Pickleball may be played by two players (singles), or four players (doubles), in Mens, Women's and Mixed formats.
The same playing area and rules apply to both singles and doubles, for all formats.
The most popular format is doubles... Mens doubles, Womens doubles or Mixed doubles.
Serves are initiated from behind the baseline, and made underhanded to the opposite receiving court.
Serves landing short (in the kitchen) or long (past the baseline) are considered faults.
Only one serve is allowed. If the ball stakes the net and lands in the receiving court, it is a live ball and is no longer replayed.
Points are scored only by the serving team.
Games are normally played to 11 points, win by 2. Tournament games may be to 15 or 21, win by 2.
When the serving team’s score is even the first server will be in the right-side court when serving or receiving; and the odd the player will be in the left-side court when serving or receiving.
The non-volley zone or "kitchen" is an area within seven feet either side of the net. It is marked by a line on the front edge of the service court.
Players may enter the kitchen to return a ball, only after it bounces in the kitchen.
It isa fault, if the attacking player steps in the kitchen, or on a kitchen line, or their momentum carries them into the kitchen after a shot.
When a ball is served the receiving team must let it bounce before returning it, and the serving team must let it bounce a second time before making the third shot.
Once the ball has bounced once in each teams court, both team may either volley the ball (hit it in the air), or play it off a bounce (ground stroke).
The double bounce rule extends rallies.
Sequence of Play
In doubles, both players serve until their team commits a fault. After each point, the server switches court and serves again.
After the first fault, the second player serves. After the second fault, service goes to the other team (or side out).
The opposing team then repeats the process. First serve until fault, then second serve until fault, then side out.
A ball contacting any line, except the non-volley zone line on a serve, is considered “in.”
A serve contacting the non-volley zone line is short and a fault.
Line calls are made by the team or player, who is on the side of the court where the ball in question lands.
Players use any fair method to determine who will serve first.
The winner has the option to choose side, or to serve or receive.
In recreational play local players or clubs often designate a particular end of the court (e.g., north side) as the side to serve first.
A fault is any action that stops play because of a rule violation.
A fault by the receiving team results in a point for the serving team. A fault by the serving team results in the server’s loss of serve and side out if second server.
Some of the more common faults are listed below: