Pickleball is just a game. It's not a matter of life and death; it's not a profession (very few people take pickleball as a profession). Winning or losing a friendly match won't change your lifestyle. Remember that we are playing a game to have fun.
Here are my top pickleball etiquettes – rules that you won’t find in any official pickleball tournament handbook or rulebook:
1: Do not cross the court where others are playing
As with any racket sport, when a game is going on a nearby court, don't swiftly cross behind the court's baseline. Usually, a recreational pickleball rally lasts for one or two minutes. You should wait until the point game is over and then cross it quickly.
2: Be honest
If you or your teammates step into the kitchen while volleying, honestly, "I (or my partner) has crossed the kitchen line now" without the other team pointing it out. Orally declare it.
3: Be fair
If one of the opponent team's player is a beginner, and the other is at a high level, do not play aiming at the weak player and hit a difficult ball on purpose. This is unfair to the opposing team.
Similarly, raise a high lob ball intentionally run a player with a slightly bad foot near the non-volley line and hit a ball that falls near the baseline. This is super unfair! Also, if you accidentally hit a ball that runs an opponent with a bad foot, it feels good to say "I'm sorry" quickly.
4: When the ball falls on the opponent's net
If the ball you hit gets caught on the net during play and then falls directly under the net of the opponent team, say, "I'm sorry!". This is the same for professional players in official games such as tennis grand slams.
By the way, in recreational pickleball, the ball that falls directly under the net is a ball that can only be hit back by a very high-level player. So if you say sorry, the opponent will give you a smile.
5: When the ball on the next court rolls
If a ball on the next court rolls on their court, throw the rolled ( same) ball back. Don't replace the ball you are using now. When throwing the ball, make sure that the person can receive the ball. It's bad etiquette to throw a ball without knowing to whom you're throwing it.
6: When serving
When serving, make sure that your partner, and opponent team, is in a standby position.
At each point, the server should declare the game score that can be heard by the opponent team. After verbally saying "your team points-other team points-server 1 or server 2" ("5-7-2! Etc.)", hit the serve.
7: Too much fun
When playing with friends in recreational play, you can make a loud joke or laugh out loud during the game. It is also very annoying if other people are playing around - Similar to golf and tennis.
Also, do not make fun out of your opponent's mistakes. Don't Talk to the court next door or talk to the spectators in the middle of the play.
8: Beginner & advanced
- If three other players are higher level players than you, you should express your gratitude by saying "thank you" after the game.
- If you are at a higher level than other players, refrain from aggressive games that expose your fighting spirit.
- If players at a level considerably lower than you invite you to play a game, you should play one or two games with them. Players who want to improve in a certain game want to play with a higher level player. So when you play with a player lower than you, players will appreciate it.
9: Insolation and wind direction
Outdoor play is often affected by sunlight and wind. When one team is exposed to direct sunlight, the position of the court is often changed with the other team at the 6th point. The is fairer for both teams.
Especially in official games, try not to wear the same color as the ball (usually yellow). In the average age of this sport, there are many people whose eyesight is weakened.
So if you wear clothes with a color that creates confusion with the ball, it may be difficult for some people to determine the position of the ball instantly. For recreational purposes, you may not care too much.
When assembling and playing a simple net by yourself in the local community, take the initiative in assembling, cleaning up, picking up the ball, etc. (I always do). Always keep in mind, you are part of this pickleball community.
12: The beginning and end of the game
When you play with someone for the first time, introduce yourself on the net. And even after the game, appreciate each other Make a "good job" gesture with the pickleball paddle. Communication between players is essential.
Communication between people is part of the fun of this sport. Therefore, I would advise you to keep the basic etiquette within the range of common sense and enjoy playing with your friends.