The Rules & Basics Of Pickleball: What Are Faults?

Pickleball is a sport similar to badminton, tennis, and table tennis. However, instead of using a racket, players use a paddle to rally the ball in the court. The paddle is usually made of wood or other composite materials while the ball is made out of polymer. 

The pickleball court is the same size as a badminton court. It can be played in singles or doubles, which is composed of two and four players on the court respectively.

What Are the Rules of the Game?

One of the basic rules is to not drop the ball while avoiding faults. Also, when serving the ball, make sure to serve it diagonally to the opposite side creating an upward arc so it won’t be jammed by the net. After that, volleys and rallies will begin.

Usually, only one serve attempt is made, but you can go again if the ball comes into contact with the net then continues on into your opponent’s court. This is called a let serve, and though it’s not considered a fault against you, it’s also not a good serve.

Only the serving side will have a score point if they won’t commit any faults. Thus, if the fault is made in the serving side, the opponents will not have any score, but it will be their next turn to serve.

On the other hand, if the serving side did not make any errors or faults and the opponents did, they will get a score and it will still be their turn to serve in the next game. The game is only played up to 11 points, but the team can only win when they are two points ahead of their opponents. This means that if the score is 10-11, then the game has to continue until one team wins by two points.

How do you keep the game going in pickleball? (Image: Wikimedia )

What Are Faults in Pickleball?

To score during the game, you should continue rallying the ball without dropping and committing faults in the process. Thus, you should be aware of what counts as a fault and what doesn’t. Here’s a list of faults you should watch out for during a game:

  • Hitting the serve into the opponent’s straight service court instead of diagonally
  • When the ball you hit did not pass the net
  • When you did not hit the ball before the second bounce 
  • When you hit the ball out of bounds 
  • In volleying the ball, you step on the non-volley zone
  • Volleying the ball before it bounced on each side 
  • When you step on the non-volley zone while you are serving

How Do You Win at Pickleball?

Playing pickleball is easy, but you also need to win to enjoy it. There are winning strategies you can apply for both singles and doubles. Here’s a list of them you can use to win your game:

  • Gain a huge advantage by going to the net as soon as the game starts. By being close to the net, you can hit deep shots that will go into their back-court. If you are playing doubles, you should plan this with your partner so you will be in sync when you implement it.
  • Practice your serving. The serving is really helpful to win the game so you need to improve yours to make sure that every serve you make gets inside the service box. 
  • Improve your hand-eye coordination. This will help you during the return serve where you can be mindful of the direction of the ball while reacting on time. Also, make sure you keep the list of faults in mind to avoid them during the game.
  • If you are playing doubles, make sure to communicate well with your partner. You can create signs, formation, or codes to help you during the game.