Recreational Pickleball Rules

USA PICKLEBALL RULES

The rules in this document are taken from the official USA Pickleball Association Rulebook. The rules that are reproduced here are the ones that would be most applicable to a recreational pickleball player. The rules shown are not intended to show provisions for advanced and tournament play. Some sections of a particular rule may not be included herein if it goes beyond the needs of the average recreational player. For complete and additional information, refer to the USA Pickleball Association Rule Book. This is not a substitute.

SIGNIFICANTRULE CHANGES FOR 2022

Spin Serves (4.A.5) In2022, the server shall use only one hand to release the ball to perform the serve. If the ball is visibly spun by the server during the release, the part(s) of the hand contacting the ball must be bare.

The Drop Serve (4.A.6) No changes were made to the drop serve other than to remove its Provisional status.

Wrong Score Called (4.K) The rules concerning what happens if the wrong score is called by a player or a referee have changed. If a player thinks a wrong score has been called, a player may stop play to ask for a correction before the ball is served. If it has been served, the rally is to be played out and the score correction (if any) is made before the next serve occurs.

A Dropped Ball (7.N) In non-officiated matches, it is not uncommon for a player to carry an extra ball. If an extra ball is carried, it must not be visible to the opponent. If a player accidentally drops an extra ball during a rally, it will result in a fault. This does not apply in an officiated match because the referee is responsible for removing any extra pickleballs from play.

Earbuds (11.P) While some sports allow coaching during active play, pickleball does not. Since it is possible that a player could receive coaching via earbuds, earbuds will not be permitted on the court during tournaments with the exception of hearing aids.

SECTION1 – THE GAME

Pickleball is a paddle sport played using a special perforated ball on a 20-foot-by-44-foot court with a tennis-type net. The court is divided into right/even and left/odd service courts and non-volley zones.

The ball is served diagonally across the net to the opponent’s receiving court using an approved motion. The ball is struck back and forth across the net until a player fails to return the ball in accordance with the rules.

Points are scored only by the serving side when the server or the server’s team wins the rally, or the opposing side commits a fault. The server continues to serve, alternating service courts, until the serving side loses the rally or commits a fault.

Typically, the first side scoring 11 points and leading by at least a 2-point margin wins.

Pickleball can be played as singles or doubles.

The Players

Pickleball is a game that requires cooperation and courtesy. A sense of fair play from giving the opponent the benefit of any doubt is essential in maintaining the game’s underlying principles of fun and competition. To that end:

• All points played are treated the same regardless of their importance; the first point of the match is as important as match point.

• Either partner in doubles can make calls, especially line calls; there is no place in the game for one partner telling another, “that was my call, not yours”.

• Prompt calls eliminate the ‘two chance option’. For example, a player cannot claim a hinder from a ball rolling on the court after they hit a ball ‘out’; they gave up their ability to call the hinder by choosing instead to hit the ball.

• Players strive to cooperate when confronted with a situation not covered by the Rulebook. Possible outcomes can be a replay, allowing the rally to stand, or in extreme cases, asking for a referee to resolve a dispute.

• Where possible, rules accommodate players with various adaptive needs

Unique Features

Two-Bounce Rule. After the ball is served, each side must make one groundstroke prior to volleying the ball.

Non-Volley Zone (NVZ). An area that extends 7 feet from the net on each side, within which a player is not allowed to strike the ball without it first bouncing. More specifically, the whole court from net to baseline is the same and can be freely used for all play with one exception: volleying. The first seven feet, the non-volley zone, cannot be used for volleying.

SECTION2 – COURT AND EQUIPMENT

2.A.Court Specifications. The dimensions and measurements for the standard pickleball court are 20 feet (6.10m) wide and 44 feet (13.41 m) long for both singles and doubles matches.

2.C. Net Specifications The top of the net at the center of the court should be 34-inch (86.36-cm). The top of the net should be 36 inches (91.44 cm) high at the sidelines.

 

 

 

 

2.D. Ball Specifications.

The ball pictured on the left, with larger holes, is customarily used for indoor play, and the slightly larger ball pictured on the right is customarily used for outdoor play. Colors may vary. However, all approved balls are acceptable for indoor or outdoor play.

The complete list of approved balls is on the USAPICKLEBALL website.

2.E. Paddle Specifications.

2.E.1. Material. The paddle shall be made of rigid, non-compressible material. The paddle’s hitting surface shall not contain delamination, holes, cracks or indentations that break the paddle skin or surface.

2.E.3. Size. The combined length and width, including any edge guard and butt cap, shall not exceed 24inches (60.96 cm). The paddle length cannot exceed 17 inches (43.18 cm). There is no restriction on paddle thickness.

2.E.4. Weight. There is no restriction on paddle weight.

2.F. Equipment Approval and Authorization.

Approved Paddle List – Players are responsible for confirming that the paddle they are using for match play is approved and listed as “Pass” on the USA PICKLEBALL/IFP Approved Paddle List. The lists of approved equipment may be posted on the USA PICKLEBALL and IFP websites:

SECTION3 – DEFINITIONS

3.A. Definitions

3.A.1. Carry – Hitting the ball in such a way that it does not bounce away from the paddle but is carried along on the face of the paddle.

3.A.2. Coaching -Communication of any information, including verbal, nonverbal, and electronic, from someone other than a player’s partner, that a player or team may act upon to gain an advantage or help them avoid a rules violation.

3.A.3. Court – The area inside the outer dimensions of the baselines and sidelines.

3.A.4. Cross-Court – The court diagonally opposite of the court from which the ball was last struck.

3.A.5. Dead Ball – A ball that is no longer in play.

A.6. Distraction – Physical actions by a player that are ‘not common to the game’ that may interfere with the opponent’s ability or concentration to hit the ball. Examples include, but are not limited to, making loud noises, stomping feet, waving the paddle in a distracting manner or otherwise interfering with the opponent’s concentration or ability to hit the ball.

3.A.7. Double Bounce – When the ball bounces twice on one side before it is returned.

3.A.8. Double Hit – Hitting the ball twice before it is returned.

3.A.11. Fault – A rules violation that results in a dead ball and the end of the rally.

3.A.12. First Server – In doubles, the player who shall serve from the right/even service court after aside out, according to the team’s score.

3.A.14. Groundstroke – A strike of the ball after the ball has bounced.

3.A.15. Hinder – Any transient element or occurrence not caused by a player that adversely impacts play, not including permanent objects. Examples include, but are not limited to, balls, flying insects, foreign material, players or officials on another court that, in the opinion of the referee, impacted a player’s ability to make a play on the ball.

3.A.16. Imaginary extension. A term used to describe where a line would extend if it projected beyond its current end point. Players and referees are to project where the line would extend if it were not limited to the boundaries of the playing area.

3.A.17. Left/Odd Court – The service area on the left side of the court, when facing the net. The starting server in doubles or the singles server should be positioned on the left/odd side of the court when their score is odd.

3.A.18. Line Call – A loud word(s) spoken by a player or line judge(s) to indicate to the referee and/or players that a live ball has not touched in the required court space. The preferred word to indicate a line call is “OUT”. Distinctive hand signals can be used in conjunction with a line call. Words such as “wide”, “long”, “no”, “deep” are also acceptable.

3.A.19. Live Ball/In Play – The point in time when the referee or server (or server's partner per rule 4.D.2)starts to call the score.

3.A.20. Momentum – Momentum is a property of a body in motion, such as a player executing a volley, that causes the player to continue in motion after contacting the ball. The act of volleying produces momentum that ends when the player regains balance and control of their motion or stops moving toward the non-volley zone.

3.A.21. Non-Volley Zone (NVZ)– The 7-foot-by-20-foot area adjacent to the net and specific to each team’s end of the court relating to NVZ faults. All lines bounding the NVZ are part of the NVZ. The NVZ is two dimensional and does not rise above the playing surface.

3.A.22. Paddle Grip Adjustments – Non-mechanical devices that change the size of the grip or stabilize the hand on the grip.

3.A.23. Paddle Head – The paddle, excluding the handle.

3.A.24. Permanent Object – Any object on or near the court, including hanging over the court, that can interfere with play. Permanent objects include the ceiling, walls, fencing ,lighting fixtures, net posts, net post legs, the stands and seats for spectators, the referee, line judges, spectators when in their recognized positions, and all other objects around and above the court.

3.A.25. Plane of the Net. The imaginary vertical planes on all sides extending beyond the net system.

3.A.26. Playing Surface – The court and the area surrounding the court designated for playing.

3.A.27. Rally – Continuous play that occurs after the serve and before a fault.

3.A.28. Receiver – The player who is positioned diagonally opposite the server to return the serve. Depending on the team’s score, the player who returns the serve may not be the correct receiver.

3.A.29. Replay – Any rally that is restarted for any reason without the awarding of a point or a change of server.

3.A.30. Retirement - A player/team’s decision that stops the match and awards the match to the opponent.

3.A.31. Right/Even Court – The service area on the right side of the court, when facing the net. The starting server in doubles or the singles server should be positioned on the right/even court when their score is even.

3.A.32. Second Serve – In doubles, a term used to describe the condition when a serving team loses the first of its two allocated serves.

3.A.33. Second Server – In doubles, the first server’s partner. The second server serves after the first server loses serve.

3.A.34. Serve – The initial strike of the ball to start the rally.

3.A.35. Server – The player who initiates a rally. Depending on the team’s score, it is possible that the player who serves may not be the correct server.

3.A.36. Service Court – The area on either side of the centerline, including the centerline, sideline, and baseline, excluding the NVZ.

3.A.37. Serving Area – The area behind the baseline and on and between the imaginary extensions of the court centerline and each sideline.

3.A.38. Side Out – The awarding of the serve to the opposing team after a singles player or doubles team loses its serve.

3.A.39. Starting Server – For each doubles team, the player designated to serve first at the start of the game. In doubles tournament play, the starting server shall wear a visible form of identification determined by the Tournament Director.

3.A.42. Volley – During a rally, a strike of the ball out of the air before the ball has bounced.

3.A.43. Withdrawal – A player/team’s request to be removed from any upcoming play in a specified bracket.

3.A.44. Profanity – Words ,phrases or hand gestures, common or uncommon, which are normally considered inappropriate in “polite company” or around children. Typically included are four letter words used as expletives or verbal intensifiers.

SECTION4 – THE SERVE, SERVICE SEQUENCE, AND SCORING RULES

4.A. Serving.

4.A.1. The entire score must be called before the ball is served.

4.A.2. Placement. The server  must serve to the correct service court (the court diagonally opposite the server).The serve may clear or touch the net and must clear the NVZ and the NVZ lines. The serve may land on any other service court line

4.A.3. If the serve clears the net or hits the net and then touches the receiver or the receiver’s partner, it is a point for the serving team.

4.A.4. The moment the ball is served:

4.A.4.a. At least one foot must be on the playing surface behind the baseline.

4.A.4.b. Neither of the server’s feet may touch the court on or inside the baseline.

4.A.4.c. Neither of the server’s feet may touch outside the imaginary extensions of the sideline or centerline.

4.A.5. The Volley Serve. The server shall use only one hand to release the ball to perform the serve. If the ball is visibly spun by the server during the release, the part(s) of the hand contacting the ball must be bare. The server’s release of the ball must be visible to the referee and the receiver. In matches without a referee, the server’s release of the ball must be visible to the receiver. A replay shall be called before the return of serve if the release of the ball is not visible or if the referee (or receiver in non-officiated matches) cannot discern whether an item on the hand contacted a visibly spun ball. Exception: A player who has the use of only one hand may use their hand or paddle to release the ball to perform the serve.

4.A.5.a. The server’s arm must be moving in an upward arc at the time the ball is struck and may be made with either a forehand or backhand motion. (See Figure 4-3.)

4.A.5.b. The highest point of the paddle head must not be above the highest part of the wrist (where the wrist joint bends) when it strikes the ball. (See Fig 4-1 & 4-2)

4.A.5.c. Contact with the ball must not be made above the waist. (See Figures 4-1 and 4-3 above)

4.A.6. The Drop Serve.

4.A.6.a. Servers must release the ball from one of the server’s hands or dropped off the server's paddle face from any natural (unaided) height and hit the ball after the ball bounces. There is no restriction how many times the ball can bounce nor where the ball can bounce on the playing surface. The server’s release of the ball must be visible to the referee and the receiver. In matches without a referee, the server’s release of the ball must be visible to the receiver. A replay shall be called before the return of serve if the release of the ball is not visible. The rules for feet placement (4.A.4) still apply.

4.A.6.b. The ball shall not be propelled (thrown) downward or tossed or hit upward with the paddle.

4.A.6.c. If the drop serve is used, the ball may be struck with either a forehand or backhand motion without any other restriction i.e., the location restrictions of the ball and paddle in Rules 4.A.5.a, 4.A.5.b and 4.A.5.c do not apply.

4.B. Player Positions.

4.B.1. Server and Receiver. The correct server and receiver and their positions are determined by the score and the players’ starting positions in the game.  

4.B.3. Each player will serve until a rally is lost or a fault is declared against the player or team.

4.B.4. As long as the server holds serve, after each point the server will alternate serving from the right/even and left/odd sides of the court.

4.B.6. Doubles. Both players on a team will serve before a side out is declared, except at the start of each game, when only the starting server will serve. The starting server of each game is therefore designated as “Server 2” for scoring purposes, since a side out will occur once a rally is lost or a fault is committed by the serving team and service is awarded to the opposing team.

4.B.6.a. At the start of each side out, service begins in the right/even serving area.

4.B.6.b. When the team’s score is even (0, 2, 4 ..), the team’s starting server’s correct position is at the right/even serving area. When the team’s score is odd (1, 3, 5...), the starting server’s correct position is at the left/odd court.

4.B.6.c. After each side out, service begins with the player correctly positioned on the right/even side of the court according to the team’s score. This player is referred to as “Server1” and the partner is “Server 2.”

4.B.6.d. Server 1 will serve, alternating service sides after each point is won, until a rally is lost or the server’s team commits a fault.

4.B.6.e. After Server 1’s team loses a rally or faults, Server 2 will serve from the correct position and will alternate serving positions as long as the serving team continues to win points.

4.B.7. Partner Positions. In doubles, with the exception of the serve, there is no restriction on the position of any player, as long as all players are on their respective team’s side of the net. They can be positioned on or off the court. The correct server must serve from the correct service court, and the correct receiver must receive the serve.

4.C. Readiness. Any player may indicate “not ready” prior to the start of the score being called.

4.D. Calling the Score. The score shall be called after the server and receiver are (or should be) in position and all players are (or should be) ready to play.

4.E. The 10-Second Rule. Once the score has been called, the server is allowed 10 seconds to serve the ball.

4.F. Scoring. A singles player or doubles team scores points only when serving.

4.G. Points. A point is scored by serving the ball and winning the rally

4.J. Calling the Score in Doubles Matches. The score is called as three numbers in doubles matches. The proper sequence for calling the score is: serving team’s score – receiving team’s score – the server number (one or two), (e.g., “zero – one – one”). To start each game, the score will be called as “zero – zero – two.”

4.K. Wrong Score Called. If the server calls the wrong score, once the serve is made, play shall continue to the end of the rally and the correction made before the next serve. After the serve is made, a player who stops play based solely on an incorrect score call, will have committed a fault and shall lose the rally.

4.L. Service Foot Faults . During the serve, when the ball is struck, the server’s feet shall:

4.L.1. Not touch the area outside the imaginary extension of the sideline.

4.L.2. Not touch the area on the wrong side of the imaginary extension of the centerline.

4.L.3. Not touch the court, including the baseline.

4.M. Service Faults During the service, it is a fault against the server resulting in loss of serve if:

4.M.1. The server serves from the incorrect serving area.

4.M.2. The incorrect player serves the ball.

4.M.3. The served ball touches any permanent object before it hits the ground.

4.M.4. The served ball touches the server or their partner, or anything the server or their partner is wearingor holding.

4.M.5. The served ball lands in the non-volley zone which includes the NVZ lines.

4.M.6. The served ball lands outside the service court.

4.M.7. The served ball hits the net and lands inside the non-volley zone.

4.M.8. The served ball hits the net and lands outside the service court.

4.M.9. The server uses an illegal serve (Rules 4.A.5.a, 4.A.5.b, 4.A.5.c) when performing the Volley Serve. (Rules 4.A – 4.A.5.d)

4.M.10.The server or their partner calls a time-out after the serve has occurred.

4.M.11.A fault occurs when the server hits the ball to make the serve while the score is being called.

4.N. Receiver Faults. It is a fault against the receiving team resulting in a point for the server if:

4.N.1. The incorrect player returns the serve.

4.N.2. The receiver or their partner is touched by or interferes with the flight of the ball before it bounces.

4.N.3. The receiver or their partner calls a time-out after the serve has occurred.

SECTION6 – LINE CALL RULES

6.A. A served ball that clears the non-volley zone and lands in the correct service court or on any correct service court line is in.

6.B. Except the serve, any ball in play that lands in the court or touches any court line is in.

6.C. A ball contacting the playing surface completely outside of the court is “out”.

6.D. Code of Ethics for Line Calling. Pickleball is played according to specific rules. It also requires a code of ethics for line calling responsibilities when performed by players. The line-calling responsibilities of players are different from those assigned to referees or line judges. The players must strive for accuracy and operate under the principle that all questionable calls must be resolved in favor of the opponent. The basic elements are:

6.D.1. Players are responsible for calling the lines on their end of the court (excluding short serves, service foot faults and all non-volley-zone faults, if being called by a referee). If a player makes an initial line call, and then asks for either the opponent(s) or the referee’s opinion, if the opponent or referee can make a clear “in” or “out” call, the clear call will stand. If no clear call can be made, the initial line call by the player will stand. A call made by the opponent can be appealed to the referee for a final “in” or “out” decision.

6.D.3. The opponent gets the benefit of the doubt on line calls made. Any ball that cannot be called “out” will be considered “in.” A player cannot claim a replay because the ball was not seen or there is uncertainty. A player who does not make a call may appeal to the referee to make the call if they did not clearly see the ball land. If the referee is unable to make the call, the ball is “in.” The moment the receiving player/team appeals to the referee, they lose their right to make any subsequent "in" or "out" call for that rally.

6.D.4. Spectators should not be consulted on any line call.

6.D.5. A player should not question an opponent’s call, although any player may appeal a call to the referee before the next serve occurs.

6.D.6. A player/team may ask the opponent’s opinion to make the line call on the player’s end of the court. If requested and the opponent makes a clear “in” or “out” call, it must be accepted. If the opponents cannot make a clear “in” or “out” call, then the ball is ruled as being “in” on the receiving team. The moment the receiving player/team asks for the opponent's opinion, they lose their right to make any subsequent "in" or "out" call for that rally. The receiving team/player may also appeal to the referee to make a clear call. If the referee cannot make a clear call, the outcome of the opponent’s ruling will stand.

6.D.7. Players shall not call a ball “out” unless they can clearly see a space between the line and the ball as it hits the ground.

6.D.8. All “out” calls must be made “promptly”; otherwise, the ball is presumed to still be in play.“ Promptly” is defined as calling “out” prior to the ball being hit by the opponent or before the ball becomes dead.

6.D.9. In doubles play, if one player calls the ball “out” and the partner calls it “in,” then doubt exists and the team’s call will be “in.”

6.D.10. “Out” line calls should be promptly signaled by voice and/or hand signal.

6.D.11. While the ball is in the air, if a player yells “out,” “no,” “bounce it,” or any other words to communicate to their partner that the ball may be out, it shall be considered player communication only and not considered a line call.

6.D.12. An “out” call made after the ball bounces is a line call. The ball is dead and play shall stop.

6.D.13. After the completion of a rally, players may overrule a partner’s line call, an officiating team’s line call, or an opponent’s “in” call to their own disadvantage.

 

SECTION7 – FAULT RULES

A fault (and resulting dead ball) will be declared for the following:

7.A. If the serve or service return does not bounce before the ball is struck.

7.G. A player, a player’s apparel, or a player’s paddle contacting the net system, the net posts, or the opponent’s court, when the ball is in play.

7.H. After the serve, the ball contacts a player or anything the player is wearing or carrying, except the paddle or the player’s hand(s) in contact with the paddle and below the wrist. If the player is in the process of changing hands with both hands on the paddle or is attempting a two-handed stroke and either hand is hit below the wrist, as long as the player’s hand(s) are in contact with the paddle, the ball is still in play.

7.I. A live ball that is stopped by a player before it becomes dead. (e.g., catching or stopping a ball in flight before it makes contact with the playing surface.)

7.N. In non-officiated matches, players may carry additional pickleball(s) as long as the ball(s) are carried in a way that the ball(s) are not visible to their opponent(s) during play. If an additional ball that a player was carrying falls on the playing surface during play, a fault shall be declared.

SECTION8 – DEAD BALL RULES

8.A. Any action that stops play will result in a dead ball.

8.C. A hinder called by the referee or player will result in a dead ball. A valid hinder will result in a replay.

SECTION9 – NON-VOLLEY-ZONE RULES

9.A. All volleys must be initiated outside of the non-volley zone.

9.B. It is a fault if the volleying player or anything that has contact with the volleying player while in the act of volleying, touches the non-volley zone. NOTE: If any object that the player is wearing, such as a hat or sunglasses,  falls off and into the non-volley zone during the act of volleying, even if both of the player’s feet remain outside the non-volley zone, it is a fault.

9.B.1. The act of volleying the ball includes the swing, the follow-through, and the momentum from the action.

9.B.2. If the paddle touches the non-volley zone during the volley motion, before or after contacting the ball, it is a fault.

9.C. During the act of volleying, it is a fault if the volleying player’s momentum causes the player to contact anything that is touching the non-volley zone, including the player’s partner.

9.C.1. It is a fault even if the ball becomes dead before the player contacts the non-volley zone.

9.D. If a player has touched the non-volley zone for any reason, that player cannot volley a return until both feet have made contact with the playing surface completely outside the non-volley zone. A maneuver such as standing within the non-volley zone, jumping up to hit a volley, and then landing outside the non-volley zone is a fault.

9.E. A player may enter the non-volley zone at any time except when that player is volleying the ball.

9.F. A player may enter the non-volley zone before or after returning any ball that bounces.

9.G. A player may stay inside the non-volley zone to return a ball that has bounced. There is no violation if a player does not exit the non-volley zone after hitting a ball that bounces.

9.H. There is no violation if a player returns the ball while their partner is standing in the non-volley zone.

SECTION10 – TIME-OUT RULES

10.A.Standard Time-Out. A player or team is entitled to two time-outs for 11- or 15-point games and three time-outs for a 21-point game.

10.A.1. Each time-out period may last up to 1 minute.

10.A.2. Play may be resumed early if all players are ready.

10.A.4.If a team calls a time-out while having no time-outs remaining, no penalty shall be called.

SECTION11 – OTHER RULES

11.A. Double Hits. Balls can be hit twice, but this must occur during an unintentional, continuous, single-direction stroke, by one player. If the stroke made while performing the serve or during a rally is deliberately not continuous, or not in a single direction, or the ball is struck by a second player, it is a fault.

11.B. Switching Hands. A paddle may be switched from hand to hand at any time.

11.C.Two-Handed Shots. Two-handed shots are allowed.

11.D. Missed Shot. A player completely missing the ball when attempting to strike it does not create a dead ball. The ball remains in play until it bounces twice or until any other fault occurs.

11.E. Broken or Cracked Ball. In non-officiated matches, players may replace a cracked ball before the serve occurs. If any player suspects the ball is or becomes cracked after the serve, play must continue until the end of the rally. In non-officiated play, if the players do not agree that a cracked ball impacted the outcome of the rally, the rally stands as played.

11.F. Injury During Rally. The rally continues to its conclusion despite an injury to any of the players.

11.G. Player Equipment Problem. A rally will not be stopped if a player loses or breaks a paddle or loses an item, unless the action results in a fault.

11.H. Items on the Court. If any item a player is/was wearing or carrying lands on their side of the court, unless the item lands in the non-volley zone as a result of a volley, the ball remains in play even if it hits the item.

11.I. Plane of the Net. Crossing the plane of the net prior to striking the ball is a fault. After striking the ball, a player or anything the player is/was wearing or carrying may cross the plane of the net. The player may not touch any part of the net system, the opponent’s court, or the opponent while the ball is still in play.

11.I.1. Exception: If the ball bounces into a receiving player’s court with enough backspin or wind aid to cause it to return to the other side of the net, the receiving player may cross the plane of the net (over, under or around the net post) to hit the ball. It is a fault if the receiving player (or anything the receiving player is wearing or carrying) crosses the plane of the net before the ball has first crossed back over the plane of the net to the opponent’s side. It is a fault if the player touches the net system, the opponent’s court, or the opponent while the ball is still in play.

11.J. Distractions. Players may not distract an opponent when the opponent is about to play the ball. If in the judgment of the referee a distraction has occurred, the referee shall immediately call a fault on the offending team.

11.K. The Net Posts. The net posts (including connected wheels, arms, or other support construction) are positioned out of bounds. It is a fault if a player contacts the net post while the ball is in play.

11.K.1. A ball contacting the net, the net cable, or rope between the net posts remains in play.

11.L. The Net.

11.L.1. The net and the wires or strings holding up the net are positioned (mostly) on the court. Therefore, if the ball strikes the top of the net or strikes the top net wire or string and lands inbounds, it remains in play.

11.L.2. If the ball travels between the net and the net post, it is a fault against the striking player.

11.L.3. A player is allowed to go around the net post and cross the imaginary extension line of the net after hitting the ball, so long as the player or any item he or she is/was wearing or carrying does not touch the opponent’s court. If the player goes around the net post and crosses the imaginary extension line of the net but does not make contact with the ball, a fault will be declared.

11.M. Shots Around the Net Post. A player may return the ball around the outside of the net post.

11.M.1.The ball does not need to travel back over the net.

11.N. One Paddle. A player shall not use or carry more than one paddle during a rally. A violation of this rule is a fault.

11.O. Paddle Possession. A player must have possession of the paddle when it makes contact with the ball. A violation of this rule is a fault.

 

Once again, this is an abridged version of the USA Pickleball Rule Book. It is not a substitute. It has been prepared to assist recreational players by eliminating the rules dealing with tournament or referred matches. For any questions or for any portions of the rules that are not included herein, refer to the official USA Pickleball Rule Book.

 

 

 

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