There are very few times when you get a “do over” in pickleball.

The most common second chances are when you hit a let serve, or when play is stopped because an errant ball or an over-zealous player from another court enters your court, interfering with play. You must also re-serve if you serve before the receiver is ready. That’s pretty much it.

How many do-overs do you get? Two? Four? You get as many chances as it takes to get it right before faulting.

Notice, there is nothing about re-doing a point because no one saw whether the ball was in or out, or because there was a difference of opinion on that matter. Whenever no one sees the ball land, or two people see it differently, the ball is considered good, and do-overs are neither legal nor appropriate.

Aha, some of you are thinking. I’ll just disagree with all the opponents’ out calls and that will make my shots good. Doesn’t work that way. The only people who can call a ball out are those on the side of the net where the ball lands. Your opinion doesn’t matter UNLESS the opponents ask you. If the opponent asks what you saw because you may have been in a better position to see the ball land, then you call what you saw, and your opponents must accept your judgement call.

Playing Tip: Your Team Can’t Win if Your Serve Isn’t In

This is quite literally true since only the serving team is eligible to earn a point.

When you are serving, your job is simple: get the ball into the opposite court beyond the kitchen line, and stay at the baseline waiting for a return.

Unlike tennis, no one reports statistics on ace serves in pickleball. The serve and return of serve are considered preliminary shots leading to the 3rd shot where everyone is at the kitchen line and the real contest begins.

You can vary the placement of your serve, and the pace. But it isn’t necessary to develop a side-arm screamer, or to perfect the spin. Remember, you can only score when you are serving. Don’t waste a serve by trying to do too much with it.


Special thanks to the Incline Village Pickleball players for allowing us to post this information they created for their group. If you are in Tahoe, be sure to check out their great location with 8 courts and a friendly group for some Pickleball fun.

Newsletter Chico Pickleball

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