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Pickleball: rules, strategies and how to start playing

"Shall we have a padel?" will soon be replaced by "Shall we have a pickleball?"


Pickleball is a fast-growing sport that was born in the USA and is gaining popularity all over the world, especially in Italy.

This game combines elements of tennis, table tennis and badminton, and is ready to become the new padel. If we then consider that it is also relatively easy to learn seems to miss nothing for the perfect recipe.

In this article, we explore the rules of pickleball, the key strategies to succeed and how to start playing this brand-new sport.

Basic rules of pickleball

Pickleball is played on a rectangular field, similar to the badminton one, with a net in the middle. The basic rules include:

  • Service: The service starts from the middle of the service area, and the ball must be hit above the server belt. The ball must cross the net and land in the opposite service area.
  • Double or Single: Pickleball can be played in singles (one against one) or doubles (two against two). In doubles, the teammates alternate in hitting the ball.
  • Volleyball: It is not allowed to make a volleyball (hit the ball without bouncing it) within the service lines, but it is allowed outside of them.
  • Score: The score is held as in tennis, with 15, 30, 40 and match. The match must be won with at least two points left.

Key strategies in pickleball

To succeed in pickleball, it is important to master some key strategies:

  • Positioning: Moving quickly in the field is essential. Try to position yourself to cover as much space as possible, especially when playing doubles.
  • Dinking: Dinking is a game technique that involves light and precise shots over the net. It is an effective strategy to control the point and force opponents to make mistakes.
  • Attack: When you have the opportunity, use more powerful shots to attack. Try to make smashes (powerful shots) when the opportunity presents itself.
  • Communication: In doubles, communication with your partner is crucial. Arrange to cover the areas of the camp effectively.

How to start playing pickleball

To start playing pickleball, follow these steps:

  • Equipment: Make sure you have a pickleball racket and pickleball balls. The rackets vary in weight and size, so find the one that is most comfortable for you.
  • Basic rules: Learn the basic rules of the game, including key points on services, dinking, and field locations.
  • Find a gym or club: look for local gyms or clubs that offer pickleball courts. Many locations in major cities are getting equipped.
  • Take a few lessons: many gyms offer lessons for beginners. Joining a game group is a great way to start playing and get to know other players.
  • Practice: As with any sport, practice is crucial to improve. Spend time working on your shots and developing your skills.

If we haven’t convinced you, try "making a pickleball" and then we’ll talk.




Photo by Fabiola Graziosi

Illustration by Gloria Dozio - Acrimònia Studios