If you aren’t sure of all the rules, here is some basic information to get you started! The court itself is the size of a badminton court, but the net is low to the ground like Tennis. The blue tape outlines the shape of the court, enabling both Tennis and Pickleball to be played on the same court. The result is three “boxes” on each side of the net. One is closer to the net, and called the “Kitchen” or “Non-Volley Zone”, the two further back are the service areas.
Here at the Villages, almost all games played are doubles, involving four players. The rules are a little different than other court games, but the basics are summarized below. The diagram of the court shows how players are set up to play.
Start of Game – Player one serves the ball. Serving is done underhand, and the ball must contact the paddle below the players’ waist. The server stands behind their back service line, and the ball must bounce in player fours service area. If the ball lands in the “kitchen”, that players turn immediately ends.
Return of Ball – When player four returns the ball, they can hit it to either side of the opposite court, but must first allow it to bounce once. Before player one or two can hit it back, they must let the ball bounce once as well. After the two initial volleys, the ball is no longer required to bounce before being hit.
Continuation of game – After the initial two hits, players have the option of hitting the ball on the fly (volleying) or letting it bounce once. The point continues until one side misses – either hitting the ball into the net or landing outside the court.
The Kitchen – Players can never step into the “Kitchen” area and volley a ball. The only time a player can step in the kitchen is if the ball bounces first – and then they should step out. This is a common error to make, so be careful!
Source: Villager article by Anahid Gregg