Official Rules

Rules are a modified set based on the USPA Official Rules

Arena Pickleball is played either as doubles (two players per team) or singles.

The Serve

  • The serve must be made underhand.
  • Paddle contact with the ball must be below the server’s waist (navel level).
  • The serve is initiated from behind the service line (3 feet from the back wall).
  • The serve is made diagonally cross-court and must land within the confines of the opposite diagonal court.
  • Only one serve attempt is allowed, except in the event of a let (the ball touches the net on the serve and lands on the proper service court; let serves are replayed).
  • The initial return of a serve may be volleyed if done so under-hand, however a volley is not required.
  • The server has the opportunity to serve and score points until they commit a fault.
  • If a point is scored, the server switches sides laterally.
  • As subsequent points are scored, the server continues switching laterally back and forth until a fault is committed.
  • The ball must land in the diagonal square, beyond the kitchen but before the opponents serving line.


  • The server serves from the right-hand court when his or her score is even and from the left when the score is odd.


  • The serve of each side-out is made from the right-hand court.
  • After a server faults; at the next side-out the serve will go the partner.


  • Points are scored only by the serving team.
  • Games will be played to 11 or 15 points, and must win by 2.
  • The ball may be played off the walls as long as the ball hits the playing surface first and has only bounced once.

Non-Volley Zone (the Kitchen)

  • The non-volley zone  is the court area within 5 feet on both sides of the net.
  • Volleying is prohibited within the non-volley zone. This rule prevents players from executing smashes from a position within the zone.
  • It is a fault if, when volleying a ball, the player steps on the non-volley zone, including the line and/or when the player’s momentum causes them or anything they are wearing or carrying to touch the non-volley zone including the associated lines.
  • It is a fault if, after volleying, a player is carried by momentum into or touches the non-volley zone, even if the volleyed ball is declared dead before this happens.
  • A player may legally be in the non-volley zone any time other than when volleying a ball.
  • The non-volley zone is commonly referred to as “the kitchen.”

Line Calls

  • All line calls are “in”.
  • A ball contacting the dead-zone where the wall meets the playing service will be ruled a fault.


  • A fault is any action that stops play because of a rule violation.
  • A fault by the receiving team results in a point for the serving team.
  • A fault by the serving team results in the server’s loss of serve or side-out.

A fault occurs when:

  • A serve does not land within the confines of the receiving court.
  • The ball is hit into the net on the serve or any return.
  • The ball contacts a wall prior to contacting the playing surface.
  • A ball is volleyed from the non-volley zone.
  • A ball bounces twice before being struck by the receiver.
  • A player, player’s clothing, or any part of a player’s paddle touches the net or the net post when the ball is in play.
  • There is a violation of a service rule.
  • A ball in play strikes a player or anything the player is wearing or carrying.
  • A ball in play strikes any permanent object before bouncing on the court.
  • A serve that contacts the net, passes over but falls short of the opposite quadrant is not a let.
  • An over-hand volley on return of serve.

Determining Serving Team

Players will start a rally in accordance with listed the serving rules until one team faults. The team that did not fault will then begin the game by serving.


Updated: 12/22/17