Skip to Content

Is Pickleball Hard to Play? All You Need to Know

Is Pickleball Hard to Play? All You Need to Know

Pickleball is a game that is recognized as a racquet sport all around the world. It was recognized in the United States, but it has grown swiftly and is becoming a favorite sport of people of all ages. However, people think this game has new rules, so it is hard to play and learn. Taking that into consideration, in this article, I’ll discuss: Is pickleball hard to play?

Pickleball is not as hard to play as other sports, and it is easy to pick up. It is not an overly complicated sport. It does not require much equipment, and it does not have any complex rules. Therefore, the game can be learned in a short time from someone who has played it before.

It is a lot of fun to play Pickleball. It is also very easy to learn. Pickleball is a fast-paced, fun, and easy-to-learn game that’s played with a paddle and a Wiffle ball. It’s great for all ages and skill levels, from kids to seniors, from beginners to experts.

Is Pickleball Hard to Play?

Pickleball is not hard to play. This game is easy to learn for people of all ages and holds simple rules that could be transformed into a quick and fast-paced game. Experienced players can easily score points as they become pros after practicing. Overall, it is not hard to play pickleball.

The pickleball game also involves the scoring method, just like other racquet sports, including badminton, tennis, and ping pong. In a pickleball game, a person can score points by lobbying the ball over the net.

A person can score a point when the opponent cannot return the ball. If the opponent attempts a volley in the non-volley zone, a player can also score a point when the ball hits out of bounds. If the team is serving and a player takes a turn, then a player can also earn points.

A team who reaches the 11 points target with a two-point advantage is considered a winner. The Pickleball game has a rule that it never ends in a tie. 

There are 5 simple rules described in detail by USA Pickleball Association.



Hitting the ball

A player is not allowed to hit the ball out of bounds.

Serving the ball

The player must hit the ball and serve it underhand and below the waistline.

Bouncing of ball

The ball must bounce once on the other side after a serve before it returns. Ball should also bounce once on the serving side too.

It is referred as two-bounce rule. Players can volley the ball after two bounces.

No-volley zone

A player is not allowed to touch the ball in the no-volley zone on a serve.


The game ends at points of 11, 15 or 21 scores. Usually the game ends at 11 points but sometimes the scores of 15 and 21 are also seen as endpoints.

official USAPA Rulebook

Rules Which Make the Pickleball Game Not Hard:

Pickleball, played on courts and in outdoor environments, has some rules that make it closely resemble other racquet sports like tennis, badminton, and ping pong. Here are some of the rules that make the pickleball game less complicated than other racquet sports:

  • The Pickleball game is played by serving the one side using a paddle. A player can hit the ball using the paddles, which are light in weight and made of a material like wood, graphite, or composite.
  • It is recommended that the player should keep one foot behind the backline to serve the ball properly. The player can also strike the ball with an underhand swing, aiming for the service court, which is diagonally located over the net.
  • The service in the game starts from the right-hand court, and only one fault is allowed per game.
  • Both the players are given a chance to serve one in case of doubles. Serve is taken over by the opposing team.
  • Pickleball must bounce first before hitting it with the paddle, and both sides should allow this at least once at the start of the game. Players may volley the ball and hit it without letting the ball bounce.
  • A team scores the points only when they are serving. A pickleball game is played for 11 points, and the team must win by two points.

What Does 3.0 Mean in Pickleball? All You Need to Know
What Does 4.0 Mean in Pickleball? All You Need to Know

There are also some faults in the pickleball game which lead to the loss of a point, including:

  • The failure in clearing the net
  • Hitting the ball out of bounds of the court
  • Attempting a volley when the foot is in the no-volley zone
  • Attempting a volley when the ball bounce on the first serve or after the first return

Rules of No-Volley Zone While Playing Pickleball:

Is Pickleball Hard to Play
  • There is a no-volley zone in the pickleball game, which has specific rules to start the game. No-volley zone is a rectangular surface on the court surrounded by sidelines.
  • If any side of attire or paddle touches the player’s or court within the no-volley zone, it is declared a fault.
  • If, during the volleying, a player loses momentum due to touching the court through clothes or paddle within the no-volley zone, it is also declared as a fault.
  • Players can enter the no-volley zone any time as long as they have not hit the ball as a volley.
  • It is not allowed to jump over the no-volley zone to the out-of-bounds area while volleying the ball.

What is A Volley in Pickleball? All You Need to Know

Rules of Fault in Pickleball Game:

  • All kinds of faults, including foot faults, touching the net, double bounce, or ball touching the player, are done by either team.
  • It is considered a fault when the server’s foot encroaches on the imaginary outside extension of the sideline and centerline.
  • A ball that hits the side posts is a dead ball fault. It is called a net support post and is a fault.
  • If a person attempts to catch the ball and claims it was going out, this thing is also considered a fault.
  • If the ball touches the player either in the inner region or outside of the boundaries of the court, it is also considered a fault.
  • All kinds of violations in the no-volley zone area are considered a fault.

What is a Fault in Pickleball? All You Need to Know

Pickleball Scoring:

The scoring method is different in pickleball games compared to other racquet sports, but still, it doesn’t make it hard to play. Even new players and beginners can manage the game to play easily after learning this game.

It is often seen that three numbers are called out during the announcement of the score in the pickleball game. The three numbers are used to represent the score of each player.

The third number represents whether the player who has served is the first one or the second player in the whole rally.

Scoring in pickleball- Doubles category

Scoring in pickleball- Singles category

In doubles category, score is done in a sequential manner.

In singles category, it is must to attempt the serve from the right side of the court. 

The score goes to 11 points and sometimes, 15 or even 21.

The score should be served from the right side when the server's score is in even number.

In doubles category, a server must call out the score before serving.

The score should be served from the left side when the server.s score is in odd number.

In doubles category, a winning team must win by at-least 2 points. If the score is 10-10, winning team can get at least 2 more points in order to win by 12 points.

The currently serving team can score points in doubles category.

In doubles category, each team is given the chance to attempt the serve at least twice, once per player.

When the opponent doesn't successfully returns the ball, a score is achieved.

A player can switch their sides with the partner and can attempt to serve again after scoring point.

The Dimensions and Strategies of Pickleball Court:

A standard pickleball court is rectangular. It is 20 feet wide and 44 feet in length, including the lines of the court. The minimum area allowed for playing on the pickleball court is 30 feet wide and 60 feet long, which is enough for a player to attempt an easy game.

The preferred size for moving outside the playing area of the court is 34 feet by 64 feet long. There are also some strategies for easily playing the pickleball game:

  • Try to serve the opponent on their weak side if they have a weak forehand or a backhand. It is an ideal thing to serve deep in the court.
  • After volleying the ball, it is advisable to be prepared in a ready position.
  • You can hit the ball down in the middle of the court while playing in the doubles category. It will cause your opponents to decide who will lead towards the potential errors on their side.
  • You can attempt a different kind of shot that will surprise your opponents. You can consistently use one type to surprise the opponents.
  • It is advisable to avoid hitting the ball toward your opponent and use the shots that force the opponent to move.



Hand hitting rule

Hand-hitting is a legal thing in pickleball game. The pickleball is hit by the player using a paddle below the wrist. If the pickleball hits the other part of body, it is considered as a fault.

Carrying the hits

This rule is considered as a legal stroke in the pickleball game. In this rule, a ball is hit during one continuous single direction using an unintentional hit.

Switching the hands

A player can switch the paddles from hand-to-hand at any time during the game. Two handed shots are considered as legal in the game.

Reaching over the net

If the ball bounce on the other side of the court and spins back over the net, the player can reach over the net to hit the ball. It is considered a valid return as long as the paddle does not touch the net.

Fault and communication with the partner in the game

A player can call the ball ‘out’ when their partner hits it. They can make the call immediately. A player can say ‘bounce it’, if they want their partner not to hit the ball. They can also say ‘let it go’ or ‘no’ or even ‘out.’

Around the net

It is considered a fault when the ball lands in the opponent's court by travelling around the post.

Also Read:

Is Pickleball Easy to Learn? All You Need to Know 
Is Pickleball Easier Than Tennis? All You Need to Know
Is Pickleball Good Exercise? All You Need to Know

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Does a player need to be fit to play pickleball?

Pickleball requires the body’s movement in short bursts and exerts physical exertion in all directions in the game. Therefore, this game requires strength, hand-to-eye coordination, and endurance.

How strenuous is the pickleball game?

Pickleball game is sometimes strenuous and exhausting game. Pickleball is an overall easy game, but sometimes it becomes strenuous.

Is the pickleball game best for older adults?

Pickleball is a fun, social, and easy-to-learn game that is rapidly growing throughout the United States and other regions of the world. This game is enjoyed by people of all age groups and is a great physical activity for senior citizens.

Why do older people prefer to play pickleball games?

Older adults prefer pickleball as it is the best one to boost the cardiovascular system in people. It helps prevent various unwanted problems in people of older age, including hypertension, heart attack, and stroke. This is also good aerobic exercise and puts less joint and muscle stress.

Is the pickleball game hard on the knees and joints of people?

Knee pain is one of the common complaints in the players of pickleball games. The reason behind this is the effects of gravity and aging on the joints.

Is a pickleball game considered good for knees?

Pickleball is not so bad on joints and knees. However, the knees are put at risk when the person changes their direction constantly during the game. Some of the common injuries related to this are sprains, ligament tears, and meniscal tears.

What are some of the five common mistakes that every pickleball beginner player makes in the game?

 Some of the common mistakes that pickleball players make at the beginning of their career are:

  • Attempting a fancy spin
  • Smashing the balls
  • Trying kitchen faults
  • Attempting poor serve techniques
  • Avoiding centerline shots
  • Avoiding the let shots and not getting into the kitchen

What are the four tips which are necessary for pickleball players to follow?

The five tips which a pickleball player should follow are:

  • Stretching their arms and shoulders before their first match
  • Keeping the loose by stretching or jumping rope during their games
  • Wearing proper shoes to eliminate the risk of injuries
  • Hitting the serve in a deep way.

What are the five basic rules of playing pickleball?

 The five basic rules of playing the pickleball game are:

  • The ball used in this game should stay within inbounds.
  • There should be one bounce on each side
  • The attempt to serve must be made near the baseline
  • A person cannot land the services within the no-volley zone
  • The game must end at 11 or 15 points

How can a person increase their stamina in the pickleball game?

People can increase their energy in the pickleball game by continually going for a brisk walk or a run. This will assist a person in getting back on the court and improve cardiovascular health.