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Terms & Definitions

Here are some common pickleball terms and definitions:

  1. Serve: The act of starting a point by hitting the ball from behind the baseline and over the net to the opponent's court.

  2. Dink: A soft shot made with a short stroke that lands in the opponent's kitchen (non-volley zone) and stays low, making it difficult to return.

  3. Volley: Hitting the ball in the air before it bounces on the ground.

  4. Rally: The exchange of shots between teams that continues until the ball lands out of bounds, in the net, or is hit into the non-volley zone.

  5. Kitchen (or Non-Volley Zone): The area on either side of the net, extending 7 feet back from the net, where players are not allowed to volley the ball.

  6. Lob: A high, arching shot that travels deep into the opponent's court.

  7. Fault: A violation of the rules that results in the loss of a point. Common faults include stepping into the non-volley zone, hitting the ball out of bounds, and failing to serve the ball properly.

  8. Double Bounce Rule: After the serve, both teams must let the ball bounce once on each side before volleys are allowed.

  9. Side Out: When the serving team fails to win a point, the serve is transferred to the opposing team.

  10. Let Serve: A serve that hits the top of the net and lands in the proper service court, resulting in a do-over.

  11. Baseline: The line at the back of each court that marks the end of the playing area.

  12. Centerline: The line that divides the court into two equal halves, running perpendicular to the net.

  13. Fault Serve: A serve that does not land in the correct service court results in a fault.

  14. Foot Fault: A violation of the rules that occurs when a player steps on or over the baseline or sideline while serving.

  15. Half-Volley: A shot made by hitting the ball immediately after it bounces on the ground.

  16. Let: A stoppage of play due to interference or an unexpected circumstance, which results in a replay of the point.

  17. Out: A ball that lands outside the boundaries of the court, on the sidelines or baseline, is considered out.

  18. Poach: When a player moves away from their side of the court to hit a ball that their partner could have reached.

  19. Side (Left or Right): Each half of the court as divided by the centerline.

  20. Topspin: A shot in which the ball rotates forward, causing it to move quickly through the air and bounce high.

These are just a few of the many terms and definitions used in pickleball. Understanding these terms can help you communicate more effectively with other players and officials and make it easier to follow the rules of the game.

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