The International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) was organized to perpetuate the growth and advancement of pickleball throughout the world. To ensure consistency in rules and regulations wherever pickleball is played, the member countries have agreed to adhere to the rules outlined in the IFP Rulebook.

The following is an abbreviated form of the rules referenced from the USAPA.  If there is a conflict between this summary and the official rules, the official rules prevail.

Basic Rules Overview

Pickleball is played either as doubles or singles. The same size playing area and rules are used for both singles and doubles

The Serve

The server must be made underhand. Paddle contact with the ball must be below the server’s waist.  The serve is made diagonally crosscourt and must land within the confines of the opposite diagonal court.


Points are scored only by the serving team

Games are normally played to 11 points, win by 2.

Two-Bounce Rule

When the ball is served, the receiving team must let it bounce before returning, and then the serving team must let it bounce before returning, thus two bounces.

After the ball has bounced once in each team’s court, both teams may either volley the ball (hit the ball before it bounces) or play it off a bounce (ground stroke).

The two-bounce rule eliminates the serve and volley advantage and extends rallies.

Non-Volley Zone

The non-volley zone is the court area within 7 feet on both sides of the net.The non-volley zone is commonly referred to as “the kitchen.”

Volleying is prohibited within the non-volley zone.  A player may legally be in the non-volley zone any time other than when volleying a ball.

Line Calls

A ball contacting any line, except the non-volley zone line on a serve, is considered “in.”

A serve contacting the non-volley zone line is short and a fault.


A fault is any action that stops play because of a rule violation.