Pickleball Etiquette

Hello 509! With the new courts at Lawrence Scott Park close to opening, it’s a good time to review pickleball etiquette. Some of these guidelines are basic, some more advanced, so please, read them all!

  • USE THE PADDLE RACK: If people are waiting to play, you MUST use the paddle rack, even if you are an organized group. Rotate on and off the court in groups of four and put your paddles together if you want to continue playing together. If you are confused by the paddle rack, we will have signs posted next to the courts on how to use them and rotate.
  • Good sportsmanship: It doesn’t matter if you’re winning or losing, you always should show respect and courtesy to your opponent.
  • Acknowledge other players: If you don’t know each other, introduce yourself before starting play.
  • Good game: At the end of a game, approach the net and touch paddles with your opponents whether you win or lose.
  • Line calls: If a ball is out on your side of the court, call it out. If it’s close and you and your partner are looking at each other and asking “Was that in?” consider it in. No matter the score, always give the opponent the benefit of the doubt unless you are 100% sure it was out.
  • Spectator involvement: If you are watching a game, be courteous to the players. In particular, do not make a call for one team or the other, unless both teams specifically ask you. Otherwise, line calls are between the players on the court.
  • Play down: If you are an advanced player taking part in an open play session with a variety of skills, play your best to the lower-level opponents, but do not crush them. Open play should be fun for everyone. To play with your level, use the paddle rack to rotate in as a foursome with players of your caliber.
  • Play up: If you’re playing against a stronger opponent in recreation open play, do NOT avoid them. It’s not fun for them to come out and mix if they’re never being hit to. Play normal strategy as if everyone was the same skill level. It is an opportunity for you to learn and get better if you hit to a stronger opponent. A lot of stronger players want to encourage players to improve and will be happy to give you input if you’re looking for it.
  • Avoid hitting people: Bashing the ball may be fun, but don’t be “that person” trying to hit people. Hitting hard at someone is a strategy and it does get points, but risking someone’s safety—like getting hit in the face—IS NOT encouraged.
  • Calls in the kitchen: If you volley a ball and catch yourself in the kitchen, call yourself out. In recreation, we are there to have fun and follow the basic game rules. It’s not about getting away with something because your opponent missed it. It will also help improve your game.
  • Be a good neighbor: If a ball gets hit out of play and into another player’s court, shout to them and let them know there’s a ball in their court. Do not run into other occupied courts under any condition. If your ball goes into another court, put your paddle up and have the players on that court toss the ball back to you.
  • Proceed with caution: Be mindful of ongoing play as you head to your court. Take the path farthest away from the courts to your destination. If you must walk close to a court in play, wait until the point plays out, then proceed to your court.
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