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How Does a Pickleball Game Start? All You Need to Know

How Does a Pickleball Game Start? All You Need to Know

Pickleball is played with enthusiasm worldwide, especially in the United States of America. This sport requires specific rules for playing a smooth game. Each game has a specific set of scoring rules and is a must to implement to avoid the hustle. How does a pickleball game start?

A pickleball game starts with 0-0-2. It indicates that the service is given to the other team when the serving team commits a fault. There is a proper sequence for starting the game and calling the score, including the server score, receiver score, and in case of doubles, the server number 1 or 2.

Like other games, pickleball also possesses a specific set of rules and regulations. The method of playing a pickleball game is easy to understand and can be learned in no less time. Pickleball is played in the singles and doubles categories. The Pickleball game start is different for each category.

Starting the Game in the Doubles Category:

If you play pickleball in doubles, the score should be called three numbers. There is a proper sequence for calling the score, which is as follows:

  • The server score
  • Receiver score
  • Server number one or two

The score is called zero, zero, two to start the match in which if a serving team commits a fault, the other team gets to serve. Server number one or two is applied for the service turn. When the team gets the serve back, it becomes the first server for the service team, depending on the score.

When a team gets the serve back, it might be due to another play on the right. The players who are beginners in the game are often confused because the server number remains the same throughout the game. The truth is that there is a first server exception to minimize the advantage of the first team to serve in the game.

The player on the right side gets to serve on the first service turn of the game. The player is designated as the second service when it loses the serve and goes to the receiving team. In this case, the game should start as 0-0-2, in which 2 indicates the second server. The player should be on the right side of the pickleball court when the team’s score is even and on the left side of the court when the score is odd.

Starting the Game in the Singles Category:

Single scoring is similar to double scoring, but it has some exceptions. There is no second server on the serving team. If the score is an even number, then a player should serve from the right service court, and in case of odd scoring, the player should serve from the left side of the pickleball court. This type of score is called the server’s and the receiver’s scores.

Basic rules for Starting the Pickleball Game:

Hand hittingBall in a pickleball game is hit by paddle below the wrist and is a legal thing in the game. If a ball hits the other part of the body, then it is considered a fault.
Carry hitsIt is a legal stroke in which a ball is hit during one continuous single direction even in an unintentional hit.
Switching handsTwo-handed shots are also considered legal and paddles may switch from hand to hand at any time.
Reaching over netThe player may reach over the net to hit the ball if the ball bounces onto the side of the court and spins back over the net. It is a valid return as long as the paddle does not touch the net.
Fault and communication with partnerAs long as the call is made immediately, a player can call the ball ‘out’ when their partner hits the ball. If a player wants to tell their partner to not hit the ball, they can say ‘bounce it’, ‘let it go’, ‘no’ or ‘out’.
Around the netIf a ball lands in the opponent’s court by travelling around the post it is not considered a fault.

Why Does a Pickleball Game Start with a 0-0-2 Score?

How Does a Pickleball Game Start?

Pickleball scoring rules are sometimes difficult for beginners. Players often ask why does a pickleball game start with 0-0-2 and what is the reason behind this. The score is made up of three numbers in pickleball.

  • The first number in the pickleball score represents the serving team’s score.
  • The second number in the pickleball score represents the score of receiving team.
  • The third number in the pickleball score represents the server number.

For instance, if a team scores 9-8-1 in doubles pickleball, then it means that the serving team has 9 points, receiving team has 8 points, and the serving team is on server 1.

In the case of singles pickleball, the score is of only two numbers in which the first number is the server’s score and the second number is the receiver’s score.

Each side in pickleball has only one serve, so there is no third number in this singles category. For example, if the score is 9-7 in singles pickleball, the server has 9 points, and the receiver has 7 points.

Why Does the Double Pickleball Game Start With 0-0-2?

The first serving team has one service turn-in doubles pickleball. After the first side out, each side has two service turns in which each player gets a shot at serving. It is the reason that every doubles pickleball game starts with 0-0-2.

Scoring and Serving Rules for Starting the Pickleball Game:

ScoringServing Rules
In a pickleball game, only a serving team can score points in the game.The serve should be made with an underhand stroke. It is necessary so that the contact is made with a ball below the waist, a tip of paddle head below waist and arm moving in an upward arc.
When a player legally serves a ball, a point is scored. The point is scored when the ball is not returned by the opponent or by winning the rally.The server should have at least one foot on the court surface behind the baseline or within the imaginary lines which extends from the centerline and the sideline when the ball is struck.
A Pickleball game is normally played to 11 points and win by 2 points.A serve that strikes the net and lands in the service court is called a let.
 The serve is replayed as a let when it hits the partner receiving the serve before touching the court surface.
 A point is given to the player’s team when the serve hits either of the opponents before bouncing.

 Rules of Non-Volley Zone in Starting the Pickleball Game:

  • A non-volley zone is associated with the pickleball game, which has specific rules to start the game. The Non-Volley zone is a rectangular surface on the court bounded by sidelines, Non-volley zone lines, and the net. The air space above this surface area is not a part of the non-volley zone.
  • If, during the act of volleying the ball, a player’s momentum causes the clothing or paddle of the player to touch the court within the non-volley zone even after the game has stopped, it is also declared a fault.
  • Players can enter the non-volley zone at any time as long as they have not hit the ball as a volley.
  • Jumping is allowed over the non-volley zone to the out-of-bounds area while volleying a ball.
How Does a Pickleball Game Start?

Rules of Fault in Starting the Pickleball Game:

  • All kinds of faults in the pickleball game can be done by either team, including foot faults, touching the net, double bounces, or ball touching the player.
  • When the server’s foot encroaches outside the imaginary extension of the sideline and centerline, it is also considered a fault.
  • Any ball that hits the side posts is a dead ball fault called a net support post. It is also considered a fault.
  • If a person attempts to catch the ball and claims it was going out, it is also called a fault.
  • It is considered a fault if a ball touches the player, either inside or outside the court boundaries.
  • All the violations in the non-volley zone area are considered as a fault.

Rules Associated with Pickleball Serve:

Serve is often heard in a pickleball game and is made diagonally with a right-hand service square. It is a requirement for the serving team to clear the seven-foot non-volley zone in front of the net and should land in the diagonal service court.

The serve doing a serve must keep both their feet behind the backline. Serve should be done underhand with the paddle below the waist. The ball should hit the air without being bounced. The serving side should continue to serve until or unless there is a fault on service.

Necessary Equipment to start the Pickleball Game:

There is some equipment which is required to start the pickleball game, including:

  1. The net
  2. The balls
  3. The paddles
  4. Gear and clothing

1. Net:

A Pickleball game requires a net fixed in the middle of the court to divide the sides for each team. A pickleball net measures 21 feet and 9 inches and should be 30 inches high. The Pickleball net is made of mesh fabric with a white tape binding at the top. A net for a pickleball game should measure 36 inches at the sidelines and should be 34 inches from the middle.

2. Balls:

The balls used in the pickleball game look like whiffle balls, but still, there is much difference between them. Balls for the pickleball game are seamless and moulded plastic with holes of varying sizes. Balls for pickleball games are usually available in yellow, black, blue, or multi-colours.

Balls made for outdoor games are heavier and smooth and have smaller holes. These balls are played faster through paddle and comprise about 40 holes. Balls made for indoor games are lighter and softer than outdoor games. They have fewer holes in them which are less than 26 holes.

3. Paddles:

Pickleball paddles are like ping pong paddles but are not the same. Pickleball paddles were made up of plywood only, but now, they are made up of various materials like wood, polymer, and even aluminium. The paddle face is made of carbon fibre, fibreglass, and graphite.

The medium-weight paddles weigh about 7.3-8.4 ounces. There are also heavy paddles and lightweight paddles available in the market. Heavy-weight paddles provide more power. Lightweight paddles provide more control.

How Does a Pickleball Game Start?

4. Gear and Clothing:

Every game is played according to specific rules and regulations. Games require a specific dress code and clothing to play a smooth game interval. The climate and weather conditions determine the perfect outfit for playing a game. Pickleball also has a specific dress code for players.

A player can wear moisture-wicking shorts, pants, t-shirts, or jackets. It is also advisable to wear court-friendly shoes which can provide lateral support, like tennis shoes. A player should also get the right kind of ball, rackets, and a net for starting the game in the best way.

Also Read:

How is Pickleball Different From Tennis? Pickleball Vs Tennis
Is Pickleball Hard on Your Joints?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What is the name of a hit that starts the pickleball game?

Only one person gets to serve for the team that starts the game. The score is called zero, two, one in which a team gets a service sequence of two faults.

Who serves first in a pickleball game?

In a pickleball game, the player on the right side of the court serves first at the beginning of the game. The player serves each time when the team receives the ball.

What are the five basic rules of the pickleball game?

 The five basic rules associated with a pickleball game are:

  • The ball must stay inbounds
  • There should be one bounce per side
  • Serving must be done at the baseline
  • The serve can’t land in the no-volley zone
  • The game ends at 11, 15, or 21 points.

What are the three key things that a person should focus on in a pickleball game?

 There are three key things which a person should focus on in a pickleball game which are as follows:

  • A person should choose a target
  • A person should watch the ball
  • A person should imagine that they are hitting three balls

Is it possible to bounce the ball before a serve in pickleball?

Yes, a person can let the ball bounce before hitting the serve. The serve should be hit within 10 seconds of the score.

Can a person hit the net on a serve in a pickleball game?

A person can hit only one serve except in the event of a let. The ball should touch the net on the serve and land on the proper service court.

Where should a player stand on a pickleball court?

 A player should stand well behind the baseline. It is okay to stand within the court if a server consistently serves the short. The receiver’s partner should stand up at the net just behind the non-volley line.

Which is the most difficult thing to attempt in a pickleball?

The most difficult thing in a pickleball is to keep the pickleball low while still over the net. A low pickleball position prevents the opponents from going offensive with an aggressive shot.

What are the new rules associated with pickleball?

A player can drop the ball and bounce on the ground before it hits the person’s back. A player does not need to hit the ball below the waist. A player cannot propel the ball downwards.

What do you mean by stacking in pickleball?

Stacking is a strategy in pickleball games in which players on a team are not in traditional positioning. They are rearranged to keep one player on a particular court side.