Pickleball 101: What's Pickleball? The Basics of the Up-and-Coming Sport

Pickleball is quickly becoming one of the most popular and fastest-growing sports in America. Curious about pickleball? Pickleball combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong. It is known for being an inclusive, social, and exhilarating sport. Whether you’re a sports enthusiast or simply looking for a new hobby, here’s your guide to the game of pickleball.

What’s Pickleball?

Pickleball originated in the mid-1960s on Bainbridge Island, Washington, as the invention of three dads aiming to entertain their children during the summer. Over the decades, it has evolved from a backyard pastime to an international sensation, boasting tournaments, leagues, and clubs around the world.


The sport is played on a court similar in size to a doubles badminton court, but with a net lower than a tennis net. Players hold solid paddles that are larger than ping pong paddles but smaller than tennis rackets to volley a perforated ball back and forth.

Basics of Playing Pickleball

The Court

A pickleball court measures 20 x 44 feet, divided into several zones. These include the service areas and a 7-foot non-volley zone (named the “kitchen”) close to the net.


Pickleball can be played either as singles or doubles. A game is typically played up to 11 points. However, you must win by 2 points. Only the serving player or side can score points.


A serve must be made underhand, hitting the ball below the waist, and it must be served diagonally, landing in the opposite service court. The server starts from the right-hand court and switches sides with their partner (in doubles) after every point scored. If the serving team loses a point, the opposing side gains the serve.

The Kitchen

The ‘kitchen’ is a non-volley zone and a crucial element in pickleball strategy. Players cannot volley (hit the ball without letting it bounce first) if they’re standing in this zone. This ensures a more strategic game, as players cannot simply smash the ball from right at the net.

Double Bounce Rule

When the ball is served, the receiving side must let it bounce before returning, and similarly, the serving team must also let it bounce once before volleying. This means two bounces are required after the serve, one on each side.


A fault can be the result of several actions, such as failing to serve the ball into the correct service box, volleying in the kitchen, or hitting the ball out of bounds. Once a fault is made, service is either passed to the serving team’s partner or to the opposing team.

Game Flow

A game of pickleball begins with the right-hand side server. Play continues, with sides volleying back and forth, until a fault is made. Points can only be scored by the serving side. When the serving side’s score is even, the player on the right serves, and when it’s odd, the player on the left serves.

Pickleball is popular because it is easy to learn how to play and is an extremely social sport. Pickleball is a great game for a wide range of ages, lifestyles, and demographics, and ensures a fun workout.


With its soaring popularity, there’s no better time to pick up pickleball. If you’re considering setting up a backyard pickleball court, Legendary Sports Construction has got you covered. Dive into the world of pickleball and discover your new favorite hobby!