PICKLEBALL BASICS

Overview

Pickleball is played on a badminton-sized court: 20’ x 44.’ The ball is served diagonally (starting with the right-hand service-square), and points can only be scored by  the side that serves.

Players on each side must let the ball bounce once before volleys are allowed, and there is a seven-foot no-volley zone on each side of the net, to prevent “spiking.” The  server continues to serve, alternating service courts, until he or she faults. The first  side scoring eleven points and leading by at least two points wins. Pickle-ball® can be played with singles or doubles.

The Serve

Serves are to be made diagonally, starting with the right-hand service-square and  alternating each serve. The serve must clear the seven-foot non-volley-zone in front of the net and land in the diagonal service court.

Serves should always be done underhand with the paddle below the waist, and the  server must keep both feet behind the back line when serving. The ball should be hit  into the air without being bounced. The serving side will continue to serve until the  there is a fault on the service, at which point the service will be given to the opposing  side. (However, if the ball touches the net but still lands within the appropriate service  court, the serve may be taken over.)

Volleys

To volley means to hit a ball in the air without first letting it bounce. In Pickle-ball®, this can only be done when the player’s feet are behind the non-volley zone line (seven feet behind the net).

Double-Bounce Rule

Each team must play their first shot off of the bounce. That is, the receiving team must  let the serve bounce and the serving team must let the return of the serve bounce  before playing it. Once these two bounces have occurred, the ball can either be volleyed  or played off the bounce.

Fault

A fault is committed when the ball:

  • Is hit out of bounds
  • Does not clear the net
  • Is volleyed from the non-volley zone
  • Is volleyed before a bounce has occurred on each side

 SKILL LEVELS

The descriptions below were derived from the rating descriptions used by the USA Pickleball  Association (USAPA) and the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP).

The SPC Rating Team have given considerable time and effort attempting to assess and assign ratings for those members who do not have a tournament rating. If you do not have a tournament rating, or you would like a SPC rating, let anyone on the Rating Team know and they will set up an assessment for you. The request can be sent to ratingssurreypc@gmail.com

The SPC Rating Team:

  • Elaine Lerner
  • Peter Darvill
  • Scott Stevenson
  • Terry Brine
  • Brent Cassie

The SPC schedule allows for specific skill rating level play as well as cross-skill rated play for some sessions. Thanks for playing in those sessions that apply to your skill rating.
Rating/Player Level Descriptions/Characteristics

1.0  New and have only minimal knowledge of the game and the rules.  Need to work most on developing their hand/eye coordination. Frequently miss the ball entirely, but can hit some of the slower balls with their forehand. They have a hard time playing games because they can’t keep a rally going.

1.5  Keep some short rallies going with their forehand, but still fail to return easy balls frequently and occasionally miss the ball entirely. They have played a few games and know the basic rules of the game, including scoring.

2.0  Learning to judge where the ball is going, and can sustain a short rally with players of equal ability. They have obvious weaknesses in most of their strokes.  Familiar with court positioning in doubles play.

2.5  Able to keep quite a few balls going with their forehands, make most easy volleys, and are beginning to make some backhands but need to work more on developing their strokes. They are beginning to approach the non-volley zone to hit volleys and are making an effort to be more aggressive, including trying dinks and lobs.  Familiar with the rules.

3.0  More consistent on the serve and service return, and when hitting medium-paced shots, but are not comfortable with all strokes and lack control when trying for direction, depth, or power on their shots. They are using lobs and dinks with limited success but don’t fully understand when and why they should use them and don’t have a lot of success with them. This player could be thought of as a “C” player.

3.5  Have achieved improved stroke dependability with directional control on most medium-paced balls and some harder hit balls. They still need to develop more depth and variety with their shots, but are exhibiting more aggressive net play, are anticipating their opponent’s shots better, use lobs and dinks on a regular basis with more success, and are developing teamwork in doubles. Need to develop variety with their shots.

4.0  Have consistent and dependable strokes, including directional control and depth on both forehand and backhand sides. They can reliably serve, use lobs, overheads, approach shots and volleys, and can use spin shots with some success. Occasionally can force errors when serving. Rallies may be lost due to impatience. Teamwork in doubles is evident. Dinks and lobs are used as a major part of their game. They know the rules of the game and play by them.

4.5  Beginning to master the use of power and spin, can successfully execute all shots, can control the depth of their shots, and can handle pace. They have sound footwork and they move well enough to get to the non-volley zone whenever required. They understand strategy and can adjust their style of play according to their opponent’s strengths and weaknesses and their position on the court. They can hit serves with power and accuracy and can also vary the speed and spin of the serve if desired.  Dinks and lobs are weapons, and they have had success in tournaments.

5.0  Have mastered all the skills – all the shot types, touch, and spin.  Serves are used as weapons.Excellent shot anticipation, extremely accurate shot placement and regularly hit winning shots. Can force opponents into making errors by “keeping the ball in play.” Have mastered the dink and drop shots. Have mastered the shot choices and strategies for drop shots, lobs, and fast-paced ground strokes. Uses soft shots, dinks and lobs to set up offensive situations. Have mastered Pickleball strategies and can vary strategies and styles of play in competitive or tournament matches. Are dependable in stressful situations such as tournament match play. They have athletic ability, quickness, agility and raw athleticism that separate top players from those near the top. Are able to keep unforced errors to a minimum. They can take advantage of opponents errors. Have had successful experience with State, Regional, or National 5.0 competition

Taken from http://pickleball.com

PADDLE SPECIFICS

SPC complies with USAPA guidelines and expects all players to follow the official rules for pickleball play.

Paddle Material Specifications: CLICK HERE

View Table of Paddle Test Results: CLICK HERE

See new rule (2.E.) of the Rulebook regarding alterations: CLICK HERE

SURREY PICKLEBALL CLUB ETIQUETTE

Etiquette: [ET – i – kit] defined as: “conventional requirements as to social behavior; prescribed or accepted code of usage”.

Fair play and sportsmanship are keys to success and enjoyment in any sport. To ensure safety and smooth operations on the pickleball courts, the Surrey Pickleball Club requests the following from those who play:

  • Acknowledge your opponents at the beginning of the game. If you are playing unfamiliar players, introduce yourself at the beginning of play. At the end of the game meet at the net and tap paddles and say something positive like “thanks for the game” or “nice play”.

  • Once your game is complete, call out “Court” so the next group waiting know it is their turn to play. After your game is complete,

  • Be respectful of courts in play when walking off the courts. Wait until the neighboring court has completed their point and gives you the okay to cross behind their court. Have your group exit the court together and walk briskly off the courts.

  • If a pickleball bounces or rolls into your court, yell out “Ball” and immediately stop play, to ensure no one trips on the ball.

  • If a pickleball enters your court during a point in play, kindly return the ball to the correct court and re-play the point.

  • Call out the score before each and every point to ensure all know the score and are ready to play.

  • If the ball lands on or close to the outline, the receiving team has the final say on calling the ball “In” or “Out”. Do not question the call. In social play if you are uncertain of the call, call it “In”, giving the benefit of the doubt to your opponent. They will likely return the favor when it arises.

  • When returning the ball to your opponents after a side out or other reasons, be aware and try to return it to the person who should have the serve.

  • When you are not playing in a competition such as a tournament, take time once in a while to play with weaker players – they will be thrilled to have the experience! Remember, if a stronger player is on the court with you, hit to them and often – It will make you a better player plus keep the game interesting for all who are playing. If you are playing with weaker players work on shots that they can return and learn from.

  • Call yourself if you or your partner land in the kitchen on a volley. Be cautious to call kitchen or foot faults on your opponents – let them call the faults on themselves.

  • Unsolicited coaching on the courts is not to be done. If someone asks for your input, offer a tip or two after your game once you are off the court, so as not to distract from the flow of the game and/or distract your opponents.

  • Wear appropriate footwear for your protection.

  • Cursing is not acceptable. Please keep the vocabulary clean!

SPC plays on the tennis courts just north of the South Surrey Recreation Centre, at 14601 20 Ave, Surrey, BC.