Local Club Etiquette


Anytime is the perfect time to review the basics of pickleball etiquette, for new and seasoned players. It is very easy to relax court courtesies which are disrespectful to our fellow players. The basic etiquette guidelines that OPC supports are:

  1. Acknowledge your opponents at the beginning of the game. Introduce yourself when playing with unfamiliar players. Ensure that you have your name tag on.
  2. At the end of the game, to ensure your ball does not roll into the next court – stabilize and pick up the ball and then players meet at the net and tap paddles and say something positive, like “nice play” or “thanks for the game.” Take your ball with you back to the paddles down area and give your ball to a member of the entering foursome.
  3. As you are leaving your court, wait for the players playing in the court next to you to finish their point and call out “COURT” so they and the next group of four players is advised it’s their turn to play.
  4. Leaving or coming onto a court – do not disrupt players on adjacent courts. Wait until they have completed the point and exit/arrive together walking briskly off/onto the court, along the tennis nets or outside the fence. As your foursome is exiting along the tennis nets, the other foursomes still playing can shuffle to the next court, leaving either Court #1 or Court #8 free for the entering team. If exiting the court to allow the entering team to come on, take your ball with you and give to a member of the entering foursome.
  5. If a ball bounces or rolls into your court during play, yell “BALL” and immediately stop play. Replay the point.
  6. If a ball enters your court during a point in play, kindly return the ball to the correct court by making eye contact with the intended receiver, return their ball, and replay your point.
  7. If your ball goes behind a court that is in play, wait until they have finished current rally before retrieving your ball – do not retrieve your ball from behind players in the midst of a rally – too distracting. If the play on the court your ball has rolled into starts to move back to where your ball is waiting to be retrieved, yell “BALL” and immediately stop play. Replay the point.
  8. At the start of each rally, the server should call out the score to ensure everyone is aware of the score and are ready to resume play.
  9. If a ball lands on or close to the outline, the receiving team has the final say on calling the ball “In” or “Out”. Do not question the call. In social play, if you are uncertain, call it “In”, giving the benefit of the doubt to your opponent. They will likely return the favour when the tables turn.
  10. Play with everyone. Occasionally take the time to play with weaker players – they will be thrilled to have the experience, as did you when you played at their level. When playing with weaker players, especially in the social times, adjust your personal play accordingly and avoid any hard smashes or lobs.
  11. If a stronger player is on the court with you, hit the ball to them and often as it will make you a better player; plus, it will keep the game more interesting for all who are playing. If you are playing with weaker players, take the opportunity to work on shots that they can return and learn from.
  12. Foot faults can be called by all players, but you are encouraged to call your own and those of your teammate.
  13. Unsolicited coaching on the courts is not good etiquette. If someone asks for your input, offer a tip or two after your game once you are off the court so as not to distract from the flow of the game.
  14. Cursing is not acceptable. Over-cheering is inappropriate and, in tournament play, is referred to as taunting.