Rules, Tips & Strategies

Pickleball Basic Rules:

The attached pdf is an overview of the basic rules of Pickleball.
To see the complete and official rules of the IFP (The International Federation of Pickleball) click here.

Rally Scoring - Is It Time?

Is "side-out scoring" holding pickleball back?  Do we need "rally scoring" for pickleball to advance world-wide? Listen to the discussion between Chris Allen and Steve Paranto how volleyball and badminton made the switch and why.

Moving Your Game to a Higher Level (from the USAPA website)

Learn to "dink" the ball proficiently, be patient. Don't try to make a "kill" shot unless it's really there to make. Know when to hit the ball hard or softly. It's not about power. Watch your opponent's paddle hit the ball, it tells you a lot about where the return will be going and how hard it will be hit.  

Hit the ball to opponents feet or backhand, especially if it's weak. Develop a drop shot (just over the net) from the baseline. This is an important shot when your opponent(s) are at the non-volley line. Never use it when your opponents are back near the baseline. Work on a cross-court dink. "Ratchet" overhead smashes (straight arm).  It works better than snapping your wrist. Have friends make some shots to you that you don't like and work at returning them. Maybe your opponent doesn't like them either. Try them on him or her. Look for patterns in your opponent's play. Sometimes you can see things during pre-game warm-ups.

When you see that your opponent is about to hit the ball try to stop moving, especially forward or backward. It's much easier to hit the ball and control it if you are stationary.

Helping to Keep the Score Straight:

Many times when there is confusion about the score, the score is off by one. If you knew whether the score should be odd or even, that would help you to know the correct score. There is a way to always know whether a team’s score should be odd or even.

At the start of each game, make a mental note of the player that served first for each side. If the rotation is done correctly, a team’s score will always be even when that player is on the right and odd when that player is on the left. As you call the score, use the player position as a double check on whether you have the correct score. If every player would use this technique, it would put an end to those long discussions about whether a team’s score should be 3 or 4.

As an aid to help everyone to keep the score straight, call the score before every serve, including the server number. It helps to call the score well before the serve to give everyone a chance to make a correction. It is very distracting to call the score while you are in your serving motion, especially if the score is wrong.

Grip Techniques:

Check out this article from the Pickleball Guru titled "Get a Grip On Your Game".  It is an interesting read talking about the different ways that people hold their paddle.  

Basic Sidestep Tutorial from Coach Mo