Clinic Instructional Notes


Andy Forsyth is running clinics during our normal Saturday play time. He is kindly providing summary notes of his lessons for you to read. Of course, reading the instructions is no substitute for hands-on experience or subsequent practice. Andy's instruction provides you with tools and principles that you can put into place immediately. These clinics will undoubtedly improve the skills and knowledge of BCPA players. You can read his notes here in either HTML or PDF format.


Date TopicHTMLPDF
30 Mar 2019Drop Shot and Dinks Clinic 1 Clinic 1
20 Apr 2019Attack and Defense Clinic 2 Clinic 2
28 Jul 2019 Practice Routines Drills Drills
27 Mar 2021 Intermediate 10 Mistakes 10 Mistakes
27 Mar 2021BeginnerClinicClinic

Gary's Corner - Comments on Rules and Strategy


1. Five Reasons To Play at the Non-Volley Zone Line

Non-Volley Zone

Many players new to the game of pickleball do not realize the strategies behind playing this super fun game. For those who love to understand strategies and want to learn better game play, here are five reasons why playing pickleball at the non-volley zone line is a great strategy for your doubles game:


1) You have less area to cover - By playing right at or an inch or two away from the non-volley zone line you cut out over half the court for your opponents to hit the ball to versus staying in the back court. Visualize the number of shots your opponents have on you when you play at the line compared to staying back at the base line. You are better equipped to handle those pesky drop shots at the net! You also have fewer steps to get to the ball, so save yourself some work and get to the line.

2) Will help improve your variety of pickleball skills and shots - Playing at the non-volley zone line means more balls may be coming at you at a faster pace. This will improve your reflexes, body awareness and hand-eye coordination making your overall pickleball game even stronger. Also, this will help with your finesse game and how to control the ball better, your volley and dink game, adding more shots to your pickleball "tool belt."


3) Conquer your fear, build confidence and win more - Many times I hear people state that they are fearful of playing at the net because they don't want to get hit by the ball. Thank goodness the ball is so lightweight and relatively soft, that it only stings a little if you get hit! By gradually moving towards the net and getting comfortable there, this is a great way to build confidence in yourself and conquer that fear. With drills, practice and time I guarantee you will become more comfortable at the net and begin to learn why it is so fun to play there and most likely win more often. Who doesn't love to win every once in awhile?!


Four at Net

4) Take control of the game - By playing pickleball at the non-volley zone line you are in a better position to control the game. You have the ability to make more shots and be more successful at them, whether a lob, dink, volley or a deep drive to your opponents back court. You also have the ability to take pace off the game easier or speed it up. It is easier to make more precise shots at the non-volley zone line.


5) Less gaps to cover when you both play at the line - It is best to play at the non-volley zone line with your doubles partner for all the reasons stated above. Once one of you moves up to the non-volley zone line, try to join your partner there soon. It is best if you can move together to the line at the same time. If you leave you partner at the base line, they will most likely get all the balls from your opponents, leaving more gaps and angles open between you for your opponents to hit, and more court for your partner to cover.


As you play more strategic opponents you may have to adjust your game a little based on their high percentage shots. In the mean time, these five reasons will hopefully get you to play more at the non-volley zone line, increase your game winning percentage and make playing pickleball more fun!


Source: Play at non-volley zone


2. Rules on Line Calling

Basically, as the receiving team you and you teammate make the calls for balls landing on your side of the court.


3. Here are some rules on serving...


Legal Serve

These rules are illustrated in this picture. The ball is below the waist and the paddle head is below the wrist. In this picture the paddle head is just barely below the wrist and is in jeopardy of being called a fault. Most experienced players keep the paddle head well below the wrist so there is no question.















Andy's Corner


Player Rating


Here is a very good interpretation of how a person is rated as a Pickleball player.


If you want to rate yourself as a player, the ratings levels are determined with the "Elo Rating system" for the 4 digit ratings (this is how they first came up with rating chess players).


As for the 1.0 thru 3.0, to me there is not much difference. Its just mostly understanding the game and playing it a few times. Most people with any skill at all can get up to a 2.5 after a few of times playing. Then some people will never advance beyond 2.5. From what I understand, the highest Amateur rating is 5.0. Pros are 5.0 to 6.999 (7.0). See if you can figure out what you think you are. Let me know. I'd be interested to get your feedback.


Tennis I know goes all the way up to 16.++ for pros. many of the top pros are at 16.2+ and high 15.++.


Also, how many of you are registered with the USPA and have an official rating? If so, let me know. If not, if you like, I can help you get registered. You get lots of great information about Pickleball supplies and tips to improve your game (ie. Videos online to check out during your down times) from USPA.