Pickleball Etiquette For Beginners & experienced players – Unwritten Rules

Pickleball etiquette

Overview of Pickleball Etiquette

Pickleball etiquette refers to the set of unwritten rules and guidelines that govern players’ behaviour on and off the court. It includes everything from respect for opponents and officials to proper attire and equipment to how players conduct themselves on and off the court. Etiquette is important in pickleball because it helps to create a positive and enjoyable experience for all players. It ensures that the game is played in a fair and sportsmanlike manner and that all players are treated with respect. Good etiquette also helps to create a more pleasant playing environment and ensures the safety of all players.

The Basics of Pickleball Etiquette

Below are the basic etiquette pickleball players should follow to make their game more professional and enjoyable.

Pickleball Court Etiquette

When playing pickleball, it is important to observe court etiquette. This includes being respectful of other players, not distracting them during play, not entering the court until invited, keeping the playing area neat and tidy, and respecting the rules of the game.

pickleball etiquette
  • Respect the Game: Always treat the game as if you were playing against your family members or friends; don’t get too competitive when playing against strangers, and always remember that this is a game meant to be enjoyed by everyone! This includes being mindful of your language and not getting too physical during play; keep it friendly! Also, follow all rules set out by your facility’s regulations when playing pickleball so that everyone can have a great time without any issues arising from rule violations!
  • Be Courteous and Respectful: It’s important to show courtesy and respect towards other players on the court at all times; this includes speaking politely during matches, refraining from using offensive language, not engaging in trash talk between points (or even during them!), and being mindful of your body language when interacting with others on or off the court as well!
    Additionally, always give each other space when necessary so that no one feels crowded out during play – this will help create an atmosphere where everyone can truly enjoy their time together without feeling like they’re being pressured into anything they don’t want to do! Finally, never forget to thank your opponents after each match regardless of who won – good sportsmanship goes a long way!
  • Avoid Distracting Behaviors: It’s important to avoid any behaviours that may distract players from enjoying their time on the court; this includes talking excessively while others are trying to focus on their shots, running around unnecessarily between points (or even during them!), or making jokes at someone else’s expense which could lead to hurt feelings if taken too far!
    Additionally, refrain from coaching other players while they’re still actively engaged in a match – unless they specifically request it – as this could also lead to distractions for those involved in the game itself! Lastly, try not to make too much noise outside of normal play, such as clapping loudly after each point won; this can take away from other people’s enjoyment if done repeatedly throughout an entire match!
  • Follow the Rules of Play: There are certain rules set out for pickleball games which must be followed at all times for everyone involved in these matches to have an enjoyable experience; these include proper positioning within designated areas when serving (such as standing behind the baseline), keeping track of score accurately throughout each point played (and announcing it clearly afterwards), adhering strictly to any time limits set out before starting a match (especially if there is only one available court available!), etc.
    Not following these rules can confuse players, potentially ruining their overall experience! So make sure you familiarize yourself with all applicable regulations before starting your next pickleball match up.
  • Use Proper Languge: Players should use appropriate language and avoid offensive or profane language. This includes refraining from negative comments about other players or officials and respecting the game and all its participants.
  • Don’t Interfere with Other Players’ Games: Players should show consideration for other competitors and not impede their matches in any way. This includes keeping a distance from participants on neighbouring courts and eschewing any activities that could disrupt or preoccupy other players during their games.
  • Stay Away From Distractions During Play: Participants should always remain focused on the game, preventing interruptions that may compromise their performance. This includes silencing cell phones, refraining from conversations with other players or onlookers, and avoiding other activities that could divert attention away from the match.
  • Show Good Sportsmanship at All Times: Players should always try to participate in the game with equity and dignity. This means being honest, not taking advantage of any situation, and demonstrating good sportsmanship by commending adversaries for their excellent plays.

Off-Court Etiquette

  • Greet Your Opponents Before and After the Match: Greeting your opponents before and after the match is an important part of pickleball etiquette. Players should take the time to shake hands with their opponents, wish them good luck, and congratulate them on a good game. This shows respect for the game and your opponents and sets a positive tone for the match.
  • Don’t Criticize or Complain About Other Players or Umpires: Criticizing or complaining about other players or umpires is disrespectful and can disrupt the game and create a negative atmosphere. It’s important to show respect for all participants in the game and refrain from making negative comments about other players or officials.
  • Don’t Make Excuses for Losing Games: Making excuses for losing games is inappropriate behaviour in pickleball. Players should take responsibility for their own performance and understand that losing is a part of the game. Being honest about mistakes and accepting responsibility for losses shows good sportsmanship and maturity.
  • Offer Praise and Support to Fellow Players: Offering praise and support to fellow players is an important aspect of pickleball etiquette. This includes congratulating them on good shots and offering encouragement and support when they struggle. This helps to create a positive and supportive playing environment and promotes teamwork and camaraderie among players.

Court Maintenance Etiquette

  • Maintain Court Cleanliness: Players should be responsible for maintaining a clean and organized court, including picking up any garbage or debris and returning the court to tidy after the game.
  • Take Care of Any Messes Promptly: Players must be mindful of any messes on the court and should address them immediately. This includes spills, leaks, or any potential safety hazards.
  • Record Score Accurately and Respectfully: Players should accurately and politely keep track of the score, being honest and not cheating, and respecting the opposing team’s right to question calls.
  • Abide by Rules and Avoid Cheating: Players should not attempt to circumvent any regulations or cheat, such as making false calls, concealing the ball, or using loopholes.

Equipment Etiquette

  • Footwear Selection: Players ought to wear appropriate shoes for pickleball that have non-marking soles and give good traction on the court.
  • Equipment Accountability: Players should be cognizant of their gear, such as paddles and balls, and should be responsible for their own gear all the time.
  • Utilizing Suitable Paddles: Players should opt for paddles suitable for pickleball that meet the size and weight stipulations set by the governing body.
  • Mindful of Grip Modification: Players should be cautious when altering grips on their paddles and be acquainted with any regulations and guidelines concerning grip changes.
  • Sustain a Tidy Playing Area: Players should maintain their playing area neat and in order and be familiar with any rules and instructions relating to the use of the playing area.
  • Equipment Storage: Players should store their gear properly between games and be aware of any regulations and instructions.

You must explore the Pickleball Equipment list for more information regarding equipment.

Some Other Etiquettes

  • Courtesy When Volleying: One of the most important aspects of pickleball etiquette is courtesy when volleying. This means that players should always be courteous to their opponents while volleying, avoiding any words or actions that could be seen as disrespectful. Players should also allow their opponents enough time to return the volley without rushing them and should always treat their opponents with respect even if they do not win the point.
    It is also important to remember that pickleball can be very competitive, so it is crucial to maintain a sense of sportsmanship and politeness throughout the game. Following these courtesies will ensure that everyone enjoys the game and has an enjoyable experience, no matter who wins or loses.
  • Consideration When It Comes To Challenging Calls: When it comes to pickleball, consideration is key. There are a few etiquettes to consider when making such a call. Firstly, players should always give their opponents the benefit of the doubt and only challenge a call if necessary. Players should never challenge a call aggressively or disrespectfully, as this could make the game uncomfortable for everyone involved.
    Additionally, players should try not to be overly sensitive when opponents challenge their calls and remain calm and respond politely. Finally, players should remember the spirit of the game and not use challenges as a way of trying to gain an advantage over their opponents. Ultimately, consideration is essential when it comes to challenging calls in pickleball, and players should strive to create a positive atmosphere for all involved.
  • Serving Etiquette: When serving, players should ensure that they are behind the baseline and serving to the right side of the court. Additionally, players should be aware of other players on nearby courts and should not serve if there is a risk of hitting them.
  • Call Out The Score Loudly: One of the most important elements is to call out the score loudly and clearly after each point. This helps to keep everyone aware of the score, as well as ensure that all players are on the same page. It also eliminates any potential confusion or disputes about who scored what. When calling out the score, be sure to call out both players’ scores in sequence, such as “14-11,” so everyone knows who is leading. Additionally, make sure to use a clear voice and enunciate properly when calling out the score, so there’s no confusion. Finally, always be courteous when calling out the score – it can help set a positive tone for your game!
  • Spectator Etiquette: Spectators should be aware of the rules and guidelines for spectating and should be respectful of the players on the court. This includes refraining from making noise or distracting the players and not interfering with the game in any way. Spectators should also be aware of the safety of the players and avoid standing or sitting in a way that could obstruct the players’ view or path of the ball.


Be courteous and respectful to all players, officials, volunteers, staff and spectators. Introduce yourself to those you are not familiar with. Avoid the use of profane language or inappropriate body language. Refrain from making derogatory remarks or insults against anyone.

Once the match is over, the victorious players will stay on the court while the unsuccessful players will go to the bench. Two new players from the bench will join the next game. If a player has been on the court for two consecutive games, then they must go back to the bench.

Never approach a court while a match is ongoing. Wait until the point has been concluded before crossing the court quickly. If someone is already using the court, do not interrupt until their allotted time has elapsed. Always be prepared before entering the court.

Final Verdict

Pickleball etiquette is an important aspect of the game and is essential for creating a positive and enjoyable experience for all players. By following the basic rules of pickleball etiquette, players can ensure that the game is played in a fair and sportsmanlike manner and that all players are treated with respect. Good etiquette also helps to create a more pleasant playing environment and ensures the safety of all players. Remember, following the etiquette guidelines will not only make your pickleball experience more enjoyable but also it will make the game more fun for everyone.

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