Learn to Play Pickleball in Deep River
Updated: Feb 2
It is easy to learn to play pickleball in Deep River.
Deep River Pickleball has Learn to Play for All Ages
In Deep River, Deep River Pickleball has two certified IPTPA (International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association) instructors who organize learn to play lessons, clinics and other events for people of all ages.
Learning to Play Pickleball
The Basics of learning to play pickleball are simple. Although its helpful to first play with someone who knows the game, it's easy to learn to play on your own.
1. You need a paddle and a ball.
The paddle is like an oversized ping pong paddle. The ball is a wiffleball that is slightly larger than a tennis ball. It is more forgiving and slower than a tennis ball. Deep River pickleball has a supply of paddles and balls if you don’t have your own. If you want to buy equipment, check out Canadian Tire and Sport Chek. Be a little careful. Some beginner paddles are heavy and unforgiving. A heavy paddle makes learning more difficult. When buying pickleballs, make sure to choose between indoor and outdoor balls. Indoor balls are a little lighter, with larger holes. Outdoor balls withstand the wind better and are a little heavier. Red is easier to see but many balls are blue, yellow or green.
2. The pickleball court has a couple of key features.
The net is in the middle and separates the two sides. The sides and ends of the court are marked with lines. Play occurs within those lines. The area in front of the net is called the kitchen. You can hit a ball that bounces in there, but not if it’s in the air.
3. Serve diagonally over the net to the player on the other side.
The serve cannot land in the kitchen or outside the lines of the court. When that happens, the serve is lost. To serve, either drop the ball and hit it before it hits the ground or after it bounces. Both are legal.
4. Return the serve back over the net.
If you can, hit it deep as that keeps the serving team at the back of the court.
5. Play continues until someone wins the rally.
'Rally' is the play that continues after the service with the ball going back and forth over the net. The rally is won when the other team fails to keep the ball in play. Typically, it either goes outside the court or into the net.
6. Only the serving team is awarded points in pickleball.
This is different from some other sports like tennis where either team gets points when they win the rally. In pickleball you must be serving to gain points. One point is awarded for each rally that is won.
7. Usually, a game of pickleball goes to 11 points.
Most pickleball games go to 11. However, there must be a two point separation in score in order to win. So 11-10 does not win and the game continues until one team gets a two point advantage, eg 12 - 10. Often, there is a maximum game score of 15 where the two point rule no longer applies and the first to 15 wins.
7. Scoring in pickleball can be confusing.
There are three elements to the score.
a. The score of the team serving, eg 5
b. The score of the team returning, eg 7
c. The # of the person who is serving; either the first person (1) or the second server (2)
So, the score above would be 5-7-1 (or 2, depending on who is serving). As it is easy to forget the score when play gets going, one of the rules of pickleball is that the serving team call out the score before serving. This definitely helps.
Other Tips for Learning to Play Pickleball
Here are some other tips for learning to play pickleball:
1. The US Pickleball Association says that 75% of points in pickleball are lost (someone makes a mistake), not won (someone hits a winner). The lesson here is the way to win at pickleball (at least initially) is to keep the ball in play as long as possible without making a mistake.
2. You don’t need to overpower the ball in pickleball. Although banging the ball hard is tons of fun, it’s not necessary to win. Hitting deep or to the sides is also part of the strategy of pickleball.
3. Wear eye protection. Unfortunately, people do get hurt playing pickleball. Safety eyewear is good protection from flying paddles and balls.
4. Don’t lunge for every shot that is slightly out of reach. Especially if you are a little out of shape or haven’t warmed up, lunging for a ball is a great way to pull something. It happens all the time. Competitive athletes especially seem susceptible to getting hurt this way because they want to win every point. It’s not necessary.
5. Keep your eye on the ball! Sometime the simplest advice is the best. If you look up or away before your paddle hits the ball, it’s quite likely you will miss-hit the ball. Don’t do it!
Have Fun Learning to Play Pickleball
People who learn to play pickleball are setting themselves up for a lot of fun. Pickleball is gender and age neutral. Anyone can play with anyone. Learning the basics of Pickleball is really easy and becoming a pro is really tough. Pickleball is also a challenge.