Pickleball Rules & Regulations


Each team may have a maximum of four players on the roster. The roster must be filled out completely and submitted through EZ Facility prior to the first match. Players are not legal until they have signed the roster. Illegal players will result in a match forfeit for each match played and a player suspension. Roster changes can be made up to the completion of the sixth played match. 


To minimize forfeits and maximize play, the following pick-up player rule will apply. If a roster player is not able to play, you may pick up a player from your specific league. This player must be a legal player and have signed their team’s roster. You must inform Gym Staff of the change prior to match start. Please write the player's name and what team they are from on the scorecard. This will have a penalty of 2 pts to start each game. NO pickup players are allowed in the tournament. 


There will be a five-minute grace period for players to arrive at court. After five minutes, a forfeit will be awarded for the first game. After 15 minutes, the match will be considered a forfeit. Players are responsible for their own paddles. Each team must provide one ball for game play. 


Games are self-officiated. Players are asked to be honest and play with integrity. If players are found to intentionally and consistently cheat, they may have games forfeited and possibly be asked to leave the league. If a discrepancy occurs, ask all players in the game, and check the league rules. If the discrepancy remains unresolved, ask Gym Staff for clarification. 


Teams are mixed doubles or doubles consisting of two players and any combination of male, female or non-binary players. During play, you may sub in and out of the game at any time with any legal roster player from your team. Teams will flip a coin to see who serves first. Each match will consist of the best out of three games. Games will be played to 11 points, and teams must win by two points. Games must be played within 50 minutes. If the last game is not completed in 50 minutes, the team with the most points will win that game. 



Once the server announces the score, they have 10 seconds to serve the ball, or a fault is called. Players will serve from behind the baseline with an underhand swing. The ball must land in the opponent’s service court. 


After the ball is served to the opponent, it must bounce once on their side and then bounce once on the server’s side before the ball can be taken out of the air. Then the rally can begin, and the ball can be hit without a bounce. 


Both players on the serving team can serve and score points until they commit a fault. Exceptions are as follows:

  • Both players on the serving doubles team have the opportunity to serve and score points until they commit a fault *(except for the first service sequence of each new game).

  • The first serve of each side-out is made from the right-hand court.

  • If a point is scored, the server switches sides and the server initiates the next serve from the left-hand court.

  • As subsequent points are scored, the server continues switching back and forth until a fault is committed and the first server loses the serve.

  • When the first server loses the serve the partner then serves from their correct side of the court (except for the first service sequence of the game*).

  • The second server continues serving until his team commits a fault and loses the serve to the opposing team.

  • Once the service goes to the opposition (at side out), the first serve is from the right-hand court and both players on that team have the opportunity to serve and score points until their team commits two faults.

  • In singles the server serves from the right-hand court when his or her score is even and from the left when the score is odd.

*At the beginning of each new game only one partner on the serving team has the opportunity to serve before faulting, after which the service passes to the receiving team.


  • Points are scored only by the serving team.    

  • Games are played to 11 points. Teams must win by 2 points.

  • Each match is best two out of three games

  • When the serving team’s score is even (0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10) the player who was the first server in the game for that team will be in the right-side court when serving or receiving; when odd (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) that player will be in the left-side court when serving or receiving


There is a 7 ft. area on each side of the net. No volleying may happen in this zone. No stepping in the kitchen unless a “dink bounce” once in the kitchen. The player then may step in the kitchen after the ball bounces, hit the ball, and immediately get out of the kitchen after hitting it. 

Line Calls:

  • A ball contacting any line, except the non-volley zone line on a serve, is considered “in.”

  • A serve contacting the non-volley zone line is short and a fault.


  • A fault is any action that stops play because of a rule violation.

  • A fault by the receiving team results in a point for the serving team.

  • A fault by the serving team results in the server’s loss of serve or side out.

  • A fault occurs when:

    • A serve does not land within the confines of the receiving court

    • The ball is hit into the net on the serve or any return

    • The ball is volleyed before a bounce has occurred on each side

    • The ball is hit out of bounds

    • A ball is volleyed from the non-volley zone

    • A ball bounces twice before being struck by the receiver

    • A player, player’s clothing, or any part of a player’s paddle touches the net or the net post when the ball is in play

    • There is a violation of a service rule

    • A ball in play strikes a player or anything the player is wearing or carrying

    • A ball in play strikes any permanent object before bouncing on the court


There are three numbers to call out. The first number indicates the serving team’s score, the second number is the opposing team’s score, and the third number is who is serving (1st server or after fault 2nd server). The call out must be heard by all players. 

SCORE REPORT: A member from each team must report scores to the Gym Staff 

TIME OUT: Each team may have one timeout per game that will last one minute. 

TIME LIMIT: 50-minute match play limit. 


If teams have a tied record at the end of the season, the tiebreaker rule will be in effect: If the tied record is head-to-head between teams, then the greater number of points scored between each other will win the tie breaker. If any team has a forfeit during the season, they are eliminated from all tiebreakers. Teams with more than one forfeit during the regular season may be excluded from end of season tournament play.


Any team forfeiting twice within the league game schedule may be removed from the program and will lose their right to priority registration. No refunds will be given. If you know before your scheduled game time that you will not be able to field a team, call the Welcome Desk so that we can notify the other team and umpires. The sooner you call the better. 


A check in the amount of $50 payable to the Studio West 117 Fieldhouse Gym must be submitted to the scorekeeper or league manager at the time of protest. A manager may request a player’s photo ID from the scorekeeper and umpire. A player must provide a photo ID, which will be compared with the lineup and roster to make sure the player is not playing under another person’s name. If the ID and the player’s name match, the game is continued. If no photo ID is presented, the game is forfeited. The scorekeeper will circle the player(s) in question and indicate in the remarks section the reason for the protest. The Athletics Office will check their records and determine the outcome. If the protest is upheld, the check will be returned. If the protest is not upheld, the check will not be returned. All protests need to be made before the end of the first game. Scorekeepers and staff reserve the right to check IDs at any time. 


  • Minimum player age is 18. 

  • For league information, rules, schedules, rosters and standings, and registration, please visit our website at www.studiowest117.com/programs and the EZLeagues webpage

  • Fighting or arguing before, during, or after a game, on or off the field, will not be tolerated and will be dealt with severely. 

  • All players must wear closed-toe athletic shoes. 

  • Team trophies/awards will be awarded in the playoffs

  • The league director reserves the right to monitor and move individual players from leagues in which they are not of level play 

  • All players must always have their personal identification with them. 

  • Any team that has illegal players, or someone playing under a different name, will be suspended along with the illegal players


Players, other team members, and spectators will not make disparaging or insulting remarks to or about opposing players, officials, or spectators or commit other acts that could be considered unsportsmanlike conduct. Penalty could result in player ejection, removal of spectator, and, if needed, forfeit of the match. Any use of cursing, swearing, or profanity of any kind during league play may result in immediate ejection from the match. This is your warning. 



An ejected participant must leave the grounds immediately and have no contact with any participants in the match. Failure to comply may result in forfeit or the player may be POLICE TRESPASSED from the facility. No substitute is allowed in the ejected player’s position. Once ejected from a match, a two-week suspension will follow automatically. The two-week suspension includes all sports and all nights for two weeks of scheduled games. This ejection could carry over into the following season if applicable. The league director has discretion to add a longer suspension due to severity of player actions or if the player has prior ejections. 


  • Alcohol is only permitted inside the gymnasium when using a PLASTIC CUP 

  • Alcohol should NEVER be on the court during gameplay 

  • Spills must be reported immediately to the staff

  • Drinks should be kept outside the area of play and away from activity to prevent accidents

  • You may order drinks into the Gymnasium or go to any of the bars onsite.  NO OUTSIDE ALCOHOL PERMITTED


To make the leagues fair and fun for all, please self-rate your pickleball play. As we go through the league play, your player level will be evaluated for future league formation. See next page for rating definitions. This will become important as you continue to play and register for leagues.  This will allow us to place your team within the best division to ensure fun, fair and competitive play.  

Levels: Beginner 0-2.5;  Intermediate 3-3.5;  Advanced 4-4.5;  Open 5+ 

Rating 1.0

New player with understanding of the game and rules. 

Rating 1.5 

• Can hit the ball back and forth a bit. 

• Learning to serve. 

• Fails to hit easy balls frequently. 

• Beginning to learn the basic rules such as scoring, lines, side outs, etc. 

Rating 2.0 

• Sustains short rallies. 

• Makes basic strokes such as forehand, backhand, volley, and can serve the ball. 

• Understands court positioning and doubles rules. 

Rating 2.5 

• Can sustain longer rallies but not at a fast pace. 

• Makes most easy shots, including backhands, but still needs some work. 

• Able to approach the non-volley zone and hit volleys. 

• Good understanding of the rules. 

• Struggles to cover the entire court. 

Rating 3.0 

• Has a consistent serve and returns medium paced balls reliably. 

• Able to make all basic strokes. Lacks control when trying to place the ball. 

• Attempts lobs and dinks with limited success. 

Rating 3.5 

• Consistent control and placement of medium paced shots. Able to return fast-paced shots with slightly less success. 

• Improved control and placement of the ball. 

• Needs more shot variety. 

• Can play aggressively at the non-volley zone. 

• Anticipates opponent’s shots and learning strategy of doubles play. 

Rating 4.0 

• Consistent with both forehand and backhand strokes. 

• Can use spin with some success. 

• May lose rallies due to impatience. 

• Uses the dink and drop shot successfully. 

• Demonstrates 3rd shot strategies. 

• Aggressive net play in doubles. 

• Full understanding of the rules. 

Rating 4.5 

• Beginning to master placement and spin. 

• Beginning to master 3rd shot choices. 

• Good footwork and positioning. 

• Adjusts game style to account for opponent’s strengths, weaknesses, and court position. 

• Good shot selection. Does not force shots. 

• Serves consistently and can vary speed and spin. 

• Good court positioning. Anticipates opponent’s shot. 

Rating 5.0 

• Mastered all shot types. 

• Excellent shot anticipation. 

• Accurate shot placement. 

• Forces errors. Limits their own unforced errors. 

• Mastered dinks and dropshots. 

• Mastered 3rd shot strategy. 

• Raw athletic ability is often what separates 5.0 players from the rest.