Pickleball Rules: The 2023 Pickleball Rules You Must Know

What are pickleball rules?

The Official Rulebook of Pickleball is reviewed, revised, and updated every year to the extent necessary, as pickleball rules continue to evolve as the pickleball sport evolves every year. As a result, it is important for players to stay up-to-date on pickleball rule changes so that you can know the right call on the pickleball court (especially if players plan to play in a pickleball tournament).

For the 2023 calendar year, according to USA Pickleball, there will be 78 proposed rules to change in the year, and among these 78 rules that will be changed, there are 6 important rules that you should be aware of, including additions, deletions, and other revisions to the rules of pickleball, let’s get to know these new rules and pickleball rules explained.

What are The Pickleball Rules You Need to Pay Attention to?

Did you know that every year the rules committee of USA Pickleball (USAPA) reviews and revises the pickleball rules? As 2023 is just around the corner, players all over the world are eagerly looking forward to seeing which of the rumored changes to the pickleball game may or may not take place.

Here is what we know about the rules which are likely to be approved by the USA Pickleball Rules Committee, but still are waiting on approval by the Board of Directors, let’s get these pickleball rules explained.

Court Rules and Dimensions

Regarding in a pickle game rules about court dimension, the overall size of a standard pickleball court for both singles and doubles is exactly around the same size as a doubles badminton court, which measures 44 feet in length (inclusive of lines) and 20 feet in width (inclusive of lines). The height of a pickleball court net is 36 inches high at the sidelines and 34 inches high in the middle.

In the first section of the pickleball rulebook published by USA Pickleball, there’s a part called “The Players”, which provides general guidelines and etiquette for players. For the 2023 version, they will add a note that players “avoid wearing clothing that closely matches the ball color.” So be aware of your clothing color on the pickleball court. 

Serving Sequence Rules

The pickleball game rules tell that if a point is scored, the server switches sides, and he/she starts to serve the serving one from the left/odd court. And as the subsequent points are scored, the server continues switching back and forth until a fault is committed, in this case the first server loses the serve. This is the rules of pickleball serving sequence.

Serving Rules

One of the hottest pickle rules topics sparked in the 2021 calendar year centered around is the serve. In the year of 2022, USA Pickleball (USAPA) outlawed what was under the title of the “chainsaw serve” in response (which is, a player could use his/her non-paddle hand or the paddle to impart spin on the pickleball before hitting the serve). However, at that moment, USAPA still left the door open for a “one-handed spin serve” until now (which is, a player could use his/her non-paddle hand to impart spin on the pickleball, as long as this hand is only the non-paddle hand).
We probably need to say bye-bye to the one-handed spin serve, which is now prohibited under the most recent 2023 pickleball rules. Now it’s time to work on your power and placement instead. Particularly, “while some natural rotation of the ball is expected during any release of the ball from the hand, the server shall not impart manipulation or spin on the release of the ball immediately prior to the serve.” This rule applies to both the volley and drop serves.

Double Bounce Rule

On the basis of pickleball rules for 2023, after the serve, a double-bounce rule is applied, which means that each side must allow the ball to bounce once on its side before returning the pickleball ball. This game pickleball rules about double bounce rule is that once this situation has occurred in each half-court, the teams are allowed to volley (or to say, return the ball before it bounces)

No-volley Rule

Pickleball kitchen rules updated in 2023 are the same as pickleball 2022 rules. The pickle game rules about kitchen, as you know, tell that the player can’t touch the kitchen line or kitchen zone (or non-volley zone, also known as the “nvz”) while volleying a pickleball ball. This rule contains your partner, as well as any objects physically connected to the player.

To simplify, the pickleball kitchen rule is that a player is required to hit the volley outside the non-volley zone (the kitchen). Whenever people volley the ball, they cannot step into the kitchen zone or be in contact with the kitchen line. In other words, stepping into the non-volley zone must have caused the pickleball ball to bounce.

Second Bounce Rule

One of the pickle ball game rules is the second bounce rule, which is normally called the two bounce rule, while some people also use the term “double bounce rule”. It’s one of the rules for playing pickleball, when the ball is served, the receiving team must let this ball bounce before returning, and then the serving team must also let it bounce before returning, then there are two bounces. When players use the two-bounce rule, before being hit the two first shots must bounce, that is to say, the serve and return of serve. These two shots must bounce in order to reach the double bounce rule. The ball could be hit in the air by either team after each shot has bounced twice. The second bounce rule eliminates the advantage of serve and volley and also extends rallies.

Out of Bounds Rule

The interpretation of pickleball out of bounds rules is: other than the serve in pickleball, the pickleball is “in” if it lands anywhere on the pickleball court on any shot. These pickleball rules out of bounds includes all the lines of the court when a pickleball ball hits player out of bounds. In other words, if the pickleball ball, on any shot, other than the serve, lands on the sideline, centerline, baseline, or even the kitchen (Non-Volley Zone) line, then the ball is “in.” If the ball lands completely outside the lines on the court, then it’s “out”, because the pickleball out of bounds. If the pickleball is “in,” then the rally keeps on going. But it’s the side “out” pickleball, then the team of the player who hit the pickleball side out has committed a fault and his/her team will lose the one point.

Net Rules

The rules for pickleball net might be one of the highlights from the new pickleball rules of the coming calendar year 2023, let’s discuss new rules in pickleball. There are two key points from the 2023 rule changes: First, the net of the pickleball court can touch the court surface, as long as the drape of the net doesn’t affect the game. Second, “while the ball is in play” if the ball or player contacts the net post, it will cause a fault and that team will lose a point.

Scoring Rules

Regarding the scoring rules, there will be one of the additional pickleball rules and regulations change according to the USAPA. Here it is: once the score is called by the referee, the server has a 10-second to serve the ball (clarification of the 10-second rule). Time will be reset if the players are out of position. And also there is a proposed rule change about scoring rules, which is that, if the server or the referee calls the wrong score, then any player can stop the play at any time before the return of serve in order to correct the score. Be aware of new rules and regulations of pickleball in the coming 2023.

Call-Out Rules

The rules for calling a ball out in pickleball (also known as pickleball line calls) are discussed in Rule 6 of the USA Pickleball Rulebook, in this part of pickleball rules line calls lays out the responsibilities and expectations for both players and officials regarding line calling, assigning both groups separate duties. According to pickleball line call rules, pickleball players are responsible for calling the lines on their side of the pickleball court, except in cases involving short serves, a foot fault, or a Non-Volley Zone fault, which the referees determine. A pickleball player thus has the right to call a ball out when it lands outside the boundary lines on their side of the court. Players can ask for a second opinion on their call from the referee or their opponents. If the second opinion results in a clear verdict on whether the ball was in or out, that verdict will be accepted, but the player’s call will be accepted if there is no obvious answer. These are pickleball rules 2022 line calls.

Pickleball switching sides

How players switching sides in pickleball? Players in the pickleball match switch sides after the first game. If the match needs a third game, the players will switch sides on the third game after the first player or team gets to 6 points, and the game will then resume to its conclusion. For consolation games or events, or when playing time is short, pickleball matches often consist of just one game to 15 points. This is the rule of pickleball switching sides.

Pickleball safety rules

With regard to pickleball safety rules, here are some tips helping you avoid risks:

  • Be aware of your playing area, and notice if there are obstacles.
  • When backpedaling on the court, you should be very careful.
  • Don’t forget to warm up your body and stretch before the game.
  • Wear proper shoes and comfortable clothes, protect your eyes and use appropriate equipment.
  • Know your body and have enough rest.
  • Communicate with your partner to avoid confusion.

Pickleball Etiquette

Pickleball is a fun, challenging, and highly social sport. This sport has embodied an ethic of good sportsmanship since it was invented, it’s full of respect, fair play, and graciousness in winning and losing. Here is the USAPA pickleball etiquette guide, with the purpose to encourage good behaviors and pickleball etiquette, especially pickleball open play etiquette.

  • Treat all players, officials, volunteers, staff, and spectators with courtesy and respect.
  • Know the Official Rules of Pickleball, apply them fairly, and cooperate in any situation that is not expressly covered by the rules.
  • Practice good sportsmanship when making line calls.
  • Call your own shot “out” if you see that it is out.
  • Claim a replay only if a hinder affects your team’s ability to play the ball.
  • In social play, rotate on and off courts fairly, courteously, and in accordance with local practice.
  • Make safety a priority, while using common sense.
  • As a stronger player in social play, be kind to other players.
  • Be considerate about playing up and playing down.
  • Be a respectful and supportive partner.
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