we’re going to cover some additional rules that might have slipped your mind! Whether you’re new to the game or consider yourself a pickleball pro, it doesn’t hurt to shake the dust off the rulebook and give yourself a quick refresher. Let’s dive right in!
Three Pickleball Rules to Remember:
Don’t touch the net
Absolutely nothing, not even your body, paddle, tip of your shoe or clothing can touch the net during a match. Doing so will result in a fault.
Watch your footwork
According to the International Federation of Pickleball, during your serve, when you strike the ball, your feet should not:
- Touch the area outside the imaginary extension of the sideline
- Touch the area outside the imaginary extension of the centerline
- Touch the court, including the baseline
What does this mean? It means that at least one foot should stay behind the baseline and neither foot can come in contact with the baseline or the court until afterthe ball has been struck.
Now, if your foot has touched the baseline before contact, you’ve committed a fault. If you’re playing doubles, the serve would switch to the server’s partner. If the fault was committed by the second server, the serve is turned over to the opponent. Just like in doubles, in a singles’ match, the serve would be turned over to the opponent if the server committed a foot fault during the serve.
Don’t try and pull a fast one on your opponent by not calling a serve loud enough for your opponent(s) to hear. It’s proper etiquette to make sure that your opponent is ready to receive BEFORE you call the ball. Fair is fair and getting into the habit of calling out your serves before your service motion will help you avoid faults that would be called by a referee in a sanctioned tournament.
All in all, the pickleball rules are fairly simple in nature. However, there are rules that often get overlooked and forgotten about. These three rules are definitely ones to remember and to pass along to your pickleball friends!