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Irish Pickleball Players

How to Play

Learn the Basics

A Pickleball Court is the same size as a badminton court with an additional non-volley-zone line. The court is split into a two sides by a low net.


Points can only be scored by the side that’s serving, and points are scored if the opposing player:

  • Fails to return the ball.

  • Volleys in the non-volley zone.

  • Hits the ball out of bounds.

  • Hits the ball into the net.

  • Volleys the ball before it bounces at least once.

The start of each pickleball game begins with a serve – and the player standing on the right side of the court always serves first. To serve, you must hit the ball underhanded into the opposing player’s court – but importantly, the serve must clear the net and not land in the ‘kitchen’. The ‘kitchen’ is the nickname of the non-volley zone closest to the net. This is marked by a clear line, so you’ll always know where you should and shouldn’t stand.

A crucial pickleball rule is the double bounce rule: this states that the ball must bounce once before either player or team can volley the ball over the net. When returning the serve, the opposing player or team must also let the ball bounce once before returning it over the net. Essentially, the whole point of the game is to hit the ball back and forth until someone makes a mistake – it’s that simple!

The game is won when one side reaches a score of 11… as long as they’re leading by at least two points. If they’re not, the game continues until one side is two points ahead.

Official Rules

While the basics of the game consist of only a few rules, it is recommended that all players familiarise themselves with the USA Pickleball Rulebook and basic rule summary on their site.


Most pickleball players figure out their skill level by self-rating, where they rate themselves from 1.0 to 5.0+. This is completed based on benchmarking themselves on other similar players at that level and by comparing themselves to the rating definitions.

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