all about pickleball

how to play

all you need to know

We believe pickleball just might be the next best thing to hit the planet and if you haven’t jumped on the bus yet, what exactly ARE you waiting for? If it’s an invitation - consider yourself invited! If your struggle was more that you don’t know anything about this amazing game, consider this your lucky day.

Swinton pickleball dog + logo badge.

Group of pickleballers decked out in Swinton gear, laughing, drinking and having fun.
Swinton pickleball paddle + ball laying on court.

be a pickle ballah!

never fear, swinton pickleball is here!

In order to have fun in the game of pickleball you have to feel confident and comfortable.

gear with personality (ie. not your mom’s racquet)
comfy apparel (none of that scratchy stuff)
newbie’s guide (screenshot & reference as needed - no judging over here)

Swinton pickleball dog logo with thought bubble showing a pickle.

It has nothing to do with actual pickles.

what’s with the name pickleball?

Pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle, Washington. Three dads – Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum – whose kids were bored with their usual summertime activities, made up a new game to pass the time on those lazy days of summer (and no doubt keep their sanity given this is long before the days of iPads and video games).

Legend has it, the Pritchard family had a cocker spaniel named Pickles who would chase the ball and run off with it ultimately earning the infamous game the name “Pickleball”

● FUN FACT! According to Joel Pritchard’s wife (Joan), she started calling the game pickleball because “the combination of different sports reminded me of the pickle boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats.”

Swinton pickleball dog logo with thought bubble showing a pickle.
Women holding cans with koozies with text "stay outta the kitchen."

the rules of the serve

01 : The serve must be made underhand.

02 : Paddle contact with the ball must be below the server’s waist.

03 : The serve is initiated from behind the baseline; neither foot may contact the baseline or court until after the ball is struck.

04 : The serve is made diagonally cross court and must land within the confines of the opposite diagonal court.

05 : Only one serve attempt is allowed.


Unlike tennis, there is no let in pickleball. When the ball touches the net on the serve and lands on the proper service court, the point is played out.

Pickleball court diagram.

how does this oversized table tennis court really work?

It’s honestly pretty simple once you get the lingo down. Here are the basics of what each area of the court is called and what you need to know before you get out there and fall in love.

  • 01 : BASELINE
    The baseline runs parallel to the net at the back of the court. The baseline can’t be crossed when you serve.

    The centerline extends from the kitchen to the baseline and divides the court into two equal halves.

  • 03 : SIDELINE
    The sideline runs perpendicular to the net on either side of the court. The sideline separates in-bounds from out-of-bounds.

  • 04 : THE KITCHEN
    The kitchen is the nickname for the non-volley zone that extends 7 feet on either side of the net. The non-volley zone is the area within 7 feet on both sides of the net where volleying is not allowed. One of the best places to position yourself is right behind the non-volley zone. The net will limit the number of angles at which your opponent can hit at you.

  • 05 : NO MAN’S LAND
    The No-Man’s Land (also referred to as the Transition Zone) is the area on the court between the kitchen and the baseline. You should try to avoid this area as much as possible because it opens up angles for your opponent to hit at you.

    This is the area of the court you should aim for when serving. The side depends on where you are servindg from, always serve cross court at a diagonal.
Pickleball court diagram.

want to look like you're in-the-know?

Don’t we all. Here’s a quick cheat sheet for the rules to know including what to do and what not to do when playing the game of pickleball.