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Pickleball Rules

Good sportsmanship is rule number #1


â?¢ Points are scored only by the serving team.    

â?¢ Games are normally played to 11 points, win by 2.

â?¢ When the serving teamâ??s score is even (0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10) the player who was the first server in the game for that team will be in the right/even court when serving or receiving; when odd (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) that player will be in the left/odd court when serving or receiving.


Two-Bounce Rule

â?¢ When the ball is served, the receiving team must let it bounce before returning, and then the serving team must let it bounce before returning, thus two bounces.

â?¢ After the ball has bounced once in each teamâ??s court, both teams may either volley the ball (hit the ball before it bounces) or play it off a bounce (ground stroke).

â?¢ The two-bounce rule eliminates the serve and volley advantage and extends rallies.

Non-Volley Zone

â?¢ The non-volley zone is the court area within 7 feet on both sides of the net.

â?¢ Volleying is prohibited within the non-volley zone. This rule prevents players from executing smashes from a position within the zone.

â?¢ It is a fault if, when volleying a ball, the player steps on the non-volley zone, including the line and/or when the playerâ??s momentum causes them or anything they are wearing or carrying to touch the non-volley zone including the associated lines.

â?¢ It is a fault if, after volleying, a player is carried by momentum into or touches the non-volley zone, even if the volleyed ball is declared dead before this happens.

â?¢ A player may legally be in the non-volley zone any time other than when volleying a ball.

â?¢ The non-volley zone is commonly referred to as â??the kitchen.â??


Line Calls

â?¢ A ball contacting any line, except the non-volley zone line on a serve, is considered â??in.â??

â?¢ A serve contacting the non-volley zone line is short and a fault.

â?¢ â??Inâ?? or â??Outâ?? should be called immediately, and if a ball canâ??t be called â??outâ?? by a team on their side of the net, it should be considered â??Inâ??. When in doubt, play it out.



â?¢ A fault is any action that stops play because of a rule violation.

â?¢ A fault by the receiving team results in a point for the serving team.

â?¢ A fault by the serving team results in the serverâ??s loss of serve or side out.

The Serve

â?¢ The serve must be made underhand.

â?¢ Paddle contact with the ball must be below the serverâ??s waist (navel level).

â?¢ The serve is initiated with at least one foot behind the baseline; neither foot may contact the baseline or court until after the ball is struck.

â?¢ The serve is made diagonally crosscourt and must land within the confines of the opposite diagonal court.

â?¢ Only one serve attempt is allowed, except in the event of a let (the ball touches the net on the serve and lands on the proper service court; let serves are replayed).


Service Sequence

â?¢ Both players on the serving team can serve and score points until they commit a fault *(except for the first service sequence of each new game).

â?¢ The first serve of each side-out is made from the right/even court.

â?¢ If a point is scored, the server switches sides and the initiates the next serve from the left/odd court.

â?¢ As subsequent points are scored, the server continues switching back and forth until a fault is committed and the first server loses the serve.

â?¢ When the first server loses the serve the partner then serves from their correct side of the court (except for the first service sequence of the game*).

â?¢ The second server continues serving until his team commits a fault and loses the serve to the opposing team.

â?¢ Once the service goes to the opposition (at side out), the first serve is from the right/even court and both players on that team can serve and score points until their team commits two faults.

*At the beginning of each new game only one partner on the serving team can serve before faulting, after which the service passes to the receiving team.

Determining Serving Team

â?¢ Any fair method can be used to determine which player or team has first choice of side, service, or receive. (Example: Write a 1 or 2 on the back of the score sheet.)

League Format

â?¢ Best 3 of 5 games to 11 to win. 

â?¢ Must win by two.

â?¢ One match a week, after the round robin is done (7 matches) the top four teams will play a semi-final with the winning teams then playing in a final. 

â?¢ Two minutes between first and second games 5 minutes between games thereafter.

â?¢ You will be self-refereeing all games/matches.

â?¢ Any issues can be brought to the league director (me) and all decisions are final.

Couple of Precautionary Rules

â?¢ Since we have side by side courts, balls will occasionally go between courts.  Consistent with our local rule simply call out â??ball" and play will stop and a "let" (do over) will be awarded.  The exception is if the rally was substantially over at the time, in other words, the other ball had no effect on the outcome. I trust everyone's judgment in the regard.

â?¢ If you are receiving the serve and need time between points simply raise your paddle and the server should wait to serve (generally no more than 10 seconds).

â?¢ At the start of the game, the first server calls out Zero/Zero "2", just so everyone is on the same page.

First serve of the match occurs on the basketball court side of the pickleball courts and is determined by a "lag" to the opposite non-volley line. After the first game, the teams switch sides and the other team will serve first.  The third game serve will be determined by most points scored in the first two games. If this results in a tie, lag for serve. 

â?¢ A team controlling first serve has the option to defer. Switch sides after each game.

â?¢ Player substitutions permitted at the change of service.

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