It’s important in any competitive setting to always be respectful and show good sportsmanship and pickleball is no exception. Whether you’re competing in tournaments or just playing for fun, everyone appreciates good etiquette. Here are a few things to remember before you hit the courts.
Be Polite If you’re playing with or against someone you don’t know, don’t forget to introduce yourself before playing. Along with that, don’t hesitate to compliment other players if they hit a nice shot. A positive and communicative environment will always make the game more enjoyable. ALWAYS avoid trash-talking your foes or using curse words, and be sure to dress appropriately as well.
Play With Integrity Pickleball is unique in that players are allowed to call shots in or out. If you are unsure about a call, always be a good sport and give other players the benefit of the doubt. If you are honest about your calls, your opponent will appreciate it and will be likely to return the favor. This can be even more difficult if the match is close, but it is extremely important to preserve the integrity of the game.
Don't Single Out "The Weaker Player" In competitive tournament situations, a very common doubles strategy to is to hit almost exclusively to the player that is perceived as being less skilled. This is of course allowed in the rules and a sound strategy for winning pickleball. However, in a casual situation where players are trying to improve, it can be viewed as poor form to hit primarily to one player. It's not a good feeling to be singled out and face shot after shot. Many players quickly get flustered and the game loses some of its enjoyment. And the partner who is perceived as more skilled doesn't get a chance to work on their game. Further, the offending party isn't growing and developing as they are just picking on a less skilled player. We encourage players to think about the purpose of the game and what you and your court mates are hoping to get out of it. Let your style of play follow suit.
Remember, It’s Just A Game If things aren’t going your way and you’re getting frustrated, don’t take it out on your partner, opponents, or anyone else around. Keep your frustrations to yourself and work to improve your errors. Keep in mind that pickleball is just a game and that you are out there to have fun!