History and Rules

Pickleball History

The game started during the summer of 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington at the home of then State Representative Joel Pritchard (who, in 1970, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for the State of Washington). He and two of his friends, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum, returned from golf and found their families bored one Saturday afternoon. They attempted to set up badminton but no one could find the shuttlecock. They improvised with a whiffle ball, lowered the badminton net, and fabricated paddles of plywood from a nearby shed. The unusual name of the game originated with Joan Pritchard, who said it reminded her of the "Pickle Boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats." The popular story told today is that it was named after the family dog. Joan corrected this story in interviews but the story persists. As the story is told, the whiffle ball belonged to the dog. Whenever an errant shot happened, Pickles would run and try to get the ball and hide it. They named the game for their dog’s ball, “Pickles’ Ball”, then it became Pickleball. The truth is the Pritchard family didn't get the dog until 1967, so actually, the dog was named after the sport.

Pickleball Rules

1. The ball is served underhand from behind the baseline, diagonally to the opponent’s service zone.

2. Points are scored by the serving side only and occur when the opponent faults (fails to return the ball, hits ball out of bounds, steps into the 'kitchen' area [the first seven feet from the net, also known as the non-volley zone] in the act of volleying the ball, etc.). A player may enter the non-volley zone to play a ball that bounces, and may stay there to play balls that bounce. The player must exit the non-volley zone before playing a volley. 

3. On the line is IN.

 4. Faults: 
a. Serve is made overhand or above waist level. 
b. Serve goes to wrong service box.
c. Serve is made when standing in wrong service box. 
d. Ball hits the net on the serve. 
e. * The one exception when you get an extra serve 
f. Wrong player returns ball on the serve. 
g. Ball lands out of bounds. 
h. Ball fails to go over the net. 
i. More than one hit is made on the same side. 
j. Ball is returned before it crosses the net. 
k. A player or racquet touches the net. 
l. A player does not let the ball bounce on a serve 
m. A player volleys a ball in the non-volley zone. 

5. The first side scoring 11 points and leading by at least two points wins. 

6. The return of service must be allowed to bounce by the server (the server and partner in doubles play); i.e. cannot be volleyed. Consequently, the server or server and partner usually stay at the baseline until the first return has been hit back and bounced once. You must serve to the box that is diagonal to the one you serve from. 
7. In doubles play, at the start of the game, the serving side gets only one fault before their side is out, and the opponents begin their serve. After this, each side gets 2 faults (one with each team member serving) before their serve is finished. Thus, each side is always one serve ahead or behind, or tied. 

• Dink — A dink is a soft shot, made with the paddle face open, and hit so that it just clears the net and drops into the non-volley zone. 
• Fault — An infringement of the rules that ends the rally 
• Foot fault — Stepping on or into the non-volley zone while volleying a ball, or, while serving, failure to keep both feet behind the baseline with at least one foot in contact with the ground or floor when the paddle contacts the ball. 
• Let serve — A serve that touches the top of the net and lands in the proper service court (it is replayed without penalty). 
• Non-volley zone — A seven-foot area adjacent to the net within which you may not volley the ball. The non-volley zone includes all lines around it. Also called the "kitchen"
• Rally — Hitting the ball back and forth between opposite teams. 
• Serve (Service) — An underhand lob or drive stroke used to put a ball into play at the beginning of a point. 
• Server number — When playing doubles, either “1” or “2,” depending on whether you are the first or second server for your side. This number is appended to the score when it is called. As in, the score is now 4 - 2 - second server. 
• Volley — To hit the ball before it bounces.

Pickleball Skills

Forehand: Side profile stance with the non-racquet shoulder and leg facing front, handshake grip, cock back, swing all the way through, and flick wrist
Back hand: Side profile stance with racquet shoulder and leg facing front, pinch grip, cock back swing all the way through, flick wrist. 
Serve: Feet staggered, underhand swing, hand out holding the ball and drop it, strike the ball before it hits the ground Other skills 
Lob – a short or long shot that is made underhand. 
Smash – an overhead stroke in which the ball travels at a downward angle (spike).
Drive – to hit the ball flat, fast, and powerful.

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