Most people are polite and courteous on the courts. However, at times players don’t realize they are interfering with the games or the safety of nearby players. It is important to learn pickleball etiquette.
Pickleball Etiquette: Crossing Court in Middle of a Point
It is natural to want to get started when it is your turn on the court…but please don’t walk across the court when players are playing. I see this most often when players have to cross a court to get to a middle or far court. This also sometimes happens when players come through the gate closest to a court. It would be best to wait until the current point is finished to move forward. This will give you time to gather all four of your players together, so you can cross as a group.
Also, please note, don’t enter another player’s court to retrieve a ball when they are playing. It is perfectly reasonable to call, “Ball” to warn someone against tripping….but chasing into their court is a real safety problem.
Pickleball Etiquette: Judgement Call
That said, it is not necessary to call “ball” every time. If the ball is sitting against the fence and not interfering with play, let the point continue. If one of the players is distracted by the ball and chooses to call it fine. But I don’t want to interrupt another court’s play unless the ball may interfere with play or there is a chance of injury.
Pickleball Etiquette: Quick Serve
I have run into quick serves in recreational play or smaller tournaments without referees. Players may not call the serve, call it softly, or say it while they are serving. Proper etiquette is to make sure your opponent is ready to receive the ball before you call the score. Take time to call the entire score before you begin your service motion. This will serve you well, as in a sanctioned tournament beginning your service motion before the referee calls the entire score is a fault.
Pickleball Etiquette: Cheering
I love seeing spectators cheering for anyone on a pickleball court…but at times some people can overdo it. Ideally, we clap at the end of a good point or to recognize a great shot. It is best to remain quiet when a player makes an unforced error.
Proper etiquette was something that was drilled into me as a junior. Pickleball etiquette and good sportsmanship…for the good of the game.