Pickleball is a sport that is becoming increasingly popular among all age groups. It is a great social activity, but also provides a solid workout that provides great fitness benefits. It can be played outdoors or on a court in a gym.
Pickleball is played on a 20’ x 44’ sized badminton court. The equipment required, besides the court and a location outside or inside a gym, include a paddle, a whiffle ball and a net. A physical gym with a more formal court is not a requirement. A court can easily be set up in a location using chalk for the boundaries along with the net. Like tennis, the ball is served from the right-hand side of the court and is hit diagonally across the net. The only time a player can score points is if it is their turn to serve. The server maintains that position until they do not win the point due to some type of fault. At that time, the service goes to the other team. This is called a Side Out. As they serve, they alternate between the right and left side of the court. The side that wins is the one that scores eleven points first. They also have to be leading by two points to win. Therefore, Pickleball can be played much past the eleven points.
In Pickleball, you must allow the ball to bounce once before you can volley. There is also a seven-foot no volley zone. This zone is located on each side of the net and the purpose is to prevent people from spiking the ball. The nice thing about Pickleball is it can be played in either a singles or doubles format, which allows for social interaction. This social aspect can motivate people in their fitness goals.
There are several rules with serving in Pickleball. The ball should always be served underhand where the paddle stays below the waist. Also, when serving, the server has to have both feet positioned behind the back line during the serve. When hitting the ball, it must clear the no volley zone on the other side of the net. As mentioned earlier, the serve goes diagonally across the court and lands in the opposite diagonal spot. This part is similar to tennis. Unlike tennis though, only one attempt can be made at each serve. If the ball hits the net, but goes in the appropriate court, then the serve can be redone. Once the server fails to score a point, then the other side takes over the serving. It is also important to know that the serve must be done when the ball is in the air. It is not allowed to be hit off of a bounce. That means that the server should not be bouncing the ball, and then hit the ball off of one of those bounces. The first serve at the start of a game, the serving team is only allowed one fault before the ball is turned over. If playing doubles, then it is different. If the first server faults, then the ball is turned over to the other team member on that same team. They get a chance to then continue. Once that server faults as well, then the ball is handed over to the other team, and the serving process starts over.
Volleying is permitted in Pickleball, but only when the person volleying the ball has both feet behind the non-valley zone. If they step over the line on their volley attempt, then it is considered a fault. Again, it not allowed until after the Two-Bounce Rule has come into play.
The Double-Bounce Rule mentioned earlier for Pickleball works as follows. This rule is also referred to as the Two-Bounce Rule. With this, each team must let the ball bounce once before they hit it. That means that once it is served, the receiving team must let it bounce before hitting it back. Then the serving team must also let it bounce once before hitting is back. Once those two bounces happen, then the rules allow for players to play it off of a bounce, or else they are allowed to volley it.
It is also important to know the fault rules for Pickleball. These can happen when the ball is hit out of bounds, or hits in the non-volley zone during a serve. This also means that if it hits the line of the non-volley zone, it is still a fault. A fault also occurs when it does not get over the net. Volleying can create a fault when it is volleyed from the non-volley zone and if it is volleyed before the Double-Bounce Rule has occurred.
When playing doubles in Pickleball, positioning of players during a serve is important. On the serving side, both players are at the back of the court during the serve. The server hits diagonally across to the opposite team. The receiver of the serve also is located at the back of his side of the court. The other player on the receiving side is up closer to the net on his side of the court. Once the serve is won, then if it is the same team, the server switches sides with his team member takes over and serves to the other diagonal from his new side. They will continue with this until a fault occurs and then the next team player takes over from the side they are on. Players only switch sides on their side of the court once they score a point.
Pickleball is such a great option for those trying to meet their fitness goals. Many fitness complexes, and perhaps your local gym, have courts that can accommodate those wanting to play. It combines many aspects of tennis and badminton, but it is somewhat slower then tennis, so is a great option for improving fitness. It is also a wonderful option to add to your gym regimen.
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