Played on a court size of 20’ × 44’ – the same dimension of a badminton court, pickleball is served diagonally with the right-hand service-square as a start. All points can only be awarded to the side that serves.
A key rule of the game is that every player must allow the ball to bounce one time, on each side of their court, before volleying. To prevent ‘spiking,’ both sides of the court have a volley-free zone, a 7 foot area very close to each side of the net. Until the server faults or loses a volley, he or she continues to serve while alternating service courts. A winner is typically declared when a side scores eleven points with a lead of at least two points. Similar to lawn or table tennis, pickleball can be played with singles or doubles.
Serves are only valid when made diagonally. The server starts with the right-hand service square while alternating with each serve. Besides, the serve must land in the diagonal service, passing the seven-foot no-volley zone close to the net.
Every service must be done underhand with the paddle below the waist. During service, the server must keep both feet behind the line. The ball should not bounce when hit but should go into the air. After one server either faults or their team loses the point, the second server on the team serves. After the second server (on the same team) also faults or their team loses the point, the serve switches to the other team where both players will use the same service format.
Choosing the Serving Team
With a coin toss, the serving team may determine who serves first. However, the winner of the coin toss reserve the right to accept serving first or not.
The Basics of Paddle
Many refer to this sport as “paddleball,” but its real name is “platform tennis.” People also call it paddle or paddle tennis. It is played on a badminton-sized court that has its center on a 60’ × 30’ deck. Besides, the court is surrounded by a 12’ high screen. A paddle ball is made of rubber, and the paddle itself is of solid material and may have a textured surface. The paddle ball has ⅜ inch diameter holes passing through it. Different racquet sports played this day are tennis, paddleball, squash, badminton, pickleball, racquetball, and squash.
Pickleball and Paddleball: The Difference
It is a wrong to think paddleball and pickleball are interchangeable.
- While they both need the use of a solid paddle (instead of a strung racquet), the ball used in paddleball does have perforations in it, while the ones in pickleball do not.
- Both sports only permit one serve at a time. In pickleball, however, underhand serves are only allowed.
- The screen enclosure in paddleball gives more playing area, although both games are played on a badminton-sized court.
Pickleball and paddleball have many elements in common, but their scoring and playing techniques set them wide apart. Like other racquet sports, they both require a constant mental awareness level that is high and strategic thinking throughout play. However, the best players will always stay ahead because they consciously calculate where their shots should be placed and have a target for all situations.