Rules & Etiquette



USA Pickleball Association official rules shall govern play. Full list of rules can be found at (opens in a new tab).




You can download a PDF of the following local rules.


  1. Judgement calls are the sole responsibility of the player(s) on the receiving side, with integrity being of paramount importance.
  2. No player should question an opponent’s call unless asked. A player should ask the opponent’s opinion if the opponent was in a better position to see the call. An opponent’s opinion, if requested, shall be accepted.
  3. Any ball that cannot be called “out” is presumed to be “in.” The player cannot claim a “let” (replay) because the ball was not seen.
  4. It is the responsibility of the server to announce the score before each point. If there is a dispute about the score, it should be settled at this point - not after the serve.

Key Local Rules:

  1. BCPA’s number one rule is to keep play Friendly and Fun.
  2. Make sure your name is on your paddle. Name … not initials.
  3. If a ball enters the court from another court, play is halted by a player calling “Ball” or “Ball on the Court” and the point re-started.
  4. The person on the side of the court closest to the entry gate will serve first.
  5. When sun is a consideration or issue, players should agree before the start of the game that they will switch sides once one team has scored at least half the points needed to win the game.
  6. When there are two courts available and there are:
  1. When there are four courts available and there are:
  1. If using Winners/Losers paddle stacks and there are less than four paddles in the stack that is up next, then take the paddles needed off the top of the other stack. Do not wait for the players who just finished to place their paddles at the bottom to give you four players.
  2. The players next in line to play on the next available court are called the “on deck” players.  They should be aware they are on deck and ready to play when the next game ends.
  3. When players come in late they are to place their rackets at the bottom of a stack.  No exceptions.
  4. If four players want to play together they can do so by tying or using a rubber band to group their rackets together at the position of the lowest of the four
  5. When a game is over the players who want to play again shall place their rackets at the bottom of a stack.
  6. Any player may move their racket down in the stack but never up in the stack.
  7. If a player on the serving/hitting side of the court makes a call on the ball whether in or out without the receiving team deferring to them, then the ball will be counted out of bounds.
  8. Spectators should NEVER make a call on a line fault.
  9. Spectators should NEVER be asked to make a call on a line fault.
  10. Servers please announce the score loudly enough for opponent side to plainly hear the score. It’s best to call the score loud enough that everyone can hear and give them a couple seconds to disagree.
  11. Many friendly players, while waiting to play, retrieve balls hit to the fence and return them to the players playing so they don’t have to be chasing balls around the court. Realize how nice this is when you are playing and return the favor when you are not. It speeds up game time resulting in less wait time.



  1. Hydrate. This means “drink water”. This means YOU. Especially on those hot days. Drink BEFORE you are thirsty. Otherwise it’s too late.
  2. If a ball comes onto your court from another court, STOP PLAY AT ONCE. Same if you hear “Ball on the Court!” yelled.
  3. Stretch before and AFTER playing. We know, we know, everyone says that, we all say we do it, but we don’t. So be a trend-setter and do it.
  4. If you are returning a dead ball to another player please do not bend over and swat it back rolling on the ground. Be courteous and pick it up and toss/bounce it or gently hit it so they don’t have to run after it. Please be courteous to those of us that have trouble bending over to pick up balls.
  5. For those that are so inclined, please do not dive for balls.
  6. If someone falls and hurts themselves roll them off the court so play can continue* or hold your hand up and call time and tend to the person that needs help. Especially in the summer, the court gets hot and someone who has hurt the foot/ankle may not be able to get up but is getting burned by the court. Just be aware.

* Not really

New Players

The Burke Centre Pickleball Club WELCOMES new players.  If a new player shows up unannounced without an existing member, please introduce them to the players and let them know if they are new and if they have previously played Pickleball. If a new player is accompanied by an existing member please make sure they are introduced and welcomed by the players.  We all want new players to feel welcomed and want them to continue coming out to play.

If a new player has never played before and there is a court available, then someone should take them to the available court and explain some of the basic rules and practice hitting it back and forth.  Once you think they are ready put them in the queue to play a game and announce that we have a beginner, so the other players will play an easy game that is meant to help the new player. Explain the rules and strategy as the game progresses.