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Basic Pickleball Rules & Regulations

Pickleball Playing Rules

Rules Governing Play In The United States Of America

Complete rules for pickleball play are established by the International Federation of Pickleball.

Basic rules for players and equipment cover the following:

Pickleball Court Dimensions - Indoor & Outdoor. The court is 20' x 44' with a net at the center of the 44' dimension. On each side of the net is a 7' x 20' no-volley area known as the kitchen. The remaining area on each side is divided in two creating the left and right service areas. See pickleball court details.

Pickleball Paddles. An official paddle can not exceed a total of 24" when adding the length and width of the paddle, which allows for slight variations in paddle shape. See pickleball paddle details.

Pickleball Balls. The diameter of an official pickleball ball is 2.874 to 2.972 inches with a weight from .780 to .935 ounces. The ball shall have a minimum of 26 to a maximum of 40 circular holes. See pickleball ball details.

Pickleball Serving. Serves are to be made from behind the baseline, serving to the opposite service area from the server. The serve motion must be in an upward motion at the time of impact and take place below the waist of the server. The ball must be clearly released from the drop hand before impact with the paddle. The height of the point of impact must be below the height of the wrist. A legal serve must land within the proper service area which includes the right and left border lines, and the baseline. It does not include the line defining the kitchen.

Except for the first service of the game, each team member takes a turn serving and continues until a fault by the serving team. When playing doubles, servers are designated as "Server 1" and "Server 2" to complete the team's turn to serve. See complete pickleball rules.

Pickleball Play. The player receiving the serve must allow the serve to land in the proper service area before returning the serve. The serving team must then allow the service return to land within the serving side of the court (either service area or the kitchen) before hitting the ball back over the net. Once these two "bounces" have occurred, the ball may be hit back before or after one bounce on the court.

The Kitchen. All lines defining the kitchen (non-volley area) are a part of the kitchen. Unless and until the ball lands in the kitchen, volleys must take place with the hitting player remaining completely outside the kitchen. This includes impact and follow through.

Scoring. If the receiving team faults during the point, a point is awarded to the serving tea. If the serving team faults during the point, it is considered a "side out" with no points awarded. First team to score 11 points, when leading by 2 points, wins the game. After a team has achieved 11 points without leading by 2, play continues until one team leads by 2 points. Upon agreement by both teams a game can be played to 7, 11, 15, 21 or any point total mutually agreed upon (except in league or tournament play where the winning number is determined by officiating parties).

Visit the IFP website for the complete rules for pickleball play and players.

Pickleball Rules