Pickleball is a paddle sport created for all ages and skill levels, so don't be afraid to pick up a racquet. The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, competitive game for experienced players. Pickleball combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis in one, fun, fast-paced game. The court is striped like a tennis court, but much smaller, so there's less ground to cover.
The ball is served with an underhand stroke so that contact with the ball is made below waist level (waist is defined as the navel level) in an upward arc from behind the baseline, diagonally to the opponent's service zone. The returner must allow the ball to bounce before hitting it back; it can not be volleyed. Consequently, the server or server's and partner usually stay at the baseline until the first return has been hit and bounced once.
Points are scored by the serving side only and occur when the opponent faults (fails to return the ball, hits ball out of bounds, steps into the non-volley zone [the first seven feet from the net, also known as the 'kitchen'] in the act of volleying the ball, etc.). A player may enter the non-volley zone to play a ball that bounces and may stay there to play balls that bounce, however, the player must exit the non-volley zone before playing a volley. The first side scoring 11 points and leading by at least two points wins. Tournament games may be played to 15 or 21 points with players rotating sides at 8 or 11 points respectively.
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