Terms and definitions of pickleball
If you’re familiar with the game of tennis, catching on to the terms used in pickleball will be easy. However, to fully immerse yourself into the game, it will be worth your time to study up on the terminology involved in the game, as communication between teammates is important.
For example, if a teammate yells out “bounce it!” you’ll need to know that you’re not to hit a return volley because it’s on its way out of bounds. Also, if someone shouts “pickle!” you’ll know they are about to serve the ball and have alerted everyone that service is on the way.
Hitting the ball in such a way that it does not bounce away from the paddle but tends to be carried along on the face of the paddle.
The court diagonally opposite your court.
A ball that is no longer in play.
A soft shot that is intended to arc over the net and land within the non-volley zone.
Physical actions by a player that are ‘not common to the game’ that, in the judgment of the referee, interfere with the opponent’s ability or concentration to hit the ball.
Examples include, but are not limited to, making loud noises, stomping feet, waving the paddle in a distracting manner or otherwise interfering with the opponent’s concentration or ability to hit the ball.
When the ball bounces more than once on one side before it is returned.
Hitting the ball twice before it is returned.
A shot that falls short of the opponent’s position on the opponent’s side of the court.
DROP SHOT VOLLEY
A volley intended to diminish the speed of the ball and return it short on the opponent’s side of the court, near the net.
A rules violation that results in a dead ball and the end of the rally.
In doubles, the player who shall serve from the right/even service court after a side out, according to the team’s score.
A player/team’s decision or a rule-based enforcement that stops a match and awards the match to the opponent.
Hitting the ball after one bounce.
A groundstroke that contacts the ball immediately after it bounces and before the ball reaches its full height.
Any element or occurrence outside of the player’s control that adversely impacts play. Examples include, but are not limited to, balls, flying insects, foreign material, players or officials from an adjacent court that, in the opinion of the referee, impacted a player’s ability to make a play on the ball.
The service area on the left side of the court, when facing the net. The starting server in doubles or the singles server should be positioned on the left/odd side of the court when his or her score is odd.
A serve or rally that must be replayed for any reason.
A loud word(s) spoken by a player or line judge(s) to indicate to the referee and/or players that a live ball has not touched in the required court space. The preferred word to indicate a line call is “OUT”. Distinctive hand signals can be used in conjunction with a line call. Words such as “wide”, “long”, “no” , “deep” are also acceptable.
LIVE BALL/IN PLAY
The point in time when the referee starts to call the score.
A high and deep shot that is intended to force the opposing side back to the baseline.
NON-VOLLEY ZONE (NVZ)
The 7-foot-by-20-foot area adjacent to each side of the net. All lines bounding the NVZ are part of the NVZ. The NVZ is two-dimensional and does not rise above the playing surface. See court specifications Section 2.
A hard overhand shot.
PADDLE GRIP ADJUSTMENTS
Non-mechanical devices that change the size of the grip or stabilize the hand on the grip.
The paddle, excluding the handle.
A volley or groundstroke that passes an opponent, usually to win the rally.
Any object on or near the court, including hanging over the court, that can interfere with play. Permanent objects include the ceiling, walls, fencing, lighting fixtures, net posts, net post legs, the stands and seats for spectators, the referee, line judges, spectators when in their recognized positions, and all other objects around and above the court.
The court and the area surrounding the court designated for playing.
Continuous play that occurs after the serve and before a fault.
The player who is positioned diagonally opposite from the server to return the serve. Depending on the team’s score, the player who returns the serve may not be the correct receiver.
Any rally that is replayed for any reason without the awarding of a point or a change of server.
The service area on the right side of the court, when facing the net. The starting server in doubles or the singles server should be positioned on the right/even court when his or her score is even.
A term used to describe the condition when a serving team loses the first of its two allocated serves.
In doubles, the first server’s partner. The second server serves after the first server loses serve.
Hitting the ball to start the rally.
The player who initiates a rally. Depending on the team’s score, it is possible that the player who serves may not be the correct server.
The area on either side of the centerline, including the centerline, sideline, and baseline, excluding the NVZ.
The movement of the server’s arm to serve the ball. The service motion may consist of a forward swing only or be a combination backswing and continuing forward swing.
The area behind the baseline and on and between the imaginary extensions of the court centerline and each sideline.
The awarding of the serve to the opposing team after a singles player or doubles team loses its serve.
For each doubles team, the player designated to serve first at the start of the game. In doubles tournament play, the starting server shall wear a visible form of identification determined by the tournament director.
A referee’s assessment of a rule or behavioral violation that results in 1 point being awarded to the opposing team. May be issued when one technical warning has already been given or when warranted by a player’s or team’s actions, based on the referee’s judgment.
A referee’s first verbal warning of a rule or behavioral violation given to a player or team prior to a technical foul being called. Points are not awarded for a technical warning.
During a rally, hitting the ball while in the air, before the ball bounces.
A player/team’s request to be removed from any upcoming play in a specified bracket.