What is Pickleball?

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What is Pickleball?

Many have a quizzical look on their faces and shrug their shoulders, thinking that it is some form of children’s catch game? That is further from the truth. Maybe the curiosity got the better of you and you are here with us at NorthCoast Pickleball to find out about  the fastest growing sport in the USA. Or maybe you have seen your local tennis courts and community centers overrun with dozens of people at all hours of the day not playing tennis, hearing the distinctive sound of the Pickelball ball when hit, or seeing Pickelball players of all ages and has piqued your interest. Or are looking to implement a Pickelball Program, in your area, recreation center or start a formal competitive league. Or it could be that you are already a part of the ever-increasing number of Pickleball addicts. As any Pickleball player will attest, once you’ve tried it, you are hooked!’

Pickleball is a fun and exciting sport that combines elements of Badminton, Tennis and Ping Pong. It is played on a Badminton size court, with a low net similar to Tennis, and with what looks like an oversized ping pong paddle and a whiffle ball. If you are playing in sports whether it’s in school, college or professional or recreational, then in order for you to improve your abilites you need to incoporate a multisport program which, improves your hand eye coordination and reflexes.  With tennis its a high impact sport which has a high tendency for injury,  which most Atheles shy away from. With pickleball being a low impact support you get to play an additonal support to enhance your hand and eye coordination and reflexes without the danger of injury to improve your primary performance in your choosen sport. If you are golfer, baseball player, football player, etc, then you need to incorporate a mutisport progam in your training regime, just like professionals golfers do play ping pong to improve their hand and eye coordination. Now most country clubs and tennis associations are implementing a pickleball program for their players, helping them to improve their hand and eye coordination to help improve their game. Click on the link to see a video of how Pickleball is played. Click here so see how pickelball is played.

As the fastest growing sport and it’s high demand, many cities are reconfiguring their under utilized tennis courts into Pickleball courts. (You can fit two Pickelball courts on a single tennis court or six depending on the room you have.) Many schools are opening their doors for after hours for Pickleball leagues so players can have a place to play in the winter.

People have created courts in parking lots, just to have the opportunity to play! But Pickleball is not just growing in the US, it is expanding across the entire globe. This competitive paddle sport is picking up speed for a number of reasons. It is known for its ease of learning and appeal to all ages. Anyone can play this sport! Whether they are looking for a fun game; a healthy low stress exercise; or intense competition and socialization. It doesn’t matter what your reason to pick up the game of  you’ll discover that it is fun low impact game.

Pickleball has the ability to fulfill all of these desires. Pickleball players are known for their strong community focus. And very little equipment is needed to play the game. How many more reasons do you need? Get out and play today!

How to Play Pickleball?

The basic premise of Pickleball is to hit a whiffle ball back and forth over a net. Easy and quiet simple! Without even a basic understanding of the game, anyone can jump in and play competitively even without lessons. Pickleball players are known for their desire to teach others about the game. If you stop by a game, ask anyone to explain the game as you watch a match. Or head over to your local Pickleball courts and ask to join a game. Players love explaining the game to beginners!

One of the best aspects of the game is the social atmosphere of camaraderie. Teammates and opponents are closer together on a smaller court, which makes for great interaction. The jokes and wisecracks make Pickleball entertaining. But the encouragement between competitors is what makes Pickleball unique. It is considered customary to commend your opponent’s shot in the middle of a game. We need more of this in other sports!

Anyone can play Pickleball! Pickleball has grown in leaps and bounds in recent years. It first began to grow rapidly in senior communities. Schools now implement Pickleball in physical education classes and after school programs. Pickleball levels the playing field between age groups and athletic backgrounds. Parents, Grandparents and their children and grandchildren can play together for fun or competitively! What other sports let multiple generations play together?

The sport is not about power or speed exclusively. It is a sport of strategy and patience. The majority of the game is played close to the net, which means less time running around and longer rallies! The court is smaller than a tennis court so many people are gravitating to Pickleball because of the lower physical strain and stress on the body. It is a competitive, yet fun way to live a healthy life style.

Considering participating in the North Coast Senior Games Pickelball Competions.



To volley means to hit a ball in the air without first letting it bounce. In Pickleball, this can only be done when the player’s feet are behind the non-volley zone line (seven feet behind the net – The Kitchen discussed later.). Note: Its is a fault if the player steps over the line on his volley follow-through.

Player Position for Doubles At Start Of Game

Doubles Play Positioning Movements

In Image A right, you can see that Server (player 1) serves from the right hand side of the serving team’s court diagonally across court to the Receiver (player 3)in the opposite right hand side of the court. The receiver (player 3) must let the ball bounce before returning the serve. The serving team must also let the return bounce before playing it (the Double Bounce Rule). After two bounces have occurred, the ball may then be either volleyed or played off the bounce until a fault is made.

In Image B right, you can see that after a fault is made by the receiving team, and a point is scored by the serving team, the serving team’s players switch sides of court and the same player will continue to serve. When the serving team makes its first fault, the serving team’s players will stay in the same side of the court, and the second partner will then serve. When they make their second fault, they will stay in their same court positions, and turn the ball over to the other team. Players switch sides of the court only after scoring.

Double Bounce Rule

The serve and the service return must be allowed to bounce before striking the ball. That is, each side must play a groundball on the first shot following the serve. After the initial groundstrokes have been made, play may include volleys.

Pickleball Faults


  • 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 or side out.
  • A fault occurs when:
    • A serve does not land within the confines of the receiving court
    • The ball is hit into the net on the serve or any return
    • The ball is volleyed before a bounce has occurred on each side
    • The ball is hit out of bounds
    • A ball is volleyed from the non-volley zone
    • A ball bounces twice before being struck by the receiver
    • A player, player’s clothing, or any part of a player’s paddle touches the net or the net post when the ball is in play
    • There is a violation of a service rule
    • A ball in play strikes a player or anything the player is wearing or carrying
    • A ball in play strikes any permanent object before bouncing on the court

The Kitchen

Simply put, the kitchen is the non-volley zone of the pickleball court that extends seven feet from both sides of the net and from sideline to sideline.


Now that you know where the kitchen is, it’s important to know the rules. This is one of the unique aspects of pickleball that is different from other racquet sports.

  • The first thing to remember about the kitchen is that you cannot stand in it or make contact with the kitchen line while volleying the ball. If any part of your body is making contact with these areas, your opponent receives a point. This rule discourages from standing at the net for the duration of the game.

  • Remember, this rule only applies to making contact with the ground. Can you hit the ball out of the air while standing behind the line? Yes, but you run a risk of faulting due to another kitchen rule.

  • If a player drops anything in the kitchen that they are wearing or carrying, their opponent will receive a point. This ranges from your paddle to sunglasses to hats. Even if your wallet or keys fall out of your pocket, it’s still a fault.

  • Finally, be aware that your momentum cannot carry you into the kitchen. Even if you successfully volley the ball to your opponent, you must stay out of the kitchen to avoid a fault. You can even fault on dead balls.

But what if the ball bounces in the kitchen on a short dink? You can still enter the kitchen to play it. The rules above are only for volleys or shots hit out of the air. Remember to not just stand in the kitchen, as your opponent could take advantage of this with a volley. You can stay in the kitchen as long as needed, but it is crucial to get out of there quickly. Both feet must be in contact with the playing surface outside of the kitchen before hitting a volley.

If you are playing a doubles match, your partner can be in the kitchen while you volley, just as long as they don’t touch you.

The rules of the kitchen can be confusing to new pickleball players. But once you get a feel for the kitchen, you’ll be ready to start cooking with some gas during your next pickleball match.

Equipment Needed

Besides a Pickleball paddle, Pickleball balls and water, all you need is a hard surface, so you can play Pickleball anywhere. It has been played on gym floors, concrete, asphalt, tennis courts, and carpet. Some people even set up courts in their neighborhood streets! There also have been sightings of people playing on the beaches or parks; instead of the “bounce” of Pickelball they practice or play volleying. There are not many places that Pickelball can’t be played

Pickleball courts are often placed over existing tennis courts by simply painting lines or adding temporary court marking vinyl tape which is available in our store. A tennis court net is slightly higher than a Pickleball net. To shorten the net, many players wrap bungee cords around the net posts and connect them to the net. This lowers the net to the appropriate height of 34″ in the middle and 36″ on the sides.

However, if you are going to be playing indoors, on a parking lot, or elsewhere, there are portable nets for sale in our store. You would then need to set up your court lines. There are a plethora of ways to create removable lines. Some more common methods include chalk, paint pens, or tape. As a note to the wise, set up your court in a north/south direction so that neither team needs to face the sun head-on.

Court Dimensions

Courts are 44 feet by 20 feet. The length of the court is divided into four sections. The centerline of the court where the net is placed is located 22 feet from either baseline. Seven feet away on either side of the net are two more lines called the non-volley lines. The remaining 15 feet of court remaining on both sides are the service courts. There is a centerline lengthwise down the court, ten feet from either side.

History of Pickleball

The origin of Pickleball is rather unique and includes a full-blown debate as to the beginnings of its name. It was originally created by a group of friends, over fifty years ago, who wanted to play Badminton, but did not have all of the proper equipment. So they improvised with the equipment they had and ended up creating a sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis and ping pong.

It is played on a Badminton size court, but with a lower net similar to tennis. You hit a whiffle-type ball over the net with paddles that look like oversized ping pong paddles. With the rapid wear down of the ping pong paddles, one of the men decided to make his own paddles from wood in his basement.

Pickleball? Why on earth would anyone name a serious sport Pickleball? This is the most hotly debated issue in Pickleball. There are two plausible stories as to its genesis. One side says it is named after one of the founder’s dogs, Pickles. He kept running off with the ball in between plays, so everyone called it Pickles’ ball. The other side of the story is that it borrows the term from oarsmen. A ‘pickle boat’ in oaring is the boat manned by members from competing teams who are substitutes or leftovers. So pickle is a salute to Pickleball’s eclectic conglomeration of other sports’ leftovers.

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