Pickleball 101: A Beginner’s Guide to the Basics of the Game


Have you become part of the pickleball craze yet? It’s a sport that has been gaining popularity in recent years, attracting people of all ages and skill levels. If you’re curious about pickleball and want to learn more about it, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to cover the basics of pickleball, from its origins to the rules of the game. So, grab your paddle and let’s dive in!

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong. You play pickleball on a court similar to a tennis court, but with a smaller size. You can play the game in singles (one player on each side) or doubles (two players on each side).


To play pickleball, you’ll need some basic equipment. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Paddle: Pickleball paddles are usually made of lightweight materials like graphite or composite. They are slightly larger than ping pong paddles but smaller than tennis racquets.
  • Ball: Pickleballs are plastic with holes, similar to a wiffle ball. They come in different colors, but yellow is the most common.
  • Court: A pickleball court is 20 feet wide and 44 feet long, with a net in the middle. The court is divided into two halves, with a non-volley zone (also known as the kitchen) located on each side.

How to Play:

The objective of pickleball is to hit the ball over the net and into your opponent’s court, aiming to score points. Here are the basic rules:

  • Serve: The game starts with an underhand serve. The server must stand behind the baseline and hit the ball diagonally across the net. The serve must clear the non-volley zone.
  • Volley: Once the ball is in play, players can either volley it (hitting it in the air without letting it bounce) or play it after it bounces once on their side.
  • Non-volley zone: Players are not allowed to step into the non-volley zone and hit the ball in the air, however, they can enter the zone after the ball bounces.
  • Scoring: The serving team is the only one who scores points. The first team to reach 11 points (with a two-point advantage) wins the game. Usually, you play matches as best of three games.

Pickleball Strategies and Techniques:

While pickleball may seem simple, there are various strategies and techniques to master. Here are a few tips to improve your game:

  • Placement: Aim to hit the ball strategically, placing it where your opponent has difficulty returning it.
  • Dinking: The dink shot is a soft shot that lands in the non-volley zone. This forces your opponent to hit the ball from a difficult position.
  • Communication: In doubles, communication with your partner is essential. Coordinate your movements and shots to cover the court effectively.

Pickleball is a fun and engaging sport that is easy to learn but challenging to master. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, the game offers a great way to stay active and socialize. So, grab a paddle, find a court near you, and give pickleball a try. Who knows, you might just fall in love with this sport! Are you like me and have trouble staying with new hobbies or exercise? Check out  Sticking to Your Exercise Program to make pickleball a lasting hobby!