Pickleball Court Etiquette
at Rincon Country West Pickleball Club
What follows is a description of the standards of play here at Rincon Country West Pickleball Club. The purpose of these standards of play is to clarify expectations of how players should behave to maintain good sportsmanship.
In the event that there are rules of conduct in effect here at Rincon Country West, those rules unless they are hazardous to individual players will be observed.
Failing that, any existing USA Pickleball Association rules will apply. The USAPA rules of play are found in the International Federation of Pickleball Official Tournament Rulebook (“Rulebook”). Although these rules are specifically targeted to sanctioned tournaments, they make common sense, and are applied universally generally in pickleball play.
From an etiquette standpoint, the purpose of this document, there are some USAPA/IFP rules that are worth noting here.
Paddle standards are found in Section 2 Court and Equipment, subsection E Paddles, of the Rulebook. You may use the paddle of your choosing for club play. However, if the paddle is not a USAPA approved paddle for tournament play, you may create a disadvantage for yourself in club play. As well, should your use of a paddle that is not USAPA approved be deemed dangerous to other players, you will be required to change to another paddle.
Clothing standards are included in Section 2, subsection F Clothing, of the Rulebook. Any logoed clothing should be in good taste, and not be offensive to other club members and guests.
Shoes should have soles that do not mark the court surface. Therefore they should not have black soles that can scuff the court. In the interest of common sense, shoes worn for pickleball should be proper court shoes, designed for the rigors of playing a racket/paddle sport, with proper support, and good tread and flexibility to allow for the starting and stopping that is common to this sport.
Under no circumstances should players be playing while wearing sandals.
Entering or Leaving the Court
Because of the placement of entry gates at the RCW pickleball courts, it may be necessary to cross one court to get to your appointed court, and you may have to do so while a game is in progress on the court you are having to cross.
If you must walk across one court area to get to another, wait until any ongoing rally is over and then ask to “come through”. Please walk briskly so as not to hold up the other game longer than necessary.
When your game is over and you are leaving the court, please do not just walk behind another court where play is still going on. Wait until the current rally is over, then, ask to “go through”.
When preparing to serve, make sure that the person who is to receive your serve is ready and facing you. Then call the score so that they know you are ready to serve. Leave a brief pause in case there are any questions or corrections to the score.
Ball Entering Your Court from Another Court
If a ball comes into your court, please pick it up and return it to the proper person. Do not just smack it back without even looking where it is going. Likewise, if you are in the court the ball was hit from and you are the one who should get the ball, please put your hand or paddle up so that the person returning the ball knows who to give the ball too.
Returning a Ball to Your Opponent After a Lost Point
When you are returning a ball within your own court, please return the ball to your opponent not just toward them. You may be frustrated after losing a point, but it is rude to just smack it back, under or over the net.
Verbal Communication to Opponents
Compliments to your opponents or partner for a well made shot are always encouraged, though not required. However, gloating or laughing at an opponent’s mistake is unsportsmanlike and is never acceptable!
Keep your temper! Abusive language is not appropriate or allowed. Do not throw your paddle, or cause a scene if you think you have been wronged. We all try to make the best calls we can. Remember we want to win, but not at the expense of sacrificing our good sportsmanship and integrity.
Do not call the faults that occur on the other side of the net, unless asked to do so. It is the responsibility of the receiver’s side of the net to make the line calls. Please call the balls fairly. Remember they will be doing the same for you. If your partner calls a ball out and you feel it was in then you can tell your partner that you disagree and then let him/her correct the call. If you are not sure, then the call will go to your opponents.
If you see that you or your partner has stepped on the non volley zone line when the ball was in the air….call the fault.
REMEMBER: Things will always even out in the end when you are using proper court manners and honorable conduct which will lead to better and happier play!
If a ball comes into your court from another game, stop play and say “ball” loudly enough for everyone to hear. Likewise, if your ball goes into another court call out “ball” loudly so everyone can hear and stop play. Stepping on an unseen ball can cause injury! Play will stop and the point shall be re-started.
If the courts are slippery, do not play. Any gravel, sand, leaves should be removed from the court before play begins.
Do not leave extra pickle balls on the courts even if you think they are out of the way, a gust of wind can carry them onto the court, causing a hazard.
Protective eyewear is a good idea if you are worries about being hit by a ball.
As stated previously, proper COURT SHOES are a must.
Please do not run backwards if at all possible. Try to run “around the ball”, meaning, turn around and run at an angle to get lobs.
Please stay hydrated at all times by drinking plenty of water before you play and during play. Signs of improper hydration are as follows: Signs of Dehydration Are: Weakness, Confusion, Dry Mouth, Muscle Cramps, Nausea & Vomiting, Lightheadedness, Rapid Heart Beat.
The proper resolution for dehydration is: Get off of the court, sit or lie down, spray to cool off, compress back of the neck and wrists, replace fluids and electrolytes with sports drink and water.