Teaching Pickleball Skills and Gameplay [Video]

Pickleball is sweeping the nation! Courts are popping up left and right and both young and old are playing. Jump on the bandwagon and introduce your students to the game that is a great introduction to racquet sports. Pickleball is played on a smaller court compared to tennis with a slower ball, which makes it easier to learn. It’s also incredibly fun! The videos below give a basic overview of serving, scoring and gameplay rules for singles and doubles.

Pickleball Serving

In Pickleball there are several rules to follow while serving. To start, both feet must be behind the baseline. The serve must be made diagonally crosscourt and land in the correct service box. The serve must be made underhand with the head of the paddle below the wrist and below the waist while making contact with the ball. After the serve, the returner must let the ball bounce before they can hit it. Servers cannot volley the return back. The must also let the ball bounce. After the ball has bounced on each side of the court, players can then volley the ball out of the air. Watch the video above for a visual demonstration.

Pickleball Singles Gameplay and Scoring

Pickleball games are played up to 11 points, win by 2. The first player to win 2 out of 3 games wins the match. Points are only scored by the serving team. Matches start by flipping a coin. The winner can either choose to serve, return or choose the side they would like to play on. The first server calls out the score 0-0 and serves from the right side of the court. If he wins the point, he serves the next ball from the left side. Once the opponent wins a rally, he does not earn a point, but he gains possession of the serve. Players can only earn points by winning their service point. Watch the video above for a visual demonstration.

Pickleball Doubles

In Doubles all of the basic serving and gameplay rules apply. However, there are slight variations. There are no doubles sidelines in Pickleball so the court is the same for both singles and doubles. The player on the right side of the court, always starts the serve and calls out the score 0-0-Start, which means the score is 0-0 and the first server is starting the match. Watch the video above for more detail on how to play and score in pickleball doubles!

Correction:

There is an error in the video above. Please see the clarification below for the correct scoring rules:

“Mike” and “Allison” won the first two points so Mike ends the side out on the even side of the court. They lose point #3, so the score is 2-0-1. After side out, Mike should still be on the right side and Allison on the left (this is where the video is incorrect). Mike would serve first since he is on the right side with the score of 2-0-1 (this is also incorrect in the video).

Rules for clarification:

4.B.6.a. At the start of each side out, service begins in the right/even serving area.

4.B.6.b. When the team’s score is even (0, 2, 4 …), the team’s starting server’s correct position is at
the right/even serving area. When the team’s score is odd (1, 3, 5…), the starting server’s correct position is at the left/odd court.

Pickleball No Volley Zone

The no-volley zone is the space closest to the net. It is 7 feet away on each side. The reason behind the no-volley zone is to prevent players from getting too close to the net and smashing the ball. Players cannot hit the ball in the air if they are in the no-volley zone. The only exception for hitting the ball in the no-volley zone is if the ball bounces in the zone first. Then a player is able to enter the area and hit the ball. It is a fault and the team loses the point if a player violates the rule. Pickleball is a great game for all students.

Gopher has a wide selection of pickleball paddles, nets and balls to get your entire class playing competitively! The selection of paddles includes oversized and softer paddles for beginners and graphite and composite paddles for experienced players. Your students will find immediate success with this game and develop a passion for a sport they can play for a lifetime!

2 Responses

  1. Totally incorrect. At side over when the score is 2-0-1, the boy serves NOT the girl. It is not WHERE you happen to be standing at side over. The score determines who serves first at side over. The boy stands on the right side when the score is even and on the left side when the score is odd. The girl ONLY stands on the right side for side over if the score is odd.

  2. Hi Gayle,
    Thank you so much for the comment. You’re right, there is an error in the video. There seems to have been a mix-up during the video shoot.

    “Mike” and “Allison” won the first two points so Mike ends the side out on the even side of the court. They lose point #3, so the score is 2-0-1. After side out, Mike should still be on the right side and Allison on the left (this is where the video is incorrect). Mike would serve first since he is on the right side with the score of 2-0-1 (this is also incorrect in the video).

    Rules for clarification:

    4.B.6.a. At the start of each side out, service begins in the right/even serving area.

    4.B.6.b. When the team’s score is even (0, 2, 4 …), the team’s starting server’s correct position is at
    the right/even serving area. When the team’s score is odd (1, 3, 5…), the starting server’s correct position is at the left/odd court.

    Thank you for catching this and providing a correct rules for our audience!

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