Exploring the Basics: What's Pickleball & How Do You Play?

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With its fast-paced play and easy-to-learn nature, pickleball has grown in popularity exponentially since the 1990s. For those new to the game, they may be wondering “What’s pickleball and how do I play?” This overview will help you learn the basics of the game and its benefits.

What's pickleball - Sport Court Las Vegas

What’s Pickleball?

Invented in 1965 in the Puget Sound area of Washington, by the 1990s, pickleball had expanded to all 50 states. The game combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis to create a unique new sport that features a low net like tennis, a hard plastic ball, and paddles that resemble large table tennis paddles. It is played on a 44 by 20-foot court that looks like a smaller version of a tennis court, and it can be played by either two or four people at a time.

How to Play Pickleball

In pickleball, the court is divided into halves by the net, with a 7-foot non-volley zone, or kitchen, on each side of the net. The remainder of the court on each side is divided into left and right service areas by a line that runs perpendicular to the net and the non-volley zone. Lines around the perimeter mark the out-of-bounds area, which brings the size of an official pickleball court up to 64 feet by 34 feet, with the playable area in the center.

Gameplay consists of a series of rallies, with the winning team being the first to reach 11 points. The game starts with a serve, typically underhand, and the ball must bounce once before it can be returned by the opposing team. After the return, balls can be volleyed, or hit directly from the air, except in the no-volley zone.

Only the serving team can earn points, and play continues until a fault occurs. If the fault is caused by the serving team, the other player on the serving team will be the next to serve in a doubles game, or the service will switch to the opposing team in singles play.

If the opposing team causes the fault, the serving team will earn a point, and the original server will serve again, switching to the opposite service court.

Faults can include:

  • Volleying in the no-volley zone

  • Touching the net

  • Hitting the ball out-of-bounds

  • Returning the serve without a bounce

  • Service from the wrong server or the wrong side of the court

  • Not serving diagonally to the opposite side of the court

  • Not hitting the ball over the net

Once the leading team has at least 11 points, with a 2-point lead on the opposition, the leading team wins the game.

Benefits of Pickleball

Pickleball offers several great benefits to new and experienced players alike:

  • It is easy to learn

  • It is fast-paced, competitive, and offers great exerciser

  • It is fun to play with friends and family

  • It costs less to start playing than tennis

  • It can be played on a professional court, a home court, or on the grass

  • It has a low barrier of entry

Custom Pickleball Courts in Las Vegas

When you are ready to take your pickleball game to the next level, talk to our team at Sport Court Las Vegas. We can design and install a custom pickleball court for your home or business, and we feature a full line of accessories, including lighting, starter sets, and advanced play surfaces, such as our SportGame Pickleball system, which offers enhanced performance while minimizing joint stress and injuries.

Call 702-883-8386 today to request a quote for a backyard pickleball court in Las Vegas, Henderson, Mesquite, or the surrounding areas.