Pickleball Etiquette

Pickleball Etiquette

Refrain from vulgar/offensive language and excessive arguing

  • Offenders will be asked to leave.
  • Temporary play restriction may be imposed.
  • Incident will be reported to the Wellness Center..
  • Suspension (minimum 45 days) or expulsion from the club may be imposed in extreme cases.


Show common courtesy and respect for all players.

Limit court noise (includes players and spectators).

No spectators on courts during play.

Arrive promptly for scheduled group times.

    • Designated skill level players have priority during their specific group times.
    • Other skill levels may play on unoccupied courts 15 minutes after group time begins.
    • Should designated skill level players arrive, non-designated skill level players must forfeit court(s).

Leave the court promptly when your court time expires.

Exit courts by outside gates to avoid interrupting play in progress.

When courts are full and players are waiting, use paddle rack system to determine next-to-play (see posted instructions courtside).

Introduce Yourself to New Players– Before starting a pickleball game with new people, be sure to introduce yourself to others.

Call the Score Loudly– When you are serving, be sure to call the score loudly so that all players on the pickleball court can hear you. 

Wait for all players to be ready before serving – Hesitate for a moment after calling the score before serving. The receiving team should raise their hand if they need a moment or two to get into position for the next point.

Keep the Coaching to Yourself– Only provide coaching advice when asked. Be wary of coaching other players on the pickleball court, as they may not want to hear any unsolicited advice.

Don’t Play Keep Away in Recreational Play– Some players don’t like being targeted, and it’s never any fun for the player who stands out on the court and gets few balls. Save targeting for tournaments. Hit more shots to the stronger player for the opportunity to improve your pickleball game and to keep the stronger player willing to play with you more! Challenge yourself by hitting shots to locations on the court that make strategic sense and that are not targeted at a particular player.

Call “Ball on Court” If the Ball Is Actually on the Court– For safety reasons, if you see a stray pickleball roll on your court, stop play and call “Ball on Court.” This is a hindrance and you should replay the point. Return the ball that came onto your court-do not switch balls.

Allow the Players to Make the Calls – Each player should have integrity in calling balls in or out. Respect your opponents’ calls. Spectators should not call lines.

Compliment for Good Shots– Expressing a compliment for good shots by opponents in recognition of good play. 

Practice Good Sportsmanship– Fair play and good sportsmanship are cornerstones of pickleball. Be sure to respect and practice both. For instance, if you know that you were in the Kitchen when you hit a volley, call a Kitchen violation on yourself. Or, if you hit someone with the pickleball, ask if they are okay and apologize. 

Practice the Golden Rule – As in life, treat others the way that you want to be treated. Be nice to others and have fun on the pickleball court! Be careful not to express disappointment in partner’s play verbally or with body language- i.e., rolling eyes, grunts, shaking head. Instead, be supportive and friendly. Remember, it’s just a game and people are more important.

“Paddle Tap” After Every Game– After every game, players meet at the pickleball net to tap pickleball paddles – either with the head or butt of the pickleball paddle. When paddle tapping, consider giving your opponents a compliment – for instance, “great game.”