How to Play Pickleball: A Beginner’s Guide

Pickleball is a fast-growing sport that is taking the world by storm. It’s a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, and it’s played on a smaller court with a lower net. If you’re new to pickleball, don’t worry! This beginner’s guide will take you through all the basics so you can get started in no time.

The Pickleball Court

The first step is to familiarize yourself with the pickleball court. It’s similar to a tennis court, but it’s smaller in size, and the net is lower. The net is 34 inches high at the center, and the court is 20 feet wide by 44 feet long. 

Serving the Ball

Next, you need to know how to serve the ball. The serving team starts the game by serving the ball from the right side of the court. The ball must bounce once on each side of the court before it can be hit by the receiving team. This is known as the double bounce rule.

Playing the Game

Once the ball has been served, it’s time to start playing. The objective of the game is to hit the ball back and forth over the net, trying to make it land in your opponent’s court. When you hit the ball, it’s called a volley.

The Volley Zone

The area closest to the net is called the volley zone, and you’re not allowed to step into this area when you’re volleying the ball.


If you make contact with the ball before it has had a chance to bounce once on each side of the court, you’ve committed a fault. If the ball lands out of bounds, goes into the net, or hits a non-playing surface, it’s also considered a fault.

Using Momentum Carry

One of the key strategies in pickleball is to use momentum carry. This means that you use the momentum of your body and the ball to keep it in play. When you hit the ball, try to keep your racquet moving in the direction of the shot. This will help you keep the ball in play and maintain your momentum.

Switching Sides

Another important aspect of pickleball is to switch sides of the court. After every six points, the serving team must switch sides of the court. This helps to keep the game fair and ensures that both teams have an equal chance to serve and receive the ball.


When it comes to pickleball scoring, it’s simple. The goal of the game is to hit the ball in a way that your opponent can’t return it. If the ball goes out of bounds, lands in the “no-volley zone,” or your opponent fails to return it, you score a point. The game is typically played to 11 points, but you must win by two. That means if the score is 10-10, you have to keep playing until one player wins by two points. When serving, you have to hit the ball diagonally to your opponent’s side of the court. If you successfully serve, you start the rally and can score points by hitting the ball in a way that your opponent can’t return it. Pickleball is a fast-paced and fun sport, and keeping score adds an extra element of excitement to the game!

The Kitchen

Finally, it’s important to know that there’s a specific area of the court called the “kitchen.” This is the area closest to the net on each side of the court. When the ball lands in the kitchen, it’s considered an out, and you’ll need to serve the ball again.

What kind of equipment do I need to play pickleball?

The good news is that you don’t need a lot of equipment to start playing. In this section, we’ll go over the essential equipment you need to play pickleball.

Pickleball Paddle

The most important piece of equipment you need is a pickleball paddle. Pickleball paddles come in different sizes, weights, and materials. You can choose a paddle that fits your playing style and skill level. The most common materials used to make paddles are wood, graphite, and composite materials. If you aren’t sure where to even begin when it comes to choosing your pickleball paddle, you might find this helpful!

Pickleball Balls

The next essential piece of equipment you need is a set of pickleball balls. Pickleball balls are made of perforated plastic and are similar in size to a whiffle ball. They come in different colors and are designed to bounce and glide on the court.

Pickleball Net

The pickleball net is the third piece of equipment you need to play the game. The net is similar to a tennis net, but it’s lower and smaller in size. The net is usually made of nylon or polyester and is designed to withstand the wear and tear of the game.

Optional Equipment

While the above equipment is essential to play pickleball, there are a few optional items that can enhance your playing experience. These include:

Pickleball is a fun and fast-paced sport that’s easy to learn. By following this beginner’s guide, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a pickleball pro in no time. Remember to serve from the right side of the court, use momentum carries, switch sides of the court, and make sure the ball bounces once on each side of the court before you hit it. Good luck, and have fun!

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