Pickleball has taken the country by storm, quickly becoming a favorite activity for those looking for competition or a leisurely weekend hobby. If you’re looking at picking up a paddle and trying your hand at this popular sport, but are still wondering how to play pickleball, then you’ve come to the right place! Join SportRx as we walk you through the five rules of pickleball.

Table of Contents

A. 5 Rules of Pickleball
1. No volleying in "the kitchen"
2. There must be one bounce per side
3. You must serve at the baseline
4. Serves cannot land in the non-volley zone
5. The game ends at 11, 15, or 21 points
B. What to Look for in Pickleball Sunglasses
C. Prescription Pickleball Sunglasses at SportRx

5 Rules of Pickleball

When it comes to pickleball basics, there are a handful of rules to keep in mind when you're starting out.

Rule 1: No volleying in "the kitchen"

The Non-Volley Zone (NVZ), also known as “the kitchen”, is the lined box located seven feet off the net on both sides of the court. The kitchen boundary includes its lines, so if you’re standing on the line, you’re standing in the kitchen. You can’t touch the kitchen in any way before, during, or after a volley. For everything you need to know about the kitchen, check out our blog on the Pickleball Kitchen Rules.

Rule 2: There must be one bounce per side.

One of pickleball’s unique rules is the “Two Bounce Rule”. The ball must bounce at least once on each side of the court for every rally, for both the serve and the return of the serve. Once this has happened, either side can play the ball in the air or let it bounce.

Rule 3: You must serve at the baseline.

When serving the ball, you must serve it from the baseline, the back line of the court. Serve underhand and below the waistline, hitting the ball diagonally over the net and across the court. An interesting serving rule is that the ball can hit the net during a serve and is considered in play as long as it doesn't touch the kitchen and lands in the correct service court!

Rule 4: Serves cannot land in the non-volley zone.

When serving, the pickleball cannot land in the kitchen. This includes the demarcation line. Where a serve is in bounds if it lands on any line other than the kitchen, it is not in bounds if it lands on the line of the kitchen because even the line is considered to be a part of the kitchen. After the serve, of course, the ball can land in the kitchen.

Rule 5: The game ends at 11, 15, or 21 points.

A traditional pickleball game ends when one person or team reaches 11 points. However, the winner(s) has to win by at least two points. For example, if one person has 11 points but their opponent has 10, the game continues. Tournament games may be played to 15 or 21, also "win by 2" rules.

woman on a pickleball court holding a pickleball racket

What to Look for in Pickleball Sunglasses

You know the pickleball rules, now you need the gear! Pickleball essentials include a paddle, the pickleball, and a pair of sunglasses that will have you seeing clearly on the court.

When it comes to frame features, look for a lightweight, durable frame material that’s easy to wear all the way to match point. While you’re racing from the baseline to the kitchen, you don’t want a heavy frame weighing you down or a flimsy frame holding you back. Grips on the temples and nose pad provide comfortable as well as grip to keep the sunglasses securely on your face and optically aligned. A wrap-around design provides optimal coverage, visibility, and eye protection, while frame ventilation keeps your vision fog-free.

For lenses, look for a pair of sunglasses that offer contrast enhancement. If you're looking for the best eye protection, we have options with safety ratings. This ensures greater visibility and long-lasting lenses. Additional lens coatings, like a hydrophobic coating, help repel sweat and moisture from the lens surface. Also, be mindful of which lens color you pick, as the right color will enhance your pickleballing experience. Steer clear of polarization because it can affect depth perception and negatively impact your reaction time. Not to mention, there isn't typically a lot of glare coming off of the court that you need to block.

For more information on what to look for in pickleball sunglasses, check out our Pickleball Eyewear Buyer’s Guide. And if you’re ready to start looking for frames, check out our blog on the Best Prescription Pickleball Sunglasses and Best Pickleball Safety Glasses.

Prescription Pickleball Sunglasses at SportRx

Need prescription pickleball sunglasses? Done. When you shop with us, you’ll find video guides and tool tips throughout the build process as you customize the perfect pair. An answer to all your questions is at your fingertips, and if you want to chat with an expert, contact us. We’ll put you in touch with one of our friendly Sports Opticians, who can help you build your prescription pickleball eyewear.

Ditch risky online shopping with our See Better Guarantee. Try your pickleball sunglasses for 45 days and if you’re not satisfied, send them back. Get a full refund, exchange, or credit towards a better pair. And return shipping? Covered. Get your pair of prescription pickleball sunglasses at SportRx today!

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