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Pickleball for Beginners: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Play Pickleball

Are you looking for a fun and exciting new sport to try? Pickleball might just be the perfect game for you! Whether you're a seasoned athlete or a complete beginner, pickleball offers a fantastic mix of tennis, badminton, and ping pong, making it easy to pick up and enjoy. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the basic rules and fundamentals of pickleball, making it a breeze to get started on the court. Let's dive in!


Understanding the Basics

Pickleball is played on a court that resembles a smaller version of a tennis court. The game is typically played in doubles, but singles play is also common. Each player uses a pickleball paddle, which is similar to a ping pong paddle but larger, and a plastic ball with holes, known as a pickleball. The objective is to score points by serving the ball over the net and into the opponent's court in a way that they can't return it successfully.

The Serve

To begin a pickleball game, one team starts by serving the ball diagonally to the opponent's court. The server must stand behind the baseline and underhand serve the ball, making sure it clears the net and lands within the opponent's service court. The ball must bounce once on the receiving side before players can volley (hit the ball in the air) or play it off the bounce.

Scoring Points

Points in pickleball are only scored by the serving team. If the serving team wins the rally, they get a point, and the same server serves again from the opposite side of the court. Games are typically played to 11 points, and a team must win by at least two points.

The Double Bounce Rule

One of the unique rules in pickleball is the "double bounce" rule. After the serve, each team must allow the ball to bounce once on their side before volleys are allowed. Once both teams have hit the ball back and forth once, they can choose to volley or let it bounce.

In and Out of Bounds

During the game, it's essential to know the boundaries of the court. If the ball lands on or beyond the lines, it's considered "in." If it lands outside the lines, it's "out," and the opposing team gets the point.

Faults and Let Serves

Similar to other racket sports, certain actions can result in faults, such as stepping into the non-volley zone (the area near the net) and not clearing the net during a serve. Additionally, if the serve hits the net but lands within the service court, it's considered a let, and the server gets another chance without penalty.


Pickleball is a fantastic sport that brings people together and offers countless hours of enjoyment. With its straightforward rules and friendly atmosphere, it's the perfect game for beginners and seasoned athletes alike. By following this guide and practicing regularly, you'll be well on your way to mastering the game and having a blast on the pickleball court. So grab your paddle, find a partner, and let the games begin! Happy pickling!

Remember, if you're interested in learning more about "pickleball for beginners" and "how to play pickleball," our pickleball facility in Boston will offer classes and open play sessions to help you improve your skills and join in on the fun. Join us today!

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