The Basic Rules of Pickleball

Stuart Urkov earned a bachelor of arts in psychology from Syracuse University. Having spent over 28 years in the mortgage and banking industries, he currently holds a leadership role at Waterman State Bank in Illinois. Outside of work, Stuart Urkov enjoys playing pickleball.

Pickleball is rising in popularity in the U.S., likely because the guidelines of the game are easy to comprehend. While it is a bat-and-net sport similar to tennis, there are only five main rules to consider when playing a match:

1) The ball must remain inbound. The game is played on a 44’ by 20’ court, which is divided into two halves by a low net. Like tennis, it must stay in those parameters to score points.

2) Only one bounce of the ball is allowed per side. More than one gives the opponents a point.

3) Players must serve at the baseline, furthest from the net. The initial serve must clear the net and fall past the opponent’s no-volley zone, which is 7 feet from the net on either side.

4) The ‘kitchen line’ in both service courts forms the no-volley zone. Essentially, players cannot enter ‘the kitchen’ unless the ball hits the ground and bounces.

5) When the game reaches 11, 15, or 21 points, it’s over; the winning team needs to be leading by at least 2 points to win. For example, if Team A is at 11 points and Team B is at 9 points, then Team A wins. But if Team A is at 11 points and Team B is at 10, then the match goes on until 15 points. The same rule applies when one team reaches 15 points. If the 2-point lead isn’t true, then the two teams play to 21 points.

Stuart Urkov recently joined Waterman State Bank in Waterman, Illinois.