Are you ready to give pickleball a try? As one of the fastest-growing sports in America, this fun activity is perfect for people of all ages and skill levels. Whether you're a seasoned athlete or a newcomer to sports, pickleball can be both challenging and rewarding.

Pickleball for beginners will require some basic equipment such as paddles, balls, and net systems that can be set up on any court or playing surface. It's important to have an understanding of the rules before starting out so that you know how to play pickleball safely and respectfully.

Additionally, it's helpful to familiarize yourself with the pickleball court layout so that you know where your opponents are located at all times while playing on the pickleball court.

In this guide, we'll cover the basics of what you need and two important rules to know, so you can start playing like a pro in no time.

1. What you need

You don't need a lot of fancy equipment to get started with pickleball. Here's what you'll need:

- A pickleball paddle: This is the most important piece of pickleball equipment you'll need. Make sure to choose a paddle that's comfortable and fits your playing style.

- A pickleball: This is a lightweight plastic ball with holes in it. You'll need several of these, as pickleballs can get lost easily.

- Athletic shoes: Make sure to wear comfortable, supportive shoes with good traction. Your shoes should be specifically designed for court sports like pickleball.

When choosing a pickleball paddle, consider factors such as weight, grip size, and material. Heavier paddles can provide more power, but lighter paddles offer better control. Grip size is important for comfort and preventing hand fatigue.

There are also different materials to choose from, such as wood, composite, and graphite. It's a good idea to try out different pickleball paddles to find the one that best suits your playing style. Once you have your equipment ready, it's time to start playing pickleball!

2. The Court and Scoring

Playing pickleball is a fun game that is similar to badminton but also incorporates elements from tennis and ping pong. The court is typically the size of a doubles badminton court, measuring 20 feet wide by 44 feet long, and is divided in half by a net that stands 36 inches at the center.

The basic rules of pickleball are simple and easy to follow. Like in tennis, the game begins with a serve, which must be hit underhanded and cleared across the net and into the opposite service court.

The server must keep one foot behind the baseline while serving and the receiver must let the ball bounce once before returning it. After that, players on both sides keep alternating hits until one side fails to return the ball or hits it out of bounds. Points can only be scored by the serving team and play continues until one team scores 11 points and is ahead by at least two points.

3. Two important rules

- The double bounce rule: This is one of the most important rules in pickleball. When the ball is served, the receiving team must let it bounce once before they hit it. After the serve and return, both teams must let the ball bounce once before they hit it. This ensures that both teams have an equal chance to return the ball.

- The non-volley zone: Another important aspect of pickleball is the non-volley zone, also known as the kitchen line. This is an area located close to the net where players are not allowed to hit the ball while standing inside it. This keeps players from getting injured and adds an extra challenge to the game.

As you progress in your pickleball journey, you will come across numerous pickleball rules that can be challenging to remember at first. However, two rules that you must always keep in mind are the "double bounce rule" and the "non-volley zone" rule. These rules are essential for pickleball beginners to understand, as they lay the foundation for fair gameplay, safety, and ultimately, fun.

The double bounce rule ensures that both sides have a fair chance to return the ball after each serve. It requires the receiving team to let the ball bounce once before they hit it and the serving team to let the ball bounce once before they hit it.

On the other hand, the non-volley zone, also known as the kitchen line, is a critical area of the pickleball court where players are not allowed to hit the volley while standing inside it. The kitchen line is defined as the area 7 feet from the net on both sides. While players can enter this zone, they must be mindful not to touch or hit the volley from inside it.

By understanding and following these pickleball rules, you can enjoy a fair and safe game while playing with others.

4. Practice Your Serve

The serve is the starting point of the game, so practice it until it's second nature. To serve well, stand behind the baseline and toss the ball lightly in the air. Then, use your paddle to hit the ball over and into the opposing team's service area.

When you're first starting out, a good way to improve your serve is by focusing on getting over the net and landing in the service box. With practice, your serve will be more powerful, and you'll develop multiple techniques that suit your playing style.

Mastering your serve is key to winning in pickleball. It's not just about getting the ball over the net but also about serving strategically. A great tip is to serve deep, which means aiming for the back of the opposing team's service area. This makes it harder for them to return the ball, giving you an advantage.

Another helpful pickleball strategy is to vary your serve placement, speed, and spin. This can keep your opponents guessing and make it harder for them to anticipate your next move. Don't be afraid to mix it up and experiment with different techniques until you find what works best for you.

For pickleball beginners, it's important to remember that serving is not just about power but also control. It's better to start with a gentler serve that lands in the service area rather than going for a hard serve that misses the mark.

As you gain more experience and confidence, you can gradually increase the speed and power of your serve. Keep practicing and soon you'll be a serving pro in no time!

5. Be Aware of Your Positioning

Positioning is a crucial aspect of pickleball, as it can give you an advantage against your opponents. When the game is on, you should be in a ready position, with your knees bent and your weight forward.

This will help you move faster and respond quickly to any moves made by your opponent. As the ball is in play, you should be continuously moving to stay in the best spot to return the ball.

One important factor to keep in mind is the non-volley zone or kitchen line. Although you can't hit the volley while standing inside the kitchen line, being positioned near this area can be advantageous. It allows you to quickly move to the net and intercept any weak balls hit by your opponents.

Another effective pickleball strategy for positioning is to stay aware of your opponent's positioning. Beginner players tend to focus more on getting to the ball rather than thinking about their opponents' moves. However, paying attention to where your opponents are on the court can help you anticipate their shots and respond accordingly.

Additionally, it's essential for pickleball beginners to master their footwork. Proper footwork enables you to quickly move to where the ball is headed, reducing your reaction time and allowing you to get into the optimal position to return the ball. This translates to being able to cover more court space effectively.

6. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like any sport, practice is key to improving your skills in pickleball. Start by practicing your basic shots, like the forehand and backhand, and work your way up to more advanced shots, like the lob and overhead. Try to play with people who are better than you, as this will help you improve faster.

In addition to practicing your basic shots, it's important to familiarize yourself with pickleball scoring and strategies. For instance, if you're playing pickleball singles, a good strategy is to aim for the corners of the court to make it harder for your opponent to return the ball.

On the other hand, if you're playing doubles, it's crucial to communicate effectively with your partner and coordinate your movements. A useful strategy is to position yourselves diagonally, so you can cover more court space and reduce the chances of leaving a gap for the opposing team to exploit.

For pickleball beginners, it's recommended to start with simpler shots and gradually work your way toward more complex techniques. Don't be discouraged if your shots don't land perfectly at first - just keep practicing and you'll improve!

7. Have Fun

The most important part of pickleball is to have fun! Whether you're playing with friends or competing in a tournament, remember to enjoy the game and the camaraderie that comes with it. Pickleball is a great way to stay active, meet new people, and challenge yourself. Pickleball is all about sportsmanship, and it's important to treat your opponents with kindness and respect.

Playing pickleball is more than just a physical exercise, it's a fun game that promotes social interaction and mental stimulation. As a pickleball player, you'll meet new people and make lasting friendships with fellow pickleball enthusiasts.

For pickleball beginners, it's important to remember that learning never stops, and there's always something new to discover in this exciting sport. Don't be afraid to ask questions and seek advice from more experienced pickleball players. They're always happy to share their knowledge and help you improve your skills.

As you continue to play pickleball, you'll realize that it's not just about winning or losing, but about the sense of community and sportsmanship that comes with it.


Pickleball is a fun and challenging sport that's perfect for people of all ages and skill levels. With a few basic pieces of equipment and a good understanding of the rules, you can start playing like a pro in no time.

Pickleball courts can be found all over the world, so you're never too far from a game. Whether you’re playing at your local park or in an organized tournament, make sure to familiarize yourself with pickleball rules and etiquette before starting.

For pickleball beginners, there are plenty of instructional videos online that provide helpful tips on how to get started.  With practice and dedication, anyone can become a skilled player!

So, go out there and enjoy the pickleball game, and remember that no matter your skill level, you can always have fun playing pickleball!

If you're looking for the best pickleball equipment, check out our top picks! We've done all the research for you, so you don't have to!

Be sure to check out our other pickleball and sports & fitness blog posts!

Pickleball Scoring: Learn the Basics and Rule the Court!
Ready to be the master of pickleball? Here is your beginner’s guide to understanding the basics of scoring this exciting game. Find out more!
Pickleball Rules: The Top 9 Things Beginners Should Know
If you’re just getting started with pickleball, make sure you read these top 9 pickleball rules and tips to help get your game off to a great start!
The 4 Best Pickleball Paddles for Beginners for 2023
If you’re looking for great pickleball paddles for beginners that will help take your game to the next level, read our recommendations!
The Best Pickleball Set with Net - Our Top 4 Picks
In this article, we’ll take a look at the top-rated pickleball sets with a net on the market and help you decide which one is right for you. Read more!
Pickleball Singles Strategy: 10 Tips for Smarter Play
Take your pickleball singles game to the next level with these ten smart strategies. With this advice, you can win more and show off on the court like a pro!
Pickleball Doubles Strategy: Top 10 Winning Tips Revealed
Have you hit a wall when it comes to pickleball doubles strategy? Check out our top 10 winning tips that will help you get the edge and win more games!
10 Pickleball Shots That Will Make You a Better Player
Ready to take your pickleball game to the next level? Here are ten essential pickleball shots that will make you an unstoppable player! Read more!
10 Pickleball Drills to Take Your Game to the Next Level
Looking to dominate on the pickleball court? Check out these 10 pickleball drills that can help you reach your goals and become a master of the game in no time.
7 Best Pickleball Warm-Up Exercises: Energize Your Game
Get ready for your pickleball match with these seven energizing warm-up exercises! Find out how to get ready for the court with these easy tips!
Master the Pickleball Backhand with These 7 Simple Tips
Get an edge over your opponent and up your pickleball game with these simple tips to master the backhand. Learn 7 easy ways to improve your shot today!
10 Beginner Pickleball Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Game
Are you ready to master the game of pickleball? Learn the basics and hone your skills with these ten easy-to-follow pickleball tips and tricks. Find out more!
Top 20+ Pickleball Terms Every Beginner Should Know
Learning the language of pickleball is essential for success on the court. Here’s a list of must-know pickleball terms to get you started! Read more!
How to Play Pickleball Singles? The Basics of Playing in a Nutshell
In this blog post, we will break down the key rules to playing pickleball singles and how it differs from Pickleball doubles. Find out more!
What Is The Kitchen In Pickleball? Briefly explained
Ever heard the “kitchen” in pickleball but had no idea what it means? Let’s dive into what a kitchen is and why it matters when playing pickleball.
Share this post