Skip to content
A Crash Course in Pickleball Etiquette

A Crash Course in Pickleball Etiquette

A Crash Course in Pickleball Etiquette

Pickleball comes with a lot of game rules, but did you know there are a set of unwritten “rules?”

Yep, you guessed it—sports etiquette.

These unwritten rules of pickleball etiquette might not win us points, but they win others’ respect and give you a glowing reputation amongst your fellow picklers. After this, you’ll be the player everyone else wants to be around.

In this blog, you’ll read about…

  • 3 pre-match etiquette rules
  • 11 pickleball etiquette rules to help you look like a seasoned professional on court

3 Pre-Match Pickleball Etiquette Rules

This set of pre-match etiquette rules will set you (and your partner) up for success:

Pre-Match Rule #1: Punctuality Matters
Arriving on time for your match shows respect for your opponents and fellow players. It allows for a smooth start, keeps the game on schedule, and can quell any pre-match jitters.

Pre-Match Rule #2: Warm-Up Respectfully
Whether you’re playing a weekend pick-up game or a league match, warming up is one of the most beneficial elements to add to your pre-match routine. Warming up shows yourself, your partner, and your opponents that you respect them enough to be ready to play. And be sure to share the court out of courtesy and consideration for other players and use only the allotted warm-up time.

Pre-Match Rule #3: Sportsmanship Starts Here
Before the match is the perfect time to display sportsmanship. Greet your opponents and partners warmly, setting a positive tone for the game ahead.

11 On Court Pickleball Etiquette Rules

Ball Etiquette

Rule #1: Rogue Pickleballs
Pickleballs often go rogue.
Commonsense tells you to just throw the ball back. Nope—don’t do this.
Make sure the players aren’t playing out a point. Wait until play stops, make eye contact or say something and then gently send the ball back.

Rule #2: Call Out Stray Balls
When your ball rolls onto another court or one rolls onto your court during play, the safest thing to do is call out “Ball coming!” or “Ball on the court!”
Why? It prevents confusion and possible injury

Fair Calls

Rule #3: Call Lines
If a ball goes out of bounds or a player illegally steps into the kitchen, call it—and call it loud so everyone can hear. If you feel like your opponent is being unfair with their line calls, it’s okay to firmly, politely ask them if they’re sure.

Rule #4: When In Doubt—Call It In
When it’s a close line call, the best thing to do is assume it’s in and play out the point. Pickleball is a fast-moving game and moments can get heated🔥—it’s best to not sweat the small stuff.

Rule #5: Admit Mistakes
We’ve all made bad calls in the heat of the moment. Admit when you’ve made a mistake, correct your line call, apologize, and move on.

Rule #6: Don’t Call The Ball Out Before It Lands
Most of the time you can judge where a ball will end up from how it’s hit. But wind or the spin a player puts on the ball can be a factor. Wait until the ball hits the court to call it out. Or risk irritating your opponents when the ball lands within the court’s boundaries.

Have Manners
Rule #7: Share the Court
Most picklers don’t play competitively—most of us are playing for fun, to be social, to get some exercise. Give others the chance to play, rotate partners, courts, and take breaks.
Basically, don’t hog the court for hours and hours!

Rule #8: Adjust Your Playing Level
The best thing about pickleball is it’s a sport that includes everyone—all skill and fitness levels.
Sometimes beginners are paired with seasoned players. If a newbie asks to play, don’t refuse. Everyone starts somewhere, and playing with less experienced players helps them learn. Be gracious, offer pointers, and thank them for their time.
There’s a time and place to showcase your power and dinking abilities—playing with beginners isn’t that time.
Help newbies feel confident by dialing down your level to keep the game interesting. Remembering how you played when you first picked up a paddle will keep the urge to drive the ball in check.

Rule #9: Respectfully Celebrate Good Shots
It’s tempting to celebrate when you win off an incredible shot. It’s also tempting to smugly celebrate your opponent’s mistake when it earns you the point.
Avoid excessive celebrations like taunting, screaming, or exaggerated fist-pumping. Maintain composure and be a good sport.
And don’t forget to acknowledge an opponent’s good shot or point by telling them so or clapping your hand against your paddle.

Rule #10: Don’t Be a Sore Loser
It’s important to stay calm when you’re losing, nothing is more embarrassing than showing anger and throwing your paddle. While competition is part of the game, remember that pickleball is meant to be fun. If you lose, do so graciously—no paddle-throwing allowed! Congratulate the other team and keep the spirit positive.
No one likes a sore loser.
It sucks to lose, but there’s always something to be learned from it.

Rule #11: Minimize Distractions
It’s important to minimize distractions to maintain a smooth flow of play. To ensure a respectful and enjoyable environment for everyone:
Keep shouting and loud outbursts to a minimum
Refrain from playing music on the court
Turn your phone on silent
Keep conversations and sideline coaching to a minimum during matches
Refrain from shouting or making excessive noise during play
Minimizing noise and distractions are crucial to maintaining a positive atmosphere and respecting fellow players.

Win More Points with Pickleball Etiquette
Mastering pickleball etiquette is not just another set of rules, it’s about being respectful to other players and creating a fun, safe, and respectful environment.

Good sportsmanship, being mindful of others’ feelings, and communicating effectively and honestly will make you a favorite amongst the close-knit pickleball community.

Be Kind. Have Fun. Play Hard.


Cart 0

Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping