Pickleball skirts

Rules of Pickleball to Get You Started Playing

Dying to Play Pickleball but Don’t Know How? Don’t Worry, We’ve Got You Covered!

October 28, 2022

In the past few years, pickleball has quickly become a rising trend among families, athletes, and friends alike. It’s similar to tennis, however it is more accessible, simpler to pick up, and a whole lot of fun. Additionally, because it takes place on a smaller court than tennis, and therefore requires less running, people of all different ages can enjoy playing!

It is for these reasons that pickleball has become a sensation. It doesn’t hurt that the clothes you can wear while playing are pretty cute too. See @colmeiafotografia’s post below for an outfit appropriate to wear out on the pickleball court. Clothing courtesy of Dona Jo of course.

While pickleball is rather easy to pick up, it is important to know the rules of the game in order to play. Luckily these rules are very straightforward and easy to understand. We’ll go over things such as

  • Set up of a pickleball court
  • Pickleball rules for serving
  • Pickleball rules for vollying
  • Pickleball fault rules
  • Pickleball scoring rules
  • Pickleball singles rules
  • Pickleball doubles rules

How to Play - Pickleball Rules

Are you eager to start playing pickleball but just don’t know how yet?! Don’t worry, this will be a quick read and comprehension period of all the pickleball rules necessary to know. If you’d like to participate in the sport that is taking over, read on to find out how!

Whether you are brand new at pickleball or a veteran player, choosing the best pickleball paddle can help improve your technique and get the most out of the game.

How Do I Set Up A Pickleball Court?

In order to set up a pickleball court you will need a 20x44 foot space in which you will set up a 36 inch tall net in the center, with a white horizontal line marking the no-volley area towards the net, and two squarish-areas in the back of the court distinguishing the two sides.

A visual layout of how a pickleball court should be set up, with dimensions included.
Above are the correct dimensions for setting up a pickleball court. Image courtesy of Pickleball Fix.

In terms of gear, to play pickleball you will need a paddle for each player (this is similar to a ping-pong racquet, though it is slightly larger), and a pickleball specific ball or if you don’t have that, you can use a wiffle ball.

Additionally, check out some cute Dona Jo fits to play in style!

Three jackets from Dona Jo. One is rainbow colored, another is turquoise, and the third is a bright pink.
Check out some cute pullover jackets, seen above, to wear as warm up gear for pickleball. Image courtesy of Dona Jo.
Three Dona Jo athletic skirts. Two are blue with a leopard-like print and the third is a pink, blue, and white watercolor print.
These skirts would be the perfect addition to your closet. They are cute and functional for playing pickleball. Image courtesy of Dona Jo.

Serving in Pickleball

To serve in pickleball, both your feet must be behind the back line and you must hit it underhand and diagonally. Additionally, the serve must pass the non-volley line (the first horizontal white line) but must land in front of or on the baseline. You also must hit the serve at a point below your waist.

Once the first serve is hit, the ball needs to bounce once on the opponent’s side before they hit it back, and then once on the server’s side. Afterwards it is legal to hit the ball out of the air, which would be considered a volley.

Each player only gets one serve, there are no two chances like there is in tennis. However, if a player makes their serve, they continue to serve until their team commits a fault.  


With singles there is only one player on either side of the court. When serving in singles pickleball, the first server always starts by serving from the right side of the court. If they win the point they then switch sides and serve from the left side of the court. When the serving player’s score is even they serve from the right side and when it is odd they serve from the left side.


With doubles there are two players on either side of the court. When serving in doubles pickleball, the serving team has two servers. For the first two service turns, each side only has one player serve. After that, both players on each side will serve during their service turns.

Once again, the first serve of each team starts on the right side. When the server team’s score is even, the player on the right hand side serves, and when it is odd the player on the left hand side serves. The receiving team’s players do not switch sides while the other team is serving.

Volleying in Pickleball

A woman playing pickleball and reaching for the ball with her paddle.
There are many different aspects to the game of pickleball, one of the being volleying. Image courtesy of Boost Oxygen.

In pickleball, volleys are when you hit the ball out of the air. In other words, the ball does not bounce before you hit it back.

Volleys are legal as long as they are executed outside of the no-volley zone, which is the front part of the court in front of the first white line. Additionally, you cannot touch the no-volley line or land in the no-volley zone even after your paddle volleys the ball back.

Pickleball Fault Rules

A fault in pickleball occurs either when

  • The ball bounces twice on one side
  • The ball is hit outside of the baseline or sidelines
  • A player crosses the no-volley zone while volleying
  • A ball hits the net
  • A serve lands in the no-volley zone

Pickleball Scoring Rules

A unique aspect of pickleball is that the serving team is the only team that can win points. In other words, the receiving team technically cannot score their own points, however they can prevent the serving team from scoring by winning the rally.

Additionally, games in pickleball either go 11, 15, or 21 points, and must always be won by 2.


In singles pickleball scoring is rather straightforward. There are two numbers, and the scoring team’s score is always called out first, followed by the receiving team’s score.


Unlike singles, in doubles there are three numbers included in the score. The first number is the server’s score, the second is the receiver’s score, and the third is the number of the server. This is because in doubles there are two people on each side, therefore there are two servers.

For instance, the first point of every pickleball game should always start as 0-0-2 because the serving and receiving teams’ scores are both zero, and because the second server will always begin the game. This is due to each team only getting one server each for their first service turn.

Get Ready To Play!

Two people tapping their paddles while playing pickleball together.
Pickleball is a great way to bond with your friends and get exercise while doing so. Image courtesy of Pickleball University.

Now that we know the basic rules of playing pickleball, it’s the perfect time to show off some cute workout wear, grab some friends, and get hitting! Don’t forget to take what you learned and apply it to your game!

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