Basic rules of pickleball

Official Pickleball Rules.

The score of a pickleball match

Each game is played to 11 points and is won when there is a two-point difference with the opponent's score.

Only the serving team can score a point, which occurs when they score a winning shot or when the serving team sends the ball over the net or out of court. When the team returning the serve wins the point, that team can only return the serve after winning two points.


The ball is served with an upward motion. The arm should arc upwards and the wrist should be above the head of the racket when the ball is struck. The ball should rise above the height of the net and land in the opponent's service box, diagonally to the server. On the serve, only one opportunity to put the ball in play is allowed.

The server continues to serve, alternating service frames, until the serving team loses the point. In this case, the service passes to the second server of the same team. If both players lose their service, the opposing team takes over the service.

Special rules

Double bounce rule

After the serve, each team must allow the ball to bounce before volleying it back. Failure to comply with this rule will result in a foul and the loss of the point.

No Volley Zone (NVZ)

A player may not volley a ball while in the NVZ.

A player commits a foul if, during or after a volley, he/she touches the non-volley zone or a line in the NVZ. A player may return a ball from within the non-volley zone if the ball bounced there first.

The non-volley zone extends 2.13m on either side of the net.