The Basics

Pickleball is played on a badminton sized court.

The net is lowered down to 36 inches at the ends, 34 inches in the middle.

A hard hollow plastic ball is hit with paddles, these are like oversized table tennis bats.

The ball is served underhand from the right side of the court and is played diagonally across to the other service court. The defending side has to let the ball bounce first before it can be returned and, subsequently, the serving side also has to let the ball bounce. It is only on the third ball that the ball can be returned immediately. Either you can play a volley or you can let the ball bounce first.

Points can only be scored by the serving side. You win a point if the defending side does not manage to return the ball, hits the ball out, does not let the serve ball bounce, volleys in the non-volley zone, or is hit by the ball. The game ends when one of the parties gets 11 points, with a 2-point lead.

When a side scores a point, the same person serves, but from the other side of the court. When a player loses a point, his or her partner serves from the side of the court where he or she is standing at the moment. If this service also fails to score, service goes to the opponent and the opponent begins the service on the right. For the first service, however, the service changes sides after only one serve.

When playing singles, the player serves from the left if he or she has an uneven number of points, and from the right with an even number of points. This is how scoring is kept: 1-0-1 means that the serving side has 1 point, the other side has no points, and this is the first server.

PickleballEngland breaks down the criteria for each level. We also have a new page - Rating Guide. Click here.

Levels 1.0 to 5.0+

At club level you will rate yourself. If you are struggling to decide you can ask the Club Captain to observe you and give their opinion on your rating

PickleballEngland have some top tips from a coach

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