Whenever Barbara and I took a trip to play Pickleball in California and Arizona, we always found warm and friendly people upon our arrival. It is a great culture to be in. Like all great cultures there are opinions and actions that differ slightly in each area.
These are my opinions about rules/etiquette for playing Pickleball in no particular order, and of course, my opinions are only food for thought.
Upon arriving to the courts, observe how their system works for playing. Even ask someone if the structure is not apparent. I found that if you are new to the courts, someone will welcome you and will be more than happy to share their rules.
The last news letter has how to self rate yourself if you don’t know how. If there are multiple courts in play, generally the level of play should be apparent. If you are not sure of which court is your level, play at the court that you will feel most comfortable at. At some of the larger facilities, they have level designated courts. BUT, that should not be the rule. If there are not enough beginners to play, then they play with the intermediates, and if not enough intermediates, they play with the advanced players. There are some people that will not play with people below their so called skill level, and that is fine. They can sit and wait for the next opening.
Before playing, the foursome should introduce themselves if playing for the first time. 0 0 2 begins the scoring. To help remember the score, the person who starts serving first for both sides will always be on the right side of the court when the score is even numbered for their score. Always call the score before serving, server’s score first, receiver’s score second, and which server is serving. A legal serve is the swing that is under hand, the contact point with the ball is below your naval, and the hitting area of your paddle is below your wrist. At the end of the game the players should meet at the center of the net to do a paddle tap with each player.
Line calls are made by the players on the side that the ball lands. We all will miss a line call. When the opposing side questions a line call, and the players can’t resolve the call, just play the point over. In tournaments when one side feels that lines are consistently called wrong, they can request a person to oversee the line calls.
You can stop play during a point when a player feels that something out of their control interrupts the point, such as, a ball from another court rolling on to or near the court, people walking near the court, loud noise, or anything that could be a safety issue. If the point is stopped, just replay the point.
People, please be considerate when walking near a court when a point is being played. You can wait until the point is finished to walk pass the court. People, please don’t stand near the court that is in play. People, please keep your emotions in check, it is only a game, even if the emotion is directed to yourself. People, (I’m guilty) stop teaching during a game unless you start as a teaching game. People, please be nicer to lesser skill level players. People, please leave the court after your game has finished. If it is a challenge court, and your team has won two challenges, and there are four players waiting, you should give up the court and wait for the next challenge game.
I believe that we all like the Pickleball culture. Pat yourself on your back for being a loving person that has embraced other Pickleball players. HUGS are optional. Thank you to all the players that always help clean the courts, set up nets, and put away the nets. AND, thanks you to all the people that bring goodies for us to eat and drink.
Pickle Relish Mitch