Basic Rules of Pickleball

  • The service is underhand. When serving, you must hit the ball below your waist, the paddle must be lower than your wrist and the paddle must be moving in an upwards direction, not sidearm.
  • The serve must clear the no-volley (kitchen) line. If the serve touches the kitchen line the ball is considered “out” and is a lost point. Note: if the serve touches any other line it is considered “in” (such as side line, back court line, mid court line). After the serve, if the ball touches the kitchen (or any other line), it is considered “in”.
  • A two-bounce rule is in effect. The ball must bounce once on each side of the net before it can be volleyed.
  • No volleying is allowed in the kitchen (properly called the no-volley zone). (Note: volley means to hit the ball before it touches the ground.) If your momentum carries you into the kitchen after volleying, you lose the point. You can enter the kitchen to play a ball that has hit the ground. You can enter the kitchen before the ball hits the ground. You can reach and volley overtop of the kitchen, so long as your feet don’t enter the kitchen or touch the line.
  • If you serve the ball and it hits the non-receiving opponent or that player catches it before the ball hits the ground, you win the point! It may seem obvious that the ball was going to the wrong court, but because it didn’t hit the ground, it cannot be called a service fault.
  • Similarly, if a ball is going out of bounds and you catch it before it hits the ground (even with the good intention of preventing it from going into the next court), you lose the point.

Official Rule Book

Please see the official rule book of the IFP here.