A Comprehensive Guide to Getting into Pickleball

Pickleball is an exhilarating sport that seamlessly blends elements of tennis, ping pong, and badminton. Its straightforward rules and minimal equipment requirements make it accessible to enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels. Played with sturdy paddles on a badminton-sized court featuring a low net, pickleball uses a distinctive ball akin to a wiffle ball but harder and with smaller holes.

In this guide, we will delve into everything you need to know to embark on your pickleball journey. Be warned: once you start playing, you’ll find it irresistibly addictive!

Pickleball Rules

The rules of pickleball bear some resemblance to tennis but have unique distinctions. The court is more compact, and there is a no-volley zone known as “the kitchen” situated directly in front of the net. Pickleball can be played as singles (one player per side) or doubles (two players per side). The game commences with an underhand serve from one of the two designated squares behind the no-volley zone. The ball must bounce once on both sides of the net before either team can volley (hit the ball before it bounces). Play continues until a fault is committed, resulting in a point for the serving team or a change of service.

Common Faults in Pickleball:

  • Hitting the ball out of bounds.
  • Failing to get the ball over the net.
  • Allowing the ball to bounce more than once on the same side.
  • Volleying from within the non-volley zone.
  • Touching the non-volley zone on a serve.

These are the fundamental rules of pickleball. The best way to grasp the intricacies and techniques is to get out there and play.

Pickleball Equipment

To engage in pickleball, you’ll need a few essential pieces of equipment. Here are the most crucial items:


The pickleball paddle is the most vital piece of equipment. It’s used to hit the ball over the net and comes in various styles. Whether you’re seeking power or control, or are a beginner or an expert, the paddle significantly influences the direction and velocity of the ball. Take the time to research and choose the right paddle for your playing style.


The pickleball itself lends the sport its name. There are different types of balls for indoor and outdoor play, with variations in materials and hole sizes. When starting out, experiment with different balls to find the one that suits your preference.

Additional Equipment

  • Net: If you’re setting up your own court, a net is essential.
  • Shoes and Apparel: For high-level play, invest in proper shoes and apparel designed for pickleball.

When you’re just starting, all you need is a paddle, a ball, and a place to play.

Pickleball Leagues

As the sport’s popularity surges, so does the number of pickleball leagues. Check local recreation centers and YMCAs for public leagues. A quick online search can also help you find leagues in your area. Whether well-established or newly formed, leagues and teams are gaining traction everywhere. If you don’t find a perfect fit immediately, broaden your search area, and you might get lucky.


1. What should I look for in a pickleball paddle?

Look for a paddle that suits your playing style, whether you prioritize power or control. Research different styles and materials to find the best fit for you.

2. Are there different types of pickleballs for indoor and outdoor play?

Yes, there are variations in materials and hole sizes for indoor and outdoor pickleballs. Try different types to see which one you prefer.

3. How can I find a local pickleball league?

Check local recreation centers, YMCAs, and do an online search to find leagues in your area. Leagues are becoming more common, so you’re likely to find one nearby.

4. What is the “kitchen” in pickleball?

The “kitchen” is the no-volley zone directly in front of the net. Players cannot volley the ball from within this zone.

5. What equipment do I need to start playing pickleball?

To start playing pickleball, you need a paddle, a ball, and a place to play. As you progress, consider investing in a net, proper shoes, and apparel.

By following this guide, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the exciting and rapidly growing sport of pickleball. Happy playing!

What do you think?

Written by Billy Pickles

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