Pickleball 101: Everything You Need To Know About The Sport

Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America! It currently has over 4.8 million players in the United States! 

This sport has grown rapidly, with the number of people playing almost doubling in the past two years. So, what is this sport that has become so popular?! 

This article will tell you everything you need to know about Pickleball. Think of it as an ultimate guide to the sport! Let’s dive in!

What Equipment Do You Need To Play Pickleball?

There are only a few simple pieces of equipment that you will need if you want to start playing pickleball. These include: 

  • A paddle 
  • A court
  • A pickleball net(see also: How High Is A Pickleball Net?) (slightly different from a tennis net)
  • A pickleball (a perforated plastic ball)
  • A pair of sneakers! 

The Court 

Pickleball is played on a court that is 44 feet by 20 feet. It is divided by a net that runs right down the middle of the court.

There is a center line on the court that divides it further. This creates a right and left side of the court. 

There is also a non-volley line. This line is located 7 feet off the net and it will be found on both sides of the court. This line creates an area that is known as the kitchen. 

The Net 

A Pickleball net is very similar to a tennis (see also: Pickleball VS Tennis: Which One Is Easier?)net. However, it is a slightly different size. A pickleball net should be 36 inches tall on the edges, and 34 inches tall in the center.

How To Play Pickleball

Pickleball is a fairly basic game. It can be played in teams, known as doubles, or one-on-one. Let’s take a look at the rules of the game!


Scoring is one of the most important parts of a game. Without this, you won’t be able to tell who’s winning and who’s losing! 

Scoring is fairly simple in this game. You can only score points if you are on the serving team.

The end of a rally occurs when a team commits a fault. Faults include things like hitting the ball into the net or hitting the ball out of bounds. 

When a team commits a fault, the round stops. If the team who served the ball committed the fault, then they will lose the serve and it will be passed over to the other team.

This is known as a side-out. 

If the receiving team commits the fault, the serving team wins a point and continues to hold the serve.

The Kitchen 

The kitchen is the name for part of the court in a game of pickleball. The kitchen is also known as the non-volley zone. It is 7 feet wide on either side of the net. 

When you are standing in the kitchen, you should not hit the ball unless it has already bounced once on your side of the net. It will count as a fault if the ball hasn’t bounced and you hit the ball in the kitchen!

Serving In Pickleball 

In this game, you must serve the ball with an underhand hit. It must cross the court and land in the other team’s service court. If the ball lands in the kitchen after a serve, it counts as a fault! 

In a game of doubles, both players can serve until someone on their team commits a fault.

The first serve that a team takes should be taken from the right-hand side of the service court. It will then switch sides until the team commits a fault. 

In a singles game, the server will serve from the right-hand side of the court when their score is an even number, and from the left when their score is an odd number.

The Two-Bounce Rule 

Another very important rule in pickleball is the two-bounce rule. When a ball is served, each team is required to let the ball bounce once before they return it to the other side of the net. 

If the ball bounces twice on your side of the net, you will have to either play the ball off of the bounce or return the ball as a volley.

Pickleball 101 Everything You Need To Know About The Sport (1)

Who Is Pickleball Good For?

Pickleball can be played by anyone of any age or skill level(see also: What Are Pickleball Skill Levels, And How Are They Classified?). The rules are fun and easy to understand, so if you are just starting as a pickleball player, you will be able to pick up the game very quickly. 

Pickleball is fast-paced and very stimulating. It is not as physically demanding as some other sports, but it does get you moving. 

The USA Pickleball Association pooled some statistics about the sport in 2018. At this time, 73 percent of pickleball players were male, and 28 percent were female. 

75 percent of the core participants of this game are 55 years and above.

Is Pickleball An Olympic Sport?

Pickleball is not an Olympic sport. It doesn’t yet meet the criteria for becoming an Olympic sport, but it may do in the future. 

To become an Olympic sport, it has to be played in 75 countries and on four different continents around the world to become a part of the men’s competition.

For the women’s competition, the game has to be played in 40 countries on three continents to qualify. 

Where Is Pickleball Played?

In the U.S. there are a large number of pickleball courts. This number of new courts is growing at a rapid rate. 

There are now 22,154 pickleball courts in the country and this number is increasing every month.

You can either play pickleball indoors or outdoors. This is dependent on the weather in your area. If you experience cold weather during the winter months, you will likely have to play indoors during this time.

Similarly, if you experience very hot weather during the summer, then it may be better for you to stay indoors, too.

If it is exceptionally windy, you are better off playing indoors as the wind can affect the game a large amount. 

When playing outdoors, you will use a different ball than when you are playing indoors. The ball has smaller holes and is made with harder and heavier plastic for outdoor play.

Pickleball Associations 


The USA Pickleball Association promotes the growth of the sport. It is also focused on developing the sport internationally. 

This association provided players with official rules and tournaments. 

The International Federation Of Pickleball

The International Federation of Pickleball is the governing body of the sport all over the world (see also: 8 Best Pickleball Resorts In The World).

This federation is looking to spread the sport to other nations so that pickleball can become one of the U.S.’s national sports. It is also aiming to enter the game into the Olympics.

Final Thoughts 

This article has given you all the information you need about Pickleball.

This growing sport is becoming more and more common in the U.S. and across the world, so you’ll be thankful to have read this ultimate guide when it makes it into the Olympic games! 

Michael Walter
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