Pickleball Etiquette: Dos and Don'ts for Courteous Play

Pickleball Etiquette: Dos and Don'ts for Courteous Play

Posted by Emma Santerre on May 30th 2024

Pickleball, with its growing popularity, brings players of all ages and skill levels together. While the game itself is straightforward, understanding and practicing good etiquette on the court is essential for ensuring an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. In this guide, we'll explore some dos and don'ts for courteous play in pickleball, covering proper court conduct, communication with partners/opponents, and respect for fellow players.


1. Respect the Court

  • Arrive on time for your scheduled matches.
  • Clean up any debris or equipment that is left on the court before starting your game.
  • Avoid unnecessary noise or distractions during play, such as loud conversations or cell phone use.

2. Communicate Effectively

  • Communicate with your partner and opponents before, during, and after each point to ensure clarity and avoid confusion.
  • Indicate your intentions such as calling out "mine" when going for a shot or signaling to your partner to cover a specific area of the court.

3. Maintain Sportsmanship

  • Shake hands or exchange fist bumps with your opponents before and after each match as a sign of good sportsmanship.
  • Offer words of encouragement and congratulations to both your opponents and teammates on good shots or rallies.
  • Avoid displaying extreme frustration or anger, regardless of the outcome of the game.

4. Be Mindful of Court Boundaries

  • Stay within the boundaries of your designated court and avoid encroaching on neighboring courts during play when possible.
  • Retrieve stray balls promptly to prevent interruptions to the game and ensure the safety of other players. You can also should alert players in adjacent courts by yelling "ball" when your ball enters their playing area.

5. Prioritize Safety

  • Use caution when moving around the court, especially in crowded or busy playing areas, to prevent accidents or injuries.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and avoid collisions with other players by maintaining a safe distance and communicating effectively.


1. Don't Hog the Court

  • Avoid monopolizing the court by playing excessively long matches or refusing to rotate out for other players waiting to play.
  • Be considerate of other players’ time and share the court fairly to accommodate all players.

2. Don't Engage in Unsportsmanlike Behavior

  • Refrain from engaging in trash talk or unsportsmanlike conduct towards your opponents, as it can create a hostile playing environment and distract from the enjoyment of the game.
  • Avoid arguing over calls or disputing referee decisions that can lead to unnecessary conflicts and disrupt the flow of the game.

3. Don't Interrupt Play

  • Avoid unnecessary interruptions to the game, such as stepping onto the court while a point is in progress or disrupting your opponents' concentration with distracting behavior.
  • Wait for a natural break in play before retrieving stray balls, walking behind a court, or making adjustments to equipment to minimize disruptions.

By following these dos and don'ts of pickleball etiquette, players can create a culture of both respect and enjoyment on the court. Remember that good etiquette enhances the overall experience for everyone involved and contributes to a positive and welcoming pickleball community. So, whether you're a seasoned player or new to the game, let's strive to uphold the principles of courtesy and camaraderie in every match we play.

Happy pickleballing, Heritage Community!