PickleBall Open Play

Pickleball is a sport that combines Badminton, Tennis and Table Tennis together into one sport. Using a badminton-sized court, 2-4 players use hard paddles to hit a polymer ball over a net that is slightly lower and shorter than a tennis court net. Invented on Bainbridge Island in the mid 1960s, Pickleball has grown from being a local game placed in backyards to an internationally recognized sport.

SBC is introducing this fast growing sport into our program. Effective 01/15/2018, SBC offers Pickleball Drop-in hours on Mondays from 2pm to 4:30pm. Introductory Special Admission rate* is $5 per session.

If you are interested in participating, please create an account and register through the pickleball ladder sign-up here: http://www.seattlebadmintonclub.com/security.aspx

If you have any questions, feel free to contact pickleball@seattlebadminton.com

*subject to changes.


Pickleball was founded by Joel Pritchard, who was one of the U.S. House of Representatives elected in 1972, a former Washington State Representative and Lieutenant Governor of Washington. Bored during one summer afternoon in 1965, Joel and his friends attempted to set up badminton to play in their backyard. Unable to find a shuttlecock and rackets to play with, they fabricated paddles of plywood and used a wiffle ball instead. That is how the first pickleball game started.

Courts Dimensions

Pickleball is played in a court similar to a doubles badminton court. The size of the court is 20×44 feet for both Single and Doubles games.  The net is hung at 36 inches on the ends, and 34 inches at center. The court is striped like a tennis court, with no alleys; but the outer courts, and not the inner courts, are divided in half by service lines. The inner courts are non-volley zones and extend 7 feet from the net on either side.

Play Rules

The ball is served with an underhand stroke so that contact with the ball is made below waist level in an upward arc. The server hits from behind the baseline on one side of the center line and aims diagonally to the opponent’s service zone.

The first side scoring 11 points leading by 2 points win the game. It the two sides are both at 10 points, whichever side goes ahead by 2 points wins the game.

Only the serving side could score a point. The play ends for a point when one side commits a fault. Here is a list of faults:

  • not hitting the serve into the opponent’s diagonal service zone
  • not hitting the ball beyond the net
  • hitting the ball or not hitting the ball after the ball bounced a 2nd time on one side of the net
  • hitting the ball out of bounds
  • volleying the ball on the service return
  • volleying the ball on the first return by the serving side
  • stepping into the non-volley zone in the act of volleying the ball

The first 7 feet from the net is called the “non-volley zone”. A player could enter this zone to play a ball that bounces and they could stay in the zone to play balls that bounce. The player must exit the zone before they could play a volley.

In a singles game, each side will get 1 fault before a server change. The server’s score will always be even when serving from the right side and odd when serving on the left side.

At the beginning of a doubles game before any serving, the score is 0-0. The side serving first will get 1 fault before there is a server change. After the first fault of the game, each side will get 2 fault (1 for each team members serving) before their side is “out”.

Vocabulary Terms

Baseline – The line at the back of the court, which is 22 feet from the net

Centerline – The line which separates the left and right service courts that extend from the Non-Volley Zone to the baseline

Crosscourt – The opponent’s court diagonally across from the play’s court

Sideline – The line at the side of the court noting in and out boundaries

Kitchen – Also known as the non-volley zone, where a player could not volley a ball. It is 7 feet from the net on both side, including all lines around it. Player could not enter the zone to return the ball unless the ball first bounce

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 1 foot in contact with the ground when paddle make contact with the ball

Net serve – A serve that touches the top of the net and lands properly

Serve (service) – An underhand lob used to put a ball into play at the beginning of a point

Server number – When playing a doubles game, either “1” or “2” (depending on whether you are the first of second server for your side)

Rally – hitting the ball back and forth between the two sides

Volley – to hit a ball before it bounce or touches the ground

Half-volley – A type of hit where player hits the ball immediately after it has bounced in an scoop-like fashion

Net serve – A serve that touches the top of the net and lands properly

Dink – a soft shot, made with the paddle facing open, and hit so that it clears the net and land into the non-volley zone

Lob – Hitting the ball in a high arc to the back of the opponent’s court.

Poach – In a doubles game, to cross over into your partner’s area to make a play on the ball

Side-Out – occurs when the serve moves to your opponent’s side


USA Pickleball Association (USAPA)

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA)