Safety and Etiquette


  • Know your limitations and don’t try to make plays beyond your capability. No point is worth an injury. “Just one more game” has caused many accidents.

  • Wear proper shoes that are designed for court sports and lateral movement.

  • Make sure court shoes are dry and free from dirt. Tracking water and sand onto a court makes the court dangerous for everyone.

  • Avoid playing on wet courts as they can be extremely slippery and dangerous.

  • Use proper eye protection. This is highly recommended for all players.

  • Avoid running backwards as it is a source of many falls. Instead, turn around and run or just let the point go and live to play another point.

  • Stay hydrated. Symptoms of dehydration may include: dizziness, weakness, headaches, and dark yellow urine. Drink before you are thirsty.

  • Call out “ball on court” whenever your ball enters another court. Stepping on a stray ball can cause serious injury.

  • Avoid getting hit by balls, rackets, and people by not walking into or behind another court while the ball is in play.

  • Avoid slip, trip, and fall hazards by removing any loose debris on the court prior to playing.


  • All players need to share responsibility for setting up and putting away equipment. If you don’t know the “how” or the “where,” just ask another player.

  • When playing someone for the first time, take time to introduce everyone.

  • When serving, always call out the complete score so all can hear. (official rule)

  • Do not chase the ball into another court; raise your hand and ask someone in the adjacent court to return the ball to you.

  • When returning balls to another court, don’t just randomly roll, kick, or flick the  ball out of the way. Please pick the ball up and hit it or toss it gently to the person holding an arm up indicating he/she needs the ball.

  • When entering or leaving a court, do not walk behind other courts until their point is finished. When you do walk behind a court, gather all players together and walk promptly past their court so you don’t hinder play any longer than necessary.

  • Take time to learn the rules and then follow them. If in doubt, ask someone for assistance.

  • Assume the best in line calls and in life. Be generous of spirit and give others the benefit of the doubt unless you are absolutely 100% certain of your call. If the ball is on your side and it lands out of bounds, call it out. If it is close and you aren’t positive of your call, give the benefit of the doubt to your opponent. No friendship is worth losing over a questionable line call.

  • Don’t call lines on the other side of the court--that is your opponent’s responsibility. Also, don’t ask for assistance from spectators. If you didn’t see where the ball landed, the benefit of the doubt goes to your opponent. (official rule)

  • Remember where you came from. Help others. When you see a new or inexperienced player, offer to play with him or her. You, too, were a beginner once.

  • Play the hand you are given. If you are paired with someone of less skill, take it as an opportunity to teach, practice, and learn. If you are paired with someone who can clobber you, learn all you can from him or her.

  • When playing during open pickleball with a group having a diverse range of skills, try to make sure all players can enjoy the game. Don’t avoid hitting to the better player, nor should you always pick on the weaker player. Disperse your shots so everyone can enjoy their time on the court.

  • If you are uncomfortable or don’t enjoy playing out of your skill range, politely let the other players know you would prefer to wait until a more suitable match becomes available.

  • During open play (mixed skill levels), players play with all skill levels. If there are courts designated for different skill levels, wait for a game on those courts if you only want to play at one skill level.

  • When playing socially, do not take advantage of a person’s physical limitations. For example, if someone can’t go back for a lob because of a physical limitation, avoid lobbing over his or her head.

  • Behaviors like using profanity, tossing your racket, or disrespecting others has no place (Rule). Take a break and walk away if you feel your fuse getting short.

  • Encouraging and supporting good sportsmanship is everyone’s responsibility.

  • Behaviors spread just like the common cold . . . make your behavior one we all want to catch!

  • Always remember that pickleball is still just a game. No point, no game is worth making enemies over. If there is a problem, talk to the individual regarding your issue and try to clear it up or forget about it and move on. People won’t change what they don’t know.

  • Be respectful of others, be kind, be helpful, and remember, “please” and “thank you” are still great magic words.

© 2016 by Chippewa Valley Pickleball Club 

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