Building a community in Pickleball (Source: http://photopin.com/free-photos/pickleball)
In any game, it is always important to be a good sport. This means showing respect to any player, whether or not they are your teammates or opponents. Though people are naturally competitive and would love to win, maintaining good morale through etiquette is still the best way to build relationships on and off the Pickleball court.
Why It’s Important to Learn Proper Sports Etiquette
Learning about basic etiquette means that you are not just about winning and playing. It also shows you care for the development of the sport as a whole.
Since Pickleball is an up-and-coming sport that many are curious to try out, it will be beneficial for its growth sport if a great, friendly community is around to welcome new enthusiasts.
It is also vital for fostering relationships with already existing teammates and players. You may not expect it, but you will be able to make new friends. This will happen only if and when you display good sportsmanship.
There are special sportsmanship rules in Pickleball. This is specialized because the rules of the game are unlike any other. So, when playing, keep the following rules of etiquette in mind:
Restricted Players Should Not Be Lobbed at from Behind
Pickleball should be fun, but this enjoyable atmosphere can fail when you take cheap shots at an injured opponent who cannot run for the ball. Players will brand you as disrespectful and irritating.
You may even put this said player at risk. If they do try and run after the ball, they may hurt themselves as they may already have an existing injury. Proper etiquette means being considerate of others and not causing further harm.
Calling the Score Out
It is understandable to be in the zone when you are playing Pickleball. It can really make your heart race, especially if you’re totally focused on playing.
It is respectful to call the score before actually deciding where to place the ball. In this way, players are able to track the score of the game easily. This practice will also help out beginners who get confused with the scores. Help a newbie out and develop the game!
Meet your opponent at the net at the start of the game. This shows great sportsmanship.
Win or lose, you must meet your opponent at the net. This shows that you respect how the game went and are congratulating your opponents for a job well done.
Storming off to the sideline is very disrespectful. All athletes are competitive and desire to win. But in Pickleball, you need to set that aside to shake the hands or knock paddles with your opponents in recognition of a good game well played.
Everyone Should Be Ready Before You Serve
This rule is for recreational play where officials are usually not present. Because the official is not there to signal the start of the service, the player serving must take this responsibility. Check and see if everyone is prepared before sending the ball flying.
Compliment Your Opponents
Although this may seem difficult, it is a good idea to call out great shots made by your opponent. Say great things about crazy shots, and it will go a long way.
A display of good etiquette (Source: http://photopin.com/free-photos/pickleball)
Be Courteous about the Balls
You will never know when the ball will end up in a fast-paced sport like Pickleball. So, if it lands on your side and it is your opponent’s time to serve, toss the ball at them (to the point where they can reach it, of course) to promote good etiquette.
You can also have a few balls at the ready in your pocket so you will not have to keep retrieving one ball. But, when you do need to retrieve a ball, make sure to also take part in getting them back onto the court.
Stay in Your Lane
First, do not teach someone techniques in Pickleball if they are unwarranted. This may seem rude to players who just play to have fun.
Second, control how you react in the game. It is understandable to be upset after losing a long rally or getting beaten again. But you must show respect by not causing a scene. This includes trash talking and swearing at your opponent.
This simply means making sure you come to the court on time and leave on time as well. This is a respectful gesture to other players who also want to use court time.
Playing sports, no matter how seemingly calm the sport is, will always pose a physical risk to any athlete. This is why there are rules in place in order for everyone to be safe. After all, you can have more fun when there are no injuries.
Do Not Play When Unable
Most injuries stem from forcing yourself to play even though you have an injury that needs treatment. In cases like this, do not play. There will be other games and tournaments for you to play in when you are in your best condition.
Courts are often under the sun, so it is important to drink lots of fluids in order to stay hydrated. This avoids unwanted injuries such as heat strokes or cramps.
Stoppage of Play
Once you see that a ball from another court drops in yours, make sure to stop the play to remove the ball from your premises. If your ball goes into another court, make sure that the other players also know to stop their game. This is needed so no one will trip over the ball while at play.
Stretching Is Important
Warming up before and cooling down after is important to reduce injuries. A good way to warm up is to stretch your muscles so they will not be shocked by the physical strain they will go through.
Do Not Cross Another Court While the Point Is Ongoing
This is quite self-explanatory. But, to make it very clear, you should wait for the point to be over if you have to pass through a court. Or, you can simply pass by the sides to avoid disturbing other games.
Injuries Need to be Tended to
If you notice a player getting dizzy or stopping the play to fall down, make to stop the play immediately. This is to be able to help the person who is in pain or injured.
Safety is the most important part of the game, so this should be prioritized. Besides, if this happened to you, you would want someone to help you out, too.