Although Pickleball is played in a court, the rules of the game more closely resemble table tennis or badminton than traditional tennis.

The game begins with one side serving the Pickeball, using the paddle (which is wood or composite and larger than a ping pong paddle) to hit the pickleball (which is a light, plastic, hole-covered whiffle ball). To properly serve the ball, the player must keep one foot behind the back line and strike the ball with an underhand swing, aiming at the service court located diagonally over the net, and clearing the no-volley zone. Service starts from the right hand court. Only one fault is allowed. In the case of doubles, both players get to serve once, and then the serve is taken over by the opposing player/team.

Both sides must allow the Pickleball to bounce first before hitting it with the paddle at least one time from the start of the game. Thereafter, players may volley the ball (hit it without allowing it to bounce), provided they are not within no-volley zone within 7 feet of the net (marked on the court). A player or team scores points only when they are serving. A pickleball game is played to 11 points and a win must be by 2 points.

Similar to tennis, the following moves are "faults" in the game of Pickleball, which cause a loss of a point:

  • Failing to clear the net

  • Hitting the ball out of bounds

  • Volleying the ball from within, or while a foot is in the no-volley zone

  • Volleying the ball before it has bounced on a first serve or first return

Pickleball Equipment and Court

All you need to play Pickleball is a couple of paddles, a whiffle ball and a net. You can draw your own court with sidewalk chalk (at least that's what we did many years ago). Fortunately, however, you can find "official" pickleball courts at many playgrounds, community centers and private clubs, as the game is growing in popularity.

A Pickleball court is approximately one-third the size of a regular tennis court, and is laid out according to the dimensions of a badminton court (20 feet x 44 feet). A net divides the court, hung at 36 inches in height on each end. On either side of the net, there is a 7-foot area (marked with a line on the court) called the no-volley zone. The playing area of the court (20 feet x 15 feet) is divided into two equal rectangles, side by side (10 feet x 15 feet).

The main reason for the no-volley zone is to take away opportunities for smash volleys or drop shots, making the game more reliant on careful placement of shots. Of course, the rule also creates opportunities for the other side to fault, which adds to the fun of the game!

Where Can You Play Pickleball?

Gold Coast Pickleball Club currently play at the GOLD COAST SENIORS TENNIS CLUB at 24 Pizzey Drive, Mermaid Waters, Queensland. Please get in touch with one of the G C P A contacts for more information.