A Detailed 2024 Guide to Pickleball Rules and How to Play the Game

Though pickleball originated in 1965, it wasn’t popular until now. According to statistics, pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the US. But since it is a newly-famed sport, only a few people are familiar with pickleball rules. 

Pickleball is a combination of badminton, ping pong, and tennis. Therefore, these games also influence pickleball rules. But unlike them, the pickleball rules are straightforward to understand.

A Detailed 2024 Guide to Pickleball Rules and How to Play the Game

By acknowledging the pickleball rules, you can understand its gameplay more effectively. Proceed with context to learn more about pickleball rules and scoring system. 

Basic Pickleball Rules for Beginners 

For a better understanding, let’s start with the basic pickleball rules for beginners. As the context continues, we shall transition toward the complicated terms of the game.

The basic pickleball rules for beginners are elementary and easy to learn. The following are the five basic rules sufficient for making any newbie familiar with the pattern of this sport. 

The Ball Must be Within Inbounds 

Like tennis and badminton, pickleball is a sport that follows the lines and inbounds regulations. The pickleball line rules suggest that the pickleball must stay within the inbounds of the net. 

The opponent gets the point if a bouncer serves the pickleball outside the inbounds. Moreover, according to the pickleball court rules, the following delivery will also be from the opponent. 

Pickleball Must Bounce Once on Each Side 

“Two Bounce Rule” or “Double Bounce Rule” are popular titles for this rule. The rule states that the player must bounce the pickleball once before serving it to the other side of the net.

Similarly, that player must also bounce the pickleball on his side before delivering it back to the other player. This rule is applicable only for one time. After both players have bounced the pickleball once, they can deliver it as they like. They can either serve it in the air or bounce it according to their choice. 

Deliver the Ball from the Baseline  

The next rule is to serve the pickleball from the baseline of the net. It is one of the most crucial pickleball court rules. The law elaborates that players must diagonally deliver the ball from the baseline with an underhand motion. Also, check the How to Play Pickleball?

Moreover, players should deliver the pickleball below the waistline. The players will face a penalty if they don’t follow the rule. In such situations, the opponent team can also get the point. 

Balls Should Not Land in the No-Valley Area 

The pickleball court also has some specified zones and boundaries. Among these zones is the no-valley area. No-valley is one such specified zones in the pickleball court.

The pickleball kitchen rules state that players must not serve the ball in the no-valley area. Besides the delivery, volleying pickleball in this zone is also prohibited. However, you can pass through the non-volley without any penalty. 

Drop Delivery Rule 

The drop delivery rule, or “the drop serve rule,” is the new addition to the pickleball drop serve rules. In 2021, the ‘drop serve’ method was included in the pickleball rules. According to this rule, the players can drop the ball before serving it. 

Earlier, only two initial bounces were allowed in the game by the “Two Bouncer Rule.” But with this new drop-serve rule, players can freely drop the pickleball before delivering it. However, it should be clear that players can only drop the ball. They cannot slam or throw it on the ground. 

Scoring System 

The last point in the basic pickleball rules for beginners is the scoring system. Every sport has its distinct scoring method, and so does pickleball. In conventional pickleball, the game ends when one of the teams scores 11 points. 

But the winner must be ahead of its opponent by two points. For instance, the game will continue if your score is 11, but your opponent has 10 points. The game will then be extended to 15 points. 

But if the same scenario happens, the match will be pushed further to 21 points. For “pickleball rules singles,” the game is typically 11 and 15 points. But when the doubles play the game, the match is of 15 or 21 points.  

Basic Pickleball Rules for Beginners

How Many Zones in the Pickleball Court and What are Their Rules?

The pickleball rules heavily depend on the segments of the court. Besides, the latest pickleball serve rules 2024 make the court segments more crucial. Therefore, to learn more about pickleball rules, let’s understand these zones. 

Non-Volley Zone 

“Kitchen” is another title for the non-volley ball area. For this zone, there are distinct pickleball kitchen rules. The non-volley site lies within seven feet of the net on both sides. The players cannot smash or serve the ball in this zone as it is prohibited. You can also, check the Pickleball Doubles Rules.

If the player steps into the non-volley zone accidentally or purposely, it will be a fault. Similarly, another penalty will happen if the ball touches the non-volley area despite being dead. But if the ball is not on the player’s side, he can legally step into this segment. 

Volley Zone 

Excluding the non-volley segment, the rest area is the volley zone. The segment allows players to move freely and serve the ball to the opponent. 

Each volley zone is further divided into left and right serving segments. 

In pickleball, you serve the ball to the opponent diagonally. If the player throws the ball from its left serving area, the opponent must deliver it back from the left zone. It will be considered a fault if any player violates the volley rule. 

How Many Zones in the Pickleball Court and What are Their Rules

What is the Double-Bounce Rule in the Pickleball Game?

You are already familiar with the double-bounce rule of the game. But few other “pickleball rules doubles” apply over the double-bounce strategy. You must consider the following rules while playing the double-bounce tactic.

  • Each player must bounce the pickleball on their side before delivering it to their opponent.
  • Similarly, the opponent also has to bounce the bounce before returning it to the other side.
  • If any player fails to do so, they will get a penalty. 

What Potential Faults Can Happen in a Pickleball Game?

What Potential Faults Can Happen in a Pickleball Game?

Violating some specific rules of the game result in faults and penalties. When a fault occurs, the game is momentarily paused. And the opponent team is provided with a point. These faults occur when; 

  • The ball hits on the net when the player serves it.
  • The delivered ball gets out of bounds.
  • The pickleball volleys before bouncing on either side.
  • The served ball goes beyond the confined areas of the court.
  • The server delivers the ball from the non-volley zone.
  • The pickleball hits the ground twice before getting delivered to the player.
  • The player’s paddle, clothing, or skin touches the net.
  • The player violates the service rules.
  • The delivered ball strikes the player, his paddles, or clothing.
  • The pickleball hits the objects inside the inbounds. 

If you struggle to understand these rules, you can browse “Pickleball rules YouTube.” Doing so will give you a visual presentation of the game’s regulations. Moreover, you can also get printable pickleball rules to memorize them from time to time. Once you acknowledge these rules entirely, the game will become easier. 

Are USA Pickleball Rules Different?

The pickleball game is more famous in the USA than in any other country. Therefore, many people ask whether the USA pickleball rules are different. The answer is no; the “USA pickleball rules 2024” are the same as anywhere else in the world. 

The game originated in the US, which is why its rules in the US apply everywhere else in the world. While playing pickleball domestically, the regulations of the game are accordingly adjusted. But for international pickleball, “the pickleball rules singles” remain the same worldwide. 


Is UK pickleball different from than USA?

The USA’s rules and regulations primarily inspire the UK pickleball. Despite a few modifications, the gameplay of the UK and the USA pickleball is almost the same.

Are there any official pickleball rules?

The official pickleball rules pdf for international tournaments is available online. Our article also highlights the rules and regulations crucial in a pickleball game. You can print these rules to revise them until you become a pro at the game.

Can you hit the ball out of the air in Pickleball?

Yes, hitting the ball out of the air (volleying) is allowed in Pickleball, as long as you are outside of the non-volley zone (kitchen) when making the shot.

Final Verdict

Pickleball is a trendy sport these days. More stadiums in the US are now being allocated to this sport. Considering it a mesh of three different games, many people consider it a challenging sport. By acknowledging the pickleball rules, the game becomes uncomplicated and easy.

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