A Beginner’s Guide to Pickleball

Pickleball is a paddleball sport that combines elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis. All across the nation, pickleball is growing in popularity and becoming one of the most sought-after sports activities to participate in. Due to soaring demand, many parks and recreation departments are now adding pickleball to their sports programming. In line with these findings, let’s dive in and learn where pickleball originated along with the basic rules of the game!


Pickleball was invented in the summer of 1965. Joe Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum discovered that their children were bored one Saturday afternoon. All they had was an old badminton court to use to entertain them. They tried to set up a badminton game but had trouble finding the birdie and the wooden paddles needed to play. Luckily, they ended up finding an assortment of equipment that they used to improvise a new game. They proceeded to lower the net, use a Wiffle ball instead of a birdie, and made paddles out of plywood, and just like that, the game of Pickleball was born.

Rules of the Game

Pickleball is played with singles or doubles on a badminton-size court which is approximately 20’ x 44.’ The ball is served diagonally, starting with the right-hand service square. Points are scored only by the side that serves. The initial serve must be done underhand. Once the ball is served, it must bounce before the opposing team returns it. This play is called the 2-bounce or 3-hit rule in the sport. After the serve, and return of the serve, either team or player may then volley the ball back and forth. The volley is over once the ball bounces twice on one side of the court and the point goes to the opposing team.

Players on each side must let the ball bounce once before volleys are permitted. There is a seven-foot no-volley zone on each side of the net to prevent spiking. The server continues to alternate service courts, until the player faults. The first side that scores eleven points and leads by at least two wins. 

Pickleball games are typically played to 11 points. Tournament games may be played to 15 or 21 points. In the event of a tie game, the winning team must win by 2 points. Before each serve, the server should call the score so that the other players on the pickleball court can know the most recent score. The server should call the score loudly before hitting the pickleball on the serve. The pickleball itself can only make contact with the paddle. If the pickleball comes in contact with any body part or clothing item, then a fault is committed and the rally is lost. 

Pickleball at Mountainside Fitness

This fast-growing sport has soared in popularity over the last decade. Various states have scrambled to build courts for the sport’s enthusiastic fans. Pickleball is now available at three of our Mountainside Fitness locations: Mesa, Paradise Valley, and Surprise! Download our app to register for a time slot.