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Silveridge Pickleball Court Etiquette

  1. Good sportsmanship is the #one rule. Remember it is not about winning it is about having fun.
  2. During these COVID-19 times please respect that everyone has different comfort levels.
  3. Wear your Silveridge RV Park name tag while playing pickleball.
  4. Pickleball is only a game. At “Club All Play” sessions (skill levels are mixed, and it is considered social play), players play with all skill levels without complaints.
  5. If you are crossing an active court to get onto a vacant court or to leave a court, wait until their current point is over. Ask them for permission to cross their court.
  6. When players are unequal in skill, avoid always hitting the ball to the weaker player just to score points. Play to the stronger player or they will get bored and may not want to play with you in the future. Your game will improve by playing to the better player at least half the time.
  7. If you are the strongest player of the four, either:
    • Play to each of the opponents in a way they can handle the shot and learn from the play. Sometimes you can even ask people what they are working on (e.g. drop shots, lobs, returning balls hit to their backhands) and if they tell you, hit the ball to them so they can work on those shots; or
    • Work on a shot that has been causing you difficulty; what a great time to practice the third shot drop!
  1. Wait until everyone is ready and then call the score loudly before serving.
  2. NEVER smash a ball that is returned too high by the weaker player in social play; make a challenging return for the stronger opponent or give the weaker player another shot to try to get it down lower.
  3. During these COVID-19 times do not participate in tapping the bottom of your paddles at the end of your game. Instead, use your paddle to wave at your opponents at the end of the game and say   "thanks for the game”, while practicing social distancing.
  4. If the ball is out, and it’s on your side, call it out loudly and raise your arm to indicate it is out. If it’s close, give the benefit to your opponent. Put your arm down with your palm flat or finger extended to show it is in. This is hard to do when the game is close but do it anyway. If you are unsure, it is IN! If your opponent does not do it, do the right thing when it’s your turn!!!
  5. If the ball is out, and it’s on your side, call it out loudly and raise your arm to indicate it is out. If it’s close, give the benefit to your opponent. Put your arm down with your palm flat or finger extended to show it is in. This is hard to do when the game is close but do it anyway. If you are unsure, it is IN! If your opponent does not do it, do the right thing when it’s your turn!!!
  6. If you step into the kitchen on a volley, or if your partner does, call it on yourself. Be very cautious about calling the kitchen or serving faults on others – you should be watching the ball and not your opponent’s feet.
  7. Spectators should quietly watch the games in play. Never ask for, or accept, line calls from spectators. If spectators continuously comment on the play itself, politely ask them not to comment on your game. It may become disruptive, argumentative, hostile and combative.
  8. NEVER yell at, swear at, or say a hostile or sarcastic word to your partner or your opponent in anger. Don’t let your anger get out of control because it makes everyone feel uncomfortable and it can make your partner feel like it’s their fault. Abusive language and negative behaviour will not be tolerated on or around the courts.
  9. Since we are playing a social game, please apologize if you break wind, belch loudly or swear (even when it is directed at yourself).
  10. Trash-talking, which is teasing your opponents in a fun and light-hearted way, is part of pickleball. But be careful – don’t trash-talk someone who is sensitive, who you don’t know, who is a weaker player or can’t for any reason trash-talk back. Don’t trash-talk someone’s physical or mental limitations, use racial or other politically incorrect statements. Just be careful.
  11. ALWAYS compliment people on outstanding shots or on a really great point during the game.
  12. Play a strong game against better players but work on stuff you need practice on with the weaker players. Tell your partner “I’m working on deep backhand returns today” and they know that will mean that you’re not trying to put every shot away. Saying this beforehand gives you a chance to gauge what your partner wants out of the game.
  13. Do not take advantage of a person’s physical limitations during social play. If someone cannot go back for a lob, why lob over their head? Use the chance to learn something by hitting shots to their strength and trying to make good shots out of their returns.
  14. Don’t give lessons on the court (unless they were agreed to by all beforehand). Unless it is a teaching session, any observations should be one or two liners in order not to detract from the play (e.g. remember to hit the return of serve deep enough that you can get to the NVZ line before the opponents hit the ball).
  15. At the end of a game, if you believe another player would benefit from an observation about their play, DON’T OFFER IT. Most people don’t want observations about their play and will not take it well. Even if they ask, be very cautious. Give no more than ONE piece of advice at a time. Let them work on that.

Silveridge Pickleball Court Etiquette