Pickleball 101: Understanding the Basics of the Game

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Pickleball is an exciting, fast-paced game that combines elements of tennis and badminton to create a unique sport that is great to play with family, friends, and colleagues. Its popularity is rising quickly in the Las Vegas area, and with just a few minutes of time, you can learn all the pickleball basics so that you can get started playing faster.

What You Need To Play Pickleball

There are a few items you will need to play pickleball, but the most important among them will be a pickleball court with a net. Many parks and community centers in the Las Vegas area feature pickleball courts that can be used with a reservation and a small fee, plus many gyms and sports centers offer them as well. You can also build your own court at home, or convert an existing tennis court or basketball court.

Other items that you will need to play pickleball include:

  • A pair of paddles
  • A pickleball
  • A good pair of sneakers

The Layout of a Pickleball Court

The official size for the playable area of a pickleball court is 44 feet by 20 feet. This is surrounded by an out-of-bounds area that can vary in size, though the most common dimensions are 64 feet by 34 feet, with the playable area in the center. A court of 60 feet by 30 feet is common when space is limited, and custom court sizes can be used for smaller spaces.

The playable area of the pickleball court is divided in half by the net, which stands at 36 inches high, sagging to about 34 inches in the middle. On each side of the net is a 7-foot area called the kitchen or non-volley zone that runs parallel to the net.

The remaining space on each side is divided by a line perpendicular to the net, creating a left and right service court at each end of the court. The baseline marks the end of the court on each side, parallel to the net. The sideline marks the sides of the court, perpendicular to the net.

Pickleball Basics: The Rules & How to Play

The best way to learn pickleball is to play with some experienced friends, but here is an overview of the pickleball basics so that you can grasp the fundamentals faster:

Game Types

Pickleball can be played by two people (singles) or four people (doubles), but the rules and basics of the game are similar for both.

How To Score Points

Points can only be scored by the serving team. A point is earned only when the opposing team commits a fault, such as hitting the ball out of bounds, hitting it into the net, or letting it bounce twice before hitting it. If the ball hits a line, it is considered in-bounds, unless it hits the non-volley line, which would be counted as a fault.

The game ends when one team reaches eleven points or higher, with a score that is two points above the opposing team.


All serves are underhand from just outside the baseline of the appropriate service court, and the serve must not land in the kitchen, or it will be considered a fault. The ball must bounce once after the serve before it can be returned by the opposing team, and then the serving team must let the ball bounce once when the serve is returned before hitting it. After this, the ball can be hit either after it bounces or directly from the air.

Play continues until a fault occurs. If the opposing team commits the fault, the serving team earns a point and will continue serving. If the serving team commits the fault, the second server will take over in a doubles game. After another fault is committed in a doubles match, or the first fault in a singles match, the serve will switch to the opposing team.

In doubles, the first serve is from the right serve area, and the serve will switch from right to left after each point. The ball must be served diagonally to the opposing team. Once the first server has committed a fault, the next server will take over.

In singles play, the server will serve from the right when the score is even and from the left when the score is odd.

The Kitchen

Players may not enter the kitchen to hit the ball unless it has already bounced once.

Pickleball Courts in Las Vegas

If you would like the ideal place to play pickleball in Las Vegas, turn to our experts at Sport Court Las Vegas. We can custom design and install a professional-grade pickleball court for your home or business, using our advanced, cushioned materials that reduce strain and prevent injuries while providing an outstanding playable surface.

To request a quote for a custom pickleball court in Las Vegas, call Sport Court Las Vegas today at 702-883-8386 or contact us online.